Since I’m opposed to it, it’s good to read …

Comment on Back to the drawing board on pedestrian crossings in Alice CBD by Hal Duell.

Since I’m opposed to it, it’s good to read that the idea of a wombat crossing is not being supported. If there are others out there of a similar mind, may I suggest you contact one or more counsellors and express your views?
Since being elected six months age, this new council has shown itself willing to listen. They are, or at least they seem to be, approachable. So if enough of us let them know how we feel about this, we could help bring about a better-than-a-wombat outcome.
Of course there is the matter of them not answering the questions that they take on notice, but hopefully that, too, will soon change. Or at least so Mayor Ryan assured me at Monday’s meeting.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Back to the drawing board on pedestrian crossings in Alice CBD
On the issue of safety, under the present system of using a centre island pedestrians have to look in one direction, spot a gap in the coming traffic, walk half-way across the street, look the other way, spot another gap and complete the crossing.
It works. With apologies to Cr Martin’s mum, it works. Traffic flows and pedestrians manage to safely cross either of two busy streets in our CBD countless times every single day.
A wombat crossing will stop traffic. When next in town, have a look at the pedestrians waiting on either side of Hartley and Bath Street, or on the island in their middles. And then consider what will be the result if they know they can walk out with impunity and traffic from both directions will have to stop to accommodate them.
The traffic on both streets, each linked to roundabouts at either end, will periodically be forced to stop, and sometimes for extended times. The potential for a traffic jam with the accompanying anger is simply too great a risk for Council to proceed with a wombat crossing. They will be putting pedestrians in danger, and they will be angering motorists.
Or if they do proceed, they should be prepared to handle the blow-back.
I agree that speed bumps are not a good idea, and I think the push-button on any lights will be abused. The current system works. Why try to fix it?


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Gallery: Friday is the day
Now that would have been an interesting question. Do the residents of Alice really want another art gallery? Or are we being sold a pup?


Bush community learning centre to close
“Batchelor Institute say that increased funding would be needed to run the Centre in 2018, they run similar programs in three Warlpiri communities where they are funded through royalties money.”
Sounds like a plan.


Cops with assault rifles footage six years old
I would like to thank CM Gunner for clarifying the issue of armed and masked TRG police being deployed on the streets of Alice over the coming summer. There won’t be any. Good!
The use of specialised equipment to assist operational officers is a good idea. The perpetrators of youth crime need to be identified.
But this begs the question of what will be done with these young criminals once identified? We can’t hold them in detention, we can’t hold the parents accountable, it seems we can’t do much of anything, really.
These plans are not very encouraging. I suppose they will keep the vigilantes off the streets, but will they keep the kids off them as well?
Perhaps these running-amok kids can be identified as coming from a specific community, and then the royalty payments going to their community can be sequestered until the damages done by them to the residents of Alice have been fully paid for?


Masked cops with assault rifles, but where are the parents?
So it’s come to this. A Tactical Response Group may be deployed to Alice to deal with youth crime. And we have no one but ourselves to blame.
Consider the alternatives.
The NT Police dare not intervene in youth crime for the simple reason that to so much as look sideways at a juvenile delinquent in action is accompanied with reams of paperwork and the high likelihood of a departmental inquiry and possible legal action.
The Town Council is not constituted to deal with policing matters. They can and do host meetings to try to reach a community consensus on what to do about children “getting ready for the summer crime spree,” but internal divisions and differing agendas make theirs a fractured voice.
And while the larger Indigenous organisations often voice their concerns, whatever they may be doing has clearly not worked in past years, and there is little to suggest that this summer will be any different.
And so now we may be seeing armed and (I assume) masked men (and women?) patrolling our streets, not to deal with organised criminals or national or international terrorists, but to deal with children. How inept are we?


Council not keen on offer of help to fight crime
One objection to Mr Alice’s comments as reported above would be that rather than a need to clean up our town to make it safe for tourists, we need to clean up our town to make it safe for residents. Accomplish that, and tourist safety will not be an issue.
Yes, there is a need to make parents accountable for their underage children, to address our irresponsible consumption of alcohol, and so much else. And perhaps chief among the “so much else” is a need to really look at what the rampaging kids are showing us.
And what might that be? I suggest that within these “gangs” that we are reading about, and no matter how fleeting and unarticulated, there will be hierarchy, loyalty and discipline.
Can we possibly provide that within a whole-of-town context, instead of a three hour talk fest going nowhere and beset with a confused hierarchy, split loyalty and little discipline?
The kids are showing us what is needed. Start there.


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