This is a brilliant article, Rainer, a valuable contribution to …

Comment on Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance by Alex Nelson.

This is a brilliant article, Rainer, a valuable contribution to public discourse that will stand the test of time.
Much of what you have written has been observed before, and much of what you describe is instantly recognisable from the time of my own childhood here in Alice Springs.
However, when I was young there was a sense of the corner having been turned when the NT achieved Self-government and there was great hope for the future. Things were about to change for the better for everyone.
I feel a sense of deep disappointment combined with great anger that nothing has improved for so many people in the Territory, and generation after generation of young people born here find themselves “coping” in life conditions no better – and, in many cases, far worse – than the supposedly “bad old days” of Commonwealth control.
It’s equally profoundly disappointing that the energy and intellect of young people such as yourself, Rainer, are left to pick up the pieces of a failed legacy of earlier generations.
But it’s wonderful that you are doing so, and that’s why hope survives.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Mparntwe custodians: Lhere Artepe does not speak for us
@ Alex Hope (Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:44 pm): I’ve provided a small reminder of previous shenanigans in my recent comment piece.
The NT Government is simply digging itself into an ever deeper hole; the problem it now has is that it precipitately and unnecessarily spent over $2m of taxpayers’ money to demolish a perfectly good public asset – the former Anzac Hill High School.
The NTG has committed itself to a course of action on this site that it can’t simply abandon, having already gone as far as it has with the expense and actions already taken.
If the Gunner Labor Government was to abandon the Anzac Oval Precinct now, it then faces huge criticism for all the damage it has now caused and for no justification at all.
Whatever criticisms might be directed at the old CLP regime (two decades plus ago), I think it was never on such a scale of bungling incompetence to what we’re now witnessing with the current hapless Labor Government on the home stretch to the imminent polls.
No wonder they’re putting all their hopes in Darwin.


Gallery row: Remember the dam?
@ Jack (Posted May 23, 2020 at 10:42 am): You seem to provide evidence for the existence of a parallel universe – Chansey Paech supports the gallery at the Anzac Oval Precinct despite the disapproval of Traditional Owners of the town area.


High season caravan occupancy rate: Zero.
“We won’t have a tourism industry here if we are not open by July.”
Well, according to CM Michael Gunner on a Darwin radio station today, the borders won’t be open until the beginning of August at the earliest, and only – effectively – if COVID-19 is eliminated in Australia.
Meanwhile Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stated her state’s borders will likely remain closed until September.
Looks to me the Northern Territory is experiencing a change every bit as transformative as what happened here because of the Second World War.


A touch of light: native passionfruit
@ Domenico Pecorari (Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:41 am): Years ago I found that one way to increase the vigour of native passionfruit seedlings was to incorporate a small quantity of dry leaf litter that exhibits white mould into their soil or potting mix.
You find this material by uncovering accumulated piles of dry leaves under eucalypts, acacias or other native species.
Native passionfruit seeds are spread by birds so these plants germinate below where birds perch, typically under other trees and shrubs.
The roots of the seedlings presumably establish a symbiosis with the mould in the leaf litter to enable better absorption of soil nutrients.
It’s not unusual to find plants spread by birds growing in the trunks and branches of river red gums, where they’ve been able to take root in the soil of termite nests exposed high up in the trees.
Usually these are ruby saltbushes but at Pitchi Richi I’ve observed a large native passionfruit growing out of a river red gum several metres above the ground.


Questions of conflict multiplied by two
Local government in Alice Springs (let alone the Territory) has been used as a launch pad for attempted political careers for decades (the overwhelming majority of them have failed); and membership of political parties has been commonplace for aldermen and councillors over the years.
The situation now, of both a mayor and prominent councillor running for office in the upcoming Territory elections, echoes the circumstances in Alice Springs 30 years ago for the election campaign of October 1990.
However, there are some twists from the earlier period. Alderman Bob Kennedy was announced first (in early August 1990) as the CLP candidate for the new seat of Greatorex, running against the conservative independent Member for Sadadeen, Denis Collins.
Mayor Leslie Oldfield announced her intention to run as an independent candidate against CLP Member for Braitling, Roger Vale, just three weeks (as it turned out) from the beginning of the election campaign – although at the time of her stated intentions, the elections weren’t due until April 1991.
The question of conflict of interest for both candidates never arose at that time.
Both candidates lost; Oldfield was trounced while Bob Kennedy easily won the primary vote in Greatorex but narrowly lost on preferences to Denis Collins.
The next mayor of Alice Springs to run as a candidate for a Territory election campaign was Fran Kilgariff, as the Labor candidate for Greatorex in 2005.
She was criticised on the issue of potential conflict of interest but the then Martin Labor Government had no problem with her remaining as mayor in the months prior to the election campaign.
Mayor Kilgariff lost that campaign too (in fact, no mayor who has run for office in the NT Legislative Assembly was successful).
So current mayor Damien Ryan is in good company; although it’s ironic that Chief Minister Michael Gunner, successor of former CM Clare Martin as the Member for Fannie Bay, has made much of Ryan’s perceived conflict of interest as a CLP candidate this time around.
Horses for courses.
For both long-serving mayors Leslie Oldfield and Fran Kilgariff, their tilts at office in Territory election campaigns proved to be their last hurrahs in local government. Oldfield was defeated in the council elections of 1992 while Kilgariff retired in 2008.
I suspect, one way or another, the same will occur again for the current incumbent.


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