So why do we need to show respect to these …

Comment on Send in the taskforce: councillor by Ray.

So why do we need to show respect to these people and this culture again? Reconciliation is a two way street, and this has set the cause back many years in my opinion. Sad thing is many of my aboriginal friends feel the same way and it saddens them.
Not sure who reported it interstate, but I have had friends discuss this, and other similar occurrences over the years and they have been horrified. Here, we seem to accept it as just another day in the Alice. If this is the story we are sharing, as the tourist commission puts it, god help us, and the generations to come.

Ray Also Commented

Send in the taskforce: councillor
Russell@5. Thanks Russell for saying you believe that my statements appear racist, rather than saying I am racist. A nice change. When you consider that my initial comment was in response to the police being attacked in a town camp, then yes, I make no bones in saying that this is an Aboriginal issue. I did not however say that they social dysfunction is caused purely by aboriginal people. Although it somewhat pains me, I tend to agree with your statement that there are many other interest groups that have led to the issues that we have today. My comment about broadening your scope was in relation to your talk about tightening the supply of grog. I believe there are many many other issues that need to be addressed AS WELL AS the grog issue.
I am restricted by what I can and can’t say due to obligations to my employer, so sometimes I cannot give all the details I want to, this is also why I do not use my last name. Not withstanding the use of my last name, I still enjoy the intellectual debates we have. Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, playing devil’s advocate and reading informed rebuttal to my own ideas allows me to expand my knowledge of local issues, and enjoy being part of a group that is prepared to put their opinion forward, expecting alternative views to be expressed.
I am a very keen reader of the Alice Springs News and believe Erwin does a wonderful job in providing informed and well researched journalism, and also provides a forum for people interested in their town’s future to be heard. Many of these issues highlight the dysfunction that exists in out town, but it is up to us to solve it.
Russell I have never met you and admit I can get passionate, but thanks for taking the time to responding to my views with well informed intelligent debate.
Rex, thanks for your support mate, and Steve Brown, keep it up.
Reading the various opinions on these and similar topics simply goes to show how hard it will be to reach agreement, as we all have opinions, and we also believe that we are right.
My view is that I want the right to have a beer after work, as I do work hard, have a family, educate my kids and uphold my civil obligations, as I see them to be. My friends who visit me out here think the restrictions we have already are an absolute joke. I have heard the owners of Piggly’s and other places are complaining about the police presence outside their stores. They say that their customers are staying away in droves. Maybe they have something to hide. Outstanding warrants, trying to buy grog when intoxicated etc. maybe this action is what is needed to reduce the level of consumption that leads tho the problems we have. It may bring grog consumption back to what it should be. This is the police presence locals have been calling out for for the last tree years
It seems to be working. My whole argument has been, and still is, that if anybody wants to be a part of our community, they should be made to feel part of it, providing they abide by the rules expected by that community. This includes the responsible consumption of alcohol, making the effort to improve their lot in life, and not being over-represented on the wrong side of the law, because of their own actions.
Police are appointed to uphold the laws of the land. I respect the police, and see the crap they have to deal with. I respect the laws we live under and try to follow them. I teach my children that as well. Anybody who attacks police, in a drunken stupor to a point they have to draw tasers, should be condemned for bad behaviour, not excused. Simple. The inequity and lack of opportunity we hear trotted out went out the window years ago. We have, as a society, begun to right previous wrongs, and have bent over backwards to provide a hand up to all people. I get very upset when that hand up is spat at, and rejected because it is no longer a hand out.
I look forward to more exchanges with you. Would enjoy a chat with you, Rex and others. You can enjoy your Billy tea, but I’ll sit around the fire with a nice bottle of red, thanks.


Send in the taskforce: councillor
Russell@1. Yes Russell you are right in whom I identify. People say that this type of behavior occurs with white people as well, but in a town of 27000 people it stands out.
Russell you always talk about alcohol issues, but I have been here 14 years and have noticed more and more restrictions coming in, yet the problems are getting worse and worse. We have had the 2 km law, that stupid one where you had to say where you are intending to drink if you buy more that $100 dollars worth of grog, abolition of long neck beer, abolition of 4 ltr casks etc, and now the ridiculous banned drinkers register that has been proven to increase break and enters for those who cannot legally buy it.
The problem is the snivel libertarians who tell people they have every right to buy grog and get shitfaced every single day. They don’t need to work, Centrelink go into the river to help people get their dole payments. You confront a person breaking into your house looking for grog, they swing at you, you hit back in self defense and they go straight to CAALAS and get free representation to take you to court.
You will most likely get off through section 27 and 29 of the criminal code act, but there is 6 months of worry where you have criminal charges hanging over your head. A normal working person has no chance of affording legal representation. This is what scares me about living in Alice Springs, and many other people I know. A kid breaks into my house, I defend myself, and they get free legal representation, funded by my taxpayer dollars, with the possibility of me going to court, getting a record, and possibly going to prison. Option 2 is take them out bush and bury them, problem solved. Am I over-reacting? You tell me, but this really how serious things are getting here.
The parents do not give a shit about their kids (no not all, but many), the pollies are too gutless / powerless to bring in real policies, and the support agencies, legal agencies and civil rights activists who have no interest in teaching responsibilities, are also the root cause of the problem. Alcohol is part of the problem, but failure to accept the past, and move into the modern world is causing hatred and preventing any chance of true reconciliation. Broaden your scope Russell, there are more issues at play here, bigger than you or I.


Recent Comments by Ray

Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Trevor: You have nailed it, absolutely nailed it. Unfortunately is is far more common than people think or could even imagine.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
To those who voted against it, thank you. I for one believe that the Australian flag up there and Territory one next to it symbolises all Australians from the Territory that served.
Yes, Aboriginal servicemen had a hard time returning home from service, but so did our Vietnam diggers, of all races.
I suppose that change will come one day, but for the councillors that voted against it represented my point of view, so thank you, your efforts are appreciated.


Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?
It sounds like Sue Gordon is getting it and is not afraid to say it how it is.
So many people on this and other forums are saying that the lock me up attitude of the last 20 years is proof that a punitive approach is not working, and we need to change to a more caring model.
Well, here is your evidence of how this new system will work for us. Once the town has died completely and it turns into a service centre only, then people on the east or west coast will say, sadly, “told you so”.
While we keep getting told an entire generation was stolen because of the colour of their skin, and feeling sorry for anybody simply because they said they were stolen too, there will be no solution, but great profits for Harvey Norman and the local bottle shops.
People hopefully will begin to see the point of magistrate Gordon, that a child living in care is better than a child dead with “family”.


Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Alex: Not sure what evidence you are referring to about alternatives in other countries working. I have tried to find comparatives to our situation, and could not, and our society is vastly different to these countries.
My other point is when you say that what we have done over the last 20 years has not worked.
How can that be proven? In another 20 years, we may look back at this new approach and compare it to what we have been doing, and find it has been more successful, but then again it may fail miserably.
Unless we get to a point where we have two choices to compare, it is hard to outright dismiss what has been done over the last 20 years or so.


What REALLY goes on in our streets: Youth worker
@ Evelyn: You mention evidence of the government being racist when the army was sent into communities and basics cards being introduced among other things.
The army is regularly used in times of emergencies to assist communities that need it, being disaster relief from cyclones, flooding etc. mainly because they are the best equipped to do so.
The Intervention was exactly that, the government needed to intervene because a state of emergency had been declared in these communities with sexually transmitted diseases in kids under 10 years old at epidemic proportions (that is not normal for any society).
There were cases of preventable eye and ear disease and houses in chronic states of disrepair.
The Federal government needed to act and their biggest asset that is Federally controlled is the army. Despite some of the images promoted by the protesters, they didn’t roll in in tanks with M16s slung over their shoulder.
They came in Land Cruisers with the specialist equipment that was needed and were probably the only workforce with the capacity to do the job.
They comprised medics, engineers and logistics specialists. We need to ignore the rhetoric of the critics who paint a picture of a racist government sending in soldiers to round up all the blacks.
Instead we need to read the Little Children are Sacred report again, and remind ourselves of the reasons we not just wanted to, but had to do something for those kids, five year old kids playing out sexualised behaviour on each other, and then seeing pornography freely available in these houses. Coincidence?
Chronic overcrowding, peadophiles being reported and arrested for the first time because the women and community members had faith that they would be listened to and having the oportunity to give evidence without fear of retribution.
I was friends with police who worked on these cases and they said that what the public heard was the tip of the iceberg.
Billions were poured into the SIHIP program for housing as a result of what was identified. Was it done as well as it could be? No. But we all know that now. Was it needed? Well yes it was, for the government not to intervene would have been criminal.
Naturally the Act needed to be changed to allow this response to occur, it would not have been legal otherwise, the ability to do this can be traced back to the 1967 referendum.
As far as applying to any other race? My home town of Bundaberg is about to be, if not already, the next town for the basics card to be rolled out, and it is already being trialled in other areas applying to all races. It is not solely for aboriginal people.
Once again, spend the time, download and really read the LCAS report, your opinion then may change.
Many people cry foul about the Intervention, unfortunately the voices of the ones who are grateful something was done, are drowned out by the ones with the funds and contacts and reasons to make it about themselves, not the ones who need the help.


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