Bob, I can smell the citrus, but not the roses. …

Comment on Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath. by Cameleer.

Bob, I can smell the citrus, but not the roses. Yes more kids are getting vaccinated, medical interventions are good because they don’t require a lifestyle change.
Better nutrition? The one healthy meal a day (if kids bother attending school) is swamped by a massive intake of sugar laden drinks and high salt chips despite the availability of healthy food at community stores.
A common problem these days is babies being given bottles of strong cordial, that’s why so many lose their first teeth to decay.
Better hygiene would require a change at home and it hasn’t happened. People still live with dog packs, basic washing / disinfecting including in the new or renovated homes is non existent.
Boils, streptococcal throat and skin infections remain rampant. Other risk factors including smoking and alcohol abuse are on the rise.
Meanwhile, the intergenerational effects of poor health are leading to low birth rates and kidneys with reduced nephron development. Many Aboriginal babies are now starting life with 20% reduced kidney capacity.
I’m afraid that the billion dollar Closing the Gap plans will not fundamentally change the situation. All we can do is provide health information and readily available alternatives. Then it’s up to them.

Cameleer Also Commented

Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath.
Bob Yes in recent years we have had an enormous expansion in Federal funding for Aboriginal health etc in the NT, but I cannot agree it is paying off. Almost all the health improvements are restricted to areas where people do not have to change their liefstyles, for example vaccinating infants against disease, emergency interventions to keep them alive etc.
I cannot believe that Aboriginal life expectancy is being improved sustainably, I’ve seen the weazel stats and they defy the everyday experience of increasing rates of diabetes, end stage kidney disease, almost universal obesity etc etc.
Are we extending Aboriginal life spans by keeping more chronically ill people alive for a few more years?
Turning to education, yes we have more teachers, more training etc but declining NAPLAN outcomes.
Again we see the obstacle that no matter how many millions of dollars are poured in, no matter how good the teachers are, no matter how committed whitefellas are, unless Aboriginal people want (need) to learn, need to work and need to change we will never get anywhere.
This is the fundamental difference of opinion between Snowdon and his Canberra ilk and many on the ground in the Territory.

Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath.
Yes good point Rolf: ‘Some things are being done for Aborigines but usually that’s not for the blackfellas. It is for the voters in the leafy suburbs of the coastal cities’.
And therein lies the problem for Warren Snowdon. He panders to the national sentiment to maintain his position as Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health but that makes him look woefully out of touch with Territory realities.
His response to that dilemma has been to retreat behind an arrogance that does him and his party a disservice. He is not assisted by a small worshipful group of hangers on.

Recent Comments by Cameleer

Aboriginal flag to fly year round on Anzac Hill
At last!

Gunner Government ‘droving’ away investment
They want native title holders telling pastoralists what they can and can’t do on the land that they manage and operate properties in a $1bn industry.
They want the traditional owners of the land, since time immemorial, to be empowered to have a say on the use of their land.

Massive illegal dumping will test the EPA
The cost in tip fees for processing the dumped waste pictured would be around $1000. The cost of removing the dumped waste from the environment would be three times that or more.
It is not helpful either to the environment nor to ratepayers that the council charges such high fees.
Disposal of general waste – Commercial $127.80.
Disposal of clean fill and rocks > 20cm / demolition / concrete (per ton) $127.80.
Disposal of Whitegoods – $67.20.
Disposal of large truck tyres (not mining / industrial truck tyres) $80.80.

IAD under external administration
IAD Press is nothing short of a national treasure.
It has published many uncommercial but highly valuable language resources over the decades.
Meanwhile, the teaching arm of IAD is probably defunct and cannot be resurrected.
It has lost its key trainers, its reputation and is besieged by competition.
A wild idea 1:
IAD Press be privatised by Aboriginal organisations and largely funded by Centrecorp.
Wonderful kudos for them nationally for doing this.
All local organisations use it to print their reports and many other publications.
Wild idea 2:
The IAD property be sold and the funds used to maintain the press.

Dumbing down Alice Springs
We all know that the NT Government is heavily mired in crippling debt.
Of course, the CDU has to be downsized and it must happen in a sensible manner.
Simply, which courses are producing real outcomes, i.e. getting students jobs?
Higher education for remote students is laudable but has failed at huge expense over many years.
How many Aboriginal teachers and nurses are there who are actually employed?
Almost none.
There are many courses that lead to almost zero employment outcomes.
Art courses in the Correctional Centre is one of them and this must be discontinued.
Music was abolished some time ago but somehow art survived.
The NT can no longer pay for recreational courses.
The NT Government and CDU do have to slash costs but should maintain the courses and staff that are producing real employment outcomes.
The rest do have to go and the sooner the better. We are broke.

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