So from at least when Ella Simpson and her husband …

Comment on Alice Springs’ ebbing iconic charisma by Hal Duell.

So from at least when Ella Simpson and her husband were growing vegetables during WWII, the issue of grog has been a contributing factor in the disturbances caused by, and then the jailing of, indigenous Australians.
Nothing has changed.
Restriction after restriction has been put in place to try to stop impoverished indigenous Territorians from killing themselves while trashing NT urban centres. And let’s stop any vague and politically correct kidding of ourselves. In the main, that is whom the restrictions are targeting, whom they have always targeted.
So where to from here? During the recent local election, many argued the case for restrictions, and / or for better restrictions.
There were also various arguments, mine included, for some variation of a Thirsty Thursday(s).
The arguments for restrictions and closing the bottle shops have been soundly rejected by the electorate in Alice Springs. By my count, at least six of the nine voting members sitting on Council are not in favour of restrictions, nor of alcohol take-away free days. And they all said that during the campaigning.
We live in a democracy, the vote has been counted, and that would seem to be that, at least for now.
If we still want to limit the damage done by alcohol to those most susceptible to alcohol damage, and if we want to have towns worth living in, we will now have to find another way. And I suggest we get a wriggle on because the carnage in, and trashing of, our urban centres is continuing.
That’s the challenge.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
I appeal to the NT government, especially to Ministers Gunner and Wakefield, to reconsider their approach to building the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
I doubt if many residents, and certainly not a majority, would be opposed to the gallery being built here. But why do you need to destroy what we have (an old high school, a central oval and a debt-free and functioning civic centre) to do that?
It’s not like we’re short of space down here.
It’s a bit unfair to ask council to solve your location problem when to date both of your proposals have presented it with a solution impossible to sell to the residents. And remember, councillors also face the coming elections.
Indigenous suggestions range from the Desert Park to the Desert Knowledge precinct.
It’s not negotiating if you reject in advance any suggestions other than your own.
And a note to council: The NT Government has clearly stated through Minister Wakefield that these discussions can be held in open. Time for you to stop hiding from us. Let’s hear what you have to say.


Locally produced hemp could replace plastic
This is a very good initiative. Congratulations to the Gunner government.
Hemp is a not only a better fibre than cotton, but growing it uses less water and fewer chemicals. What not to like?
Again, congratulations to the Gunner government.


Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site
Perhaps one of the more astonishing features of this continuing saga is the overweening arrogance of Alice’s current group of councillors.
They somehow think they have the right to dispose of our civic centre.
They forget they were elected to look after our assets, not use them as bargaining chips in some shady back-room deal.
Commercial-in-confidence is such a scam. Come on councillors – I challenge any of you to grow a pair.


Despite clear leads, no-one was punished for making this mess
It can be done. Read this.


US military base in Darwin: what risk to NT?
The Opium Wars are over. China won. And all this “containment” and forward posturing is more like dogs barking in the night while the caravan moves on.
Poor Oz! Hanging like a pendulum between London and Washington with (just) the Kiwis for company. That means Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. What can go wrong?


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