In case anyone feels I’m unfairly critical of the Federal …

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

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.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action
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.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Centre of attention: Glory days of Anzac Oval in the 1950s
@ Peter Bassett (Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:33 pm): Appreciate your comment, especially about the old high school, Peter.
Contrary to what has been reported in the some media, the old school building is a very well constructed building with enormous inherent heritage value.
There has been – and is – a deliberately false and misleading campaign initiated by the NT Government, amplified by vested interests through a complicit and compliant print media, to denigrate the worth and value of that old education complex.


From mud, dust to grass: The beginning of Anzac Oval
@ Dr Ongo (Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:08 pm): You raise an interesting point; however, your observation applies equally well to other listed heritage sites, eg. such places as the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Alice Springs Heritage Precinct (including Stuart Park, old hospital, old Alice Springs Gaol, and several houses in Hartley and Bath streets), and the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct.
There are histories, stories or law applicable to all of these places since time immemorial but other than to acknowledge previous Aboriginal occupation or use of such sites, I’m not qualified or knowledgeable enough to comment about them.
In regard to “untyeye that once grew there” at the Anzac Oval site (referring to corkwood trees – Hakea divaricata), only one still survives just inside the boundary near the Senior Citizens Club. It’s the same tree on the right of the photo, framing the new school, taken by Prue Crouch’s father in the early 1950s.
The heritage statement for the nomination of Anzac Oval does state: “The Anzac Oval Precinct contains several sacred sites.”
Thanks for your comment.

 

Corkwood


Home owner bonus: New build sector bleak, says CLP
The situation generally in the Northern Territory is giving every indication that it’s rapidly spiralling out of control.
I suspect the NT Government’s reactions are too little, too late; and this latest scheme will likely end up being home owner bogus rather than bonus.


West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
Such a shame, Steve, that we’re unable to harness your sprays to put the wildfires out.


Government fails to protect major tourism asset
My recollection is that the major wildfire years in the earliest period of this century were 2002-03, and again in 2011. Both of those periods closely followed years of exceptionally high rainfall (2000-01 and 2010 respectively).
This isn’t unusual in itself – there were significant wildfire years in 1968 (following the breaking of the drought in 1966) and in 1975 (following 1973-4, the wettest period on record in Alice Springs).
What’s different now is that this major wildfire event has occurred after a very dry year, with a record set at Alice Springs in 2018 for the longest period without rain being recorded, although (as I recall) this wasn’t the case further west of town.
In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel west and east of Alice Springs a number of times and also to fly frequently to Darwin and back with clear views of the area around town.
The clear impression I’ve gained on every trip is the extent and dominance of the spread of buffel grass in the ranges.
It’s like a blanket hugging the ground as far as the eye can see. It’s spread is overwhelming, and the ecology of this region is forever changed.
There are often comments about the need for protecting Alice Springs from major floods but that’s the least of our worries.
It is major wildfire that poses the most serious risk to our town, and the recent disaster in the West Macs demonstrates this risk can occur at any time.


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