What this means is the sealing of the 800km Plenty …

Comment on LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route by Russell Guy.

What this means is the sealing of the 800km Plenty Highway from Boulia, Qld, through to the Stuart Highway in the NT. The reasons given are to save “two days” and allow “mining” quicker export access to “keep Australia going.”
There is no talk here of leaving some bush free from the super highway traffic. It’s as if the wild bush has no value except as a transit zone. The Plenty already carries traffic ranging from beef cattle trucks, miners, locals, tourists and caravans.
I’ve been a regular user of the Plenty for 30 years. It’s graded from both ends annually, sometimes more. Increasing speed of recreational four wheel drives, with off-road campers is a hazard as people make their transit with windows up, oblivious to the wildlife and values of the bush, just getting from one end to the other as quick as they can.
I say, leave it alone. Go the Barkly if you want bitumen. It’s only another 500 kms around and it leaves some of Australia for those who don’t want the increasing madness of mining take-over of land and narrow-focussed productivity goals.

Russell Guy Also Commented

LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route
I’ll try and spell it out for you, Rex. Sealing the Plenty, plus building at least two bridges on the NT side will cost X# of million dollars, but you’ve not been able to grasp the expense of liberal alcohol supply policy on the Australian community, which has already increased with the NT CL government, e.g, burning the $2.5m that taxpayers contributed to the dismantled Banned Drinkers Register (WA now wants it). That’s not including the uncosted proposed rehab prison farms or the cost of factoring in the ongoing recidivist stats … blah, blah, blah … you sound more like Steve Brown every day.
We’ve tried everything in the past forty years except turning down the tap. How long and how many more millions of dollars will be wasted on alcohol abuse – or do you think Treasury is a bottomless pit to be propped up by the mining industry, while being siphoned off by the alcohol industry? This is not a rhetorical question.


LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route
Erwin,
Thanks for inviting the Mayor to give us the benefit of his trip to Boulia and any insight he may have regarding this blacktop adventure. I have not changed my thinking (as posted several times here) and continue to be concerned that Australians can allow alcohol abuse through liberal supply to the tune of $36b p.a. while crying out for more Federal funds to help them live the lifestyle of their choice. Ready when you are, Mr Mayor.


LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route
Rex @ September 6, 12:37AM. The mind-numbing collection of cliches you’ve dredged up to support this “marvelous project” is, quite frankly, a fantasia, e.g., “major national development”, “strategic rail corridors” (at what price, short of smelting Pilbara ore locally and linking into the Ghan?)
Study the history of Australian rail proposals over the past century and you’ll have your eyes opened to strategic rail corridors, “a beacon for the tourist industry” and all “urgently required,” but what, exactly, do you mean by a “much needed new coach route”? Greyhound are just keeping their head above water as it is.
I don’t mean to sensationalise or be negative, but your wild exposition of Aboriginal communities taking a leap into the 21st century is a paper yabber.
If you’re so sure that a cost-benefit analysis for this project has been done over the decades it’s been flying, why hasn’t it surfaced and more especially, from Patrick Hill whose letter to the AS News floated it again so recently?


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ My Opinion, posted 20.2.18. 12:22pm:
I’m an amateur historian, but there’s an argument that the geo-political climate that caused Great Britain to raise the Union Jack over what became the colonies turned out to Australia’s advantage. At least, wisdom in hindsight suggests it so.
Indigenous or First Nations people suffered beyond measure and today assert a form of sovereignty through a limited Native Title that is not altogether historically retroactive, leading to social issues bundled together under slogans such as Closing the Gap.
There is always a relative unity among all peoples constituting a nation, but what seems undeniable is that united we stand, divided we fall.
Councils around the country fly the Aboriginal flag, but not, it seems, all that often from military sites, which still serve to unite a country in a geo-political sense, most often concerned with sovereign borders.
The social problems remain, so do other strategic sites from which the Aboriginal flag can be flown as a symbol of unity within the Alice community.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Surprised. Posted 6/2/18. 7:40AM. Re your comment about costs related to harmful levels of alcohol consumption within NT communities:
“You know, they fail to take into account that currently we pay $50m in the Territory in relation to alcohol sales in taxes. That money unfortunately goes straight to the Commonwealth so there is some arguments there how the Territory Government gets that money back” (Des Crowe, CEO. NT branch of the Australian Hotels Association. ABC 6/2/18, responding to the NT Police Association call for industry responsibility).
This appears to be a game of “pass the buck” with Liquor Inspectors and “new technology” attached to the BDR as a “way forward.”
Smoking in public places is banned and the health warnings that now appear on tobacco products have helped create a greater awareness of the issues related to the peer enforcement of smoking, but the tobacco industry didn’t go quietly.
Perhaps, the alcohol industry needs to admit responsibility and leadership by comparing the costs to public health for its products, but that would affect the corporate bottom line.
The $50m in taxes is miniscule in comparison to the billions spent on alcohol-related health issues that taxpayers subsidise on an annual basis.
That money could well be spent elsewhere.
It’s not an economic issue, but one of leadership in community values and political will.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Laurence, posted February 3, 2018. 6:17pm: Re your comment about a “radical rethink”.
Leaving aside the suite of measures so far employed to address the harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT and notwithstanding the absence of a floor price, there is something in what you say.
Stewardship is an old fashioned word for community values.
In the 1920s, Rev. John Flynn, who knew something about the health of people in the bush, wrote that we would have to render an account one day.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
There is a groundswell of awareness about the use of methamphetamine (Ice) at a community level throughout Australia.
Most people seem to have direct or anecdotal experience of families being tragically affected, but if it was better understood that ‘for every person who uses methamphetamine in a year there are 85 drinking alcohol;for every person addicted to methamphetamine there are 20 addicted to alcohol;for every ambulance call-out for methamphetamine problems there are 25 for alcohol;for every methamphetamine presentation to an Emergency Department there are 30 for alcohol;for every amphetamine-related death there are 65 alcohol deaths’ (source: Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education newsletter 2/2/18), the alcohol problem confronting communities in the NT might be considered more seriously.


THE TROLL by Blair McFarland
Thanks for this, Blair. As Monty Python would have it, say no more.


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