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

‘CLP rehashes fracking policy that caused its wipe-out’
While all the focus is on fracking the $3b coal to gas plant on our doorstep at Andado is quietly going ahead.
Arsenic / Carbon dioxide etc etc will poison the pristine environment and accelerate global warming.
With so much gas underground why convert coal to gas?
Cheap and dirty extraction and much worse than fracking.
But no fracking so it’s all good.
Where are the Greenies when you really need them?
Go figure!

[Hi “Peter”: The Alice Springs News Online reported on the project in a previous incarnation in December 2011, quoting Arid Lands Environment Centre Jimmy Cocking. “Quietly going ahead?” Reports are the new company is hoping to raise money next year. Their predecessors were flogging a dead horse, judging by the project’s lack of progress so far.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor.]

Tourism, cattle, mining, oil, gas: The world’s your oyster, Stuart.
The ringer pictured is now a historical relic.
Indigenous people, predominantly men, still aspire to work in a pastoral industry but it largely no longer exists.
The pastoral industry has gone high tech aiming at value adding.
With one cow worth a couple of grand they are worth the effort.
These days the average pastoral worker needs to be computer savy to assess cattle as they go through the crush.
The worker needs to be data savy as each cow is uniquely identified and each stage of its life is recorded.
He needs to be able to pregnancy test, perhaps using an ultrasound.
He will be collecting poo samples for analysis and recording the results in the computer.
He will be familiar with a large number of OHandS and cattle well being rules and regulations.
He will probably have passed a Cert 3 level course.
And at the end of the day he will be paid very little as our stations are staffed almost exclusively with backpacker workers, smart and keen and working for the experience not the money.
Times have changed.

NT cost of living $1700 a week
Of course gas development can bring down the cost of living.
The NT Govt gets the royalties from onshore gas sales.
That is potentially hundreds of millions.
Cheaper vehicle rego, cheaper power, better roads and schools, bigger grants to local councils so we don’t get slugged huge increases etc etc.
Gas development is very positive for cheaper living costs.

Helping offenders on probation and parole stay out of gaol
Yes, many prisoners are now refusing parole knowing that they will not be able to comply with parole conditions and do not want Corrections snooping on their lives.
So how will closer supervision, “support” and clear consequences for non-compliance make them change their minds?
The new program assumes that prisoners want to change their lives whereas they are content with them.
They are prepared to live their lives as they see fit even if that means periodically going to jail.
To take just one issue.
They are mostly drinkers, not necessarily alcoholics but they like to drink with their friends and family.
The fact that they drink does not mean they will necessarily reoffend except if drinking becomes an offence.
And while on parole it is an offence.
They simply won’t comply, no matter how often and long they are jailed.
Just like they won’t wear ankle monitors, no matter how long they are jailed for non compliance.
Law and Order as conceived in mainstream Australia only works when there is a high level of acceptance and compliance.
Corrections have not yet realised that they need to understand a lot more about the cultural differences at the justice interface before they can reduce offending and recidivism.

The magic Certificate III: How does Batchelor stack up?
How does Batchelor stack up relatively?
In 2013 to 2015 the Correctional Services training organisation had by far the lowest proportion of inmates in education courses.
In 2014-15 just 14% were in education against a national average of 32%.
At the same time the NT recidivism rate of repeat offenders was a stunning 57%, a world record.
Funds meant for education had been sidetracked into running the prisons, the education computer system had been left inoperable for more than four years.
An internal review found significant internal issues.
Basically education was in a state of collapse.
In 2014 Corrections gave up on education altogether, abolished one teacher’s position altogether and handed over the Batchelor.
How is Batchelor doing … relatively?

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