It’s no secret that the Shire Councils “have no money” …

Comment on Shires: either revenue must go up or expectations, down by Russell Guy.

It’s no secret that the Shire Councils “have no money” but the question begs, what are they doing with what resources they have? It also seems to me that they could be working with other government departments in creating employment in the remote communities within their boundaries. This is the obvious way to raise rate-based revenue and grow these communities.
There is a lot of talk about Vocational Training Employment Centres (VTECS) and the Remote Jobs Communities Programs (RJCP) from both sides of politics. The talk about training for jobs that actually exist is fair enough, but not that many exist outside mining and that has many teething problems that need to be addressed.
One solution for the Shires in their present state is to engage with those who are talking these programs up and focus on the real problem of job creation and welfare reform. There are Federal government programs for the upgrade of remote airstrips. Perhaps the Shires could look at this as micro-employment projects, leading to other things like tourism.
As far as emergency evacuations go, the history of the RFDS proved that this could be overcome almost a hundred years ago. Roads are roads out bush and sensible driving attitudes with appropriate vehicles are still the best way of living and getting around.
A lot more creative thinking about private sector employment and effective integration with allocated government funding is required from the Central Desert Shire.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Shires: either revenue must go up or expectations, down
Hal and Bob, posted @ June 14th.
Hal, your comment re take-away sales free days in Alice as a precursor to ameliorating some of the related social dysfunction is noted. You, like Bob and myself, and a handful of others posting to this site, have been calling for this for some time.
I would like to see a community push for Sunday to be declared a take-away sales free day in the first instance, for critical community assessment. It’s the day when we all need some time off – alcholics to police – and, depending on your perspective, allows some rest for a productive working week.
If we, as a community, are ever going to get on top of this situation, work and its benefits have to be seen as a priority for all citizens. The current alcohol supply regulations confound that aim and are demonstrably counter-productive on many levels, as we all know.
As you correctly point out, the pollies seem caught in the headlights of the alcohol industry, who contribute to their campaign funds.
Vested interest by licencees is also a factor in continuing this disastrous community-sanctioned program of alcohol-related dysfunction. We need a genuine community desire for change and a push for a Sunday-free from takeaway alcohol sales is a place to start.
Bob, I concede that systematic grading of certain remote roads is a necessity and is an excellent community-driven employment contract – the sort of thing that the Shires could perhaps try to bring about.
The Plenty Highway, being a major tourist and community access road into Central Australia (on the NT side) requires regular grading, but it’s often in a poor condition, due to heavy caravan use, and of course, local traffic, including myself, who have no option, but to tolerate it.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

NT-SA agreement hardly historic
Paul Keating, in his 1992 Redfern Speech, framed by speechwriter Don Watson, author of the somewhat dryly punitive opus, The Bush, also claimed a historic mandate, announcing success for Reconciliation “within the next decade.”
It’s in the nature of politics to claim credit for doing something, mostly spending tax revenue and living in hope that it won’t run out.
In my opinion, the “historic” issue is just a beat up or a sop.
Pass me another piece of Bicenttennial birthday cake, please.


Greens on Pine Gap: Move towards non-aligned foreign policy
The Greens, once declared an “alternative” political party, inherited the structural social and cultural goalposts, but they keep trying to kick goals through them.
Kinselas’s, one of Sydney’s long established pubs, was recently sold through the Sunsuper-backed Australian Pub Fund for $22m.
It was purchased in 2010 for $10m, but it’s been said that it would have gone for $40m had the NSW government’s lock-out laws not been enacted.
Senator Di Natale obviously supports other supply-reduction measures, but dealing with the structural wealth of Super funds and their investment in the alcohol industry is a bit more difficult than continuing to bang the party political donation route to government corruption.
It would be nice if politicians who eschew liberal social policy when it suits them, could tackle financial regulation through institutionalised investment in the alcohol industry.


They must be joking!
@ Charlie Carter. Sense is subjective. Some people laugh when others don’t and vice versa. Cheers.


They must be joking!
From reading these comments over a number of years, there are a lot of disgruntled people who have moved to Alice Springs in recent times, who appear to want the place to conform to their aspirations.
They talk about “remote” and “communities” in the abstract.
They have no idea of Mbantua.
They want what they think life should offer, according to what they read in the glossy inserts or la dolce vita on television.
When the lights go out and it’s time to cook dinner on an open fire, what then, ye dreaming?


What the open letter didn’t say
End-of-day performances by the many local musicians, occurring in the Mall is a great idea for so many obvious reasons.
I did this numerous times in the 1980s with musos and it’s not that difficult with a small PA system.
It creates paid work and gives a sense of cultural belonging that cannot really be created by other art forms.
Music speaks all languages. We had occasional problems with intoxicated persons, but violence was extremely rare.
I urge the council to look at this again, especially where inner-city gentrification is forcing musicians out and replacing “live” entertainment with grog shanties. Goodness, people might start dancing again.


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