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

There’s more to renewables than sunshine
Until now every drop of water that was ever on the earth has remained on the earth.
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if quasi religious climate fanatics were eventually responsible for using up that water, turning it into hydrogen?
It would be even more ironical that we should consider that in one of the driest places on earth, where water is absolutely in its most valuable state as water.
We should all understand that there is no such thing as free energy. There is always a price and generally speaking it would be a pretty bloody smart idea to understand that price, monetary or otherwise, before we go racing off creating even more mammoth environmental issues for future generations.
For the present there are so many ifs around the Hydrogen idea that – dare I say it – it’s simply a pipe dream!
Also noted the quick duck for cover by Mr Duignan when the question about feed-in prices for home solar generators was raised.
Whose issue would that be then Mr Duignan? Wouldn’t that be the Territory Government and given that Territory Generation is in fact a quasi public service operation owned lock stock and barrel by Territory taxpayers, maybe a more responsible answer would be in keeping with that role.


Community solar: the devil is in the wires
Yes, and then there’s all the community facilities of which we are all joint owners! Places such schools, hospitals, police stations, street lighting, ecetera, the list is endless.
All of these facilities require power 24/7 as does welfare housing, hotels and motels, all connected to the rest of the grid.
Consumers on the remaining grid would, as they do now, have to pay their share of those costs, plus, the share of those in the community system.
This is already occurring of course, on a smaller scale, and the costs to the poor old hapless consumer who can’t afford to instal solar, are already escalating.
The only fair way to rectify this imbalance, which of course nobody wants to hear about, all studiously avoiding the subject, is for owners of solar systems to pay their share of those costs!
Another words, pay not only for their use of the grid, but for the existence of the grid.
Yes, even if they are operating a stand alone system.
This of course effects the whole viability of installing solar, dragging its payback time out by quite a bit.
However, if we are to honestly asses the true worth of solar to the community, then these costs really must be taken into account.
It’s time the rose coloured glasses came off, frank and honest assessments are made.
Governments parading solar as world changing advancement are often actually subsidising its installation while blithely ignoring the true and growing cost to community. Just face up to, and come up with, some fair and equable answers!
Now we seem to be adding lithium iron batteries to the mix, as if they are some kind of nice environmentally friendly answer to our storage problems, when to my eye, precisely the opposite is true.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of the idea of renewable power but it must be truly honestly viable, covering all the costs, and it absolutely must create less pollution than our present systems of generation or we are all fooling ourselves.


Ratepayer, do you want your money back?
Such an astoundingly naive proposal could only ever have originated with one Councillor Melky. As always grandstanding without the slightest thought given to the actual consequences of such a profoundly counter productive decision. Which if carried out to the letter would see a good deal of the windfall funds blown in the name of community consultation. Any attempt to refund it would incur even greater costs reducing any refund to a piddling amount producing no worthwhile outcome for the community, especially when you consider Council has on its books many unfunded, or even worse partially funded, or non completed projects that could have, and indeed should have, been funded partially or otherwise from these funds! Benefiting the Community and its economy as a whole.
More importantly, not wasting a huge amount of Council’s time and productivity messing about with a messy, unproductive, time wasting and resultantly expensive, refund. Further to that should Council do the sensible thing and allocate the funds to other projects, it will also provide Councillors with a very good argument against further rate rises next year.
Something I am quite certain, all Rate payers would be relieved to hear.
New councillors need to be across and take responsibility for their role as Body Corporate style managers of their Community’s assets and not to be so easily be duped into making what may seem on the face of it to be responsible decisions but which are in fact cheap political attention seeking ploys with no regard for what may well turn out to be far reaching consequence…
Take time to think it all the way through…
Before you act!


Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
From the moment the POSIs were implemented they have proved themselves to be the single most effective crime prevention measure the Territory has ever seen.
Now I don’t know about you Paul McCue but I would much rather have my family home and business all kept in one piece as opposed to paying out my hard earned to employ a police person who gets greater job satisfaction from aftermath policing!
A person who apparently has so little empathy for the public’s plight that they would actually ask for our support in that role but not in the preventative role!
Call it self interest if you like Mr McCue, but I like many other Territorians, through the voices of our politicians, are going to keep on insisting on the POSIs wherever they are needed.
If we have a police staffing issue employ more police – just as we have been promised on many occasions over the past dozen years.
Fill all of the roles the community requires, not just the roles that suite you!


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Hal: My reference is to Russell’s dad escaping the Germans and arriving in Australia.
Given that he escaped Germany during WW2, if he then set out for Australia he would have arrived during Australia’s greatest hour of peril, facing an imminent Japanese invasion.
Out of the frying pan almost into the fire, bar for the intervention of the USA.


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