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

Massive downturn of home starts in NT
During the boom years it proved impossible to find a tradie willing to take on pesky home repairs and upgrades.
Four tilers quoted to upgrade my wet areas but not one showed up! I did the job myself with the certifier reporting my job one of the best he had (ever so briefly) seen as he whisked in and out in five minutes flat for his sub $200 fee.
New projects always seemed simpler with better returns and perhaps without homeowners (like me) hovering and checking work and quality standards. So now the tide may have turned and the tradies who remain may be economically forced to undertake jobs like mine. Time will tell.
The effect should also tend to raise home values I imagine. So a double win for current home owners.


Why solar racing is a brain sport
Hans, the NT and SA should be very proud of this event. Yes, it’s a blend of finance, technology, endurance and the inexact science of meteorology and even guesswork.
The more a team understands the performance of their vehicles under different conditions the better decisions they can make.
The occasional rain and especially the wind has added many uncertainties and significant challenges. However the benefits for the future of solar vehicles is inestimable.


Master plan for town, reconciliation plan for Australia Day
Personally I have no objection to seeing the Aboriginal flag provided the flag protocols are preserved. Decisions of 28 years ago need due consideration but this shouldn’t prevent a different decision in 2017/8.

However, if the Aboriginal flag’s presence would automatically mandate for reasons of political correctness, the necessity of the Torres Strait flag, then this, to me, is a bridge too far. We are not Top Enders here.


Dreamtime stories in the palm of your hand
@ Number 19: “Work for the Dole” is discredited because the projects, like painting rocks white, often have little real value or meaning. We all know this.
Surely here is a genuine activity that could be replicated across many communities that would give meaning and value to the scheme. I’m not sure that paying again over and beyond Centrelink benefits would be taken up if it resulted in Centrelink being cancelled by your suggestion.
Nor do I buy your argument that Tourism NT need to buy respect in order to show it. People earn respect, not buy it in the end.
Indigenous elders would find a real role in cultural maintenance. If Indigenous wish to share their culture I don’t entertain that anyone needs to be paid twice to do so.
This simply demonstrates that culture has been prostituted to a commodity with a $$ value.


The hidden costs in the switch to solar
A very interesting article Erwin. Thank you and glad that someone is awake. You achieve much with little. Others should be embarrassed. Alas, they are not.
I’ve never seen the value in installing rooftop solar unless you plan to live at the address for a very long time.
Because really it’s the house that owns the asset and not you. Further, government feed-in subsidies are not guaranteed in the long term.
They may even go BELOW the cost of supplied electricity if it all goes bad. There are rumblings in that direction already.
A few years back I wrote the relevant Minister in the Giles Government about my suggestions, but, rather predictably, received a “Dear John” response that referred me back to the troglodytes at PowerWater!
Politicians keep taking advice from the same sources! It was simply a waste of my time and effort.


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