@ Just Sayin. I agree, there is that side to …

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

@ 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.

Ray Also Commented

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.


Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
Sacredness = dollar value.


Recent Comments by Ray

Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
There has been a lot a promoting the support for a gallery somewhere, but after reading the article featuring Robyn Lambley it makes me wonder if a campaign should be run actually opposing it.
With the need for a new juvenile detention centre, and the issues of crime in the NT in general, funding this gallery, no matter where it is, might be the straw that broke the NT’s back financially.
The government is trying to convince us that it will bring tourists and plenty of money into town. The fact is by all reports our tourism is fairly buoyant. The main attractions are what we already have, the people come for those attractions, but leave with a bad taste when they are affected by the crime, as well as making it unattractive for residents to stay.
Given the current circumstances I think we would be far better off paying down debt and addressing the real issues, and not speculating on something that may or may not have the desired effect.
It seems like the current government want something big they can claim as their in the years to come. I think leaving the NT in a better state financially and in liveability than when they took over.
That would be a great legacy


Harts Range: Four legs or three, it was on for young and old
Great coverage once again, Erwin, of a truly iconic event in The Centre.
I have been a regular at Harts Range for the last four years. Last year I took my aunt, who was out here for the “Rollin’ Solo” event at Ross River. t
This year I took two dear friends, Gavin and Julie, who despite being long-time locals, had never been before.
They all agreed that it truly is a remarkable event, one where the kids did their own thing in relative safety, and where there was always something happening.
As I said last year, it really is an opportunity to mix with people who make their living on the land, the dedicated ones who work from sun-up to sun-down, the people who are spoken about in poems, in songs and stories about this wide brown land and provide a living link to the pioneers who made this country what it is today.
Although there is a dedicated committee that organizes the event every year, I got talking to two of the “public faces” of the event at the dance on Saturday night.
One was the ground announcer, the other was the guy who bounces around the arena with the signs that tell the crowd if an eight second ride was achieved, and implores the crowd to cheer “like ya mean it!”.
These two guys really give the event its own PC-free personality, one that keeps me coming back year after year.
The one thing they both stressed to me was the need for helpers to keep the event going. Maybe members of local service clubs such as Rotary, Lions or APEX could be involved.
The local 4WD club or Men’s Shed groups or similar could look at a camp out for their members in the weekends leading up to the event.
I am not an official spokesperson for the event in any way, but when I said to these two guys that I wrote about the event last year in the Alice Springs News, they asked that if I was doing the same this year, could I push the fact that help is needed, which is the purpose of this letter.
Can’t wait until next year!

[ED – Hi Local, thank you, but most of the kudos for our coverage needs to go to photographer Nikki Westover!]


National Aboriginal art gallery: The horse and the cart
Hardly a make or break item for the town. It might be a welcome addition, but if it is not built, the town will certainly not go broke.
Panorama Guth was a fascinating tourist destination, and displayed a massive range of Aboriginal artifacts.
Tourists flocked to it, but it was not the reason they came here. The proposed art gallery (which should be a cultural centre featuring Aboriginal art), will never be a reason people will come here, but it may encourage them to stay an extra day or two.
I have had many friends come here over the years and many of them say they wish they had booked for longer as they had no idea how much there was to see and do.
As far as the original topic goes, humbugging, youth crime, assaults and break ins are a far greater make or break subject than any art gallery will be. Get that under control and reap the benefits.


And now, your friendly neighbourhood prison
Interesting that the department has said the welfare of young people is its number one priority.
That means a cohesive community, ratepayers, workers, functional families and residents are way, way down the list of who they care about.
Remember who is in charge of all this rot when the next election rolls around.


Pilot academy: Alice tipped to be in top three
Now this would bring people to the town. Investment from big business, this is what we need.


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