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

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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