Let’s not rush off for “action on this report” and …

Comment on Flood report a trickle, not a banker by Michael LaFlamme.

Let’s not rush off for “action on this report” and re-engineer a river system that no one fully understands.
Before the Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee Draft Report was published, neither mayoral candidate Jimmy nor Damien hosted a meeting with the groups they represent (ALEC members or Alice Springs residents) to obtain our informed consent about a decision that will affect everyone.
Thus any further planning needs a more democratic and inclusive decision-making process.
I wrote on 7 January 2017 an Alice Springs News essay warning of the consequences for regulating the Todd River.
Several long-time residents commented with practical strategies that were not considered in the Final Report.
For example, Charlie Carter suggested municipal self-insurance as a replacement for TIO; David Devries suggested more rainfall be captured where it falls; and Fiona Walsh reminded us of a 1994 geomorphological study by Russell Grant that can inform the risk of constructing multiple headwater dams (aka “detention basins in the upper catchments” in Recommendation 2.1.)
The comments on this week’s article show that other residents also have much to contribute.
I suggest that any decision to change a river system that is older than humanity needs our full consideration of any long-term impacts – including the option that we people are the ones who need to change.
The most effective recommendation can be our willingness to adapt to our environment.

Recent Comments by Michael LaFlamme

Desert Knowledge precinct preferred for youth detention facility
A very traditional idea! This decolonised model of detention supports the original Desert Peoples’ Centre goals to educate all and to heal relationships. I hope everyone can work together to create the community these young people need.

Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?
The Stolen Generations policy helped stop eldest Aboriginal sons from inheriting the property of their early non-Aboriginal settler fathers.
In his biography, Yami Lester talks about seeing his father once at a distance, when he left food for Yami and his mother as they walked through the pastoral station.
Aboriginal families in Alice still know which non-Aboriginal families they are related to by blood, but not by marriage.
Try to imagine Central Australian society today if all those fathers had recognised their offspring!
The reality of Alice Springs is that many of us are part of such extended families: By blood or marriage or culture.
Perhaps it’s time to use We rather than finger-point at Us or Them.
Government carers are highly skilled but transient, and can’t provide the long-term relationships needed for proper child development.
At our best, Alice Springs is one mixed-race extended family.
We should still be family when some of us are at our worst. That is the only way to help our future generations grow into proper citizens. After all, the Closing the Gap report said social exclusion is the root of the problem.
Families with errant children are often overwhelmed, cannot do more, and have no rellies who are able to help.
Thus, it will “take a village to raise a child.”
Perhaps our elders from all groups can co-host community conversations toward investing in that infrastructure?

You can vote No with love: Alice priest
Laws are created to regulate what people are already doing.
Thousands of same-sex couples already exist.
Marriage simply gives those couples the security of having a single document that confirms the legal status of their existing relationship, in any state or country.
Thus, marriage is about people being equal before the law.
Equality is a fundamental concept in our legal system, and a basic tenet of international human rights.
We should not have a plebiscite to confirm a human right! It only serves to expose the bigotry of some people and religions.
In our world today, we need to learn more ways to work together!

You can vote No with love: Alice priest
People value their personal freedom and don’t like someone telling them how to vote, but voting No reduces others’ personal freedom.
Our society needs more ways to bring people together, and marriage is a wonderful institution for that purpose.

You can vote No with love: Alice priest
I am sad that you believe celibate priests like you are not “ideal building blocks of society” just because you do not choose a wife and children.
That is not true in this town! An ideal building block of Alice Springs society is acceptance of sexual differences – including yours.
We would never discriminate against you just because you do not procreate!
Alice Springs supports your choice to make a lifelong commitment to love through celibacy. In turn, you should support other people’s desires make their own lifelong commitment to love through marriage.
We need as many ways as possible for people to make lifelong commitments to love, because it brings people together and builds a stronger Alice Springs.
It is the will of our loving God for us all to vote YES.

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