In response to both Russell Guy and Rex Neindorf, there …

Comment on A car wreck’s tale of bureaucratic incompetence by Alex Nelson.

In response to both Russell Guy and Rex Neindorf, there is no doubt in my mind that the long entrenched and growing social problems we endure in our society can be directly attributed to our country’s multi-tiered system of governance and administration. Our nation’s federal political structure is not just outmoded, it is archaic and hugely inefficient. We have had politicians, especially at federal level, pushing reform of industry and the economy on us for a long time now, and they are continually arguing for greater productivity from the private sector, but the same does not apply to bureaucracy at all three tiers of government.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the Northern Territory, which I believe must be the most over-governed jurisdiction on the planet. It’s well worth comparing the NT’s statistics and performance with that of the Australian Capital Territory; we have long indulged in the sport of “Canberra-bashing” but we’re not so keen to pluck the log out of our own eye before telling others to take the sticks out of theirs. The ACT actually provides some very (potentially) useful material for a much better standard of governance than what we must endure in the NT. Charles Dickens wrote “A Tale of Two Cities” a long time ago; Australia could easily provide material for a new classic called “A Tale of Two Territories”.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

A car wreck’s tale of bureaucratic incompetence
Hello Dave, your mention of the brand new, and deeply troubled, Aquatic Leisure Centre raises an interesting point. The value of history comes from the lessons that we can learn from past mistakes (and successes) which can be applied to decisions being made for the present. Do you remember the ill-fated Red Centre Rapids waterslide site of the late 1980s? That was a highly controversial development from beginning to end, when the area it occupied was eventually redeveloped as Mercorella Circuit (ironically right next door to the YMCA). It’s worth recalling that private development was opposed by the Alice Springs Town Council (under late Mayor Leslie Oldfield) from the outset – and the town council’s fears were (ahem) rapidly proven correct. Not just once but twice! (There were two attempts by private developers to make it work, before it was abandoned for several years). Did anybody, not least the Alice Springs Town Council, learn anything from this debacle? Obviously not.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Integrity put ‘Jak’ Ah Kit at the top
One of the best speeches I ever heard was delivered by John Ah Kit for the “Reconciling Australia” series broadcast by ABC National Radio on April 11, 1995.
I still have the cassette tape.
He was the executive director of the Jawoyn Association at the time but won a by-election for the seat of Arnhem several months later.


Aboriginal participation needed to Close the Gap: Mundine
Here is the news: “Legislative Councillor, Frank Johnson of Alice Springs, refuses to let up on his theme that “a tannery or some other industry to absorb aborigine [sic] labour is a must for the Alice Springs district.
“He has written to various parliamentarians about it, spoken about the subject in Council and made numerous statements through the press.
“Many in Alice Springs have supported the member in his cry. This week Mr Johnson aimed a new bullet at the powers that be, and it contained a new warning.
“Either the Government will establish a tannery or some other suitable industry, or they had better get busy and build bigger gaols, he stated.
“Mr Johnson means by that, that unless some suitable employment is available to the aborigines [sic] at present receiving some sort of education, then there is going to be a lot of trouble in a very short time”.
This was published under the headline “Build industry or bigger gaol at Alice Springs” in the Centralian Advocate, September 11, 1953.
What goes round comes round when there’s nothing new under the sun.


‘Major Project’ is ready to go – except for the money
Kind of ironic that the Gunner Labor Government, in its eagerness to assure a “jobs led recovery, not a cuts led recovery,” is placing so much reliance on … ahem, an open cut mine.


Deloitte to close Alice Springs office
Erwin, the top floor was actually built at the request of the ABC as the building was originally intended to be two storeys.
The NT Tourist Commission was one of the early occupants of the building, along with the Housing Commission, too.
Thanks to Cyclone Tracy, the headquarters of the Tourist Commission was relocated there from Darwin, and remained in Alice Springs at various locations until 1992.


Council resignations and surprising alliances
@ Scotty (Posted June 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm): “By the way, Willshire was not found guilty of anything” – while in turn Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty.
History shows the decisions of courts are not sacrosanct; and in both examples, the findings were (at a minimum) miscarriages of justice.


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