ALICE SPRINGS NEWS,
October 12, 2006. This page
contains all major reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
WEARING TO GO!
By KIERAN FINNANE.
There’s an Alice inside waiting to get out: flamboyant, playful,
imaginative, skilled, sophisticated, united.
That Alice is out in force at the annual Wearable Arts Awards but
hard to encounter in the everyday town, in the streets, the workplaces,
public spaces where you might expect more play. We dress ‘down’,
a lot of anxiety and aggression in our public spaces, little
skill, or sophistication, and a lot of division.
At Wearable Arts, an Alice Desert festival event, there’s not only
for the opposite to take place, there’s a resounding endorsement of it:
– both sexes and of every age, shape, skin colour – adorned and adored,
humour, audacity, artistry and invention at a premium.
All this in the context of deep pride in community and love of the
environment that gives it home. There is hunger in Alice Springs for
things to be expressed: in evidence in the audience reaction
unforgettable footage ( shot collaboratively by Alice-based film-makers
Curl, Shane Mulcahy and David Nixon) of the Todd coming into flood that
the backdrop for a tango dance that opened the show. And even more so
the reaction to the short film ‘from the edge to the heart’, screened
This film, made by Nixon and Craig Mathewson, ostensibly about the arts
Alice, articulates a vision obviously shared by many of the place and
in which they live. The audience responded to the film and its
with nothing short of wild enthusiasm.
It helped make this year’s Wearable Arts the show to beat all others
underlined its need to grow. A means should be found for more people to
the awards night (many people missed out on tickets last Saturday) but
importantly the qualities so brilliantly on display in the show need to
more a part of our everyday lives.
Coordinator Nicky Shonkala spoke on Saturday of creating a Wearable
Centre. Maybe, although that sounds like bricks and mortar, training,
organisational structure and a long way off.
To a certain extent local educational institutions have already
to the training need: the student showings were particularly strong
year, with OLSH, Batchelor, Bradshaw Primary, and Centralian College
represented. In the immediate future more events, of varied nature and
a variety of contexts, that get greater exposure locally, nationally,
internationally for this wellspring of inspiration would be the way to
GOVT. SNUBS ALICE FILM MAKERS.
By KIERAN FINNANE.
It’s not new but neither has it changed: Tourism NT undermines the
for local producers by regularly subsidising interstate and overseas
to do what local filmmakers could do better.
So says David Curl, president of the ACS NT, the Territory’s
for cinematographers and film-makers, citing a recent example of a DVD
Central Australia made as a giveaway for Australian Geographic.
The work went directly to an NSW company, thanks to a partnership
Australian Geographic and the NT Tourist Commission (as it was then
as well as Parks Australia.
A similar give-away documentary was also made about Kakadu and again
work, thanks to the same partnership, went interstate.
Shane Mulcahy, who has been making television in the Centre since 1988,
Mr Curl’s call for a buy local approach. He says local film-makers
“hold more than enough material of a high enough standard to put
a much better package on the NT”.
Says Mr Curl: “Ours must surely be the only industry where our own
provides incentives for us to move interstate!
“It seems to be a type of cultural cringe. Tourism NT do not believe we
a quality product but by preventing local product from accessing
– because Tourism NT have undermined those markets by supporting our
– it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Penelope McDonald, director of the NT Film Office, now three years old,
her approaches to Tourism NT have made small headway with respect to a
of specific projects.
However, she also says: “As far as I’m aware they don’t see the
screen industry as having a major role in the tourism industry even
film and television is where people get their awareness of the
“Documentaries about the Territory, like those made by CAAMA and David
are shown widely.
“It’s a ‘no-brainer’ that film and TV are good for tourism and given
tourism is one of the Territory’s main industries, fresh product from
screen industry is important to keep tourism ticking over.”
Mr Curl says there are four key ways to run a business in the film/TV
• Making productions is “the most important for a sustainable industry
it’s undermined because Tourism NT subsidise overseas and interstate
and don’t provide equivalent support for locals”.
• Selling stock footage is “also undermined by Tourism NT who often
away footage and stills photographs to people who would and should pay
them commercially”. He cites as but one example a
document for an Alice Springs legal firm sporting a photo provided
of Tourism NT.
• Retail products “undermined in the same way”.
• Tenders, again “undermined because the government gives out major
to interstate companies and washes its hands of any obligations to
that Territorians are employed wherever possible”.
“The bottom line is that our government must urgently learn to stop
with the private sector if it wants to create a sustainable economy.
it must urgently adopt a ‘whole of government’ approach with the film /
“It should be finding out what locals are doing (and it never
consults with us) and, if necessary, provide incentives for locals to
things the government wants. But it should never, under any
be using taxpayers’ money to harm local businesses.
“Providing support for interstate and overseas film-makers visiting the
inevitably undermines the local industry. The only question is whether
harm is short term or long term.”
Tourism NT CEO Maree Tetlow declined to be interviewed but a
provided a statement:
“Tourism NT participates in the Federal Government Tourism
‘Visiting Journalists Program’ where print and broadcast journalists
films crews are sponsored to come to Australia. It is based on
principle that journalists can produce better, more motivating and
coverage if they experience a destination or product first- hand.
“Tourism NT offers in kind support to both domestic and international
visiting the Northern Territory in order to enhance marketing
campaigns and extend the exposure of Territory destinations and
in key domestic and international markets.
“This support provides the NT tourism industry with cost-effective
tools, creating exposure for local operators and the Territory as a
“The partnership between Tourism NT and Australian Geographic is part
an ongoing marketing campaign which has provided significant placement,
and PR value-added opportunities.
“The selection of photographers and cinematographers is not carried out
Tourism NT under the partnership arrangement. Australian
engage these services under contractual arrangements that do not
“Tourism NT makes every effort to use local service providers when
photography and cinematic services and, in fact has a panel of local
Mr Curl says ACS NT sought details about the partnership arrangement
Australian Geographic and other similar interstate partnerships both
Tourism NT and from Clare Martin personally but neither were willing to
He says the question remains: “Why is Tourism NT prepared to enter into
interstate partnerships when it is not prepared to enter into
with better qualified locals?”
NEW CRIME BUSTERS TO TALK WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE - ABOR. LEADER.
By ERWIN CHLANDA.
A prominent Aboriginal leader says she has faith in the new National
Violence and Child Abuse Intelligence Task Force (NIITF) which set up
Alice Springs office last week.
Lhere Artepe member Betty Pearce says after meeting senior officials:
will be talking first to the actual traditional owners and custodians
that particular land, wherever they go.”
Before even going to a place the NIITF “will be asking who the real
owners and custodians are, which to me is a really fantastic step
says Ms Pearce.
“They will be looking for the people who are talking true for the
and the country.”
Who is speaking now to the police?
“Sometimes it’s not the right people.
“Those could have been born there or living there for a long time, but
may not be the proper TOs and custodians,” says Ms Pearce.
Kevin Kitsen, NIITF’s national director, spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA about
role of the new task force.
NEWS: We now have no less than three bodies inquiring into crime in
communities. One of them, the Territory police child abuse task force,
into credible allegations of rape, domestic violence and child sex
at Mututjulu, Ayers Rock. They spoke to some 300 people, but turned up
that could be useful in a prosecution. Then there is the Board of
by Rex Wild QC and Pat Anderson, required to report by April next year.
now there is the National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse
Task Force (NIITF). Why? How would it be better than the other
MR KITSON: The NIITF is a national task force, the other two operate
in the NT. We will create a national picture of the issues confronting
communities, co-ordinating information from many agencies including
health and education [so governments can better] support Indigenous
to avoid the kinds of circumstances alleged in Mutitjulu.
NEWS: Why has the NT Police, for example, not been able to draw
from those sources?
MR KITSON: That’s a matter for the NT Police [to answer]. They’ve done
significant amount of work to understand the issues. I’m not in a
to comment on their findings.
NEWS: Haven’t they told you what their findings were?
MR KITSON: We can access a lot of information from the NT but I’m not
to comment on any of the specific cases.
NEWS: Does the NIIFT have powers the NT Police does not have?
MR KITSON: The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) [which leads the
generally has a wide range of powers conventional policing agencies
have. The intention in this area is to use coercive powers only when we
there is a compelling case to do so, probably in relation to drugs.
is no coercive power attached to the inquiry currently in relation to
or child abuse, but that’s a matter for the ACC board to determine as
go along. This is a national project that’s going to take two or three
We need to coordinate data from agencies [as well as] opinions and
from all sorts of people.
NEWS: The Wild-Anderson inquiry is focussing more on future prevention
crimes rather than ferreting out past perpetrators. Does the NIIFT have
MR KITSON: It’s a hybrid approach. The primary focus is to make things
for the future, ensuring the responses are better co-ordinated, and
goes to where it needs to go so that action can be taken. We’re
to go back to look at cases even like Mutitjulu unless there is some
study benefit for doing so. If in our analysis we find identifiable and
actionable alleged offending we’ll report that to the appropriate
NEWS: What is your take on tribal law? Is it a second law that needs to
taken into account?
MR KITSON: The ACC is operating under Australian law. We don’t wish to
in the debate about tribal law. That’s a matter for the Commonwealth
NEWS: Would you take into account tribal law when prosecuting offences?
MR KITSON: That’s beyond the limits of the ACC task force.
NEWS: It is often claimed, and we understand, often falsely, that
liberties are permitted under traditional law, such as having more than
wife and underage sex.
MR KITSON: We naturally have to understand how Indigenous communities
There are sets of laws that govern each and everyone of us. Underage
is defined by law. Our issue is about understanding how communities
and what the issues are within those communities, how they differ from
communities. How tribal law applies, its benefits and drawbacks
with other codes of behaviour, are not matters we’ll comment on except
part of our natural desire to understand the issues. When it comes to a
of law then we would treat people with the same judgement that would
to anyone else.
NEWS: If, on the face of it, an underage sex crime is committed, would
ignore that if there is a strong argument that the act is condoned by
MR KITSON: If information is given to us about an offence against the
code then we will be obliged to pass this information to the relevant
for their decision on whether or not to act on that. We will not make a
NEWS: Will the fact that three agencies are now investigating lead to a
of fatigue by the people from whom information is sought?
MR KITSON: I would hope that the communities involved in this would
that there are different sets of people [seeking information]. There is
concerted effort by state, territory and Commonwealth governments. We
different approaches here. We will ensure [for example] if the child
team of the NT Police is following certain lines of inquiry that,
the bounds of operational and investigative protocol, so we don’t
investigations, and within the boundaries of the Privacy Act, that we
seek to share that information. And likewise with the [Wild-Anderson]
of Inquiry. We don’t want to ask the same questions of the same people
have a queue of people from various task forces sitting on the ground
to talk to them. [Yet] each of the inquiries has quite different
NEWS: Which crimes will you be investigating?
MR KITSON: We’re an intelligence task force ... trying to understand
sorts of issues are confronting Indigenous communities with respect
violence, child sex abuse and other offences against the criminal code.
NEWS: The Institute of Criminology will in due course be assessing the
performance but, in your mind, what will constitute success?
MR KITSON: It would be to set up a system where we can go to 20, 30 or
different agencies nationally [for information] about who’s committing
in a particular community. That would be a tremendous step forward.
PEACE ACTIVIST: HAVE HAMMER, WILL TRAVEL.
By KIERAN FINNANE.
Protest in Alice Springs against the Pine Gap spy base and its role in
Iraq war widened on the weekend with a series of events and
and the arrest of five people: Jamie Ford and Carl Johnston both of
Springs, Tracey Makamae (pictured) from Yeppoon in Central Queensland,
Lard from New Zealand, and Edward Cranswick from Adelaide.
They are charged with loitering and obstructing the flow of traffic
the Territory’s Summary Offences Act and Traffic Act and bailed to
in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court on October 17.
Their actions, in a non-violent demonstration outside the main gates to
base, and the presence of long time Catholic Worker activist Ciaron
heartened the Pine Gap Four – Jim Dowling, Adele Goldie, Bryan Law and
Mulhearn – who are facing penalties of up to seven years in gaol if
on charges arising from their entry onto the base last December.
The Supreme Court in Alice will today hear further pre-trial legal
from lawyers representing the Four relating to their charges under the
Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952, never used before in the
of protesters entering the Pine Gap spy base. (See last week’s issue.)
Fellow protester O’Reilly was recently acquitted in an Irish court of
relating to $2.5m worth of damage on a US war plane.
On the weekend Mr O’Reilly wore a protest t-shirt relating to the first
war, telling supporters not to throw out their old t-shirts: “You never
when they’re going to start bombing the same places again.”
He served 13 months in a US prison after being convicted of charges
to the disarming of a B-52 bomber in upstate New York during the height
the bombing campaign in Iraq in 1991.
In Ireland in February 2003, just before the US-led invasion of Iraq,
and four others entered a hangar at the civilian Shannon Airport, which
calls “a pitstop for the US war machine”, and used a hammer to damage
US war plane.
Two trials of the activists collapsed when they proved that the
were tainted with a “perception of bias”.
The third trial in July this year resulted in the jury returning a
not guilty verdict, with the activists successfully arguing that they
a lawful excuse for their actions as they were undertaken in order to
the life of another person”, said Mr O’Reilly.
CAMPS SITES PICKED.
The former Tywetyere Club and a block on Dalgety Rd are likely to
the sites for “strongly managed” short term accommodation
after they were given in principle support by the town camp taskforce
committee meeting on September 29.
The proposal requires development consent from the Minister for
so a detailed proposal, to be prepared by a project manager soon to be
will be placed on public exhibition for public comment.
Mayor Fran Kilagriff says the sites require zoning changes and so
probably also be the subject of “an Exceptional Development
The facilities, under a plan conceived of by the Australian and
Governments, will cater for visitors staying up to three months,
a mix of camping sites and hostel type accommodation with appropriate
and landscaping, be alcohol free and managed professionally on a fee
service basis that is tailored for low income earners.
Other task force recommendations have been progressed since the
• $7.8m has been committed from pooled Northern Territory and
Government funding to support a three-year upgrading program for town
• The renovation of Stuart Lodge by the NT Government is on track for
by December 2006. This facility will provide 32 units for
people and their families.
• Expressions of interest closed on 31 August for an NT Government
short-term visitor accommodation facility to further increase
capacity for Indigenous clients. The Department of Local
Housing and Sport are currently assessing submissions.
IT’S THREE TIMES THE BUZZ.
By Erwin CHLANDA.
Adrienne Willing was the star at Sunday’s triathlon, competing in three
each successively longer than the preceding one.
The dozen competitors had the choice of entering one, two or three
each consisting of swimming, running and bicycle riding.
The first triathlons in Alice Springs were in the mid 1980s, organized
Len Newman, the manager of the town pool, with the first event won by
Batchelor and Theresa O’Byrne.
Tris were then taken over by the Running Club and took the form of a
of mini tris and the annual Alice Tri.
By the early ‘nineties many people wanted more triathlon events and the
Club encouraged those who were keen to start up a Tri Club.
This new club continued the Alice Tri and mini tri tradition and also
many more events for both individual and team competitors.
A highlight became the annual Corporate Challenge which still attracts
numbers of team entries from Government departments and private
The club also has a strong tradition of hosting NT Championships and
The sport has seen some outstanding local competitors.
Loie Sharp and Adrienne Willing have both won selection in the
national age group team and competed in World Age Group Championships.
Other successful female competitors were Carol Ayres (a former US
Amateur champion), Wendy Heywood and Jessica Beames.
The best men have included Matthew Yates (now of the Promised Land
Tavis Johannsen, Duane Heywood, Daniel Pezet and Tony Fitzpatrick
qualified for a professional licence, an exceptional achievement.
In recent years several of the men have banded together to train and
in Ironman triathlon events.
This group included Tavis Johannsen, Dean Nankivell and Rob Manning who
currently pounding the roads training for an Ironman later in the year.
MUCH GREENER THAN A CAR & SUPER CUTE!
By JACQUIE CHLANDA.
“Are you going to wear jeans, a jacket and boots?”
“I don’t own a pair of jeans and it’s the middle of summer. So … no.”
“Then no, you’re not riding a scooter.”
“But Dad already organised it.”
My conversation with mum went something like this when I told her that
had organised a scooter for me to test ride.
In case you’re wondering, she relented on the jeans and jacket but
on boots. I could deal with that.
So on Saturday morning I went to pick up the scooter with my Dad. It
a little red retro number with chrome trimmings.
As you can see, I’m not into technical details.
I’ve been driving a car for over a year now, off my Ps, no accidents,
But my only experience with a scooter was when I drove my brother’s
50 into a fence, on my first try, when I was about eight, so I was
a little bit nervous.
But after a quick introduction by Wayne “Woody” Woodberry in the quiet
outside Race Motorcycles I found it very easy.
I proceeded to drive it around Alice to show it off to my friends.
Once in traffic I found I didn’t feel unsafe. Other motorists seemed to
fully aware of me. In fact the scooter attracted a lot of attention
on and off the road.
Mostly girls talked about its aesthetics (“It’s so cute!”) while the
wanted to know how fast it can go (50 km p/h, flat out), if they could
off the scooter look (yes, but not all boys, they have to have a bit of
and “Can I have a go? Please... Then can you dinky me?” Um, no.
Speed is probably my biggest problem with the scooter. I live in the
area about a 15 minute drive from town by car, going through 80 and 100
south of the Gap.
On the scooter it took me 28 minutes, which is actually a really long
BUT, and this is a big but, in my car I go through about $40 of fuel a
if I go to town every day, whereas on the scooter I could probably get
And I’d be doing my bit for the fight against global warming.
So let me sum it up. The cons are boots (and maybe jeans and a jacket)
the middle of summer, no passengers and it’s slow.
But the last one isn’t really an issue if you live in town.
The pros are that the scooter is damn cute, fuel efficient and so
and greener than a car, and easy to drive.
And carrying around a motorbike helmet makes you feel rather cool.
Yamaha XC50 Vino, quiet four-stroke engine, no motorbike license
consumption about 2.5 litres per 100 km, automatic gears and clutch,
brakes on handle bars (like a pushbike), big carry compartment,
key locks back wheel when parked. $2990 ride away.
COLUMNIST ADAM CONNELLY HAS BEEN AMBUSHED BY SOME NAKED BODIES LATELY
I want to go on record as saying that I really do enjoy writing this
The feedback I have received from you all has been very encouraging and
great to be able to have a place for my random thoughts to be put down
But today is almost too nice a day to be inside writing this column. I
need to get myself a lap top, find a shady spot and enjoy the perfect
that we’ve been having of late.
Thirty degrees in the day, a nice breeze and bearably cool at night.
I’ve noticed that in town the atmosphere has changed.
People are even friendlier, even more laid back and even more in the
to have a good time.
There is a real sense of fun in town at the moment and a part of me
to be there right now having a whale of a time instead of here in front
Having said that, I could be stuck down a mine like the folks from
Henry, or wiping bottoms at the hospital, so all in all I can’t
There is a small downside to all this great weather.
I don’t want to rain on the parade of feel good times, and far be it
me to tell anybody that they might need to tone it down a touch, but
I am about to say might just be a little food for thought for tomorrow
Some of you, and once again only some of you, are getting a little bit
naked. It has been as though as soon as the mercury topped 30 all of a
people I don’t know thought they’d have to go nude.
Now I’m not a prude in any way but please if you have to peel off the
please follow a few simple rules first.
Apparently it’s OK to nude up on the council lawn. It’s also ok to walk
freely butt naked in your own home.
But it is not OK to nude up in a car on the road.
I’m pretty sure if the NT had the demerit system that would be a three
This was something that confronted me this week. I was driving a 4WD in
which gives you a view into the car next to you and I saw something I
want to see again. Even the most ardent of nudists could see the
dangers of driving this way. Seat belt marks, sunburn, hot leather
on sensitive skin, the chance of having to exchange details if God
there might be a bingle.
All of these thoughts were thoughts that didn’t go through this bloke’s
before he drove pants free.
There has also been a propensity for the backpacker folk to swan around
in shorts that Kylie Minogue would be too prudish to wear. Perhaps it’s
epicurist in me but the reason I don’t flounce about in clothes that
off my bits is simply because no one needs to see that.
Perhaps before you leave the rooms you are staying in ask yourself, “Do
really want to see three quarters of my bottom?” Generally I think the
might be in the negative.
Then there’s the most disturbing one of all. Listen if you have had a
beverages to celebrate the lovely weather, I understand that sometimes
inhibitions get the better of you. I live in a complex where all
once received a letter from the body corporate asking us to
from engaging in “special times” in the pool.
“It has been brought to our attention that some people have been using
pool for activities for which the pool was not intended…”
Those types of activities generally feel better than they look, let’s
honest and are best suited to the privacy of your own home.
Actually now I think about it, if you’re all outside, maybe it’s better
I’m stuck in here.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,– Having just read your article on Alice Springs Airport and its
as an international facility, (Alice News, Sept 21) I am astounded
at the short sightedness of governments, and their unwillingness to
Those with long memories may remember the plan of the late Lang Hancock
create an international hub in Alice Springs, radiating domestic
to all states from here.
It was pooh-poohed at the time and no one took it seriously, although
had an excellent track record for making things happen.
When the airport was sold to what was then Infratril many years ago and
third airport controversy was in full swing in Sydney, Infratril called
the submission of ideas as to what to do with the land next to the
I [suggested] the creation of an international hub here to both the
and the consulting engineers in Darwin (Knight Sinclair).
I also proposed a high tech research facility on that land adjoining as
I also raised the matter of an international hub in a letter to “The
at the same time. That letter solicited a number of positive
One suggested that in the EIS for the third Sydney runway it was
the around 13% of the international passengers travelling through
were en route to other capital cities in Australia.
Counting the incoming and outgoing passengers it amounted to 25% of the
through that airport who did not need to be there!
That was the time to start pushing the idea on internationalising
airport here. The powers that be have missed the boat (or is it the
by about eight years.
It’s too late to talk it up now as one other response to the letter to
Australian pointed out that the sheer weight of tourist infrastructure
has gone into the Eastern States works against our interests, Yulara
It would have been a lot easier then to convince the carriers that it
in their economic interests to terminate their flights here and to
Take a few moments any afternoon to count the number of international
that pass over to illustrate the point.
I also put the idea of operating out of here as a hub to Richard
as at that time he was investigating a similar hub in China.
I received a reply to the effect that all things were on the table. I
if the government at the time even remotely considered the possibility
him operating here, but it was an obvious opportunity which was
never even considered. Subsequently, he set up in Brisbane.
There is another golden opportunity awaiting development here in the
of the North South Railway.
The vast geothermal energy resources in South Australia (and the
for the same in the top end) are both looking for a base load on a
which will enable them to generate environmentally sound electricity at
than competitive prices in comparison to coal.
If the present crop of pollies want to do something for all of our long
benefit, plan now to electrify the railway using geothermal power
both ends, then use the railway to distribute the electricity cheaply
the national grid via the rail system.
Then build solar farms and wind farms on our side of the border,
into the railway and make the NT the major supplier of very competitive
to the rest of the country.
That could be done here. It needs thinking outside the square and a
term, bipartisan plan.
It happens in other countries, but then, pollies are notoriously
sighted, aren’t they? They don’t like to think that the other
might get the benefit of their planning and foresight.
The biggest problem would be the entrenched interests of the Eastern
coal lobby, at it was with the airport and the Eastern tourism
but surely they couldn’t make the same mistake twice.
Sir,– Julie Bishop [federal Minister for Education] says she is
that many young people are handicapped in gaining employment by low
Ms Bishop advocates an Australian wide system and standards based on
the most successful education program, in whichever state that may be,
imposing this Australia wide. This is the kind of thinking which
caused the problems. Schools and teachers are continually being
and directed to implement one new “best practice” scheme after another.
The old system is often thrown out regardless of whether it was working
or not. Here is one small example.
For a number of years teachers were directed not to teach phonics
only to draw attention to sounds and spelling of words in stories.
No doubt this would work well for children in some successful city
where children learn the letters at home and mothers help them write
letter by letter from an early age.
Take away step by step teaching of word building and decoding and these
would progress faster. All they need at school to provide for their
development is stimulation and practice.
However millions of other children, especially boys, who rarely even
their fathers writing, don’t learn letters at home and don’t understand
they work together to make words. A little behind quickly becomes
long way behind, as the other children who do understand, get all those
weeks, months and years of literacy practice.
You can’t transplant an education program working well in one place and
it to work the same way in another social setting.
Even in special needs areas it doesn’t work.
An excellent English program for migrants is not suitable or relevant
A set of standards suited to urban Aboriginal progress won’t work for
community children who never use English out-side the school.
The only things you can be sure of with a nation wide system and
is that any mistakes will be made across the whole country, there will
no innovative and possibly better programs evolving, and the different
and aspirations of a variety of school communities won’t be catered
One size doesn’t fit all, no matter how hard some well meaning
and bureaucrats try to squeeze students into it.
Sir,– A substantial increase in the number of administrative staff in
Health since the election of the Martin Labor Government has come at
expense of better health care.
Official figures newly obtained by the CLP show the number of
in Territory Health leapt from 1,017 at the 31 December 2001 to 1,210
the 31 December 2005.
More bureaucrats means less health professionals to tend to the medical
The additional 193 health administrative staff employed since the
of 2002 represents a staggering 20 per cent increase in the number of
bureaucrats and comes at a cost of $15 million per annum.
Further there has been a marked increase at the top end of the health
The senior categories of health administrators showed strong growth
the past five years.
By way of contrast the number of nurses recruited in 2005/2006 fell by
from the year before and is well below recruiting levels of the past
As a consequence of increasing recruitment levels for bureaucrats the
of nursing positions vacant in the Royal Darwin Hospital stands at 35,
the Alice Springs Hospital is carrying 13 vacancies.
The Martin Labor Government has its healthcare funding priorities
Our hospital system is the frontline of the health system and every
cent should be directed to health outcomes.
Increasing the health bureaucracy at a time of falling nurse numbers
a mockery of basic government priorities.
The effect has been longer waiting times, a blowout in elective surgery
times and more complaints.
Back to frontpage the Alice Springs News.