Consider this: the alleged offender in this case is 16 …

Comment on Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action by Alex Nelson.

Consider this: the alleged offender in this case is 16 years old and the alleged victim is a four year old.
In 2007 the teenager in this case was a five year old. That was the year The Intervention was launched by the Federal Government (then Coalition under PM John Howard) in response to the crisis afflicting children on remote communities, initiated to a large extent by reports on the ABC’s Lateline program that triggered the investigation leading to the “Little Children are Sacred” report.
A major part of The Intervention’s effort was an attempt to deal with the proliferation of pornography in remote communities – which again has been highlighted in recent media coverage.
The NT Government at the time was Labor, led by Chief Minister Clare Martin, the Member for Fannie Bay.
Once again the NT Government is Labor, led by CM Michael Gunner who succeeded Ms Martin as Member for Fannie Bay.
The current Federal Government is again the Coalition; and we still have the same CLP Senator for the NT, Nigel Scullion.
The Intervention involved many millions of taxpayers’s dollars being spent, and lots of disruption, controversy and debate.
What has been achieved? What have we learned?
Maybe there is need again for an Intervention but this time in our system of government, bureaucracy and the mainstream media.
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has got nothing on us – his novel is a work of fiction, ours is the reality.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action
In case anyone feels I’m unfairly critical of the Federal Coalition and NT Labor, here are some quotes from a feature report “The scourge of child abuse” from an earlier time.
“Child abuse is running rife in our community.
“In Alice Springs and the Barkly region 53 cases were reported to welfare authorities last year, compared to 108 in the Darwin region.
“But authorities believe these figures represent only the tip of an iceberg.
“Statistics are not available to show whether Alice Springs has a higher incidence of child abuse than other towns of similar size, but authorities agree the potential for abuse in Central Australia is ‘probably greater’.”
Further: “Reporting of child abuse has increased dramatically since the Community Welfare Act – the Act covering the area of child abuse – was introduced in the Territory in 1982.”
Under the heading of “The four types of abuse” (physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, emotional abuse), it was stated: “Reports of sexual abuse have risen sharply in the past few years with the number of proven cases in 1987 amounting to five times more than that of three years ago.
“Police statistics show that one in four girls and one in 10 boys under 18 have been sexually abused.”
Under the title “Action urged on child abuse” comes the following: “Child abuse must be dealt with in the same open and honest manner as AIDS, [the] Health and Community Services Minister said last week.
“[The Minister] said nearly 400 allegations of child abuse were reported to the Health and Community Services Department in the last financial year.
“Investigations showed that in 253 cases the reports were found to be true.”
So now let’s put all this into perspective. This feature report was published on March 9, 1988 – exactly 30 years ago this month.
The Federal Government at the time was the Hawke Labor Government, and the Member for the Northern Territory was Warren Snowdon, only eight months into his Parliamentary career.
The NT Government was CLP led by Chief Minister Steve Hatton.
The Minister for Health and Community Services? None other than Don Dale.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Four dogs suspected poisoned with 1080
@ Ruth Weston (Posted September 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm): Sodium fluoroacetate is the commercially produced 1080 poison, and is closely related to potassium fluoroacetate, the poisonous chemical found in a wide variety of plant species.
Both chemicals have the same effect, disrupting the Krebs Cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle) which disrupts the ability of cells to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.
It was biochemist Ray Murray, based in Alice Springs with the Animal Industry Branch from 1954 to 1966, who first identified the naturally occurring 1080-based compound that occurs sporadically in poison Gidgee (Acacia georginae) which plagued the beef cattle industry in the east of Central Australia and across the Queensland border.


Stagnant CBD; industrial land, rental shortage; houses hold
The photo caption “The ANZ Bank has relocated from this prime Todd Street North site, opposite the Visitor Centre, to Gregory Terrace” serves – perhaps inadvertently – to emphasise the “moving of deckchairs” in the CBD, as the Visitor Centre itself was relocated to its present site a few years ago from its former Gregory Terrace location adjacent to the Civic Centre … and that particular building, the former Queen Elizabeth II Infant Welfare Clinic, that was heavily modified and opened to great fanfare in 1997 as the new Visitor Centre, remains steadfastly vacant.
Aside from the shift of the ANZ Bank (which, incidentally, opened its doors on its former Parsons Street site in August 1962, exactly 56 years ago) and the recent Wicked Kneads shop on the opposite corner now up for sale, there has also been the closure recently of two nearby hairdresser businesses, too – one of which was for sale for a long time but obviously attracted no serious interest.
Just yesterday, walking along Gregory Terrace, I was shocked to see “For lease” notices plastering the windows of La Casalinga restaurant, a long-standing business in this town and even something of an institution.
This town has weathered significant economic downturns on previous occasions – the mid 1970s, the late 1980s and early 1990s – but I’ve never seen the relocation of so many businesses (the “shifting of deckchairs”) on such a scale as has been occurring in recent years. It’s quite a phenomenon.
This situation is concurrent with the only significant new developments – the Green Well Building in Bath Street and the multi-storey Supreme Court building in Parsons Street – being occupied by government departments and instrumentalities, to the detriment of existing commercial lease stock in town. These developments, along with the re-opening of Todd Street North to traffic again, have done nothing to arrest the decline of the CBD, notwithstanding all the hype and propaganda of government and the private sector arguing in support of them.
Recent history quite clearly shows that the proposed National Indigenous Art Gallery will prove NOT to be the economic nirvana for this town. Exactly the same rationale was given for the developments of the casino almost four decades ago, the major hotel developments in the 1980s and the Alice Springs Desert Park in the 1990s – clearly none of these institutions, either on their own or altogether, have assisted in averting the current decline of our town, and there is no reason or evidence to show that the gallery will prove to be any different.
On the contrary, it will be yet another expensive long-term burden for the taxpayer to bear.


Town Council riven by conflict, lack of leadership
@ Alex Hope (Posted August 15, 2018 at 11:43 am): You may not be aware just how true is your remark “party politics have always been a part of the town council.”
Here is the slogan for one candidate in the first town council by-election (for two vacancies) for March 24, 1973: “THIS IS YOUR … ALP CANDIDATE IN SATURDAY’S COUNCIL ELECTION. VOTE 1 HADDON, D.J.”
As it turned out, Dennis Haddon came third in the poll on that occasion; however, when Alderman Paul Everingham resigned from the town council in early July 1973, instead of going to another by-election it was decided to appoint Dennis Haddon to replace him.
Anybody who knows the history of Territory politics will appreciate the irony – but wait, there’s more: When Paul Everingham stood as a candidate for the first town council election campaign in June 1971, his election advertisements were authorised by “Peter Edward John Gunner, Stuart Highway, Alice Springs”. Yes, it was current CM Michael Gunner’s grandfather.


Town Council riven by conflict, lack of leadership
Councillor Matt Paterson was nominated by Jamie de Brenni for the position of Deputy Mayor, which was seconded by Jimmy Cocking. Matt Patterson has stated this on ABC radio.


Indigenous gallery: Show me the money!
Hmm, whatever happened to the notion of RESPONSIBLE self-government?
Seems like we’re running off the rails. Federal intervention again, perhaps?


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