Call for help with roads disaster

p2446 bush road floodedLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – Remote Indigenous communities in Central Australia are likely to remain isolated and subject to frequent road closures unless urgent funding is received to reinstate flood damaged roads.

 

The council manages over 1,700km of roads within the Central Desert Region including roads that provide the primary access to remote Indigenous communities. These roads were badly affected by the December 2016 and January 2017 rains.

 

The weather event over the Christmas period was our second natural disaster in three years.

 

The damage to our road network was severe with many roads being impassable for weeks following the rain.

 

Opening works have been completed to all of our major roads and this has allowed limited access to all communities.

 

Unfortunately, any major reinstatement of these roads will be dependent on disaster recovery funding.

 

The repair bill for the whole network will be about $57m and it is clear that the remote Indigenous communities serviced by the council will not be able to afford these works independent of government assistance.

 

The council area services some of most remote and disadvantaged communities in Australia.

 

Access to our homes and communities is a basic human right.

 

We hope that the federal and territory governments will help us to rebuild our roads so we can travel safely and get basic supplies.

 

We have already spend over $550,000 just getting the roads open.

 

President Adrian Dixon
Central Desert Regional Council

 

 

 

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Surprised!
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:06 am

    This thread is pertinent to many of the recent stories where there are various comments about Indigenous people wishing to take more control of their destinies and comments about being responsible and of course the subliminal land rights issues.
    So, we have ALL mentioned “equal” many times.
    So the scenarios is, if I take my extended family to a remote area and purchase some land, would it –
    A) Be reasonable to me to expect the taxpayers to pay for the Infrastructure I need (Power, Water, Communications and a well maintained road).
    B) Would they pay?
    I think what most people would say is something like: “You chose to live there, so you should pay the cost.” After all, it is a choice to live there.
    I did build a house somewhere once, that didn’t have electricity and I had to pay a huge amount to have electricity supplied.
    So, what’s the difference, why are the taxpayers expected to pay?
    Where is the equality it that?

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  2. Christopher
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Why don’t the land councils step in? A book I read recently called “Wake up time” went through the amount of money the LCs have and it’s a significant number!

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