Yes, there is much poverty of mind as well as …

Comment on Cr Kudrenko puts poverty and disadvantage on council agenda by 25 Yr Ratepayer, Bruce.

Yes, there is much poverty of mind as well as of body in our town. Many people could be (financially) wealthy one day and dirt poor the very same day. I have come to the conclusion that many people here cannot escape their situation and do not even try.
Their situation is “normalised” and they know no-other. It is tragic. This is a condition caused by lack of aspiration, being dragged down by family, poor education and health.
The causes are multiple and so intertwined as to be inescapable. What we must do is provide the opportunity for the few with talent and aspiration to escape and prosper. Alice is a Tale of Two Cities with Dickensian parallels: affluence beside wretched poverty. Nightly I go to sleep with distant shouting and screaming from those camp residents camping out rough trying to escape the horrors that seem to dog them.

Billions of dollars have been spent with little effect between the Feds and the NT Govt in this town and region.
The 9000 or so ratepayers do not have similar resources and we can afford no more! Our town camps, courtesy of the Intervention have spent tens of millions paving streets, erecting street signs and installing letterboxes! But nothing will change till alcohol is driven from the camps, housing occupancy is capped and dogs are banned and house inspections (and evictions) are enforced.
I see no intention to enforce bans using patrolling guards 24/7. Personally I feel the only solution is a tough one. Close the camps and send people back to the communities except those whose traditional lands are the Todd Basin. Everyone acknowledges that health outcomes are better in the bush.
But there is no pollie with the goolies up for making the tough decisions. So Jade, you can move all the motions on poverty and disadvantage that you like. A great idea, and certainly not new, to engage camp residents into work!
The reality is that they are given no incentive to work. Their basic needs are currently met and if they do try to work their family drags them back down. So they will work till the first pay check and find it’s simpler to be with the mob.
It’s this simple: till people are collectively hungry they have no incentive to change their lot.

25 Yr Ratepayer, Bruce Also Commented

Cr Kudrenko puts poverty and disadvantage on council agenda
@2 Well Bob, I respect your views however my beliefs (as yours) are informed by well over a quarter century of living and working in Central Australia; town and remote. They are not “knee-jerk” reactions at all. If I could see some real improvements happening for the millions and billions spent on indigenous issues I would have some hope. But I see little hope.
Even the millions spent in refurbishing the housing will have little long term effect. Spoke to a builder who has been working on a bush refurbishment program. Some of the houses needed gutting and starting again.
Some were last refitted two years back. This is the future for the program here in Alice and remote. Do you feel it is fair that workers sweat in Sydney and Melbourne (and everywhere else) toiling so their taxes rebuild houses every couple of years?
This isn’t my definition of a “fair-go” Bob. One woman demanded to know when her house would be painted.
Meanwhile she sits there without work or motivation all day. She never considered picking up a paintbrush. I would like the NTG to paint (and repair) my house every two years as well.
Sorry Bob, you feel me guilty of “sloppy thinking”. Maybe it is just a different reality than the one you might be seeing. I wish I could think that things are getting better for all the Billions (yes, Billions*) spent.
I wait to see some improvements in health and education. But they seem to be going backwards.
The baby-bonus is resulting in an epidemic of kids who will be Dept. Children and Families then Corrections clients for life.
I firmly believe that too many people have accommodated their misery. Goodness, we don’t even enforce limits on the number of dogs that share living and sleeping quarters in government housing!
Our indigenous have much better opportunities than poor African and Asian people. We need to stop making excuses for them and demand that they start to take some personal responsibility. Yes, easier said than done. However to keep making excuses to my mind simply perpetuates the racism. Racism works two ways Bob.

* Note: The 2012 Indigenous Expenditure Report (see Aust Govt. Productivity Report) says “Estimated expenditure per head of population was $44,128 for Indigenous Australians, compared with $19,589 for other Australians (a ratio of 2.25:1)”.
Further, the population of Central Australia seems about 60,000 people of which 50% is indigenous. I tried to find data at ABS but settled on Wikipedia (regret “sloppy” data). Now “DO THE MATH”.
It equates to spending of $1.3b in 2012 alone. I’m not certain if that includes or excludes funding by the NT Government as well.


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