Just a slight misquote of what I said: Police to …

Comment on Send in the taskforce: councillor by Steve Brown.

Just a slight misquote of what I said: Police to my knowledge were never required to have permits to enter Town Camps but the fact that permission or discussion was supposedly required with, or was required from, traditional owners was often given as an excuse for not entering Town Camps particularly after dark.
There was never anything written in law, there never is in these circumstances, it simply becomes an easy convenient matter of practice that is easily deniable if the practice is ever questioned.
Law and Order effectively disappeared from Town Camps for a number of years. Some of them became like hell on earth after dark. The weak, the vulnerable women and kids were exposed on a nightly basis to the rule of thugs. The Intervention has brought about a new realization, a realization that although these people were heavily subjected to the attention of the law they were not being heavily protected by the law.
A paternalistic commentary on the existence of traditional forms of justice in these places, put about by patronizing do-gooding bureaucrats and academics, had given our community all the excuse it needed to sit idly by and watch the ensuing mayhem.
In my comments to Erwin I was simply making the point that we must not under any circumstances allow a return to those conditions and that some drunken misbehaviour by a few residents in a town camp is no more a reflection on the residents of that camp, than it would be on the town as a whole if one of us was dragged kicking and screaming from their home for drunkenness. I must also add that in my opinion it is high time laws that do not allow camp residents, “Equal Australians”, the right to drink in their own homes like the rest of us are scrapped. These blatantly racist laws will continue to be a source of much angst in our Community until they are removed.
I have worked as a contractor for decades in the camps and that gave me opportunity for making observations.
[ED – The Alice Springs News has reported on conditions in town camps for many years. Our interviews were always conducted with the consent of, and mostly, invitation from camp dwellers, yet pre-Intervention we were threatened by Tangentyere Council with action for trespass.]

Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Gallery: Council did not say boo
It is time we all recognised that Aboriginal people are equal individual Australians and can speak for themselves, having as many and varied opinions on subjects as the rest of us.
Too much consultation, too much discussion is not a healthy thing. It leads to bogged down confusion, exacerbates division and generally leads to nowhere, no result.
That’s why we have a system of a democratically elected government, to make decisions on our behalf.
In the case of the gallery they have selected their site and are sticking to their decision, good on them for that much at least.
Let’s now see if they can actually produce something on the ground. I must say I really do have doubts, however time will tell.
The important thing about living in a democracy is to understand that while you push your argument for all its worth during the discussion, at the end of the process, when the decision is made, win or loose or draw you must put self interest aside accept the result and out of respect and in the interest of your community’s advancement.
Fall in behind the a decision reached by a majority government.
If you don’t like what they have done kick them out at the next election!


Gallery: Council did not say boo
Polls are run in attempt to gain community feeling on a subject, not to make the actual decision.
If we ever reach such a farcical state where that occurs, the country will simply cease to function.
The important thing to take into account from the polls, petitions and rallies is not the results for and against, but the numbers that participated.
Of the small number who did, on every occasion except for the councils latest fascicle attempt, which was clearly hacked, the numbers were well below 2000.
Divided about 50-50, a thousand each out of a town of 28,500 residents!
In planning or decision making those who do not show an interest one way or the other are counted as supportive!
A thousand against equals a tiny 3.5% of the population! Not at all sure we would want to base any decision making on that!
Further, council only exists under the Territory’s Local Government Act.
It is in fact owned wholly and solely by the Territory Government which makes it a matter of protocol in such circumstances that the Territory Government takes the lead and makes the decision.
The council’s role is to advise and lobby on behalf of and in the interests of its own future role but not to stand in the way of a government of which council itself is actually a part!
In light of that fact the council’s decision to be site neutral and simply to work with government to achieve the best possible outcome for our community is absolutely the correct position, just a shame they didn’t explain it to the community!
Oh, and the Territory Government does not have to “resume” that which it already owns to start work on it!
So council would be well advised to ingratiate itself making certain it is part of design committees and project implementation, committees where they will be in the best possible place to influence the final outcome.


Anonymous donation doesn’t fix conflict of interest for council
There were very important representations made to the Prime Minister by community organisations grateful for a very rare opportunity to put their case directly to the top.
I attended a round table with police talking about child abuse, DASA talking about a huge increase in ice abuse in our community.
I was there to talk about the need to look after our street kids and the provision of a 24/7 drop in centre. I know Red Tails and others also contributed.
The Prime Minister talked about putting together a regional plan. That was the level of discussion going on.


Anonymous donation doesn’t fix conflict of interest for council
One of the primary roles a council performs for its community is public relations, meeting greeting guests, trying to give a friendly welcoming all round good impression of the community.
Acting like a sales person if you like, in selling the benefits of our community to the world.
Individuals, businesses, governments of all persuasions from all levels are lobbied.
Considering this role, do we seriously think spending $1400 on greeting the leader of the nation is an issue?
Wouldn’t you think that greeting the distributor of the vast amounts of government funding this community receives would be just plain respectful good manners?
I am utterly appalled ashamed at the actions of four small minded disrespectful councillors who cannot put aside petty personality politics for five minutes to support the greater interest of this community.
It is an indictment of the farcical electoral system which throws up such narcissistic individuals who clearly place no value on the gains of our community, simply intent on creating obnoxious, always contrary mayhem to cover a contemuously lazy and disrespectful approach for the role to which were elected.


Price, Turnbull should pay for town council function: Cr Banks
I cant believe the disrespectful “entitled” commentary around this subject, really?
We are a small town in the centre of Australia, one of thousands of small towns in this country, the Prime Minister of our nation shows enough interest in our community’s struggles to take time out and visit to discuss advancing our region through the establishment of a regional plan, so very much in the interests of every Centralian!
And yet we get a couple of non contributing councillors who couldn’t be bothered fulfilling their own expected role as councillors, but still with their hand out for a similar amount every month, whingeing about a lousy 1400 dollars to facilitate and respectfully greet the leader of our nation!
Of course council should facilitate the Prime Minister and his departments meeting greeting, facilitating important visitors to town is a primary role for councils everywhere.
I’ll bet you a penny to a pound that there are councils of small towns all over this country who would shell out considerably more for the same opportunity, because it is in the interest of their constituents!
And if you don’t understand that then I can only suggest that you don’t belong anywhere near our council!
Further in recent months I have noted a continuous flow of disinformation from certain councillors, claims of bullying, not being invited to events and recently claims that having to officially apologise for non attendance is some kind of bullying isolation of the few.
What utter garbage. The line of code of conduct charges against one councillor came from council staff not other councillors because that councillor is a disrespectful loud mouth whose comments are often very disrespectful of staff.
Whether those code of conducts were upheld is completely irrelevant, what is relevant is the fact that staff felt the need to make them in the first place!
It is their only form of defence when they are impinged, it points, very pointedly I believe, to who the bully in the pack is.
Further, some councillors simply aren’t contributing, not giving the very large commitment the role requires, not bothering to show up for meetings, not having read their notes when they do.
The requirement to register their apologies is so that the public gets to see for themselves who is contributing to the nitty gritty plain boring hard work and who is taking a free ride and using the councillor role to grandstand trying to sell the idea they are actually contributing to our community. I hope local media will also keep a firm eye on this.


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