Bob Yes in recent years we have had an enormous …

Comment on Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath. by Cameleer.

Bob Yes in recent years we have had an enormous expansion in Federal funding for Aboriginal health etc in the NT, but I cannot agree it is paying off. Almost all the health improvements are restricted to areas where people do not have to change their liefstyles, for example vaccinating infants against disease, emergency interventions to keep them alive etc.
I cannot believe that Aboriginal life expectancy is being improved sustainably, I’ve seen the weazel stats and they defy the everyday experience of increasing rates of diabetes, end stage kidney disease, almost universal obesity etc etc.
Are we extending Aboriginal life spans by keeping more chronically ill people alive for a few more years?
Turning to education, yes we have more teachers, more training etc but declining NAPLAN outcomes.
Again we see the obstacle that no matter how many millions of dollars are poured in, no matter how good the teachers are, no matter how committed whitefellas are, unless Aboriginal people want (need) to learn, need to work and need to change we will never get anywhere.
This is the fundamental difference of opinion between Snowdon and his Canberra ilk and many on the ground in the Territory.

Cameleer Also Commented

Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath.
Bob, I can smell the citrus, but not the roses. Yes more kids are getting vaccinated, medical interventions are good because they don’t require a lifestyle change.
Better nutrition? The one healthy meal a day (if kids bother attending school) is swamped by a massive intake of sugar laden drinks and high salt chips despite the availability of healthy food at community stores.
A common problem these days is babies being given bottles of strong cordial, that’s why so many lose their first teeth to decay.
Better hygiene would require a change at home and it hasn’t happened. People still live with dog packs, basic washing / disinfecting including in the new or renovated homes is non existent.
Boils, streptococcal throat and skin infections remain rampant. Other risk factors including smoking and alcohol abuse are on the rise.
Meanwhile, the intergenerational effects of poor health are leading to low birth rates and kidneys with reduced nephron development. Many Aboriginal babies are now starting life with 20% reduced kidney capacity.
I’m afraid that the billion dollar Closing the Gap plans will not fundamentally change the situation. All we can do is provide health information and readily available alternatives. Then it’s up to them.


Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath.
Yes good point Rolf: ‘Some things are being done for Aborigines but usually that’s not for the blackfellas. It is for the voters in the leafy suburbs of the coastal cities’.
And therein lies the problem for Warren Snowdon. He panders to the national sentiment to maintain his position as Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health but that makes him look woefully out of touch with Territory realities.
His response to that dilemma has been to retreat behind an arrogance that does him and his party a disservice. He is not assisted by a small worshipful group of hangers on.


Recent Comments by Cameleer

Back to the future with Warren Snowdon
@ Frank Baarda: The helium is a byproduct of Central Petroleum’s (ASX CTP) Mt Kitty petroleum system to the far west of Alice Springs near the Kintore community.
The Suprise 1 well at Mt Kitty pumped oil for more than a year that was transported in tankers. Little has been reported by the company on the commercial possibilities of the helium.


End of search for Monika Billen
My drone flying friends say that not finding Monika is a disgrace.
Forget the old tech ground searches.
Fly the latest high tech drones equipped with high-resolution cameras or video and analyse the results.
She would have been found on day two after being reported missing.
After an initial cost of perhaps $100,000 the drone system would pay for itself within a year and the tourist industry would be better off.


The financial crisis in the Northern Territory
James, I suspect that remote community infrastructure does add to the NT’s revenue stream, as it always has. Case in point (admittedly dated):
Federal grant of $500,000 for remote preschool.
NT admin tax $250,000.
Old asbestos clad science block sent to the community (instead of dumping it}.
Over the next three months, Alice Springs tradies renovate the building.
There is no money left for painting so that becomes a school expense.
Darwin designed building has no security so is broken into and trashed, then closed for six months as the school tries to get it repaired.
So the NT Government gets a windfall profit, Alice Springs businesses do well and the community gets a high maintenance asbestos building.


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.


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