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

At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
Gunner has made the right call on the location of the proposed gallery and offered substantial funding.
No other sensible and economically viable location has been proposed.
The gallery will probably operate at a loss as does the Desert Park.
To be sustainable the loss must be minimised and it must add value to our tourist businesses.
South of the Gap / at the Desert Part are not suitable locations.
The Greens are engaged in misguided economically damaging democracy.
They are doing the same by using their position on the Water Board to slow down mining development at Mt Pearce.
This action threatens the offer of generous funding.


The millions and the misery
Eugene’s Mate: “Unreasonably negative and incorrigibly antagonistic attitude towards Congress pathological denial of Congress’s achievements? Very unfairly, maligning Congress.”
Any organisation that gets more than $40m a year of taxpayer money, has $20m unspent and has a stake in CentreCorp with assets of more than $50m absolutely needs to be held accountable.
It worries me that you fall back on excuses such as saying that poverty is the main driver of renal disease (and of course Congress can’t change that).
How about, a sedentary lifestyle, living in squalor, poor diet, alcohol and smoking, all of which Congress should be able to do something about.
But they haven’t despite all the millions.
A new approach is needed.
Take diabetes:
Although there are other factors, diabetes is a major cause of end stage renal disease. Many of us have watched the progression from diabetes to end stage over the years.
I’ve personally seen it a dozen times or more.
Uncontrolled diabetes is rampant in our community and the deaths are mounting.
Congress has largely failed to stem the tide so we need to try something else.
That is a medical approach.
Instead of expensively trying to change behaviour and failing we need new drugs and medical devices.
That means more money for research and probably less for Congress.
Of course that is confronting and will get the reaction we see from you.
But Aboriginal health is bigger than Congress and is the priority.
A medical approach has the potential to save many hundreds of millions of dollars and improve Aboriginal lives on a large scale.
That claim cannot be made about Congress.


The millions and the misery
Evelyne, the research to quantify the extent of HTLV-1 was carried out years ago and the results were scary for Aboriginal people.
There will be a large death toll in coming years.
Very little is being done to discover a drug to treat it.
Your question has broader implications.
Should the taxpayer keep funding preventative programs to the extent we do when they are not working?
Wouldn’t Aboriginal health be improved far more by putting the money into the development of medical responses.
For example, there is an urgent need for implanted insulin delivery devices that require diabetics to do nothing.
There are several life threatening diseases, HTLV-1 being just one, that urgently need medical approaches such as drug treatments for prevention and/or cure.
Aboriginal health would be improved far more by redirecting at least some of the tens of millions wasted on Congress to researching new treatments.


The millions and the misery
Eugene’s Mate: Let’s cut to the chase.
The result of a failure of type two diabetes prevention and control programs is often end stage renal disease.
So the incidence of this terminal disease is a good measure of the success or failure of diabetes programs for which Congress has responsibility.
The NT has the highest incidence and prevalence of kidney disease in Australia.
The 2014 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Health Survey showed the prevalence of disease markers amongst Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory was 40% and non-Indigenous of 9%.
According to Menzies School of Health research “demand for dialysis has been sustained and incidence rates have not plateaued”.
In other words the incidence of end stage disease is out of control despite the tens of millions of funding provided to Congress.
Tens of millions now have to be poured into dialysis treatment.
Soon it will be hundreds of millions as the numbers of patients is soaring.
I am unable to agree that Congress has long been a leader and good practitioner in prevention and early intervention strategies and practices.


Three men escape from gaol
Paul Parker: Yes, low level security is appropriate but only for low security prisoners.
The prison is overcrowded and holding far more prisoners than its design capacity.
Medium security prisoners cannot always be housed in the medium security section of the prison.
They are sometimes sent to the low security cottages.
Similarly only low security prisoners are supposed to be in work gangs etc, but we see from escapes that this is not always the case.
This mistake cost CEO Ken Middlebrook his job but it could happen again.
So while low security is appropriate for low security prisoners it is highly inappropriate for medium security ones.


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