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

‘CLP rehashes fracking policy that caused its wipe-out’
While all the focus is on fracking the $3b coal to gas plant on our doorstep at Andado is quietly going ahead.
Arsenic / Carbon dioxide etc etc will poison the pristine environment and accelerate global warming.
With so much gas underground why convert coal to gas?
Cheap and dirty extraction and much worse than fracking.
But no fracking so it’s all good.
Where are the Greenies when you really need them?
Go figure!

[Hi “Peter”: The Alice Springs News Online reported on the project in a previous incarnation in December 2011, quoting Arid Lands Environment Centre Jimmy Cocking. “Quietly going ahead?” Reports are the new company is hoping to raise money next year. Their predecessors were flogging a dead horse, judging by the project’s lack of progress so far.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor.]


Tourism, cattle, mining, oil, gas: The world’s your oyster, Stuart.
The ringer pictured is now a historical relic.
Indigenous people, predominantly men, still aspire to work in a pastoral industry but it largely no longer exists.
The pastoral industry has gone high tech aiming at value adding.
With one cow worth a couple of grand they are worth the effort.
These days the average pastoral worker needs to be computer savy to assess cattle as they go through the crush.
The worker needs to be data savy as each cow is uniquely identified and each stage of its life is recorded.
He needs to be able to pregnancy test, perhaps using an ultrasound.
He will be collecting poo samples for analysis and recording the results in the computer.
He will be familiar with a large number of OHandS and cattle well being rules and regulations.
He will probably have passed a Cert 3 level course.
And at the end of the day he will be paid very little as our stations are staffed almost exclusively with backpacker workers, smart and keen and working for the experience not the money.
Times have changed.


NT cost of living $1700 a week
Of course gas development can bring down the cost of living.
The NT Govt gets the royalties from onshore gas sales.
That is potentially hundreds of millions.
Cheaper vehicle rego, cheaper power, better roads and schools, bigger grants to local councils so we don’t get slugged huge increases etc etc.
Gas development is very positive for cheaper living costs.


Helping offenders on probation and parole stay out of gaol
Yes, many prisoners are now refusing parole knowing that they will not be able to comply with parole conditions and do not want Corrections snooping on their lives.
So how will closer supervision, “support” and clear consequences for non-compliance make them change their minds?
The new program assumes that prisoners want to change their lives whereas they are content with them.
They are prepared to live their lives as they see fit even if that means periodically going to jail.
To take just one issue.
They are mostly drinkers, not necessarily alcoholics but they like to drink with their friends and family.
The fact that they drink does not mean they will necessarily reoffend except if drinking becomes an offence.
And while on parole it is an offence.
They simply won’t comply, no matter how often and long they are jailed.
Just like they won’t wear ankle monitors, no matter how long they are jailed for non compliance.
Law and Order as conceived in mainstream Australia only works when there is a high level of acceptance and compliance.
Corrections have not yet realised that they need to understand a lot more about the cultural differences at the justice interface before they can reduce offending and recidivism.


The magic Certificate III: How does Batchelor stack up?
How does Batchelor stack up relatively?
In 2013 to 2015 the Correctional Services training organisation had by far the lowest proportion of inmates in education courses.
In 2014-15 just 14% were in education against a national average of 32%.
At the same time the NT recidivism rate of repeat offenders was a stunning 57%, a world record.
Funds meant for education had been sidetracked into running the prisons, the education computer system had been left inoperable for more than four years.
An internal review found significant internal issues.
Basically education was in a state of collapse.
In 2014 Corrections gave up on education altogether, abolished one teacher’s position altogether and handed over the Batchelor.
How is Batchelor doing … relatively?


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