If you imagine that I sat in my home deep …

Comment on Cr Brown adapts Port Augusta solution to Alice Springs, calls for closer look at youth centre proposal by Steve Brown.

If you imagine that I sat in my home deep in thought staring at the ceiling to come up with the solutions I offer, you would be extremely wide off the mark. I have spent my life, now 58 years, living and working amongst the peoples of Central Australia, men and women. I have played an extremely active part in the increased participation of Aboriginal Centralians in the politics of the Country Liberals. I have a long association with both Alison and Bess and many other lesser known Aboriginal men and women.
In my everyday job as an electrician I enter many housing homes in the town, in the camps and on the communities.
I know first hand what the issues are from a lifetime of talk, friendships and observation. I haven’t reached any of the conclusions I offer lightly or on my own, I am simply putting into words the combined thoughts of many active minds.
Centralians who know without any doubt, we’ve been going the wrong way. Centralians who have reached the realization that things have to change drastically, that the gushing destructive paternalism of the past, the mindsets of victim hood and dependency have to be flushed from the system.
The absolute first part of this process is to recognise each and every individual’s right to firstly make their own life choices, and secondly, to take responsibility for those choices. We begin by removing any existing rules that make a distinction based in some way on race, including those ridiculous rules on alcohol.
Put away the argument that Aboriginal people need to have special provisions made for them, because they are “disempowered”! They are “disempowered”, because we have been making decisions for them! For instance, a comment above suggests women in camps need protection from alcohol because women in camps are supposedly “disempowered”.
I can absolutely tell you that that hasn’t been my experience, in fact I would consider the Aboriginal ladies of our community to be a darn sight tougher and more empowered than most in the rest of the community.
So in the slow steps to town harmony, step back a little, examine your own role and learn to respect Aboriginal people’s right to run their own lives, make their own mistakes as equals and if you really believe something needs doing i.e. as in protection from alcohol, do it for the whole community, or don’t do it at all.

Steve Brown Also Commented

Cr Brown adapts Port Augusta solution to Alice Springs, calls for closer look at youth centre proposal
@ Liegh I am not proposing an open slather approach at all. I am advocating an approach that doesn’t presume the entire community is irresponsible! I am advocating an approach that allows a law abiding citizen the luxury of having a drink in his or her own home should they so choose, as an equal citizen, and just like an equal citizen should they choose to misbehave behave unlawfully, I propose that they are clobbered by the law just as you and I would be.
As for the women, well men an women are also equal creatures and as such responsible for their own behaviour, not that of anyone else, bar the kids of course. I would expect that an Aboriginal Lady in a Town Camp would be afforded the same level of safety and security as everyone else in every other part of town. If this is so she of course should have no more cause for anxiety than anyone else in the community. On top of that I would expect that people in the Town Camps will experience an enormous boon with the lessening of confrontation and anger over these idiotic alcohol restrictions that have seen them singled out and treated as lesser citizens. The sooner they end the better for all!


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.


Be Sociable, Share!