I was pleasantly surprised by the fairly nonpartisan and constructive …

Comment on Advice on ‘insane’ air fares from blackfeller Bob Katter by Steve Brown.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fairly nonpartisan and constructive approach just about every one of the panellist and questioners took in the QandA forum.
It appears to signal a new mood in the community, pushing aside the politics, setting about finding cooperative solutions.
The same mood was evident at the public meeting on our youth issues a couple of weeks back.
It’s great to see and if people are prepared to keep working that way we will eventually force the changes we’ve needed now for generations.
The discussion was spoiled a little by Bob Katter’s opportunistic use of “Black Fellas”, “White Fellas”, as often as possible.
It seemed he intended to set up a racial divide ’round the issues being discussed as if somehow there is no common purpose or outcome which is good for all of us.
Bob’s loudmouthing is in complete contrast to the mood and intent of the rest of the room, which took the stance that our issues are everybody’s, regardless of race.
Forget about the skin colour Bob, we are all people!
I suggest you address everyone regardless of race in a respectful egalitarian manner and leave our colour out of it. The sooner we all learn to do that as a matter of principle the sooner we see an end to the division that is the root cause of so many of our community’s issues.
I was particularly impressed by the contribution and that of latecomer to the panel, William Tilmouth, who I thought spoke very thoughtfully.
I agree whole heartedly with many of his comments especially those regarding the disempowerment of communities and men by the Intervention.
I also agree whole-heartedly with Jacinta Price who spoke as always with belief and passion but wasn’t given enough opportunity to present her whole argument.
The facts are that the Intervention was both good and bad, inasmuch as the basics card, extra policing and other programs have helped to protect women and kids. This is the most important of all steps towards ending the plight of Aboriginal people!
The removal of thousands of neglected kids is a good result if it is attributable to the Intervention, not a bad result as Barb Shaw tried to portray it.
It means action is being taken to end abuse! However, while it’s a good thing to see abused kids removed from their plight we absolutely have to get looking after these kids right!
So far nothing I’ve seen convinces me that we are creating better circumstances for these kids. Care is not a slogan at the end of an NGO’s name! Care means care, it means love, it means empathy! The cold-blooded arguments for kids’ rights we’ve witnessed continually from our Intervening legal system is destroying kids’ lives!
We simply must get our approach to helping these kids right before we can claim any success for the Intervention or any other program.
The bad of the Intervention, something that we must address when we revisit the Constitution, is that legislation which enabled the Intervention to take place used a clause in the Constitution of Australia which allows the government to make and implement laws based on race.
In an egalitarian nation, such a clause is plainly, simply wrong!
If it was a good idea to issue basic cards to Aboriginal persons then in an egalitarian nation it was also a good idea to issue those cards to every other welfare recipient, regardless of race.
Same goes for any other measures. Singling out on the basis of race is not only divisive it is bare facedly racist, disempowering and humiliating for many fine decent and upstanding Australians
I also agree with William that the Intervention and the move to shires then regional councils removed a sense of identity from many communities. I believe we need to revisit this issue.
I also heard a comment justifying the Intervention on the basis that it provided extra housing. Yeh, I think it did – mostly on the Gold Coast! The housing program stepped on and over a local industry that was providing housing at a greater rate than it ever did.
It forced up the prices to utterly ridiculous levels and huge portions of the funding was simply rorted by creating the most ridiculous levels of bureaucracies and reporting. In short, the Interventions housing program was a bloody joke!
If a fraction of that billion dollars had been put through the pre-existing remote housing industry we would have built literally hundreds more houses than the Intervention achieved, and we would have achieved that in a fraction of the time using local labour instead of FIFO. This would have benefited the whole community, keeping a much greater portion of the funding in local hands.
In my view, the Intervention housing program rates a huge fail!
Finally, must say I was a bit surprised by Dale’s comment round the art industry is worried that the construction of a national art and cultural centre would in some way be detrimental to their businesses.
Really!
The flow-on effect of such a centre even if it were to sell as well as display art, the visitors it will attract from all over the world, people seeking authenticity, will provide enormous opportunity not just for those in the art industry but for everyone.
This would include, I believe, all those very authentic community art centres. They are just what visitors keen to avoid mass produced art will be looking for!
They will be seeking them out in droves. There’s nothing to fear. Alice needs to get right behind this fabulous project!

Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Independents now ineffective?
Alex, as always the history is interesting and I’m quite sure no one will be volunteering to depart on this occasions either, however the point that I am making is that it is no longer allowable to run as a party associated independent and given that fact how can anyone lawfully “become” a party associated “independent” while in Office?
Then of course there is the fact that these people have portrayed themselves as independents and were elected on that basis.
Basic honesty and decency would say that they remain independent or go back to the people.
Eli … well if anyone was going to approve of directionless political flip flopping with your track record, it would be yourself. You might want to note however, that a bit of noise in the media is not effective opposition, its called grandstanding!
Further to that, it was not me that made the call on the ineffectiveness or otherwise of both Terry and Robyn as MLAs.
They have done that themselves, loudly and clearly in the media! I am simply picking up on their stated ineffectiveness, asking if they consider themselves ineffective, surely we, the electorate, should do the same.
Further to all of that, in the Territory Parliament the official Opposition has to come from a registered party. And candidates for registered parties have to declare themselves as such in the election process.
I am questioning the legality of making the switch after being elected, because it could be construed that it was always their intention, therefore throwing into doubt they were ever independent.
I think the electorates are also entitled to ask, are independents turning on the official Opposition instead of concentrating whatever energy and resources they have, on holding the Government to account. Is that effective opposition?


Council shoots Anzac precinct gallery down in flames
Just another moment in the most inept and arrogant handling of a project proposal I have ever encountered.
At this place in time we have to ask ourselves if the intent to deliver a gallery was ever there. Was it simply smoke and mirrors, covering no real intention to commit funds?
What else could it be when, if the intent was genuine, the NT Government could resolve the issues with council with one meeting!
In that meeting all they must do is commit to working “with” council on the project design and implementation, as has been done on many previous occasions.
What is so dammed hard about that?
Unless either are completely arrogant, just plain stupid or a totally inept combination of both.
Whatever it is, one thing is absolutely for certain this project, if there ever was one, is now very much at risk!
So where are you, local Labor people?
Where are our local Members?
Where the bloody hell are you?
If you believe in us, in Alice Springs and its future just walk into council and resolve this issue, cooperatively!
Yes, today!
If you can’t bring yourselves to do that, then you deserve to be condemned by your community.
What a bloody disgrace!


Govt spokesman hits out at Opposition over floor price
Good on ya Garry, now your making some sense.
This floor price idiocy will be Michael Gunner’s Carbon Tax, nothing is more certain.
Michael went to a great deal of trouble making absolutely certain that Territorians understood that there would be “no floor price on alcohol under their government”.
They understood the electoral consequences. They have fooled themselves into believing that introducing one on the basis of Justice Riley’s report would somehow absolve them of their fervent promise.
It most certainly does not and it most certainly won’t protect them from the consequences!
Territorians are simply fed up with ill conceived academic social experiments obviously completely devoid of real world experience. The average three year old could tell you that they will have no beneficial effect.
The implementation in fact having the affect of penalising those who work hard, suffer long, doing the right thing by their community, simply to get at a small minority intent on self destruction at any cost.
This action sends completely the wrong signals to both parties: Hard work and responsibility penalised; sloth, while not rewarded, creating a penalty for everyone else. This has an unhealthy affect on the mental health of the wider community feeding anger and disenchantment, creating resentment, some directed at Government as it should be, but also at problem drinkers, worsening their acceptance by community and their plight along with it.
The mental Health benefits for the average person of having a relaxing drink or two with their mates are immeasurable, and I’m pretty bloody certain that Territorians aren’t going to give them up!
Punishing the entire community like a school teacher keeping in the whole class to punish one naughty child is simply unjust and cannot be justified by result!
Let us re-commit to mandatory rehabilitation while toughening up on secondary supply and the service of alcohol to drunks!
As for the tiny unelected non representative group who constantly winge about consumption and put forward these ridiculous solutions, why not do both yourselves and more importantly the Territory a favour: Find somewhere else to live.


Ice Age in Alice
No matter what issue is raised there is always the predictable head in the sand or more likely protect my own backside response from the few. This is no matter what the outcome for community. It is rather sad and sickening.
Nothing would make me happier than if I was wrong in regards to growing use of ice in our communities.
I wonder, did you actually read the article above, Eugenes Mate?
Might be time you and your fictitious mates went along to DASA and had a good talk.
I am suggesting a heavy handed community response before ice becomes endemic, not after the fact.
Believe me, once it’s here at those levels, there is almost no way back.
So yes, if we have genuine, as opposed to a bought and paid for 9 to 5 concern for our community, we damn well should be panicking about the level of ice penetration and we should be reacting harshly against it, not wasting millions on pathetic ineffective social experiments around further restricting access to alcohol, adding fuel to the fire while Rome burns.


Ice Age in Alice
It’s good to see this issue finally raised in a public forum, a massively escalating issue in both the town and surrounding communities for a long time.
Make absolutely no mistake about it, some of that escalation is a direct outcome of various social experiments from governments, measures to curb the use of alcohol, particularly increasing the price, either in dollar terms or in the difficulty of obtaining it.
Worse, while raising the price of alcohol is a direct slap in the face, extra tax on the average hard working citizen of the Territory, it will inevitably lead us into a much harder place as those intent on self destruction switch to a cheaper easier to obtain evil that is ice.
The attitudes towards this escalating issue so amply displayed by Russell’s comment “we can put dollars saved on alcohol abuse towards ice rehab”.
Yep, that’s the attitude of the “Bureaucrats Alcohol Action Coalition” BAAC.
They are back again and along with them, escalating mayhem.
Not only are their social experiments just shifting the issue at the expense of community goodwill, they are leading us at ever increasing pace into the vile dark horror that is an ice endemic.
It is far more violent and far more destructive than anything we’ve seen locally to date.
As a worker in the building industry I have rubbed shoulders with many consumed by this vile substance.
I’ve seen the lights go out in the brightest of eyes.
The issue requires a massive community response providing education to the kids, rehab to the usurers and a massive crackdown on both supply and use.
Forced time away via a prison sentence is often the only useful intervention.
Believe me, having witnessed first hand the horrors of this drug, alcohol abuse should, when taking preventative actions, be considered very much the lesser of two evils!
Action against alcohol that drives abusers to ice should be considered as in keeping with the Territory Governments new theme as Boundless Stupidity!


Be Sociable, Share!