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

National Indigenous Gallery advisors: ‘Release full report’
@ Hal Duell (Posted March 23, 2018 at 2:41 pm): Neither Anzac Oval or the old school are heritage listed. I have pointed out previously that the NT Government has failed to take into account the history and heritage values of these assets, and I can assure that those values are considerable.
It is the Achilles Heel of the Government’s preferred site for the National Indigenous Art Gallery.

‘Bring back school based constables’
Oh, I don’t know about that, Evelynne – I recall there were a lot of ratbags during my time at school, and quite a number of them were the students 😉

‘Bring back school based constables’
@ Phil Walcott (Posted March 17, 2018 at 2:55 pm): Interesting comment, Phil, because when I was a student at the Alice Springs High School in the late 1970s there was a school counsellor employed there. Her name was Glynnis McMahon, if my memory serves me right, a highly regarded person who worked at the high school for many years.
She passed away in 1989 as I recall, and maybe wasn’t replaced at a time of increasing budgetary constraint. That’s speculative on my part but given you arrived here in 1993 not long after massive cutbacks to public expenditure including significant attrition of staff positions, that’s probably the reason there were apparently no school counsellors employed here by that time.

Federal study casts light on future source of town water
Our family visited the Rocky Hill lucerne operation in the early 1970s when an open day for the public was held there. It continued to operate throughout the 1970s but was long abandoned by the mid 1980s.
I still have in my possession the Primary Industry flow charts for the development of the horticulture industry in Central Australia from the mid 1980s onwards, courtesy of permission from then Horticulture Senior Technical Officer, Frank McEllister.
One aspect stood out for me, there was no mention of potential horticulture development at Rocky Hill.
I inquired of this with Frank, and he told me that area was excluded from consideration because it was reserved as the future water supply for Alice Springs.
This was at a time when it was still expected the town’s population would reach 50,000 by the turn of the century and the NT Government had officially announced the development of a satellite town on Undoolya Station would proceed.
All of this is now forgotten but history always comes back to bite us in the end.

Cops hush up dangerous joyride
I witnessed a similar incident that evening too, which I think was the same vehicle.
I was walking on the footpath next to the ANZ Bank along Parsons Street when this utility came screeching around the corner from Todd Street and raced towards the Leichhardt Terrace intersection.
The utility turned left and charged up towards Wills Terrace where I lost sight of it.
When I got to the corner of Leichhardt Terrace, I observed the utility speeding over the Wills Terrace Causeway where it spun around the Sturt Terrace roundabout, tyres screeching, and then charged back along the causeway onto Wills Terrace past the Todd Tavern, when I again lost sight of it.
Despite being a block away from most of the action I witnessed, I had no difficulty hearing the young hooligans yelling and shouting. They were clearly defiant and rebellious, and deliberately challenging authorities.
Presumably they felt they had nothing to lose by indulging in this behaviour and were heedless of the possible consequences of their actions.

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