Hal and Bob, posted @ June 14th. Hal, your comment re …

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

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.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Shires: either revenue must go up or expectations, down
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.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ My Opinion, posted 20.2.18. 12:22pm:
I’m an amateur historian, but there’s an argument that the geo-political climate that caused Great Britain to raise the Union Jack over what became the colonies turned out to Australia’s advantage. At least, wisdom in hindsight suggests it so.
Indigenous or First Nations people suffered beyond measure and today assert a form of sovereignty through a limited Native Title that is not altogether historically retroactive, leading to social issues bundled together under slogans such as Closing the Gap.
There is always a relative unity among all peoples constituting a nation, but what seems undeniable is that united we stand, divided we fall.
Councils around the country fly the Aboriginal flag, but not, it seems, all that often from military sites, which still serve to unite a country in a geo-political sense, most often concerned with sovereign borders.
The social problems remain, so do other strategic sites from which the Aboriginal flag can be flown as a symbol of unity within the Alice community.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Surprised. Posted 6/2/18. 7:40AM. Re your comment about costs related to harmful levels of alcohol consumption within NT communities:
“You know, they fail to take into account that currently we pay $50m in the Territory in relation to alcohol sales in taxes. That money unfortunately goes straight to the Commonwealth so there is some arguments there how the Territory Government gets that money back” (Des Crowe, CEO. NT branch of the Australian Hotels Association. ABC 6/2/18, responding to the NT Police Association call for industry responsibility).
This appears to be a game of “pass the buck” with Liquor Inspectors and “new technology” attached to the BDR as a “way forward.”
Smoking in public places is banned and the health warnings that now appear on tobacco products have helped create a greater awareness of the issues related to the peer enforcement of smoking, but the tobacco industry didn’t go quietly.
Perhaps, the alcohol industry needs to admit responsibility and leadership by comparing the costs to public health for its products, but that would affect the corporate bottom line.
The $50m in taxes is miniscule in comparison to the billions spent on alcohol-related health issues that taxpayers subsidise on an annual basis.
That money could well be spent elsewhere.
It’s not an economic issue, but one of leadership in community values and political will.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Laurence, posted February 3, 2018. 6:17pm: Re your comment about a “radical rethink”.
Leaving aside the suite of measures so far employed to address the harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT and notwithstanding the absence of a floor price, there is something in what you say.
Stewardship is an old fashioned word for community values.
In the 1920s, Rev. John Flynn, who knew something about the health of people in the bush, wrote that we would have to render an account one day.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
There is a groundswell of awareness about the use of methamphetamine (Ice) at a community level throughout Australia.
Most people seem to have direct or anecdotal experience of families being tragically affected, but if it was better understood that ‘for every person who uses methamphetamine in a year there are 85 drinking alcohol;for every person addicted to methamphetamine there are 20 addicted to alcohol;for every ambulance call-out for methamphetamine problems there are 25 for alcohol;for every methamphetamine presentation to an Emergency Department there are 30 for alcohol;for every amphetamine-related death there are 65 alcohol deaths’ (source: Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education newsletter 2/2/18), the alcohol problem confronting communities in the NT might be considered more seriously.


THE TROLL by Blair McFarland
Thanks for this, Blair. As Monty Python would have it, say no more.


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