I wrote to a council hopeful just recently, expressing my …

Comment on Save our trees: reduce Buffel, call 000, collaborate by Ray.

I wrote to a council hopeful just recently, expressing my ideas about the river. I lived in Bundaberg, and Brisbane for many years, both cities/towns that have a river running through them. Both of these towns treated the river as just a part of life, just being there, for many years. It is only in the last 20 – 30 years that these towns really embraced the river. They looked after the banks, they cleaned them up and stopped using them as a dumping ground and beautified them. Now, as a result, they are a focal point for the community, festivals, and lifestyles. Some detractors might say, there is a big difference, the Todd River is dry. I have lived here long enough to understand the Territory attitude, and by my interpretation of that, the response would be why should a lack of water stop us.
I remember attending the Alice in 10 meetings and remember the aerial photos identifying the sacred trees, as defined by the TOs. The idea was that whatever work was done, those trees would be protected.
We have a world renowned feature here in the centre of our town. The area used for the Henly-on-Todd looks beautiful because it is used for something and it receives attention. The rest of it looks like an unkempt, untidy backyard of an abandoned house.
Cleaning it up and using the “dredged” sand to build up levee banks could mitigate the flood risk, removing the choking buffel and new, non-sacred trees further down would free up the flow, allowing peak water heights to be reduced, allowing the land adjacent to the river to be used for a multitude of activities. Preventing the restrictions down stream could protect any infrastructure that was put in place.
With well thought out manicuring of these banks, it could be a beautiful public space we all could enjoy. I remember in my recent WA holiday, seeing a couple of towns that had massive skate parks, beautifully manicured and maintained, that were on display for all, and integrated into the towns’ open spaces. Families were there enjoying BBQs whilst the kids enjoyed skate boarding. It was not in some out of the way, fenced off dimly lit area, where most kids were afraid to go. I expect responses to this to explain all the reasons it won’t work, I would rather hear how it could.

Ray Also Commented

Save our trees: reduce Buffel, call 000, collaborate
I disagree with the statement these trees are being lost to wildfires.
These fires are normally deliberately lit, which makes them a result of a lack of respect, vandalism or arson.
There are fines under the Fire Act / Criminal Code or some such legislation that covers the lighting of bushes or trees.
Have these provisions ever been used? A lot of the time these are comfort fires lit by illegal campers. Move them out, save some trees.


Recent Comments by Ray

Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Trevor: You have nailed it, absolutely nailed it. Unfortunately is is far more common than people think or could even imagine.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
To those who voted against it, thank you. I for one believe that the Australian flag up there and Territory one next to it symbolises all Australians from the Territory that served.
Yes, Aboriginal servicemen had a hard time returning home from service, but so did our Vietnam diggers, of all races.
I suppose that change will come one day, but for the councillors that voted against it represented my point of view, so thank you, your efforts are appreciated.


Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?
It sounds like Sue Gordon is getting it and is not afraid to say it how it is.
So many people on this and other forums are saying that the lock me up attitude of the last 20 years is proof that a punitive approach is not working, and we need to change to a more caring model.
Well, here is your evidence of how this new system will work for us. Once the town has died completely and it turns into a service centre only, then people on the east or west coast will say, sadly, “told you so”.
While we keep getting told an entire generation was stolen because of the colour of their skin, and feeling sorry for anybody simply because they said they were stolen too, there will be no solution, but great profits for Harvey Norman and the local bottle shops.
People hopefully will begin to see the point of magistrate Gordon, that a child living in care is better than a child dead with “family”.


Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Alex: Not sure what evidence you are referring to about alternatives in other countries working. I have tried to find comparatives to our situation, and could not, and our society is vastly different to these countries.
My other point is when you say that what we have done over the last 20 years has not worked.
How can that be proven? In another 20 years, we may look back at this new approach and compare it to what we have been doing, and find it has been more successful, but then again it may fail miserably.
Unless we get to a point where we have two choices to compare, it is hard to outright dismiss what has been done over the last 20 years or so.


What REALLY goes on in our streets: Youth worker
@ Evelyn: You mention evidence of the government being racist when the army was sent into communities and basics cards being introduced among other things.
The army is regularly used in times of emergencies to assist communities that need it, being disaster relief from cyclones, flooding etc. mainly because they are the best equipped to do so.
The Intervention was exactly that, the government needed to intervene because a state of emergency had been declared in these communities with sexually transmitted diseases in kids under 10 years old at epidemic proportions (that is not normal for any society).
There were cases of preventable eye and ear disease and houses in chronic states of disrepair.
The Federal government needed to act and their biggest asset that is Federally controlled is the army. Despite some of the images promoted by the protesters, they didn’t roll in in tanks with M16s slung over their shoulder.
They came in Land Cruisers with the specialist equipment that was needed and were probably the only workforce with the capacity to do the job.
They comprised medics, engineers and logistics specialists. We need to ignore the rhetoric of the critics who paint a picture of a racist government sending in soldiers to round up all the blacks.
Instead we need to read the Little Children are Sacred report again, and remind ourselves of the reasons we not just wanted to, but had to do something for those kids, five year old kids playing out sexualised behaviour on each other, and then seeing pornography freely available in these houses. Coincidence?
Chronic overcrowding, peadophiles being reported and arrested for the first time because the women and community members had faith that they would be listened to and having the oportunity to give evidence without fear of retribution.
I was friends with police who worked on these cases and they said that what the public heard was the tip of the iceberg.
Billions were poured into the SIHIP program for housing as a result of what was identified. Was it done as well as it could be? No. But we all know that now. Was it needed? Well yes it was, for the government not to intervene would have been criminal.
Naturally the Act needed to be changed to allow this response to occur, it would not have been legal otherwise, the ability to do this can be traced back to the 1967 referendum.
As far as applying to any other race? My home town of Bundaberg is about to be, if not already, the next town for the basics card to be rolled out, and it is already being trialled in other areas applying to all races. It is not solely for aboriginal people.
Once again, spend the time, download and really read the LCAS report, your opinion then may change.
Many people cry foul about the Intervention, unfortunately the voices of the ones who are grateful something was done, are drowned out by the ones with the funds and contacts and reasons to make it about themselves, not the ones who need the help.


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