I was pleasantly surprised by the fairly nonpartisan and constructive …

Comment on Advice on ‘insane’ air fares from blackfeller Bob Katter by Steve Brown.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fairly nonpartisan and constructive approach just about every one of the panellist and questioners took in the QandA forum.
It appears to signal a new mood in the community, pushing aside the politics, setting about finding cooperative solutions.
The same mood was evident at the public meeting on our youth issues a couple of weeks back.
It’s great to see and if people are prepared to keep working that way we will eventually force the changes we’ve needed now for generations.
The discussion was spoiled a little by Bob Katter’s opportunistic use of “Black Fellas”, “White Fellas”, as often as possible.
It seemed he intended to set up a racial divide ’round the issues being discussed as if somehow there is no common purpose or outcome which is good for all of us.
Bob’s loudmouthing is in complete contrast to the mood and intent of the rest of the room, which took the stance that our issues are everybody’s, regardless of race.
Forget about the skin colour Bob, we are all people!
I suggest you address everyone regardless of race in a respectful egalitarian manner and leave our colour out of it. The sooner we all learn to do that as a matter of principle the sooner we see an end to the division that is the root cause of so many of our community’s issues.
I was particularly impressed by the contribution and that of latecomer to the panel, William Tilmouth, who I thought spoke very thoughtfully.
I agree whole heartedly with many of his comments especially those regarding the disempowerment of communities and men by the Intervention.
I also agree whole-heartedly with Jacinta Price who spoke as always with belief and passion but wasn’t given enough opportunity to present her whole argument.
The facts are that the Intervention was both good and bad, inasmuch as the basics card, extra policing and other programs have helped to protect women and kids. This is the most important of all steps towards ending the plight of Aboriginal people!
The removal of thousands of neglected kids is a good result if it is attributable to the Intervention, not a bad result as Barb Shaw tried to portray it.
It means action is being taken to end abuse! However, while it’s a good thing to see abused kids removed from their plight we absolutely have to get looking after these kids right!
So far nothing I’ve seen convinces me that we are creating better circumstances for these kids. Care is not a slogan at the end of an NGO’s name! Care means care, it means love, it means empathy! The cold-blooded arguments for kids’ rights we’ve witnessed continually from our Intervening legal system is destroying kids’ lives!
We simply must get our approach to helping these kids right before we can claim any success for the Intervention or any other program.
The bad of the Intervention, something that we must address when we revisit the Constitution, is that legislation which enabled the Intervention to take place used a clause in the Constitution of Australia which allows the government to make and implement laws based on race.
In an egalitarian nation, such a clause is plainly, simply wrong!
If it was a good idea to issue basic cards to Aboriginal persons then in an egalitarian nation it was also a good idea to issue those cards to every other welfare recipient, regardless of race.
Same goes for any other measures. Singling out on the basis of race is not only divisive it is bare facedly racist, disempowering and humiliating for many fine decent and upstanding Australians
I also agree with William that the Intervention and the move to shires then regional councils removed a sense of identity from many communities. I believe we need to revisit this issue.
I also heard a comment justifying the Intervention on the basis that it provided extra housing. Yeh, I think it did – mostly on the Gold Coast! The housing program stepped on and over a local industry that was providing housing at a greater rate than it ever did.
It forced up the prices to utterly ridiculous levels and huge portions of the funding was simply rorted by creating the most ridiculous levels of bureaucracies and reporting. In short, the Interventions housing program was a bloody joke!
If a fraction of that billion dollars had been put through the pre-existing remote housing industry we would have built literally hundreds more houses than the Intervention achieved, and we would have achieved that in a fraction of the time using local labour instead of FIFO. This would have benefited the whole community, keeping a much greater portion of the funding in local hands.
In my view, the Intervention housing program rates a huge fail!
Finally, must say I was a bit surprised by Dale’s comment round the art industry is worried that the construction of a national art and cultural centre would in some way be detrimental to their businesses.
Really!
The flow-on effect of such a centre even if it were to sell as well as display art, the visitors it will attract from all over the world, people seeking authenticity, will provide enormous opportunity not just for those in the art industry but for everyone.
This would include, I believe, all those very authentic community art centres. They are just what visitors keen to avoid mass produced art will be looking for!
They will be seeking them out in droves. There’s nothing to fear. Alice needs to get right behind this fabulous project!

Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’
Oddly enough Domeninco, from around 1984 I’ve noted an escalating deterioration of our town’s earlier strengths and character.
Those of us who are amongst the town’s earliest families, the builders of the Alice and other towns in the Territory, understood what it took to create healthy, well balanced, economically viable, communities.
Unfortunately the vibrancy once driven by a very healthy private sector has long since given way to petty bureaucracy and welfareism along with all the blow in petty politic of envy and ignorance those sectors brought with them.
Replacing vibrancy, hope and belief with a petty mentality of obstructionism and envy, glaring down, standing in the way of, anything that might create, dare I say, the dirty words economic progress!
This attempt to save an ugly, rotten old, asbestos riddled building of no architectural merit is just another example of that moronic stifling mentality.
Crime and corruption about which these people winge constantly, flourishes in places that don’t offer hope and progress!
Sloth and disillusionment flourish in places of bureaucratic overload and petty envious obstructionism!
To clean our town up, to get it moving, to offer hope, we need to deal with those things!
We simply must learn to walk right on bye the wingers, specially the blow-in wingers, and to get right on with building our town, a place of enormous potential if only it is given enough air to breathe.


Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’
There is absolutely nothing architecturally noteworthy about this crappy old building, just because a particular person visited, walked past, looked at or went to this school doesn’t make it a place that must be preserved!
It would hang like a millstone around the community’s collective necks for perpetuity.
This building has been sitting there rotting for years yet you suddenly find a deep underlying passion and love for it when another use for its location is found?
I cry BS on this claim!
You are simply being obstructionist! As per usual I might add!
Keeping old completely un-noteworthy buildings in premier positions simply creates an enormously expensive ulcerating rot in the central locations of town, forcing us to extend our CBD over a wider and wider area destroying along with that expansion any chance of creating a thriving central CBD.
So while there certainly are buildings that are noteworthy and worth preserving despite this fact ie Flynn Church and Adelaide House etc.
Much less noteworthy building such as this old school must give way to the new!


Private forecaster tips massive rains for Alice
Heavy rains will certainly be welcome, no doubt about it Ed, but 30 to 50mm is a long way short of what’s required to produce floods like the one pictured.
That kind of flood requires closer to 200mm over a fairly short period of time … wouldn’t that be nice?


Big crowd at local School Strike 4 Climate Action
@ Evelyn: While I agree with the general intent of your comment it is important to note for the interested children’s education, that neither their action nor any taken by this nation will have the slightest effect on the world climate! Even if we could completely halt all of our carbon production tomorrow, it would not make the slightest difference to climate change.
So by all means kids work towards a cleaner environment, cleaner air and cleaner oceans, but don’t be taken for a ride by those who seek to create irrational fears about your own beautiful world, through politically motivated, fear mongering garbage, about climate change.
It is a natural part of our world and always will be!
The thing we really do need to need fear and guard against, are the mindless efforts of indoctrinated climate fanatics who seek through their ignorance and city bred real world isolation, to do something irrational about planetary warming.
It would benefit everyone to keep in mind that a warming climate is a more productive climate, while on the other hand a cooling climate very quickly becomes a threat to all life on earth, through starvation!
Let’s hope we get to sit somewhere in between. In the meantime there is one very real threat we should all fight and guard against, the life threatening efforts of climate science to artificially interfere with our climate. One stupid mistake and “Winter really will be coming”!


‘Arrogant’ government fails to answer 20 questions
Didn’t Robyn spruik long and loud the benefits of having an Independent Member for Araluen?
Now she is completely bound up in petty squabbling about more resources.
And not one single question to Government about things that affect the rest of us.
While the Territory goes to hell in a hand basket!
No pressure on Government at all!
Talk about ineffective.
You are payed a dam good wage plus expenses. Write your own speeches and for the Territory’s sake, get on with the job.
[ED – Mr Brown was the CLP candidate for Araluen.]


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor