Sacredness = dollar value. …

Comment on Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred? by Ray.

Sacredness = dollar value.

Ray Also Commented

Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
@ Just Sayin. I agree, there is that side to it as well. My point was that under an Indigenous land use agreement, native title can be extinguished, if the monetary compensation is agreed upon. Everything has its price, if the price is right.
Those who choose to be offended by this will be, not much I can do about that.
Your comments about respecting culture and sacred sites are interesting.
I was unaware that business oportunities to bring tourists into town have been scrapped because we don’t show enough respect and therefore trust does not follow. This is a shame.
Which proposals were they, because the number of bookstores and galleries in town that promote Aboriginal culture are impressive, not to mention the quality of work done by CAAMA that show a culture thriving with modern technology.
Are you referring to the respect and trust shown to local business in town that are actually running and bringing tourists into town that are smashed up, are pelted with rocks, broken into, used as a toilets, etc?
Trust and respect are a two way street, and non-indigenous attractions are also responsible for bringing tourists into town as well.
There is both black and white history in this town, and tourists come here to experience both.
Or maybe they come here for one and learn about the other, how’s that for a win win?
I believe that many developers would be keen to get involved with a project on the Melanka site, but who wants to touch it with the complications of those sacred trees?
I am sure that if one of them died due to construction activity, a huge fine would be written into the contract (dollar value).
Instead, we have an unkempt eyesore in town that could be transformed into something amazing, but it just sits there until the price is right, or they blow over in the next big storm. If it was the tree itelf that was sacred, would a solution be to propogate a cutting and plant that in a place acceptable to the Arrente?
I remember that idea working for a single pine tree that featured on the Turkish peninsula just over 100 years ago.


Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
Hi Russell, glad to see that three words could stir up such a response. How dare you say I am a newcomer? I have been annoying you for years.
My three word initial comment simply stated the obvious. Aboriginal groups are able to negotiate with mining companies (for example) on the exploration / mining on their land.
By negotiate, I mean an agreement to do a certain activity for a particular consideration (money). Many mining companies have been charged and fined for damaging sacred sites.
So one group has agreed to be awarded compensation for the damage caused by the other.
The importance of the site can/has sometimes determined the monetary penalty. You can google that to find the factual links.
Hence, to some degree, sacredness = dollar value is correct.
I remember being told that an event I organized needed a welcome to country speech. I thought OK that’s a nice gesture, and when approaching the appropriate body, was told “yes would love to, the fee will be $300”.
I was gobsmacked that the opportunity to share culture with visitors from around the country was accompanied by a fee schedule.
Sometimes a simple comment is enough to start a conversation, which was my intention, and that worked quite well. Just because I choose not to have my full name published does not invalidate my right to an opinion, it could be that public comment on a public forum and having different opinion to the populist thinking, could be against a policy I work under.


Recent Comments by Ray

Keeping youth in sight
Hi Rainer, I was going to jump straight in and have a go about the comment of youth yearning to be “heard, seen and acknowledged by adults”. I heard this on the radio and was pretty amused, so I jumped on the site and actually read your article first before flying off the handle. Also my respect for your dad and your youth means I will try and keep things toned down.
Most adults over the age of 40 were probably raised at the tail end of the era where the mantra of kids being seen and not heard was true. Basically that meant that people with life experience made the decisions, and until you lived a little you need to listen and learn before having the right to have an opinion. This was true in all civilisations and cultures, where kids sat at tribal meetings, and listened to the elders, and did not have any input.
We have come a long way since then and kids really do have a chance to be heard, but like most things in an ordered society, there are ways and means of doing these things. They will not have the respect of adults until they earn it it. They cannot change the natural order of things just because they want it changed.
They want respect? Get them to school, get them working part time jobs at Maccas or IGA or KFC. The biggest problem is not that the employer will not give them a chance, but family and peers who accuse them of being coconuts and trying to be like a white fella, that’s what we need to change.
They will get respect from adults when you can drive down Gap Road without them pretending to jump out in front of a car and trying to intimidate people. They will get respect when they go to school instead of calling into your office with energy to burn. They cannot and will not get any respect by essentially saying we do what we do because we just want you to respect us, that’s like a rapist saying he just wanted to be loved.
All the while our nightlife is dying because Alice residents live in fear of going out at night in case their car is rocked, or their house broken into by these kids when they are out. The same kids you speak to are the same ones that cause these issues, and the resentment towards them is justified because while they expect us to listen to them, they never listen to us. They steal our kids’ bikes that we work hard for, they egg our houses because we work hard for the nice things we have, they terrify the tourists who are the lifeblood of this town.
Your idea of a skate park near the CBD is great, and would be ideal along the banks of the Todd river, which is an under-utilised asset we have. The area between the Todd Tavern and the bridge would be ideal, and if it flooded, a skate park would just need to be hosed out after the water levels dropped. It could be floodlit and landscaped and yes, it would be a beautiful area for workers in the town to rest whilst enjoying their lunch break.
But these kids think it is fun to intimidate people. Unless that changes, it is hard to see the full potential and funding to achieve that vision ever being realised.
When these kids come streaming into your office, do you offer to assist them into getting into and staying in school? Could there be funding for homework centres for these kids to go to? Could your office be relocated to the entrance to the new skatepark where kids could be fed at night and a cafe set up where these bored kids could be taught how to run a canteen and have pride in their own place?
This could all be done in return for respecting the community, after all the money that is spent on any new skatepark will come from the adults who pay council rates. Respect is a two way street. Unfortunately this is unlikely as the sorts of kids we are dealing with do not like a presciptve form of entertainment. Anything that is too organised they rebel against, hence the game of getting chased by coppers is more valued by them than any sort of skatepark. Keep up the good writing.


Government backflips on alcohol floor price: Lambley
Just looked at the number of 24hr bottle shops in Melbourne from as far north as Preston and south to St Kilda. There are 11.
Not counting 24 hour operators, there are over 170 in a similar area.
In Alice Springs, there are 10, although AA is actually listed as a takeaway bottle shop, so lets say 9. There is also home delivery of alcohol in Melbourne, so every house virtually has a bottle shop if they have a telephone.
Yet despite these figures, we are the ones with a sheer number of takeaway alcohol? I don’t think it is the number of outlets we have, nor is it the opening hours.
Maybe it is something else?


National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Anzac Oval off the table
As I have said for a while now, why not the desert Knowlege Precinct.
It’s an Aboriginal centric facility south of The Gap, plenty of land and parking.
Across the road from Yirara College. The Longreach Hall of Fame is about the same distance out of town. It works well.


Private chats with govt heavy: mixed results
Jimmy, you were elected to represent ratepayers, not the Aranda voices.
Simply represent the people who elected you, and most of those voices as quite clear on they want.
Voices of the Aranda should have no bearing on you performing your role, which is represent the ratepayers of Alice springs, not be a hand winging apologist.


‘Bully method’ to swing Town Council vote on gallery
Good, scrap the bloody thing then.
I would rather loose a project like this than lose ANZAC Oval and be walked over by any government. Hopefully the councillors will all decline the invitation to meet with him unless it is a collective. He has no authority at all over the people we voted in.
Let him have his say in council, in public, at a regular meeting.


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