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

Keeping youth in sight
Hi Rainer, I was going to jump straight in and have a go about the comment of youth yearning to be “heard, seen and acknowledged by adults”. I heard this on the radio and was pretty amused, so I jumped on the site and actually read your article first before flying off the handle. Also my respect for your dad and your youth means I will try and keep things toned down.
Most adults over the age of 40 were probably raised at the tail end of the era where the mantra of kids being seen and not heard was true. Basically that meant that people with life experience made the decisions, and until you lived a little you need to listen and learn before having the right to have an opinion. This was true in all civilisations and cultures, where kids sat at tribal meetings, and listened to the elders, and did not have any input.
We have come a long way since then and kids really do have a chance to be heard, but like most things in an ordered society, there are ways and means of doing these things. They will not have the respect of adults until they earn it it. They cannot change the natural order of things just because they want it changed.
They want respect? Get them to school, get them working part time jobs at Maccas or IGA or KFC. The biggest problem is not that the employer will not give them a chance, but family and peers who accuse them of being coconuts and trying to be like a white fella, that’s what we need to change.
They will get respect from adults when you can drive down Gap Road without them pretending to jump out in front of a car and trying to intimidate people. They will get respect when they go to school instead of calling into your office with energy to burn. They cannot and will not get any respect by essentially saying we do what we do because we just want you to respect us, that’s like a rapist saying he just wanted to be loved.
All the while our nightlife is dying because Alice residents live in fear of going out at night in case their car is rocked, or their house broken into by these kids when they are out. The same kids you speak to are the same ones that cause these issues, and the resentment towards them is justified because while they expect us to listen to them, they never listen to us. They steal our kids’ bikes that we work hard for, they egg our houses because we work hard for the nice things we have, they terrify the tourists who are the lifeblood of this town.
Your idea of a skate park near the CBD is great, and would be ideal along the banks of the Todd river, which is an under-utilised asset we have. The area between the Todd Tavern and the bridge would be ideal, and if it flooded, a skate park would just need to be hosed out after the water levels dropped. It could be floodlit and landscaped and yes, it would be a beautiful area for workers in the town to rest whilst enjoying their lunch break.
But these kids think it is fun to intimidate people. Unless that changes, it is hard to see the full potential and funding to achieve that vision ever being realised.
When these kids come streaming into your office, do you offer to assist them into getting into and staying in school? Could there be funding for homework centres for these kids to go to? Could your office be relocated to the entrance to the new skatepark where kids could be fed at night and a cafe set up where these bored kids could be taught how to run a canteen and have pride in their own place?
This could all be done in return for respecting the community, after all the money that is spent on any new skatepark will come from the adults who pay council rates. Respect is a two way street. Unfortunately this is unlikely as the sorts of kids we are dealing with do not like a presciptve form of entertainment. Anything that is too organised they rebel against, hence the game of getting chased by coppers is more valued by them than any sort of skatepark. Keep up the good writing.


Government backflips on alcohol floor price: Lambley
Just looked at the number of 24hr bottle shops in Melbourne from as far north as Preston and south to St Kilda. There are 11.
Not counting 24 hour operators, there are over 170 in a similar area.
In Alice Springs, there are 10, although AA is actually listed as a takeaway bottle shop, so lets say 9. There is also home delivery of alcohol in Melbourne, so every house virtually has a bottle shop if they have a telephone.
Yet despite these figures, we are the ones with a sheer number of takeaway alcohol? I don’t think it is the number of outlets we have, nor is it the opening hours.
Maybe it is something else?


National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Anzac Oval off the table
As I have said for a while now, why not the desert Knowlege Precinct.
It’s an Aboriginal centric facility south of The Gap, plenty of land and parking.
Across the road from Yirara College. The Longreach Hall of Fame is about the same distance out of town. It works well.


Private chats with govt heavy: mixed results
Jimmy, you were elected to represent ratepayers, not the Aranda voices.
Simply represent the people who elected you, and most of those voices as quite clear on they want.
Voices of the Aranda should have no bearing on you performing your role, which is represent the ratepayers of Alice springs, not be a hand winging apologist.


‘Bully method’ to swing Town Council vote on gallery
Good, scrap the bloody thing then.
I would rather loose a project like this than lose ANZAC Oval and be walked over by any government. Hopefully the councillors will all decline the invitation to meet with him unless it is a collective. He has no authority at all over the people we voted in.
Let him have his say in council, in public, at a regular meeting.


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