I managed the Gap Centre in the early eighties and …

Comment on Bulldoze vile, medieval Don Dale centre: CLP candidate by David Oakes.

I managed the Gap Centre in the early eighties and we are not talking about nice well dressed well behaved kids here. We’re talking about some of the hardest underprivileged kids in town. Many had spent time in Kempe Street. And had you met them on the street you would have avoided them by a mile.
But when those same undisciplined, scruffy, hardnosed kids were occupied with things of interest – music, sport, just going camping out bush, they were the easiest, happiest and most loving kids I had known. Kids are kids, you kick them they want to kick you back.
In the 1990s and 2000s I managed the juvenile diversion program for Nyangatjatjara out at Mutitjulu, Imanpa and Docker River. It was the same story: Give them something interesting to do and these kids are mild mannered children.
So my answer to that one is give them meaningful occupation that they can enjoy, not sewing mailbags. They’re kids. Look at Norway, make it fun.
The next point is: I’m not very political, but some things have been difficult to avoid.
The CLP leader, the Chief Minister, said he wanted to see lawbreakers put in a hole.
TIO was sold off against the wishes of the majority of the people. (Don’t tell me “we were voted in, we can do what we want, we have the mandate of the people” because that’s ludicrous.)
Then the Port of Darwin was also sold off. This is not a government for the people. The CLP are out for themselves. We could do worse than a government of independents, very Socratic I would think. But I don’t believe we should suffer any more of the CLP.

Recent Comments by David Oakes

Anzac Oval grab Minister rejects Coles Mural listing
I wish her well for the rest of her short political life. What I am hearing, on my grapevine is that the people (Springers), would all love Alice Springs to be the home of the national Indigenous art gallery, just not on Anzac Oval.
The Coles Mural, everyone loves it, with Bob Barford playing guitar, we all went bush and sang around campfires in those days.
It’s as much a part of town as the council chambers, it’s been there longer, and before the Alice Plaza and Yipirinya.
History dictates that heritage is only valid if business don’t want to demolish and rebuild.
Here in good ole Costa del Alice, history has shown with Merton House and Marrons news agency; if they want to knock it down they will.
If they want your oval, they will simply take it.
When the government and its ministers play for commerce and not community, they don’t last long.


Alice a place of dreamers and doers – for millennia!
You have warmed the cockles of my old heart, and even though we had a million laughs. Just remember “I hate you.” 🙂


The council and the good side of graffiti
Graffiti wins hands down over cement, cements just grey,
Graffiti has vitality, concrete is grey,
Graffiti is today, corrugated iron is grey,
Graffiti tells a story, in colours, not in black and white but also not in grey.
Graffiti is hieroglyphics, runes and geoglyphs. From Egypt to Britain to Peru.
Graffiti is on the walls of caves.
Graffiti is just another persons expression.
Let it be taught, so it’s good.
So organise the ochre card and lets have some quality graffiti.
because bad Graffiti is close to grey.


Dole plan for ice users fraught, says Alice NGO
No one on recreational drugs ever died from not getting drugs. That said, it can be difficult to give up.
Meth is similar to heroin in the way it covers the nerves and as users stop using then the uncovering of the nerve points is very painful indeed.
In the case of meth it also brings on acute paranoid psychosis, very difficult to deal with. I’d like to see those in power spending 24 hours with a patient instead of sleeping out for 24.
But not getting it does not kill.
The drugs themselves do, they kill indiscriminately, an overdose can occur when the user thinks they are in total control.
All the points made by Carole Taylor are valid and thought out from many years of dealing with troubled human beings, these things can be beaten, and if those in power consulted with those who work in the field, lives could be saved. Trouble is those in power never do.


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