Thanks Annie, I would have thought that the 60% figure is …

Comment on NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen … by ralph.

Thanks Annie,
I would have thought that the 60% figure is extraordinary enough to require some rigour of its own in the form of credible evidence to support it, and I neither see that in the comments nor can find it in my research of the available data. Please direct me to it. My ‘evidence’, of a couple of decades of working in remote communities and with their residents, tells me that the statement is absurd. That it could be presented by the former NT Coordinator-General of Remote Service Delivery is disturbing, and I think, justifies the claim that she is disconnected with the reality she describes.

ralph Also Commented

NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen …
Remote communities have highly mobile populations with multiple residences, in several communities, outstations and town camps, confusing names (for whitefellas), overestimations of remote community populations based on actual residence at just about any particular time and, as a result, data that is inaccurate and equivocal enough to be subject to a range of interpretations depending on one’s bent. Against that, remote community men can, in no way, afford to not have an income. Remote community men who are not employed access a range of benefits including a share of family payments and other forms of welfare and there is a very high level of pressure on agencies to ensure that any elgible person is getting a benefit. The failure of a single payment for any reason can produce a storm of protest. What I particularly object to from someone with the assumed credibility of the former NT Coordinator-General of Remote Service Delivery is that her statement has strong implications for policy action to remedy a host of other problems. It’s a false trail, yet another one, and it absolutely needs to be challenged in a forthright manner in the public domain. I do understand that the role of coordinator general has many passionate and articulate defenders, but to be effective it needed to be grounded in the day to day realities of remote community life and it simply wasn’t.

NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen …
Annie, so you’re ‘not in any way engaged with the data’ but simply object to the language I use? W.E.H Stanner highlighted the importance of grounding policies in the real lives of Aboriginal people, and wrote in an understated way that you may find more satisfactory: ‘We thus sometimes beg the question whether we have consulted the right reality in the first place’. I would think that this applies rather well to Olga Havnen’s claim that 60% of Aboriginal men of working age (in the NT) have no income.

ED – The ‘60% with no income’ claim was with respect to men living in remote communities in the NT, not the NT as a whole.

NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen …
‘you’ve got 60% of Aboriginal men of working age (in the NT) who have no income…’ this statement shows the disconnect between the ex Coordinator-General of Remote Services and the reality she is attempting to describe.

Recent Comments by ralph

‘Bring back school based constables’
@ Phil Walcott: What a joke restorative justice programs have been in the Territory. They actually undid the good work of school cops.
At Alice Springs Highschool there was a spate of racist behaviour allegedly perpetrated by white kids on Aboriginal students.
Oddly the Aboriginal students were often a lot bigger, tougher and ganged up.
At the restorative meetings the white kids would readily confess their offence and apologise profusely.
They would accept any consequence for their poor behaviour without any complaint.
In reality, the racist accusation was a weapon expertly used against targeted white students who often attended the school in fear of assault.
In any restorative situation where the participants rather than the school decide who is in the wrong the power relationship will prevail.
That relationship invariable favoured the Aboriginal students.
One outcome was Aboriginal youth who thought they could always manipulate the system.
Many ended up in jail.
The other outcome was successive generations of racist white adults, they never forgot.

New shield laws protect news sources, but is there a flip side?
Hi Erwin, I wouldn’t bother asking this of many journalists because I doubt they would, but would you go to jail to protect a source?
[Yes. To protect the source’s identity.]

Offenders bailed to ‘country’: An option, says police
David, it’s not just Lhere Artepe selling grog but other major Aboriginal groups in town have also tried to make money out of selling grog.
The Memo Club was funded by CentreCorp and behind that was the Central Land Council and Congress.
Yes Congress, recipient of $40m a year from taxpayers to improve Aboriginal health was on the CentreCorp Board that supported grog sales, mostly to Aboriginal people.

Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
Local 1: I wouldn’t use the criterion of Aboriginal or non Aboriginal ownership in deciding which outlets should be closed down.
That seems irrelevant.
I would look at the proximity of outlets to tourists and their ability to cater to increased numbers of drinkers once the total number of outlets is reduced.
The NT Police would have an important say in the decision.
Basically, we need fewer outlets and ones that lend themselves to intensive ongoing policing.
The savings to the NT Government in the long term from having fewer outlets to police would be considerable.

Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
What will it cost to police each alcohol outlet for a decade? $4m?
They must be policed so what we need to do is to reduce the number of outlets.
The NT Government should buy out a couple of the current licences.
Yes, expensive, but $8m saved in a decade with other benefits as well.
Outlets that contribute to the most social disruption and damage to the Territory’s reputation with tourists should be the ones to go.

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