Multi-generational approach to social dysfunction

Poor Alice! She really is becoming the NT’s stepchild, isn’t she.

 

To great fanfare, the government has announced it is spending the princely sum of $9 million to transform the Greatorex building into our new police station. It will be bigger and better and much more efficient, and no one is denying that we need it.

 

And a new, you-beaut court house is coming our way with everything that opens and shuts – price to be announced any day now. And no one is denying that we need that, too.

Our builders certainly need the work.

 

And who will be tomorrow’s customers filling the cells and halls of our new public buildings? Here’s a clue. Drive around town on any night, listen to the dogs barking and ask why, or at whom.

 

Or take a turn by the 24 Hour Store and watch the shadows once again flitting by under the trees on the old Melanka site. Or better yet, go into any store and try to find spray paint or kero or metho or spray deodorant or food colouring or mouth wash – the list keeps growing. If the store still stocks them, they are probably under the front counter away from thieving young fingers.

 

It seems chroming and innovative cool drinks will have to do until enough years bring alcohol into reach. Need petrol? We have Opal, which is not to say anyone is putting a tiger in our tank, are they?

 

And our current government has had the foresight, the staggering wisdom, to not just scrap the Banned Drinkers Register but also to sack the youth outreach workers.

 

Call it a multi-generational approach to social dysfunction. Call it caring and sharing on a family plan.

 

Goofy! Remember that old Walt Disney cartoon character? Remind you of anyone?  Say, our Chief Minister?

 

Meanwhile, Palmerston is getting a needed new hospital at a reported $150 million. Suburbs of Darwin are being fast tracked for development, and Palmerston itself is being split between Palmerston North and Palmerston South. Or was that East and West?

 

And as we walk by our shuttered shops on streets glinting with broken glass like a snowfield in the morning light, we can only envy the development and wonder at our future.

 

She’s a great town, our Alice, but not for the faint hearted.

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