Steve, you don’t pay any attention to the social context …

Comment on The Great Alcohol Debate: Council rangers work ‘more difficult’ since scrapping of BDR, says Mayor by Russell Guy.

Steve, you don’t pay any attention to the social context in which Aboriginal alcoholics consume, nor do you appear to understand the emotional, historical or psychological stress and dependency foisted on Aboriginal society by one that has determined how they will live and how much they will pay for everything, including the price of a dwelling.
The cultural differences between these two societies are barely understood or appreciated and are more often criticised for reasons that don’t bear repeating. Aboriginality is wafer thin in Australia and staggering under the weight of a culture that sees going for gold as the raison d’etre for its existence.
Welfare or Sit-down money has been the salve for a hegemony that you well know goes back into multiple massacres across the continent and still resides in Aboriginal memory as they move about these countries.
You make no mention of alcohol supply reduction or the human cost to black and white, not to mention the taxpayer who foots the bill for government / alcohol industry coercion and continue to write as if this is an abstract phenomenon that has no impact on the lives of people. Your only solution is compulsory rehabilitation.

Russell Guy Also Commented

The Great Alcohol Debate: Council rangers work ‘more difficult’ since scrapping of BDR, says Mayor
Wow, Ray! Didn’t denigrate you, said I appreciated your posts. Didn’t call you racist, either. Have walked those places you mentioned many years ago, more specifically in 2004 and noted that the drift into Alice from surrounding communities for some of the reasons why you and I hang out in town was an issue that was going to become more urgent.
History, especially how the Old World and the New World (from the European perspective) works out cultural differences is of interest to me. As I said, a little perspective goes a long way in finding acceptable solution.
The question of traditional owners etc. that you raise is bound up in the Alcohol Management issue, and the NT Government is now receding from criminalisation of problem drinkers to a position where they are considering it as a health issue. So, you are on the right track and I’m not intending to be supercilious.
Sorry if you are offended by history. Terra Nullius, the legal fiction, is no more. Social consequences remain. When are you going to come out of the anonymous closet?

The Great Alcohol Debate: Council rangers work ‘more difficult’ since scrapping of BDR, says Mayor
My apologies for the typological error – 1606 is the correct date (not 1660), placing Ferdinand de Quiros in the Coral Sea region, well ahead of Columbus’ departure from Lisbon and it’s reasonable to assume that the Spaniards had a bit of a chat.

The Great Alcohol Debate: Council rangers work ‘more difficult’ since scrapping of BDR, says Mayor
In 1642, Columbus defied the many anonymous flat-earth theorists and sailed to what was called the “New World”.

In 1770, Cook sailed up the east coast of the “Great Southern Land” (Quiros 1660) and noted in his log that the Indigenous people seemed quite happy.

Further north, in central Qld, he went ashore again and noted that the people slept on pieces of paperbark around cooking fires where their wooden dishes had been left when they fled into the scrub as the Englishmen approached. Some in the party thought them “poor wretches”.

250 years later, the anonymous Ray invites us to freely wander through the hills around Alice and note the different toilet of people who once fled from Englishmen, and others, at the point of a gun or because they couldn’t afford the price of overnight accommodation.

Not trying to be funny, Ray, and always appreciate your posts, but a little perspective goes a long way.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
It was about a quarter of a century ago – how time flies – a few years before I undertook a postgraduate Master of Social Science degree in sociology, anthropology and cross-cultural psychology (JCU, 2000), published the core of my thesis as BAPTISED AMONG CROCODILES: A History of the Daintree Aboriginal Mission 1940-1962 (Boolarong Press, Brisbane).
And it was before I did a further five years, primarily in alcohol dependency mentoring at a remote Central Australian community, this after 15 years of working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations around the country, mainly producing recordings and events for indigenous dance bands, that I thought that Alice Springs would become a kind of New York.
People from all over the US move to the Big Apple in search of greater opportunity for their dreams and aspirations and it’s no different among the Indigenous of Central Australia.
But I wonder if local town planners have factored this movement into their vision for the future?
Not so long ago, the too-often criticised police were talking about moving youth back to their communities, but the word is out that the purposelessness and abuse associated with these desert satellites is causing enough concern to render assisted passage to somewhere else.
These problems were first mooted, to my knowledge, by R M Williams in the 1930s who noted that the desert tribes were on a collision course with liberal alcohol supply.
Fast forward to the Gunner Government acting on most of the Riley Report recommendations (with the notable exception of banning Sunday takeaway).
It’s no coincidence that one of the most troubled neighbourhoods in Tennant Creek, where Sunday takeaway is currently under emergency extension, is referred to as “the Bronx.”
It’s early days in the implementation of various supply reduction measures, but 40 years of critical mass in the alcohol supply infrastructure cannot be exonerated for the Shakespearean tragedy of progressive Western values.
Beyond the alcohol plague, assuming that it will be reeled in, governments will have to give thought to how remote community families and former alcoholics will be accommodated in towns like Alice Springs, with attendant social support and employment opportunity.
The concept of safe or dry, no grog houses or Mandatory Rehabilitation Centres, will need to be extended to entire neighbourhoods, rising above the refugee or migrant settlements of yore.
This type of housing estate requires considerable financing, planning and input if it is to be built and assisted to succeed above the expectations of many of those who are complicit in causing the tragedy of lost generations and future opportunity.
It will transform the current vision of Alice Springs, but first of all, it needs to be put on the drawing board.
Ursula Le Guin, the novelist who passed away a couple of months ago, recently said: “I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.
“We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.”
Tracker was one. Surely, we can learn from what defeated his vision or the Enlightenment has bitten the dust.

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
I spoke to Tracker a few times during the Robert Tickner period. One of his more infamous quotes was referring to Aboriginal people as a farm for whitefellers to manage and be well paid for producing the current tragedy.
Quite a few informed commentators are now talking about assisting those who want to move from remote communities into towns where employment and education opportunities either exist or could be set up to end the hopelessness and various forms of abuse that can go with a purposeless life on a remote community.
More than one is talking about overcrowded housing as a major cause of dysfunction. I’m stating the obvious.
If Alice was to be a centre for remote community refugees to retrain, restart and realise a future, who would build the houses and where would they be built?
Who would pay the electricity bills while the transition is fostered?
Would Tangentyere and other organisations be resourced to manage this situation?
Could it even be done?
Tracker seemed to think so.
The Federal Government did it to resettle migrants.
I recall Bob Beadman saying a couple of years ago that alcoholism would bankrupt the NT, or words to that affect and finally, we have a floor price, but in moving from generational alcoholism to the provision of basic housing, it appears that there are too many hard questions not being asked or acted upon.

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet
@ Fiona: There’s some kind of irony in appealing for symbolic unity under an Aboriginal flag when Kittles, an Aboriginal-owned company is continuously trashed by children of Native Title holders.
It suggests that there’s some other law at work and that trying to construct a body of politically-inspired law has limited chances of changing anything.
Whilst I don’t doubt the sincerity of your attempt to unify, I make the suggestion that the practical method of law enforcement, alcohol supply reduction and housing in Alice Springs for those who may wish to leave remote communities for education and employment opportunities in town has better prospects than adding to the divisions on the hill.

Chamber of Commerce in a grog Catch 22
@ Paul Parker, posted 1st March, 2018 at 6:49am: How appropriate was ‘Sit-down money’ and the ‘Two kilometer law’, Paul?
Do you absolve the critical mass of take-away outlets in the 5km radius of the CBD as having any impact on the situation you describe?
Generational alcoholism has something to do with the present historical ennui and the police have stated that they can’t arrest their way out of it, so we’ll have to agree to disagree on failures to deal appropriately with intoxication and disturbing the peace.

Bush foods: how can wild harvesters get a piece of the pie?
Good one.

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