While parts of the Central Desert Region lack even the …

Comment on Council millions for cradle to grave welfare schemes by Peter.

While parts of the Central Desert Region lack even the most basic of services the “cradle to the grave” Family Wellbeing Strategy, with nine local bureaucracies, is a disgrace.
Take Nturiya (Station), a couple of hundred people sharing an environmentally degraded dustbowl with cattle.
You wouldn’t see a kangaroo for 30 kms nor has any bush food survived the grazing onslaught.
It has no store, no clinic, no school, basically nothing, people trudge up the long dirt road to Ti Tree to do their shopping.
No new houses have been built for a decade; bush camps are everywhere, families in sheds common. The same in Pmara Jutunta (Six Mile) and to some extent Wilora again reliant on services out of Ti Tree.
There is a clinic outpost at Wilora with a notice announcing when a nurse will be available there but the locals will tell you that is meaningless, they watch the clinic for the odd appearance and spread the word but most have given up on medical services altogether.
Back in Ti Tree, which has become an enclave for short-term professionals, they complain that the locals are disinterested in their precious offerings so “what can they do?”
Into Ti Tree come the endless rounds of specialists, both Federal Government Intervention and NT Government who of course do not communicate with each other.
Horror stories about duplication and waste abound in the region, a specialist hearing team, some from interstate, that test one child in a week.
Perhaps $50,000 for one hearing test in a region where profound hearing loss abounds.
The region needs decentralisation of services, it needs basic on the ground fixes not nine self serving, bureaucracies.
Spend a few million on stores, build clinics and staff them, connect with people of the region, directly in their living areas, and there will be fewer residents going to early graves and much less need for welfare.

Recent Comments by Peter

‘Bring back school based constables’
@ Phil Walcott: What a joke restorative justice programs have been in the Territory. They actually undid the good work of school cops.
At Alice Springs Highschool there was a spate of racist behaviour allegedly perpetrated by white kids on Aboriginal students.
Oddly the Aboriginal students were often a lot bigger, tougher and ganged up.
At the restorative meetings the white kids would readily confess their offence and apologise profusely.
They would accept any consequence for their poor behaviour without any complaint.
In reality, the racist accusation was a weapon expertly used against targeted white students who often attended the school in fear of assault.
In any restorative situation where the participants rather than the school decide who is in the wrong the power relationship will prevail.
That relationship invariable favoured the Aboriginal students.
One outcome was Aboriginal youth who thought they could always manipulate the system.
Many ended up in jail.
The other outcome was successive generations of racist white adults, they never forgot.

New shield laws protect news sources, but is there a flip side?
Hi Erwin, I wouldn’t bother asking this of many journalists because I doubt they would, but would you go to jail to protect a source?
[Yes. To protect the source’s identity.]

Offenders bailed to ‘country’: An option, says police
David, it’s not just Lhere Artepe selling grog but other major Aboriginal groups in town have also tried to make money out of selling grog.
The Memo Club was funded by CentreCorp and behind that was the Central Land Council and Congress.
Yes Congress, recipient of $40m a year from taxpayers to improve Aboriginal health was on the CentreCorp Board that supported grog sales, mostly to Aboriginal people.

Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
Local 1: I wouldn’t use the criterion of Aboriginal or non Aboriginal ownership in deciding which outlets should be closed down.
That seems irrelevant.
I would look at the proximity of outlets to tourists and their ability to cater to increased numbers of drinkers once the total number of outlets is reduced.
The NT Police would have an important say in the decision.
Basically, we need fewer outlets and ones that lend themselves to intensive ongoing policing.
The savings to the NT Government in the long term from having fewer outlets to police would be considerable.

Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
What will it cost to police each alcohol outlet for a decade? $4m?
They must be policed so what we need to do is to reduce the number of outlets.
The NT Government should buy out a couple of the current licences.
Yes, expensive, but $8m saved in a decade with other benefits as well.
Outlets that contribute to the most social disruption and damage to the Territory’s reputation with tourists should be the ones to go.

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