Alex Nelson (Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm) is, …

Comment on Alice singled out in German Foreign Office travel warning by Bob Durnan.

Alex Nelson (Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm) is, as usual, absolutely spot on with his facts.
Not only is it true that “the irony is that Alice Springs is considerably safer now than it was in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s”: thanks to the excellent work by the police and youth workers, the town is also safer than it has been at any time in the period since the ‘90s.
The “winter-on-winter” data starting to become available for alcohol-related disturbances, crime, deaths and injuries indicate that the drop in incidents since the beginning of Operations Marathon and Daybreak (both commenced in the last half of May this year) is far beyond what anybody had dared hope to see. The police and government agencies have finally cracked a large proportion of the town’s problems. If they are permitted to continue these initiatives, we will enjoy a much improved social and economic climate, and probably also our own little cultural renaissance.
By the way: Hal Duell (Posted August 24, 2012 at 8:29 am) is correct to nominate the police dirt bike patrols for special mention. However, the YSOS patrols and the follow-up work by youth and social workers also deserves special recognition, along with the long hours of foot slog clocked up by ordinary constables outside the bottle-shops.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Alice singled out in German Foreign Office travel warning
Thanks Anita (Posted August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm). It would be very useful if you could give the German Foreign Office and Der Spiegel a thumbs up about how out of date their warnings have become, before too many young Deutschies decide to steer clear of us. An eyewitness account, “in language”, from a local like yourself about the much safer place it has become since the police and youth workers combined forces and introduced much more effective preventative measures would go some way to restoring the damaged reputation of Alice Springs.


Alice singled out in German Foreign Office travel warning
Yes Rex, (Posted August 24, 2012 at 9:32 pm), I agree that Advance Alice and Action for Alice played important roles in getting the NT government and its agencies prepared to take some big risks in backing Operation Marathon. However, the TV ad campaign by Action for Alice was an ill-advised method for building pressure on the government, as it was essentially a big blunt instrument which possibly did irrepairable damage to the tourist industry by hammering an unwarranted level of fear into high relief in the international media’s image of Alice Springs. The ads also led to a heightened sense of self-importance amongst some of the youth who were shown repeatedly in macho poses.
A willingness of more people from the business community to join forces with the alcohol-reform movement may well have led to a critical mass that could have achieved significant government intervention at an earlier stage.
One other thought: while you are in the mood for handing out awards for bravery, I think it would not be too much to ask for you to consider including John Boffa, Russell Goldflam, Vince Kelly, and PAAC on the list of those deserving mention in dispatches. Their persistent rational arguments were probably quite decisive with both police and government, in securing realisation about the need for bold preventative action on the grog-related violence front.


Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Billen’s family: Make telling hotel where you trek mandatory
Ruth Gibbins (Posted January 23, 2019 at 7:55 pm): Monika Billen was not at Trephina Gorge, the park reserve about 85 km east of Alice, where the German couple, the Thors, died from thirst or exposure 12 months ago.
Monika visited a different park reserve, Emily Gap, which is only about 10 km east of Alice. She seemingly walked there by herself on a very hot day, above 40 degrees centigrade.
Monika was apparently found under a tree in a rugged area, well away from the road, about three km back towards Alice from that small gorge.
So she died in the bush about seven km east of Alice, but in the bush, off the road.
There is no established walking track through the bush from Emily Gap to Alice.
Sadly, Monika had been missing for a week before anybody realised that she had not returned from her walk to and from Emily gap, along a non-designated route, in the extreme heat.


Police drop MLA’s trespassing charge
InterestedDarwinObserver (Posted January 24, 2019 at 8:52 am): Your statement is highly confusing. Are you really saying that Bruce is like a perpetual victim, identity politician and social justice warrior, and that Sandra Nelson MLA stood him up? I know that Bruce has been a bit of an anti-fracking warrior, but I would have thought that your description of him is a bit excessive.


Firm ‘no’ from PM, Scullion to bailing out ‘bankrupt’ Territory
Evelyne Roullet (Posted January 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm): Re your question “Why does a Federal Government help a Labor Government?”
I could just as well ask: “Why shouldn’t a Federal Government help a Labor Government, or any other type of government, for that matter?”
Federal governments of both persuasions help state and territory governments in all manner of ways all the time, and why shouldn’t they?


End of search for Monika Billen
New Tech (Posted January 17, 2019 at 8:38 am): The police announced early in the search that they were making very extensive use of drone technology.


Drug dog sniffs out grog runners
Evelyne (Posted below on January 14, 2019 at 10:15 am) says rhetorically: “Is there a law dictating how much alcohol can be carried in a vehicle? No!”
I have no idea whether Evelyne is correct, but it is evident that she is not aware of the powers conferred on NT police (and now on the NT Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors, aka PALIs) by a new Commonwealth law enacted by John Howard’s Federal Liberal-National Party Coalition government in September 2007. (The Federal law was immediately confirmed by the then NT Government in complementary amendments to its NT Liquor Act).
From that time NT police have been empowered to seize, and keep or destroy, any alcohol when they judge that the person in possession of it may be intending to illegally on-sell it and/or has no intention of consuming it in a place where it is legal to consume alcohol.
This power has formed the basis for almost all the POSI, TBL and PALI activities outside liquor outlets since they were first introduced by police under the Henderson Labor government in May 2012, up to the present day.
So Evelyne, the amount of alcohol in a vehicle is irrelevant. The powers of police to make a judgement about the situation are the key factor.
As for Ms Roullet’s opinion that “People should learn to control their environment”, it is hard to disagree. What an excellent “motherhood statement”.
It is even harder to fathom how Evelyne thinks this might begin to happen, in any constructive, sustainable and just manner, without the great help of the PALIs using the special powers conferred on them back in 2007, especially in relation to those people who are generally the main victims of alcohol-fuelled mayhem and waste: Infants, other children, many women, the weak, the infirm and the elderly. Do you think they should all be trained in the martial arts and issued with tazers and mustard gas, Evelyne?
Under exactly what circumstances do you think people would be able or likely to “learn to control their environment” if they were again engulfed in a tsunami of alcohol, Evelyne?
Would you be there to throw life jackets to the victims of the excessive drinkers?
Or would you prefer to let the survival of the fittest apply, and more generations of children fail to get a fair start in life?


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