Rest in peace Michelle Castagna. I have known you since …

Comment on Michele Castagna, 1944 – 2016 by Richard Lim.

Rest in peace Michelle Castagna. I have known you since my early days in the Alice. We both got elected on to the Alice Springs Town Council (ASTC) in 1984 and together served eight years over two elections.
We had a giggle over how the ASTC officers positioned us next to each other in the Council chamber .. guess they hoped she was comfortable for me to assist with her papers at meetings and me comfortable to do it without issue.
Michelle was the ultimate advocate for people with disabilities. Without a word of complaint about herself, she’d go about working out how to enable another person with disabilities.
I recall the time when we both visited the Desert Park to make sure that the facility was fully accessible to all. That visit brought about changes to the design of doors and pathways.
The most memorable aspect for me is the vision of Michelle zipping along in her registered road worthy electric chair along the footpaths and crossing Telegraph Terrace at the Larapinta lights in all that traffic and everyone conscientiously waiting for her to make her way to the other side.
My condolences to the Castagna family … especially to Lyn.
Vale Michelle Castagna. Your spirit and legacy will live on. The Alice and the Territory will be a poorer place without you.

Recent Comments by Richard Lim

The financial crisis in the Northern Territory
It appears to me that NT bureaucracy is either moribund or is no longer fearless and forthright with NT Ministers.
Bob Beadman was also my CEO for a short while, and I was privileged to work with him. He makes so much commonsense.
Surely NT Ministers and Federal Members of Parliament can’t be that politically deaf that they don’t hear commonsense.
Horizontal fiscal equalisation is a parameter that is absolutely essential when it comes to the funding of the NT.
Not only was the infrastructure deficit left by the Commonwealth at Self-Government huge and insurmountable, the current provision of services into remote NT is simply impossible with the lack of funding.
I do sympathise with the NT Government having to seek extra funding, but that was always going to fall on deaf ears when NT Government expenditure since the Martin Government (that was when the GST came in – and the phrase “rivers of gold” came into use) has been poorly managed.
However, no matter how much resources are to be put into remote NT, how much is enough?
How do you provide services to small numbers (and therefore no economies of scale) to live in places where there is no gainful employment?
How many of us would like to have all the mod cons that money can buy, with all the security in the world to be safe, to have a secure roof over our heads, to have food and water aplenty, to wake up each morning, while living in the middle of the desert, and to ask ourselves: “What is today going to bring?
“What am I going to do to while away the next 16 hours before I go to bed tonight?
“What is there for my children to do after they finish school, be it at Year 6, 9, 10 or 12?
“Will my children be better off going into the cities to live and flourish or to stay here with me … to do what?
“What is keeping me here?
“What is today going to bring?”


Liz Martin says goodbye and good luck
It is a sad day when Liz Martin sees the only way forward for her in regard to her creation which she raised to maturity, is to walk away from it. I think it is probably too late to change Liz’s mind.
It is frustrating that officious bureaucracy, whose job is to facilitate, becomes a major obstacle.
How the Alice Springs community can intervene is difficult to envisage.
The Government … a member or all members of Parliament in Central Australia … could be the facilitator. Bring in a mediator .. one without prior briefing from the personalities in play … to go through the full process.
Good luck Liz. See you in Broken Hill or Shepparton … your corporate memory, your passion, your dedication to all things trucks, cannot be lost.


Nuke dump would raise a third of state’s revenue
A nuclear dump in South Australia would bring “substantial economic benefits, including annual revenue to the state of $5.6 billion on average for the first 30 years of operation.”
Change the state to the Northern Territory and the revenue will more than double the NT’s annual budget for the next 30 years.
With good policy … not wasteful policies … imagine what that will mean for the Territory.
Think about the progress in the first 10 years of self-government, and the 6% growth rate that the Territory enjoyed. It can all happen again.
The science is safe. Nuclear waste is being stored in a shed, albeit a bloody large shed, in the suburbs of Sydney and in most of the public hospitals in each capital city, including Darwin.


Shot kneecaps, smashed legs: Threat to crims
I guess the question to be asked is whether the vigilante group will be part of the solution or become an extension of the problem and therefore create more “incidents” for the police to deal with. I know of no legislation which condones or allows vigilante activity in the NT.
Neighborhood Watch and Night Patrol used to have significant damping affect on night time antisocial behavior. Not living in the Alice for a few years now, I don’t know how bad the situation has become.
I recall the time when I went with the night shift to do police patrols in the town and saw first hand what incidents the officers encountered. I also spent several hours another time cruising with the Night Patrol going through the town and town camps watching and helping Night Patrol officers handling the problems. It is no easy task for both the police and Night Patrol. They should be thanked for their unflagging dedication.
The ASNews should seek an interview with the Minister for Police and / or the Minister for Central Australia to see what the government is doing to address what may be a serious community issue.
On the other hand, the government / community may consider the problems as perceived by the vigilante group not to be serious hence the perceived lack of police action.


Lambley broadside: Giles arrogant, dishonest
Don’t know who is right and who is wrong in all this argy bargy.
Quoting Hansard is unhelpful for readers as we all know whatever is said by MLAs is privileged.
I note that the Alice Springs News Online was careful to use quotes from Hansard so as to cover itself.
If indeed the CM has defamed the Member for Araluen at a meeting as described, and the Member for Araluen is confident that is the case, she should sue the CM.
And as readers, we will know what the truth is when the court rules on that.
Disunity is death in politics … and sure as hell the Country Liberals are not united.
Looking in from a distance, the CM and his supporters played hardball. The others did not. They capitulated and fell in line.
The way I read it, the majority of the CL members supported the current CM. Accordingly all CL members should follow the majority decision.


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