Your continual claims to have the interests of the community …

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

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.

Steve Brown Also Commented

Spend big on a youth centre, says councillor
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!


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

There’s more to renewables than sunshine
Until now every drop of water that was ever on the earth has remained on the earth.
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if quasi religious climate fanatics were eventually responsible for using up that water, turning it into hydrogen?
It would be even more ironical that we should consider that in one of the driest places on earth, where water is absolutely in its most valuable state as water.
We should all understand that there is no such thing as free energy. There is always a price and generally speaking it would be a pretty bloody smart idea to understand that price, monetary or otherwise, before we go racing off creating even more mammoth environmental issues for future generations.
For the present there are so many ifs around the Hydrogen idea that – dare I say it – it’s simply a pipe dream!
Also noted the quick duck for cover by Mr Duignan when the question about feed-in prices for home solar generators was raised.
Whose issue would that be then Mr Duignan? Wouldn’t that be the Territory Government and given that Territory Generation is in fact a quasi public service operation owned lock stock and barrel by Territory taxpayers, maybe a more responsible answer would be in keeping with that role.


Community solar: the devil is in the wires
Yes, and then there’s all the community facilities of which we are all joint owners! Places such schools, hospitals, police stations, street lighting, ecetera, the list is endless.
All of these facilities require power 24/7 as does welfare housing, hotels and motels, all connected to the rest of the grid.
Consumers on the remaining grid would, as they do now, have to pay their share of those costs, plus, the share of those in the community system.
This is already occurring of course, on a smaller scale, and the costs to the poor old hapless consumer who can’t afford to instal solar, are already escalating.
The only fair way to rectify this imbalance, which of course nobody wants to hear about, all studiously avoiding the subject, is for owners of solar systems to pay their share of those costs!
Another words, pay not only for their use of the grid, but for the existence of the grid.
Yes, even if they are operating a stand alone system.
This of course effects the whole viability of installing solar, dragging its payback time out by quite a bit.
However, if we are to honestly asses the true worth of solar to the community, then these costs really must be taken into account.
It’s time the rose coloured glasses came off, frank and honest assessments are made.
Governments parading solar as world changing advancement are often actually subsidising its installation while blithely ignoring the true and growing cost to community. Just face up to, and come up with, some fair and equable answers!
Now we seem to be adding lithium iron batteries to the mix, as if they are some kind of nice environmentally friendly answer to our storage problems, when to my eye, precisely the opposite is true.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of the idea of renewable power but it must be truly honestly viable, covering all the costs, and it absolutely must create less pollution than our present systems of generation or we are all fooling ourselves.


Ratepayer, do you want your money back?
Such an astoundingly naive proposal could only ever have originated with one Councillor Melky. As always grandstanding without the slightest thought given to the actual consequences of such a profoundly counter productive decision. Which if carried out to the letter would see a good deal of the windfall funds blown in the name of community consultation. Any attempt to refund it would incur even greater costs reducing any refund to a piddling amount producing no worthwhile outcome for the community, especially when you consider Council has on its books many unfunded, or even worse partially funded, or non completed projects that could have, and indeed should have, been funded partially or otherwise from these funds! Benefiting the Community and its economy as a whole.
More importantly, not wasting a huge amount of Council’s time and productivity messing about with a messy, unproductive, time wasting and resultantly expensive, refund. Further to that should Council do the sensible thing and allocate the funds to other projects, it will also provide Councillors with a very good argument against further rate rises next year.
Something I am quite certain, all Rate payers would be relieved to hear.
New councillors need to be across and take responsibility for their role as Body Corporate style managers of their Community’s assets and not to be so easily be duped into making what may seem on the face of it to be responsible decisions but which are in fact cheap political attention seeking ploys with no regard for what may well turn out to be far reaching consequence…
Take time to think it all the way through…
Before you act!


Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
From the moment the POSIs were implemented they have proved themselves to be the single most effective crime prevention measure the Territory has ever seen.
Now I don’t know about you Paul McCue but I would much rather have my family home and business all kept in one piece as opposed to paying out my hard earned to employ a police person who gets greater job satisfaction from aftermath policing!
A person who apparently has so little empathy for the public’s plight that they would actually ask for our support in that role but not in the preventative role!
Call it self interest if you like Mr McCue, but I like many other Territorians, through the voices of our politicians, are going to keep on insisting on the POSIs wherever they are needed.
If we have a police staffing issue employ more police – just as we have been promised on many occasions over the past dozen years.
Fill all of the roles the community requires, not just the roles that suite you!


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.


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