No question that Alice Springs continues to work its wonders …

Comment on German Foreign Office says mobile homes should stay only in caravan parks with guards, warns of rapes, armed robberies in Alice Springs by Hal Duell.

No question that Alice Springs continues to work its wonders on those of us who choose to live here. Of course we love it. How else could we put up with it?
And by comparison, don’t all other locations in Oz pale? Try living down there. BORING! I know. I’ve tried. No edge.
And yet, and yet…
After 15 years of having a spring-loaded water tap on my front fence for the use of any passer-by, I have finally had to dismantle it. Why? Because when I asked children visiting from communities west of town not to waste water to the point that it was flowing down the street, their response was to drop their trousers and shit in my driveway.
Or how about the charming child I caught with his hand in my letterbox? When I asked him what he was doing, his reply was, “Playing”. And the interesting thing is, he probably was just playing. He had no idea that the bank statement did not belong on the sidewalk, nor that the residents in the house he was staying in had no right to the book that had finally arrived from Fishpond.
So I wonder about the four young men of Aboriginal appearance who terrorised the two German tourists at Ellery Big Hole. Were they, too, just playing?
So, sure, limit access to grog. But I suspect the problem has gone way, way past that. I suspect the main problem will be found to have something to do with trying over almost 50 years and through at least two generations to shoehorn the concept of self-determination into a tribal context. Can’t happen. Doesn’t fit. Oil and water. And therein lies our problem.

Hal Duell Also Commented

German Foreign Office says mobile homes should stay only in caravan parks with guards, warns of rapes, armed robberies in Alice Springs
@Russell Guy
To answer your patronising comment, I have had a lock on my mailbox for 18 years. Now I’ve doubled it’s depth so it will take a kid with a very long arm to reach thru the opening and steal the mail.
Do you really think you’re the only person in Alice with any brains? There are times when you sound like it! You’re not, you know. For instance, in the latest exchange between you and Janet, Janet did you like a dinner.
But Bob is right. The restrictions over the footy weekend worked. Now I’m thinking that from what I’m picking up on my morning harvest along the rail corridor, a special must be running on plonk. I wish they would drink beer – it’s so much lighter carrying the empties home.


German Foreign Office says mobile homes should stay only in caravan parks with guards, warns of rapes, armed robberies in Alice Springs
There is currently quite a bit of noise being made over moving the Tourism NT main office from Darwin to Alice. But if incidents such as the recent attack at Ellery Creek Big Hole, and the even more brutal attack on two young European women about one year ago while camping within the municipal boundaries, are anything to go by, the office might as well be opened on the moon. Tourists, other than those in escorted groups, can no longer make an assumption of safety. Full stop.
There might be those who will suggest the couple at Big Hole should have opened their car doors and given the four men the water they were asking for. Smart tourists! Is Big Hole empty? I only hope they had insurance.
No point in asking who the four young men were, not that they couldn’t be identified if the matter were pursued. But so what? Does anyone really think they would be held to any sort of account? Fat chance!
And we want the tourist trade? I suggest our chances are slowly slipping into that Buckley’s and none category. The days when travelers could pull up anywhere and roll out a swag are long gone. Solitary travelers and couples would be well advised to read the warnings posted by the German government.
And here’s a question: Is the Alice Springs Town Council being remiss in its duty of care to the visitors to this town in not warning all incoming tourists along similar lines? Perhaps a sign at the airport to accompany the Welcome to Country rattle, and another one at the rail station, and another at each of the sandstone entry signs north and south of town.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Museums: First Nations demand to speak for themselves
I think James T Smerk’s idea of a museum with two wings is one of the best and most novel suggestions I have heard.
Aside from a shared claim to Aboriginality, there is no unity within Aboriginal Australia.
Yet this has not kept them from remaining present and relevant despite having been caught in the tides of history some 250 years ago.
Let’s hear all the stories.


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Jacinta was always on a hiding to nothing. Her own perceived sense of entitlement didn’t help her cause, but she was up against Snowdon who arguably doesn’t do much between elections, but once every three years he does win elections, and he wins them well.
The question now is, will Jacinta return to Council?


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There are a lot of empty shop fronts in Alice right now. Perhaps we could have a pop-up Council. That might work.


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Erwin, a minor point, but when these large birds were first discovered a few years ago, they were referred to in the local press as the Ducks of Doom. Much better than Big Bird.


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Thanks for the story, Erwin.
You’ve detailed a journey into the bureaucratic maze of “it’s not mine / I didn’t do it”.
Talk about kicking a can down the road!
I also like your suggestion that the NT government sack half its public servants and compel the remainder to do their jobs.
That’s another can ready to be kicked down the road.


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