All respondents here rightly express genuine concern. Tonight on …

Comment on Dylan Voller’s mistreatment started in Alice Springs by Mark.

All respondents here rightly express genuine concern. Tonight on ABC 1, 7.30, I watched the previous Commissioner of the Corrections Department, Ken Middlebrow, go out on a limb and support the practices in his former Corrections Department.
It was Middlebrook who “fell on his sword” and resigned late 2015 following the escape of murderer and rapist Edward Horrell from a prison work camp. That someone would take personal responsibility is now rare in government and the Public Service.
Middlebrook’s response this evening was a really brave move defying the popular feeling. But Middlebrook is closest to the real issues.
The Don Dale staff are the ones at the coal face and are those actually responsible for ensuring order. Clearly they have suffered ridicule in recent times by break-outs followed by break-back-ins. No doubt they have over reacted. But what were their alternatives to youth running amok even in detention? Those most critical wouldn’t survive a day working in the Centre. Nor would they wish to. It’s easier to criticise from afar with clean hands.
The staff lacks resources but more importantly, society (government) lacks the commitment to make the corrections that these minors have failed to receive right through their childhood to adolescence.
The family unit is breaking down, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. It is society that has questions to answer. Many of these kids’ parents are simply missing in action. Failing-in-health and deceased grand parents have been struggling to bring up a generation without practical government support.
Worse, actual government neglect and a real opposition to practices that the grandparents themselves received under a maligned paternal social system that managed, without trained teachers, to enable them to read and write and far, far more.
This is something that government and a huge public service now fail to achieve!
I doubt that any of these issues will surface in a “wide ranging terms of reference” Royal Commission called within (was it) 12 hours of yet another explosive Four Corners.
It all sounds so familiar.
Didn’t Gillard react in much the same way to a report on animal abuse and go close to destroying an industry?
What was needed was a reasoned and measured response by the PM. Instead I sense he has done a Gillard and I am appalled. A Royal Commission will take at least two years and cost a squllion to report.
Answers and responses are needed now.
But I doubt that anything will really change because I cannot see that society has a social imperative for change. “Progressive” forces ensure as much.
My positive feeling was to hear tonight that the young man at the centre of this issue has expressed the desire to “make amends” to society. Perhaps there have been some positive outcomes from such a dark episode.

Recent Comments by Mark

Fracking OK, but under ‘strict laws’ – Gunner
The NT is BROKE. And with falling GST revenues it isn’t getting better any time soon, folks.
We are used to milking the states of their revenue.
Territorians have grown used to their “entitlements” being fed regularly at the expense of those who actually create the wealth.
We go to Centrelink in huge numbers on “Pay Day”. So what is NT Government to do?
I feel like we are seeing the future, as pristine Antarctica is mined, as world resources diminish.


‘Anzac Oval not for sale’: govt under pressure on gallery plans
On another note … We all know the NT Government is BROKE yet they plan behaving like drunk sailors. Unless of course there is another disgraceful funding scheme like we learn (thanks to the Alice Springs News) funded the Supreme Court.
Is this the time for any large capital expenditure? Let’s sort out the crime and behaviour problems in town; sort the expensive airfares and tourists will come!
Then we can plan a demand-driven National Art Gallery! Guess spending borrowed money is a simpler option. It usually is so.


National Indigenous Gallery advisors: ‘Release full report’
@ Original Centralian: What is “going on” is that politicians are involved.
They have multiple objectives to satisfy. Prime would be political objectives.
If CM Gunner thinks we will take his site decision lying down I feel he’s in for a surprise.
I recall Gough Whitlam being equally arrogant and ignoring local concerns with his “You’re getting Galston” statement for the site of Western Sydney airport.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet
If indeed, as stated by Cr Satour, that the petition is “a very strong representation of the community that is in support of the flag” it is nevertheless a very poor result for the fly the flag case. While 1000 plus people is significant, it falls well short, indeed even close, to the majority of residents.
Perhaps we need to move away from pressure groups attempting to impose either view and instead get our Alice Springs Town Council to collect signatures and addresses of all interested residents.
The front desk at the council is one way to collect a true feeling over – say – a two week period without significant expense. Out of towners could email their vote.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
I have previously supported here the flying of the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill but acknowledge that doing so raises issues and potential problems. First, and perhaps most importantly there needs to be clear majority support, not a simple majority in either the community or indeed the council or RSL. Secondly it would need an understanding in my mind that this does not raises further expectations for the Torres Strait flag or for that matter any others. Central Australia is simply not the Top End. One should not imply the other for reasons of political correctness. Perhaps my greatest concern is that the Aboriginal flag may be used for political purposes with attempts to have it flying at half-mast whenever it suits vested interests. This would be a disaster for reconciliation.

It seems a ‘no brainer’ that here in the centre of Aboriginal Australia that it is most appropriate to fly the flag that represents the oldest culture in our nation. Yes, the national flag does this too. I do not see any contradictions in acknowledging the ancient Aboriginal presence in our region. The argument that we should hoist just a single flag seems to imply that the NT flag should not be flown either. Each has a different purpose nor diminishes the other.

Considering all the above I am not convinced that we are sufficiently mature to embrace that in the words of Bruce Woodley of ‘The Seekers’ and Dobe Newton of ‘The Bushwackers’ that “We are one ….. We are many ….. We are Australian!”. Perhaps on reflection it’s not such a great idea at this time ’till we grow up.


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