From my reading of Central Australian news coverage of the …

Comment on ‘The greatest welfare measure we can offer anybody is a job’ by Alex Nelson.

From my reading of Central Australian news coverage of the 1960s emerges an interesting twist to Aboriginal employment issues of those times compared with now.
The problem facing many Aboriginal people on settlements and missions was that they were well-educated and work ready but there simply weren’t sufficient job opportunities for them available in their home regions. There were warnings from that time that Aboriginal people in remote areas will come to regard education as useless because it gained them no advantage for finding work.
In fact, various missions in Central Australia developed schemes encouraging Aboriginal workers (principally men) to travel interstate to work on farms. This was apparently very successful during these years, as reports indicate the Aboriginal workers were very efficient and reliable, and farmers from interstate actively sought to hire them for subsequent seasons. This was the “Bad Old Days” of Commonwealth control!
It was a period of time when developing the north of Australia was a major theme of national politics (not least for the ALP under Deputy Opposition / Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam), and such industries as mining potentially offered significant employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. The potential development of Gove, Groote Eylandt and McArthur River were all promoted in this light.
It’s not only sad but an indictment of Australia that not only have we not advanced from those times but indeed we have slipped seriously backwards, and at immense cost to the nation.
Where else in the world do we find a situation of tens of billions of dollars having been spent on a miniscule number of people for half a century for no nett benefit to the nation or the intended beneficiaries?

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Wards for Alice council, including one for town camps?
Wards for the Alice Springs Town Council are not a new idea but have never been supported by the NT Government.
There was discussion about wards in the mid-1990s, which was firmly rejected by the government.
It was also raised by candidate Steve Strike during the town council election campaign in May 1988. Like Eli Melky’s current proposal, Strike also suggested five wards, each with two aldermen; however, he didn’t overlook the rural area on that occasion over 30 years ago (the other wards suggested were for Eastside, Gillen, Braitling and the Gap Area).
The town’s municipal boundaries were expanded significantly in early 1988, incorporating the whole rural area for the first time despite widespread opposition from affected residents. The idea of a ward system was the final suggestion to differentiate the rural area from the town, after calls for a separate community government and a shire were rejected by the NT Government.
It’s interesting to note that during the operation of the original Alice Springs Progress Association from 1947 to 1960, the town was divided into wards a couple of times for choosing delegates onto the association. The wards were the (now old) Eastside, town centre (now the CBD), the south side of the town, and the Farm Area along what is now Ragonesi Road. The town’s population grew from about 2000 to over 3000 residents during this period, which was long before there was a town council.
One person who represented the south ward from 1958 onwards was Bernie Kilgariff, kickstarting what was to become an illustrious career in NT politics.
Personally I support the concept of wards; for one thing, it would substantially reduce the cost and inconvenience of town council by-elections.
With regard to increasing the number of councillors from eight to 10; well, it’s just over a decade ago the reverse occurred.
Moreover, the ASTC first started off with eight aldermen (plus the mayor) in 1971 until 1977, when the number was increased to 10.
Here we go again?

Move School of the Air to Anzac High building
@ Watch’n (Posted April 15, 2019 at 4:48 am): Remember when the Drive-in was de-listed? To make way for real estate? Wasn’t that a great development.

Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’
It’s obvious the majority of voters in Araluen got it right in the last Territory election campaign.

Killerbots, guided by Pine Gap, same as any other weapon?
Humanity is becoming too clever for its own good.

Save Anzac Hill High School: National Trust
@ James T Smerk (Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:48 am): I’ve said it before a number of times, I’ll say it again: The old high school complex on the Anzac Reserve has the richest heritage value of any education campus in the Northern Territory.
Its historical value is very high, and exceeded in Central Australia only by the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct, and Arltunga (which last is actually NOT heritage listed).

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