All respondents here rightly express genuine concern. Tonight on …

Comment on Dylan Voller’s mistreatment started in Alice Springs by Mark.

All respondents here rightly express genuine concern. Tonight on ABC 1, 7.30, I watched the previous Commissioner of the Corrections Department, Ken Middlebrow, go out on a limb and support the practices in his former Corrections Department.
It was Middlebrook who “fell on his sword” and resigned late 2015 following the escape of murderer and rapist Edward Horrell from a prison work camp. That someone would take personal responsibility is now rare in government and the Public Service.
Middlebrook’s response this evening was a really brave move defying the popular feeling. But Middlebrook is closest to the real issues.
The Don Dale staff are the ones at the coal face and are those actually responsible for ensuring order. Clearly they have suffered ridicule in recent times by break-outs followed by break-back-ins. No doubt they have over reacted. But what were their alternatives to youth running amok even in detention? Those most critical wouldn’t survive a day working in the Centre. Nor would they wish to. It’s easier to criticise from afar with clean hands.
The staff lacks resources but more importantly, society (government) lacks the commitment to make the corrections that these minors have failed to receive right through their childhood to adolescence.
The family unit is breaking down, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. It is society that has questions to answer. Many of these kids’ parents are simply missing in action. Failing-in-health and deceased grand parents have been struggling to bring up a generation without practical government support.
Worse, actual government neglect and a real opposition to practices that the grandparents themselves received under a maligned paternal social system that managed, without trained teachers, to enable them to read and write and far, far more.
This is something that government and a huge public service now fail to achieve!
I doubt that any of these issues will surface in a “wide ranging terms of reference” Royal Commission called within (was it) 12 hours of yet another explosive Four Corners.
It all sounds so familiar.
Didn’t Gillard react in much the same way to a report on animal abuse and go close to destroying an industry?
What was needed was a reasoned and measured response by the PM. Instead I sense he has done a Gillard and I am appalled. A Royal Commission will take at least two years and cost a squllion to report.
Answers and responses are needed now.
But I doubt that anything will really change because I cannot see that society has a social imperative for change. “Progressive” forces ensure as much.
My positive feeling was to hear tonight that the young man at the centre of this issue has expressed the desire to “make amends” to society. Perhaps there have been some positive outcomes from such a dark episode.

Recent Comments by Mark

Heat rises on cooling plan
Look hard enough and it’s possible to find a report opposing any project.
I believe the Mayor’s heat mitigation deserves a trial. Bath Street is as good as anywhere, planted not too close to corners.
The “clear zone” is an issue but I wonder if it is a serious issue in the 40kph zoning area.
Choose the right native species like kurrajongs that set deep roots and monitor road damage.
Surely trees planted on the curb also risk road damage but we do proceed in that direction already.
Perhaps citizens may wish to adopt a local tree and nurture it through the first few years.
Expensive irrigation shouldn’t be necessary with council attention.
Sadly school kids adopting trees and median strips probably shouldn’t mix.


Tourist perished: Has Coroner’s recommendation been followed?
It seems that Monika Billen was used to walking alone off track. Clearly she was not familiar with the conditions here in high summer.
The bottom line is that people are in the first instance responsible for themselves.
People are free to ignore recommendation if they choose.
But, yes, some processes could be set in place to minimise the dangers both high summer and winter. Accommodation venues could ask guests if they plan to walk in the region. Backpacks are a sure telltale as guests leave their lodgings.
Then they could be issued a leaflet in one of several languages outlining safety precautions and the dangers. Far better is a personal discussion of the dangers. An emergency beacon could be rented for a very modest cost and added to the accommodation charge.
As a frequent trail walker overseas I appreciate how confusing navigating by the sun can be in the other hemisphere to the one you are familiar.
Add to that that the sun is so high in the sky at this latitude that around midday navigating by sun becomes very difficult.


Suddenly everyone is talking about 1Territory
The NT is way too small a jurisdiction and the resulting small number of elected MLAs in government to really be across the multiple portfolios that each minister carries.
As a result the ministry is largely controlled by senior “Yes Minister” bureaucrats beyond reach of the Parliament and the voters. When it all goes belly up it’s the minister who carries the responsibility.
But unlike previous times they rarely “fall on their sword”. It just carries on until (often sensationalist) media brings the issues to the fore and then it becomes damage control time. This is what we have seen in recent days.
Braedon Earley speaks a lot of sense. Can he bring fiscal responsibility back to the NT is the question?
Let’s hope someone can before they send in the administrators.
Are these the guys who want statehood? Really?


Former gallery advisor scathing about its planners
“It is a bizarre idea doing a business plan before someone has even started resolving what the issues are,” says Mr Lynch. Exactly my argument in my last letter on the topic in another thread.
And yes, Domenico, I have previously lamented here the loss of the Emily Kngwarreye work overseas when the sale occurred.
We may end up with a building looking for those crowd-pulling paintings and unable to afford to buy them back. This is yet more “planning” by NTG.
(Still) watching in amazement …


Aboriginal gallery: rushed business case yet immediate start?
Does the new gallery have to operate as a business, turn a profit or be subsidised forever (the business plan should tell us)?
What on earth is Ernst and Young doing writing the business case anyway?
Yes, I know their website says “(we are) committed to building a better working world” blah blah blah. With apologies to the Lions I bet Ernst and Young could make a business case to hold an ocean regatta in the Todd if pressed.
I recall the business model for the Desert Park was to have it open nightly till around 9 from memory. Not sure when that all disappeared into fairy dust.
We keep watching in total amazement.


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