So Arid Lands Environment Centre Jimmy Cocking says “there is …

Comment on Federal Budget: Stand on your own two feet, NT! by Mark Wilson.

So Arid Lands Environment Centre Jimmy Cocking says “there is very little for Central Australia” in the Budget. Have we come to expect, and demand, special treatment every year?
Does Cocking realise that every year the NT receives $5.66 in GST receipts for every dollar of GST raised here?
By comparison WA receives under 38c for each dollar of GST revenue. VIC is next worse off receiving 88c for each dollar with NSW just below parity (2014/15).
So the NT and indeed Central Australia could be very much the poorer every year should the Commonwealth Grants Commission reassess the GST carve-up.
So perhaps we and the NTG should just be grateful while it lasts.
Perhaps this year it’s Port Augusta’s turn! Given that SA has led the way with a renewable future and found their power grid in some crisis, I would expect environmentalists to be very happy given that Port Augusta has closed its thermal power station.
You cannot be a winner every year. But then again, we almost certainly are so.

Recent Comments by Mark Wilson

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
I have previously supported here the flying of the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill but acknowledge that doing so raises issues and potential problems. First, and perhaps most importantly there needs to be clear majority support, not a simple majority in either the community or indeed the council or RSL. Secondly it would need an understanding in my mind that this does not raises further expectations for the Torres Strait flag or for that matter any others. Central Australia is simply not the Top End. One should not imply the other for reasons of political correctness. Perhaps my greatest concern is that the Aboriginal flag may be used for political purposes with attempts to have it flying at half-mast whenever it suits vested interests. This would be a disaster for reconciliation.

It seems a ‘no brainer’ that here in the centre of Aboriginal Australia that it is most appropriate to fly the flag that represents the oldest culture in our nation. Yes, the national flag does this too. I do not see any contradictions in acknowledging the ancient Aboriginal presence in our region. The argument that we should hoist just a single flag seems to imply that the NT flag should not be flown either. Each has a different purpose nor diminishes the other.

Considering all the above I am not convinced that we are sufficiently mature to embrace that in the words of Bruce Woodley of ‘The Seekers’ and Dobe Newton of ‘The Bushwackers’ that “We are one ….. We are many ….. We are Australian!”. Perhaps on reflection it’s not such a great idea at this time ’till we grow up.


Liz Martin says goodbye and good luck
Immediate questions arise in my mind (can you do some digging here, Erwin?):
1. What involvement did the Minister for Business and Industry have in this breakdown between NRTHoF and his department? If not, why not? The Associations Act is under the control of the NT Government and in particular the Chief Minister, being also the Minister for Business and Industry. The Minister’s full title is: Trade, Business and Innovation. Can only wonder where the innovation went to here. All we have witnessed is an intransigent department. If there’s another side can the Minister please enlighten us?
2. What involvement have our town council CEO, Mayor and appointed councillors had in mediating a solution between the parties? If not, why not?
This breakdown has been a long time coming. Well time for parties to get together. It seems that egos and possible incompetence have played significant roles. The incompetence in the loss of the financial records seem to have merely exacerbated other systemic issues.
Where to now our beloved Alice Springs town? It is so sad to see the town lose such a committed and talented lady, not to mention the damage to the Hall of Fame itself.
Best wishes, and thank-you Liz Martin for your years of dedicated service to our town. May your next adventures find less bureaucracy.


Moss ties together three Alice projects worth $90m
Hello! Has anyone noticed the kitty is empty? Politicians throw around numbers like $50m, $20m, $90m like we have a pot of overflowing gold.
Can someone also advise me how spending all this (borrowed) money will, as the Minister claims, go toward “creating a safer community”?
Another re-vitalisation of the Mall requires more than simply re-arranging the landscape unless it will all be fenced off with guarded entry. Wouldn’t that be attractive!


Gas deal: They can’t blame Giles for this one!
Given that the gas field, in Australian waters, is 100% owned by a foreign owned company I am curious if we purchase (as Italian foreigners in our own country), the gas at fire-sale prices like much of the gas that we export to Japan and Asia? Surely not. Rather we get the rough end of the pineapple in both deals.
It seems that for the honour of having the resource owned and sold by an Italian company that the NT has to become a compulsory purchaser. Nice one Hendo.
What sort of a deal is that? But it’s pretty typically Third World mentality to sign a contract on any terms and costs really. These companies must take us for the mugs we are.
It’s only the contract details that change. We sell off (99 years) Darwin Harbour and allow our gas to be sold, after processing and transport, in Japan for less that we can buy the same product here. It’s a disgrace. Good one Hendo and Adam.
Our politicians need a good tar and feathering. Can I sell tickets?


Massive downturn of home starts in NT
During the boom years it proved impossible to find a tradie willing to take on pesky home repairs and upgrades.
Four tilers quoted to upgrade my wet areas but not one showed up! I did the job myself with the certifier reporting my job one of the best he had (ever so briefly) seen as he whisked in and out in five minutes flat for his sub $200 fee.
New projects always seemed simpler with better returns and perhaps without homeowners (like me) hovering and checking work and quality standards. So now the tide may have turned and the tradies who remain may be economically forced to undertake jobs like mine. Time will tell.
The effect should also tend to raise home values I imagine. So a double win for current home owners.


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