In case anyone feels I’m unfairly critical of the Federal …

Comment on Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action by Alex Nelson.

In case anyone feels I’m unfairly critical of the Federal Coalition and NT Labor, here are some quotes from a feature report “The scourge of child abuse” from an earlier time.
“Child abuse is running rife in our community.
“In Alice Springs and the Barkly region 53 cases were reported to welfare authorities last year, compared to 108 in the Darwin region.
“But authorities believe these figures represent only the tip of an iceberg.
“Statistics are not available to show whether Alice Springs has a higher incidence of child abuse than other towns of similar size, but authorities agree the potential for abuse in Central Australia is ‘probably greater’.”
Further: “Reporting of child abuse has increased dramatically since the Community Welfare Act – the Act covering the area of child abuse – was introduced in the Territory in 1982.”
Under the heading of “The four types of abuse” (physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, emotional abuse), it was stated: “Reports of sexual abuse have risen sharply in the past few years with the number of proven cases in 1987 amounting to five times more than that of three years ago.
“Police statistics show that one in four girls and one in 10 boys under 18 have been sexually abused.”
Under the title “Action urged on child abuse” comes the following: “Child abuse must be dealt with in the same open and honest manner as AIDS, [the] Health and Community Services Minister said last week.
“[The Minister] said nearly 400 allegations of child abuse were reported to the Health and Community Services Department in the last financial year.
“Investigations showed that in 253 cases the reports were found to be true.”
So now let’s put all this into perspective. This feature report was published on March 9, 1988 – exactly 30 years ago this month.
The Federal Government at the time was the Hawke Labor Government, and the Member for the Northern Territory was Warren Snowdon, only eight months into his Parliamentary career.
The NT Government was CLP led by Chief Minister Steve Hatton.
The Minister for Health and Community Services? None other than Don Dale.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action
Consider this: the alleged offender in this case is 16 years old and the alleged victim is a four year old.
In 2007 the teenager in this case was a five year old. That was the year The Intervention was launched by the Federal Government (then Coalition under PM John Howard) in response to the crisis afflicting children on remote communities, initiated to a large extent by reports on the ABC’s Lateline program that triggered the investigation leading to the “Little Children are Sacred” report.
A major part of The Intervention’s effort was an attempt to deal with the proliferation of pornography in remote communities – which again has been highlighted in recent media coverage.
The NT Government at the time was Labor, led by Chief Minister Clare Martin, the Member for Fannie Bay.
Once again the NT Government is Labor, led by CM Michael Gunner who succeeded Ms Martin as Member for Fannie Bay.
The current Federal Government is again the Coalition; and we still have the same CLP Senator for the NT, Nigel Scullion.
The Intervention involved many millions of taxpayers’s dollars being spent, and lots of disruption, controversy and debate.
What has been achieved? What have we learned?
Maybe there is need again for an Intervention but this time in our system of government, bureaucracy and the mainstream media.
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has got nothing on us – his novel is a work of fiction, ours is the reality.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Police gets street parking, cops’ private cars in compound
On the odd occasion I walk past the police station vehicle compound in Bath Street, I recognise some private vehicles that previously were parked in Parsons Street outside the old police station.
I used to see these regularly after finishing work at Woolies and walking home that way late each evening.


Authorities underrated risk to Pine Gap, Alice of a nuclear strike
Just read a comment piece by ABC North American correspondent James Glenday, who notes: “According to the Gun Violence Archive, 9,418 Americans have died from bullet wounds so far this year. 18,785 have been injured.”
To put that in perspective, more people have been killed and injured in the USA by gun violence up to the end of August than there are residents of Alice Springs.
That’s just this year. We think we’ve got problems?


Authorities underrated risk to Pine Gap, Alice of a nuclear strike
I note this book becomes available on September 3, which this year marks the 80th anniversary of the declaration of war by Britain and France (which included Australia) on Nazi Germany following the invasion of Poland that started two days earlier.
In that same month the German Army Weapons Bureau commenced work, and one of its first projects was research into creating a nuclear bomb. German physicist Werner Heisenberg delivered an initial paper on building a workable atom bomb before the year was over.
Albert Einstein, whose equation of E=mc2 lies at the core of nuclear physics, had already warned the US of this research – as did British intelligence – but the warnings were largely ignored until 1941, and the Manhattan Project began shortly after Japan’s attack against Pearl Harbour forced America into the war.
The first nuclear arms race was actually between America and Nazi Germany; the first bombs were intended for Europe but the war ended there before they were ready so ended up being used on Japan.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had embarked on its own nuclear weapons research program, which was significantly aided by information obtained by spies from the Manhattan Project – and thus was born the arms race of the Cold War.


Aboriginal flag to fly year round on Anzac Hill
I wonder why everyone seems to insist this issue began 20 years ago? As I pointed out in my article last year (https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2018/03/25/in-a-flap-over-flags-a-possible-compromise/) the original request for flying the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill was first made in 1989 which by my mathematics is 30 years ago.
It’s also forgotten that the two large flag poles erected in 1989 replaced four smaller ones. These were used to fly the national flag (which flew on the east side of the monument) and the individual armed services flags which overlooked the town. These flags were only flown on Anzac Day and (I think) Remembrance Day but for the remainder of the year there were none.
This issue had its genesis from the protracted political and ideological disputes between the NT Government and the major land councils that dominated Territory politics during the 1980s.


Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians
@ Matthew Langan (Posted August 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm): Not sure which universe you’re living in, Matthew, but of all the places you’ve listed as decisions by “Labor Party big knob socialist flogs” the only one that is an initiative of a Labor government is “the dinosaur museum” which I take to mean Megafauna Central in Todd Street.
All the rest were established during the long rule of the CLP before it ended in 2001.
None of these were ever expected to be profitable in their own right; rather, they are a reflection of a jurisdiction that was anticipated to be affluent enough over time to establish and support such facilities.
That aspiration increasingly appears to be a mirage; and in that sense the “case” put forward to justify the NAAG is a forlorn attempt to flog a now very dead horse.


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