Through all the trauma and mayhem of the past few …

Comment on Spend big on a youth centre, says councillor by Steve Brown.

Through all the trauma and mayhem of the past few years I think that it was pretty evident to all that the community of Alice Springs has some pretty major issues that required some serious attention, the breakdown in Law and Order being the major contender.
Analysis of criminal and Anti-social activities makes it pretty clear that we have two groups who contribute most of the mayhem, those being adult itinerant drunks, and the other a problem of growing proportions, with dislocated, disaffected, and very often neglected youth.
In putting together my proposal for council I will be concentrating on the latter group as I see it as more urgent and of greater and growing social consequence. I also see the adult group as more of a Territory Government issue.
As with all of these issues, the problems are multi faceted and quite complex. Simplified for easy explanation there are two basic groups of youth. Those who do the right thing, the big majority who go to school, work hard, do the chores, get jobs, etcetera. They take the hard road, the right road and these kids deserve recognition, respect, reward and encouragement.
The first goal of our Youth Centre is to give them some reward, recognise their place in the community.
Those who make up the other group, the neglected, the isolated, those tinkering on the edges of the law, on the edge of making life changing often life destroying decisions.
They must see and want what the others have. See the reward, see a clear demonstration of the benefits of taking the right road. Our Youth Centre’s role is to bring these two naturally opposed groups together, give our neglected kids a way in, help them find ambition, set life goals and achieve those goals.
At present our problem group gathers in the centre of town because they want to be seen to be “cool”, to be in the middle of what’s going on, just like kids have for eternity. Unfortunately, these gatherings are seen as threatening by the wider community which leads to a continuing confrontation with police and youth services, which in turn exacerbates the feeling of isolation these kids feel from community, and contributes to a heightening of hostility which often spills over into unlawful and antisocial activities.
This new Youth Centre will be the community’s way of both rewarding our struggling hard working youth, and reaching out to the neglected.
At the very first step it gives them something to do and some legitimate reason to be right in the middle of things. Given that they now have a reason and a place to be, the potential for conflict is immediately reduced, which will in turn lead to a lessening of hostility.
The Youth Centre will provide music, dance, beauty, fashion, indoor sports, martial arts, boxing, a trendy internet cafe, all the youth services, career and schooling advice, emergency accommodation. It will simply be the busiest, coolest, place in town to be. It will be a police citizens youth club, very well run, firmly monitored and disciplined.
Our two groups will mingle and learn from each other through music, sport and dace kids who have been on the outside will no longer feel so isolated which will help them take the right steps to a happy life which in turn will bring about our own community goal of harmony.
Why a new central centre? Well I have explained “central” above but it’s not only to ”be central”, what we want is “new”. Our present ramshackle effort for youth is some 50 years old and shows it! In showing it we send a very strong message, unintentional perhaps, but nevertheless there, that we don’t care! Look at the disastrous decline in our community, over the past 15 years. It’s time we sent a strong message of change! To set up the institutions that will bring us through the next 50 years successfully, remember the kids we are trying to support and rescue will make up tomorrows community, the price tag might be high today, but the gains for tomorrow are enormous! So let’s dare to dream a little, let’s get off our backsides and build something for our kids and for tomorrow. My proposal is to piggy back this large youth complex on the back of other facilities that will both contribute to the overall buzz / ambience and activity that will make this “the place to be” and will also help to make the complex affordable, both to build and run.
If for instance either the old Melanka site or something similar was available, perhaps the Memo Club, I would see the centre incorporating a transit centre, a number of cafes and specialty shops fronting that space, with a large hall to be use for Blue Light Discos and other community functions, opening into the cafe area. Further behind that again I would see a large auditorium that would house the various activities such as music, beauty and dance classes. The second floor would house backpackers’ accommodation, balconied over and accessible by the transit area and would also include office space for the various youth services.
The next possibly three floors would contain youth hostel accommodation that provides room and three meals a day for young workers.
The rest of the complex could be made up of strata titled town houses, for sale or rent. This complex would put a mass of people, life, activity, excitement, into the one area and bring a whole new “buzz” to our town!
The sounds of frivolity, laughter, as opposed to the screams yells, sounds of breaking glass and violence. Some have raised the question, “why not stay with what we’ve got? Why build a new centre?” Well, I think I’ve given you a few good reasons and now ask you a question in return. “Why not build a new centre?” If we as a community can get this project designed to the concept stage, we can go out and seek funding from a number of sources, just imagine what this project could mean for our town if we can achieve that funding! So let’s get out there and do it! Make it happen! Yes, it’s up to us!

Steve Brown Also Commented

Spend big on a youth centre, says councillor
Your continual claims to have the interests of the community at heart, Russell, simply aren’t borne out by your continual attempts to sabotage discussion on subjects of great interest and importance to our community with parrot like comments that are unhelpful outside the subject, clearly not in the interest of the community.


Spend big on a youth centre, says councillor
Hey Phil, Just think how much we can save if we do nothing at all! Perhaps that could be your platform, or maybe not I suppose, the Labor Parties already have taken that particular one haven’t they? Believe it or not, my intention isn’t to save money rather it is to gain for the town of Alice Springs much deserved infrastructure that hard working tax paying Territorians are owed after years of neglect, in case that has escaped your attention.
Since the intervention and for the next dozen years, billions, have and are to be spent in an endeavor to assist Aboriginal Aussies into a wealthier happier more included position in our society. I believe this PCYC is an essential piece in the road to inclusivity. Would I accept the broken down, dated, poorly positioned old buildings and infrastructure that you are recommending, Phil. Would I attempt to shove the kids in the back blocks once again, in the bit of old time squalor that you are recommending? The answer is “No I would not”!
I think that it has been very clearly demonstrated that as a community we have no trouble at all in attracting a few miserly dollars to give a few old buildings a lick of paint rather than spend on new buildings. Time and time again our northern government has demonstrated its willingness to give us less than second best. You or anybody else sticking their hand up to represent us need to fight for the very best for our community, not to bow scrape and submit to whatever drivel is begrudgingly sent in our direction!
The facts are a project of this size would be enormously beneficial for our town in very many ways to many different sectors. When you get to see the proposal you’ll hopefully understand that, so perhaps it would be wise to wait a little while before casting judgement. Remember Aim High, Fall High. Aim Low and you get what Alice has been handed over past years: Nothing!


Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Hal: My reference is to Russell’s dad escaping the Germans and arriving in Australia.
Given that he escaped Germany during WW2, if he then set out for Australia he would have arrived during Australia’s greatest hour of peril, facing an imminent Japanese invasion.
Out of the frying pan almost into the fire, bar for the intervention of the USA.


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Hal.. My comments relate to the American efforts in the Pacific not Europe. It would behove every Australian to member those efforts, together we turned the tide against the Japanese in New Guinea and in the huge naval battle, The Battle of the Coral Sea! These Battles, strong Australians and Americans standing up, laying down their lives for what we believe. It is they who you can thank for the last 70 years of Peace! Not lefty activist hanging on fences, Australians should never forget that fact. We should not bite the hand that held so strongly to our own, in our Nations hour of peril, Love or Loath their politics, we owe them a great debt, “Yep” The good Old USA!


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
Kind of odd that your Dad didn’t note after escaping the Germans that the only thing that stood between him and the Japanese was the strength and commitment of the USA. Or perhaps he arrived after the work was done and failed, like yourself Russell, to acknowledge those who did that work.
Those who sacrificed their lives, bringing about the “peace” that you seem think you have some claim on.
Peace is brought about by strength, Russell, not by cringing appeasement or for that matter by dirty unemployed blow ins climbing on the fences of our nation’s defences! Acting Russell for those who would tear us down, not for peace!
People in general across the world, including Americans, want and strive for peace, Russell. Funnily enough they actually do not like or appreciate the efforts of so called peace activists, in attempting to break down their positions of strength, because, Russell, those who read history, who understand human nature, know that only the strong find peace and hold it only while they remain strong.
Just as we have seen with North Korea, years of cringing appeasement instead of an early strong stance has led to escalation allowing the creation of a nuclear armed rouge state! A threat to the entire world!
The only thing that will bring North Korea to the negotiating table, Russell, is if they truly believe America is intent on attacking them.
That makes Donald Trump the most likely person to bring about peace! Try not to choke, lunatic lefties!
In the event Korea can’t be forced to disarm all the peace activist in the world hanging on fences all around the world will not make the slightest difference to Kim Jong-un unless of course they succeed in weakening the American position which of course would leave a laughing Kim Jong-un free to wreak havoc and mayhem upon the world. Because that, Russel, will be thee inevitable outcome.
Look back through your history books and see how long appeasement has ever kept a bully at bay.
Appeasement escalates!
It is not the road to peace it is the road to war!
Yes that’s scary, you’ve a right to be afraid, but don’t worry just as they have on every occasion before someone else will stand up for you and you better hope like hell that those Yanks you love to sling off at, are among them, or we, Russell, all of us, are in bloody big trouble!
Wisdom tells us that its not a particularly smart idea to bite the hand that feeds you. I can absolutely assure you that neither is it a particularly smart idea to bite the hand of the only nation that stands between you and annihilation!
America and Americans have stood beside us Aussies through thick and thin they have shed countless lives to protect us as we in turn have done for them.
They are our brothers and sisters defenders of western democracy at all costs and they have been a great big fantastic contributor to the town of Alice Springs, a huge rewarding contributing part of our community, for some 50 years!
A contribution that vastly exceeds the very questionable contribution of a few disaffected peace activists whose true intent was tearing our society down. Yes, the left over rejects of the failed Communist era.


Master plan for town, reconciliation plan for Australia Day
More divisive green party identity politics…
Just making sure those Aboriginals are separated out from the rest, nothing wrong with apartheid if you’re on the right concerned and well meaning side of it.
Aboriginal Aussies need to be reminded every day of their isolation and victim status, especially the kids, can’t have them thinking they’re just like everybody else, equal to the rest of us.
We can easily achieve this goal by flying separate flags, can’t have Aboriginal people thinking of themselves as equal partners in the Australian Nation! “Not one of the mob”! If we allow that how are we going to justify speaking for them, patronising them, creating wonderful government programs at huge expense to look after them? “Yes”, of course at a small fee, Greens have to live too. This is all for their own good, they are victims you know….
Yes all of the above is to be read with dripping sarcasm.
Segregation, Paternalism, Apartheid are our enemy not our friend, deeds done in another race’s name not at their request is what’s known as Paternalism or being Paternalistic. It is the most vile and the most destructive of all forms of racism, it steals away other people’s souls, their identity, their equality and their lives!
Yep, that’s Green Party politics.
Anzac Hill belongs to all of us.
it is there to represent and commemorate the Nations War dead it was given over by the TO’S specifically for just that purpose. We should recognise and respect that dedication.
Anzac hill represents the Nation that means all Australians regardless of race, in this place we are one! Reconciliation is about helping Aboriginal Australians to be comfortable with, or accepting of, being “part of the mob” it is about forgiveness and moving on! It is not about perpetual isolation!
Extending Apartheid!
Its about being “Equal” and perhaps most importantly, about “feeling equal”!
You do not achieve that outcome by exacerbating division!
By flying separate Flags in a place where we gather as a Nation remembering those who sacrificed their lives for all of us Australians, regardless of our genetics.


Tourism, cattle, mining, oil, gas: The world’s your oyster, Stuart.
I agree with all that you say Scott the real question is what are you going to do about it?
You’re the man in the chair.
Over some 63 years of living and working in the bush I came to understand the aspirations of Aboriginal Centralians – especially the kids are just the same as yours and mine.
No-one wants to be left sitting in the bush condemned to an existence somewhat akin to living museum piece, belittled and patronised while being force fed a hopeless going nowhere culture of victimhood, propagated of course by those with vested interest in the status quo!
Yes, Aboriginal people are aspirational! Of course, they are!
That is the driving force behind the ongoing fight for total equality.
It will allow individuals to be able to be the masters of their own destinies to receive reward for their efforts as individuals. It will allow individual ownership and control of homes of land of royalties, just like other Australians!
Equality will allow those who are aspirational and prepared to get off their backsides and work to benefit from their efforts, as opposed to the present system of community ownership, very like the failed Communists systems where those who did want to get ahead were dragged down by those who couldn’t be bothered.
This must change Scott. Break down the stranglehold of the Land Councils, they are parasitic organisations that simply feed bureaucrats while the average Aboriginal person lives and dies a pauper under their rule.
While I understand this will take a long time to achieve we must begin the conversation, show direction give those with aspiration hope something to strive for.
In the meantime, Scott, we have a more urgent problem: Your Labor Government has only been in for a bit more than a year yet we are already seeing the funds sucked back to the North to feed a luxurious lifestyle of Darwinians at the expense of the regions.
GST revenue intended to benefit and advance the lives of all Territorians are once again benefitting those in the capital, while we simply miss out!
Work is running low in the Centre. Love or hate Adam Giles while he was Chief, we saw more even, fairer distribution of revenue under his rule.
So, what are you going to do about that, Scott, Chansey, Dale?
Not much going on down here and we are relying on your voices at the table.
Which kind of brings me to the larger subject the eternal battle of the regions to gain a fair share of revenue, no matter who’s in Government in the North.
I can’t ever see that changing. Centralians are now even weaker with the loss of a seat.
Unless the people of the regions are prepared to put aside party politics and act as a block supporting whichever side they may choose in Government.
Looking back over a chain of failed [from a regional point of view] governments, it is quite clear that the talent pool of experience long term Territorians who understand and can represent the issues is quite small across all parties.
Given that councils made up of members from all kinds of political backgrounds can work it out and perform their role, maybe it’s about time Territorians outside of Darwin considered the establishment of a regional party which puts aside the normal Labor, Liberal divide, and worked jointly to advance the interest of the regions.
Which of course in the end are also the interests of the capital – healthy productive regions, a booming capital.


Be Sociable, Share!