Currently we have an interesting contrast between two resource-rich jurisdictions …

Comment on CLP pushes for oil & gas, including fracking by Alex Nelson.

Currently we have an interesting contrast between two resource-rich jurisdictions with struggling economies under new Labor governments, with both governments dealing with substantial reductions in GST revenue.
Last year voters in the NT swept a clearly dysfunctional CLP government out of office, handing Labor one of its greatest election victories, including electorates such as Braitling and Katherine which that party had never won before.
One of NT Labor’s major policy planks was the fracking moratorium which, a year later, continues to be a promise that the new government has upheld.
In March this year the ALP in Western Australia swept the Liberal-WA Nationals Government out of office, achieving the greatest election victory in that state’s history.
Labor in WA promised not to raise taxes but in its first budget the new McGowan Government has broken that promise only six months into its term, plus announcing substantial funding cuts and seeking thousands of voluntary public service redundancies.
In both cases, with one government upholding its election campaign promise (NT) and the other breaking its promise (WA) we have arguments from political opponents and the business sector that both governments are putting their respective economies at risk.
What is the price for breaking key election promises, especially so early in office? The analysis of the WA situation written by ABC journalist Jessica Strutt provides an interesting perspective.
Conversely in the NT we are confronted by the bizarre situation where not only the CLP opposition but the Federal Government are demanding that the NT Government break its election commitment.
It surely comes as no surprise that public cynicism towards politics in general must run deep.
Finally, it’s interesting to note that CLP President Shane Stone has added his voice in criticism of the NT Government’s fracking moratorium.
Mr Stone would undoubtedly recall the circumstances the re-elected CLP government faced after its election victory in October 1990, when he was first elected as the Member for Port Darwin.
Six months later the NT Government announced major expenditure cutbacks and public service redundancies as it wrestled with a dire economic situation and substantially reduced revenue from the Commonwealth markedly similar to the situation the McGowan Government in WA contends with today.
The CLP did not lose office in the 1990s as a consequence.
Indeed, Shane Stone led the CLP to one of its greatest election victories on August 30, 1997 (exactly 20 years ago), winning 18 seats including the previously safe Labor seat of MacDonnell – markedly similar to the current situation under Labor Chief Minister Michael Gunner.
Yet in the following election the CLP lost office for the first time.
Read from this what you will.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Turn rock-throwing into backflips: how community can help
I smile at the circularity of Rainer Chlanda’s preferred location of a youth hub without walls at the “courthouse lawns” (DD Smith Park), adjacent to the Alice Springs Police Station (the former Greatorex Building) and across the road from the local magistrates courthouse.
I say “circularity” because the first drop-in centre for youth on the streets at night was located in the old police station on that corner where the courthouse now stands. Established in 1976, it was named “Danny’s Place” and lasted all of no more than a year when it was forced to shut down to make way for the said courthouse.
And from that time on, youth drop-in centres, real or proposed, have bounced around from one site to another all through town; including an old house in the north end of Todd Street that was demolished to make way for an office block (now called Eurilpa House), the empty Turner Arcade – the last shop there was Grandad’s icecream shop, a once popular hang out for kids of my generation, also in the north end of Todd Mall (that was my suggestion, nearly 30 years ago) which was later bulldozed to make way for expanding Alice Plaza and new carparking spaces; and even the abandoned waterslide site in the early 1990s, which instead was demolished to make way for infill real estate development (Mercorella Circuit, near the YMCA).
We have decades of recent history of kids in trouble (or causing it) being shunted from pillar to post. As a society, history shows we’re not really fair dinkum about resolving this issue.
Sadly, there is nothing new in any of this – Rainer’s father and his colleagues were reporting on these kinds of issues 40 plus years ago, and it continues unabated to the present day.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ 5 Minute Local (Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm): Definitely living up to your pseudonym. Your suggestion is not a new idea – it’s been raised several times since the early 1970s.
The last occasion was when the construction of the railway north to Darwin was being finalised in the late 1990s-early 2000s when there was significant lobbying of the NT Government to re-route the railway around Alice Springs, including by the Alice Springs Town Council.
I also took up the cudgels on this issue as an individual and was publicly criticized by a local CLP member, notwithstanding the same member several years earlier had himself advocated the removal of the rail yards out of the town centre and to re-route the eventual railway to Darwin via west of the town.
These pleas were rejected by the government as being too late or too expensive (it would have added about three per cent to the overall cost, from memory). There’s no prospect of this happening now.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ John Bell (Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm): John, the only sacred trees on the Melanka site would be (or are) two old river red gums near the southeast corner adjacent to the intersection of Stuart Terrace and Gap Road.
None of the other trees I’m aware of on that site are local native species nor predate the construction of the Melanka Hostel.
This includes the towering lemon-scented gums of which the majority are now dying or dead as a consequence of lack of care and the extended dry conditions.
Consequently the trees don’t pose any significant issues for redevelopment of most of that area, at least as far as sacred sites are concerned.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ Hal Duell (Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:59 am): Hal, I’m still in the process of collating information. Gathering the history pertaining to this location is rather like measuring a piece of string but it all adds up to demonstrating the considerable heritage value of this site, the extent of which I think will surprise many people.
The nomination for heritage listing of the oval and school will definitely proceed.
The fact that this issue has blown up in the NT Government’s face demonstrates the stupidity of over-reliance on advice from vested interests (with no regard for anything except their bank accounts) and overpaid outside “experts” who have no background in local knowledge.
Once again we see the consequences of the corporate amnesia that afflicts this town and Territory, and history shows it makes no difference which party is in power.


Cemeteries could be turned into parks
There is another method of burying the dead which is also held to be environmentally friendly, it is called “promession”.
According to the Wikipedia entry on this subject, it’s a system of disposal of bodies of much more recent origin (two decades ago) than alkaline hydrolysis (19th century).
It involves cryogenic freezing of bodies in liquid nitrogen to -196°C (in effect, crystallising them) after which vibrations are applied that shatter them in minutes into fragments.
This material in turn is freeze dried and all metal or other non-natural components (eg. fillings, artifical joints) are removed.
The final stage involves “the dry powder being placed in a biodegradable casket which is interred in the top layers of soil, where aerobic bacteria decompose the remains into humus in as little as 6 to 12 months.”
Invented in Sweden, it’s a method already expressly adopted in South Korea and has expressions of interest from up to 60 other countries.
I think promession also deserves consideration as an option for burials.


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