While we navel-gaze at our own dire financial situation in …

Comment on The financial crisis in the Northern Territory by Alex Nelson.

While we navel-gaze at our own dire financial situation in the NT, a report just posted on the ABC News site states: “Since its recent peak in late-August, the local market has plummeted by about 12% — as investors grow increasingly concerned about an unresolved trade war, slowing global economic growth and the United States raising interest rates too quickly.
“Sentiment is as bad as I’ve seen it for a long, long time … the negativity is absolutely rife,” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone, said.
“Ultimately, the market is concerned if we do see a resolution between those two nations [the US and China] … the damage has actually been done to the global economy and we’re hurtling towards a recession.
“Equities is a confidence game, and if it goes down in China, Japan, Europe and the US, we are going down as well — there’s no doubt about that situation.”
That “we are going down as well” is us – Australia as a whole.
If recession is now on the cards, I think we can forget about assistance for the NT. The money is just not going to be there.
In my article “The forgotten lesson” I stated near the conclusion “currently both national and world circumstances appear decidedly tentative at best. We’re likely to find ourselves overtaken by events well outside of our control.”
At present it appears those events are now starting to overtake us.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Ways of being: beyond the beauty of Papunya paintings
In a profile on Rex Battarbee published in early May 1970 – preceding the beginning of the Papunya art movement by just a year or so – he was asked “about the future of Aboriginal paintings in the Centre.
“He looked thoughtful under bushy eyebrows and said: I think there is room for another school of painting – but it must be completely different.
“It needs a good teacher to get it going, someone who is prepared to stay, not only in Alice Springs, but perhaps on a mission.
“A new outlook on art would be a good thing. It would not want to be too modern; the public want to buy something they can see in this country”. (“A little does a lot … Don’t teach too much says the artist who made Namatjira,” by Bob Watts, Centralian Advocate, 7/5/70).


Private forecaster tips massive rains for Alice
As I type this comment, the path of Tropical Cyclone Trevor is now forecast to head directly for the massive McArthur River zinc, lead and silver mine near Borroloola.
I guess we will soon see if this precipitates a major environmental disaster in that vicinity.


Councillor passes buck to staff
The suggestion for wards is nothing new. It was suggested in 1987-88 when the rural area was incorporated within the Alice Springs Municipality but was firmly rejected by the NT Government and the town council.
The idea was raised and debated again during the mid 1990s but again was firmly knocked on the head.
Ironically, the town was divided into wards during the period of the Alice Springs Progress Association, which existed from 1947 to 1960.
The ASPA was a lobby group organised by civil-minded residents of the town to raise issues of concern with the NT Administration.
It was the precursor of local government in the Alice, and was replaced by the Alice Springs Town Management Board that in turn preceded the Alice Springs Town Council.
The town’s population was much smaller, growing from about 2000 in the late 1940s to over 3000 by 1960; despite this small population, the town was divided into three wards plus the Farm Area along what is now Ragonesi Road.


Heat rises on cooling plan
The rate of tree decline and deaths is rising significantly, including along streets, and in parks and home gardens. It has become very noticeable in recent weeks; kurrajongs in particular have become susceptible but so also are a number of eucalypt and other non-local native species.
The prolonged dry conditions of the last two years and severe high temperatures of this summer have now reached a point where many trees and shrubs are unable to survive without care and intervention. This situation is likely to accelerate during the course of this year.


The Florence Nightingale from the bush
Rona Glynn’s achievements occurred in a time most often condemned as the “bad old days” of Commonwealth control in the NT.
She remains an outstanding example of what other people like her achieved in those times, and I’m hard-pressed to believe there has been much improvement for Indigenous people in our supposedly more enlightened and educated era of self-determination from the 1970s onwards – in particular, the collapse of education standards and achievements since I was a boy.
I’m one of those 2000 babies born at the Alice Springs Hospital when Rona Glynn was the Charge Sister of the Maternity Ward, during an emergency situation that threatened the survival of my mother and myself.
Dr John Hawkins, another remarkable personality who was then a fairly new surgeon at the hospital, saved both our lives.
I’m mindful that not so long afterwards, Rona Glynn’s life could not be saved in similar circumstances.
Her untimely passing was a great loss to Alice Springs but, perhaps more significantly, as a shining example of achievement for Aboriginal people contending with an ever-changing world.


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