My thanks to Bob Taylor for reviving this story with …

Comment on Iain Campbell: reflections on an artist’s life and times by Alex Nelson.

My thanks to Bob Taylor for reviving this story with his comment and providing us all the opportunity of some relief from the storm of controversy swirling around youth justice issues. Iain Campbell was an art teacher at the Alice Springs High School when I was a student there in the late 1970s – hmm, is that Colin Hodges and Helen Joraslafsky I recognise in the first painting at the top of this article?
Mike Gillam’s list of names of influential local artists can be extended much further back in time, not to mention also numerous visiting landscape artists in the 1940s and 50s whose works did so much to popularise The Centre as a place people must come to see for themselves.
It’s a potentially rich field of inquiry for discerning academics to highlight the significant role that the arts (painting, sketches, books, theatre, dance, documentaries and films) did so well for promoting the natural wonders of Central Australia.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Gunner demands council deal with Mayor’s ‘conflict of interest’
Damien Ryan is the third mayor of Alice Springs to stand as a candidate for a Territory election campaign, the two previous being Leslie Oldfield in 1990 and Fran Kilgariff in 2005.
Leslie Oldfield stood as an independent candidate for the seat of Braitling, against sitting CLP member Roger Vale – an interesting contrast to the current situation of CLP candidate Damien Ryan contesting Araluen against sitting independent member Robyn Lambley.
Lambley is a former CLP member, while Oldfield had once been Roger Vale’s electorate officer!
Fran Kilgariff stood as a Labor candidate for the seat of Greatorex, held by the CLP’s Dr Richard Lim.
The NT Government in 2005 was also Labor, under CM Clare Martin, predecessor as Member for Fannie Bay of current CM Michael Gunner.
Apparently NT Labor didn’t have a problem back in 2005 with the mayor of Alice Springs running as a Labor candidate; and it’s rather disingenuous of Labor now to argue differently about Damien Ryan standing for the CLP.
In 2005 I had a series of articles published in the Alice Springs News commenting about NT politics, in one of which I pointed out that no mayor in the NT who had run as a candidate for the NT Legislative Assembly had been successful; and I was virtually alone in my assertion that Fran Kilgariff would equally prove unsuccessful.
That situation still stands and, frankly, I think will remain the case after the NT elections later this year.


Trashing and rebuilding: “Investing” by NT Government
It should be recalled that the Henderson Labor Government had no problem repurposing the old high school, after Anzac Hill High School was closed at the end of 2009, as the Youth Hub which was a major part of its program for dealing with children and teenagers on the streets at night.
There was much protestation from Labor when the CLP shut down the Youth Hub after it won government in 2012.
The vacant site of the former high school is mute testimony to the bungling incompetence that has become the hallmark of the Gunner Labor Government.
The fate of that old school is the same that lies in wait for Labor in this year’s NT election campaign, for it is a government that truly deserves to be completely expunged from holding office.


Why not us?
And now it’s 20% chance tomorrow (Tuesday) rising to 70% chance on Thursday (with “possible storm, heavy falls” according to the BOM) declining to 40% chance by Sunday.
I’m making preparations, accordingly.


Party full throttle in battle against fracking
It’s time to end our reliance on the notion of political parties.
What we need in our parliaments and assemblies are elected individuals of integrity and competence, who can negotiate and cooperate with one another to provide the best standard of governance for all.
The evidence built up over many years demonstrates that political parties cannot be relied upon for the provision of good government.
They may start off well intentioned but inevitably end up being captured by powerful vested interests that equate their own aims to the public good.
I think it’s well overdue that another approach towards government and administration is given serious consideration.


When 20% royalties shrivel to as little as 1%
With such an apparently paltry return on investment, we’re effectively told these extractive industries are constantly marginally profitable at best.
We are expected to believe this errant nonsense.
Under the section of Powers of the Parliament, the Australian Constitution commands: “The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order and GOOD GOVERNMENT (my emphasis) of the Commonwealth with respect to” a range of powers.
The Northern Territory Government, being a creature of Commonwealth legislation, is under the same constitutional obligations.
I contend that being ripped off by mining and extractive industry corporations, with no real oversight or scrutiny of their claims for production costs, does not qualify as “good government.”
Equally, a Territory government that is plunging its economy into a financial abyss, and a Federal Government that permits this to happen with no apparent concern or regard for oversight of this economic mismanagement, cannot be construed as “good government”.
We are being (and have long been) systematically betrayed by our respective Territory and Commonwealth Parliaments.
Our system of governance is simply not being adequately held to account.


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