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

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
@ Eugene’s Mate. Posted July 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm.
Thanks, “Eugene’s Mate”, for standing on Sue and my shoulders and posting your information, which I’d like to believe is informed and reliable, but I haven’t failed to realise anything about the Gunner Government’s intentions.
In fact, I have made a point of supporting their alcohol reform.
I’m glad that “most other NT Cabinet members share this analysis”. I’m not cynical in doubting that they are taking the initiative.
I’m also glad that you share my analysis of frustrated motivation. I worked for decades with youth, both when I was one and more recently. It’s not rocket science, but please permit me to set you straight over your claim of “ignorant and patronising” suggestion.
You teeter on the edge of reason with the rest of your post in terms of the art gallery / culture centre and the government’s consultation process.
I’m also not sure what you mean about Mr Shiell’s failure to see that the gallery should be at “the heart of the town”. As far as I understand, a section of the Aboriginal community have suggested it be south of the Gap, which aligns with his suggestion.
Thanks for the directional inspiration.


Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
@ Sue Fielding. Posted 14/7/18. 8:46AM: In my opinion you have correctly identified generational trauma, racism, alcohol abuse and domestic violence as some of the reasons for anti-social behavior among the young people responsible.
Anger and frustration are two of the motivational issues, apart from mindless vandalism which is existential for many kids. I did it occasionally at that age, without really knowing why.
With regard to “the support and social cohesion necessary for them to make a way forward (in 2 world’s), into education, jobs, a stable life”, you are essentially discussing giving them direction.
Motivating the kids to take an interest in their surroundings (town) begins in family life and then in the school environment, but when this is dysfunctional, then special treatment is warranted as is the case with case management, but more than one-on-one is required, because that only attends to the electrons whizzing around the nucleus.
Perhaps, the kids sense that the town lacks direction.
Who could blame them for reacting the way they are out of frustration?
If you look at the local economy as tourist-based, at least for six months of the year, then getting kids focussed on how they might contribute to that opportunity through education, innovation and the kind of ideas which Trevor Shiels often posts at this site, e.g., Yirara students training for the proposed art gallery and/or a culture centre, then perhaps that could be a direction.
The problem, as I see it, is that Mr Shiels’ posts often seem to go unremarked.
You call for local MPs and Alice to focus, along with the support providers. All of this appears to lack direction.
Alice Springs is a town that has the makings of a recovery, but without the ability to help itself out of the problem.
Could this be a form of self-inflicted vandalism brought about by ennui, i.e, stunned like the rabbit in the headlights?
Maybe, it’s a Pavlovian impotence, where the dog keeps getting an electric shock, but doesn’t want to or can’t get out of the box?
Perhaps, Alice as a town is the Pavlovian dog.
It will keep on receiving these toxic social shocks as long as it lacks direction, or the will to get out of the box.


At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
@ Maya. Posted 26th June. 7:16pm.
The Property Council of Australia recently commissioned a report which examines the future of Australian cities. It has been reviewed as applying equally to Sydney as to a country shire in the outback.
It’s basic premise seems to be the creation of “mini-CBD’s” over the usual model of one CBD, but the interesting thing about the second volume of the three volume report is how it charts employment growth in GDP per capita.
The take-home bit for me is that limiting the planning (?) of Alice Springs to a single CBD concept over the creation of mini-CBD’s, limits employment opportunity, e.g., transport between them is an obvious one.
Alice Springs is set up for such a vision, with some of the points you make, but with many more outlying.
It may allow for diversification and reduce the focus of social unrest on the present CBD, which seems resistant to change or reform.
The challenge might be to link them into a coherent town plan that has a future outside of the narrow confines of the present.


Indigenous gallery location done and dusted, says Lambley
@ Trevor Shiell. Posted 22nd June. 4:24pm.
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founder’s Museum in Longreach are kilometres from the CBD, but the Town Council has had to build an additional caravan park on the river because, in peak season, the others are full.
The new dinosaur park in Winton is out of town.
Probably because they build the town in the wrong place back then.
If only they’d known.
Some people have been calling for a Town Plan in Alice for years, but have given the game away and it’s easy to see why.
Even you have expressed this Yirara idea several times.
Ever get the feeling you’re a cracked record?
Actually, ‘blessed are the cracked for they shall let in a little light.’


Pine Gap’s new role as a war fighting command centre
Redundancy in the use of GPS technology, especially in relation to aviation and weather forecasting, is vital, but who knows how many satellites there are, which ones are kaput and which are fully functional for commercial or military purposes?
So many of us take satellite-based technology for granted in our daily lives, more especially as cyber warfare, recently exposed as influencing Australian elections, becomes a hot-button issue for the democratic world.
In those terms, Pine Gap is a significant asset, although, I note that Professor Blaxland is an academic from the ANU which recently rejected a fully-funded scholarship program for studies in Western Civilisation, while hosting similar programs from Asian and Islamic sources.


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