This situation at Santa Teresa and Finke is reminiscent of …

Comment on CatholicCare jobs for dole falls in a heap: allegation by John Bell.

This situation at Santa Teresa and Finke is reminiscent of the Ghosts On The Payroll phenomenon that began with the introduction of the Training Allowances Scheme that was implemented by the Holt Government in NT remote communities in January 1968.
One of the trainee jobs that I recall at Yuendumu in the late 60s was painting rocks white and placing them in line on either side of the main road leading in to the Magpie on the Arch entrance to the community.
Two years later, govt Auditors Glazebrook and Oldroyd did a flying visit to Docker River and blew the whistle on a massive rort. 143 Trainees receiving an average $50 p.f. for two years allegedly paying the money in cash flown down from Alice fortnightly in “safe hand bags” sealed leather gladstone bags.
The audit reduced the payroll to 41.
This type of rort was replicated and refined in many, many remote communities in the NT over succeeding years, reaching a state of the art scale during the Whitlam government era when training allowances became award wages.
Most of it was hushed up at the highest government level for many years.
While I have no doubt that the wonderful people at Santa Teresa and Catholic Care are trying their hardest to be transparent in this worthwhile work for the dole project, due diligence of the highest order must continue to be applied to ensure these projects achieve their aims in the public interest.
The hard questions asked by Alice Springs News Online should be seen as a worthwhile part of this due diligence process.
For this reason, Catholic Care should not take umbrage, but respond in a spirit of transparent cooperation, if only to maintain Catholic Care’s excellent reputation in the wider community.
A defensive response would serve only to enforce that wise old truism of the streets: “Everything changes and everything remains the same.”

John Bell Also Commented

CatholicCare jobs for dole falls in a heap: allegation
Does Come in Spinner’s comment on a realestate portfolio in town have a relevance to the price of fish in this debate?
Does the mysterious Come in Spinner have a realestate portfolio perhaps?

Recent Comments by John Bell

Genocide in Australia – unthinkable?
This book review is a tribute to Dick Kimber’s meticulous fairness and integrity. While Professor Tatz presents contentious ideas and propositions, Dick Kimber is a scholar of impeccable honesty who treats every study – and every person – with due consideration and dignity.

Rampaging kids: Dale Wakefield drops the ball
Rampaging kids in the Alice. Rampaging gangs of teenagers “of African appearance” across parts of Melbourne.
The latest incidents down here in Mexico are getting pretty frightening. Trashing houses, wielding machetes, dragging old people from their beds and forcing them to hand over valuables.
A lenient juvenile justice system here is soft peddling on repeat offenders who re-offend while on bail in the hope they will be rehabilitated. A constant philosophical battle between advocates of zero tolerance and youth compassion. Hardline or handouts?
Until the debate is resolved, most middle of the road ordinary punters lock their doors and zip their lips for fear of being accused of racism or lacking in cultural diversity tolerance.
It is not a happy situation in the welfare suburbs of Melbourne … or the Alice … for potential victims of growing violence, or indeed for the parents of the young hooligans who are not too many steps away from criminal adulthood. Who has the answer?

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
“This an-idea-a-minute activist could call on friends in high and low places to get things going. Keeping them going was another story.”
Yes. That sums up the character that was Tracker, first known as Brucey on the footy field at Traeger in the 1970s.
In and out of the play on game day. Did some useful things. Quiet for extended periods of play. As in footy, as in life, like the vast majority of us sports types from the Boomer generation.

It’s not money that makes the NT political world go round
“There are no single donations of comparable size to the ALP; its funds were made up of multiple smaller donations.”
By coincidence, today’s The Herald Sun in Melbourne carried the news that the United Firefighters Union “campaigned aggressively” for the Labor party at the last election and is now the beneficiary of “tens of millions of taxpayers’ money” in a lavish new enterprise bargaining agreement approved by the Andrews government.
This tends to reflect the historical differences between the traditional funding bases of the two major political parties that can be traced almost back to Federation.
Labor has always had a solid funding base in the union movement, whereas the Libs, originally a get-together of independent members of Parliament, have had to rely on disparate donors.
This has helped fuel the development of the “Workers v the Bosses” mantra in Aussie political ideology.
China billionaires are now further blurring lines of demarcation between the two middle class parties by backing both horses for Chinese state interests. As the old folk song goes “The times they are a-changin”!

International flights to Alice would lower fares
It is a wonder that Chinese state-backed business interests have not got in on the act.
After all, they actually now own a couple of small regional airports in WA, I understand.

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