Congratulations to Jimmy Cocking for getting his motion up, and …

Comment on At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council by Alex Hope.

Congratulations to Jimmy Cocking for getting his motion up, and if the IAP2 principles could be made mandatory for NT government decisions as well as Council ones, that would be even better.

However if we are looking for a suitable template for governmental decision making we also to need to consider in every decision:

– what the evidence base is for the need for, and where appropriate the methodology of, the project;
– the pros, cons and relative costs of the options being canvassed (though perhaps this is implied in “the information they need to participate in a meaningful way” mentioned above;

and in our context, in addition to this, for decisions with a significant impact on Aboriginal people it is clearly necessary to consider

– what is the view of the appropriate Aboriginal group with authority to speak on the matter in question.

I find it quite ironic that there should be a view on Council that the ABORIGINAL traditional owners of Alice Springs should not have been specifically consulted about the siting of a national INDIGENOUS art gallery, let alone not been given a seat on the Government’s advisory committee in the first place.

Recent Comments by Alex Hope

‘Voter apathy greatest threat to Territory democracy’
The figures are disturbing. I understand that the Commonwealth defunded the team who used to go out and enrol people in remote areas, with the above results.
One of the strengths of our democracy, in contrast to that of other countries and the USA in particular, is compulsory voting. Perhaps we need a better system for enforcing it, such as linking electoral registration to the tax file number for example?
After all, casting a ballot still allows for the protest vote, which perhaps should be formally published if it is 80% of “informal” votes. When I have written “a pox on all your houses” across my ballot paper I have intended it as a message to the politicians and the system: That I have not been offered a candidate worthy of my vote, it would be nice to know that protest was being tallied.

Gunner Government ‘droving’ away investment
What the pastoralists are forgetting here is that they don’t own the land. They have a lease to run stock on the land.
From where do they get the idea that they should be able to use the land for other purposes without reference to the owner?

Policing is still just a numbers game
We always hear about recruiting, and increased police numbers.
We never hear about the attrition rate.
How long do police officers stay in the job?
Why do they leave?
Where do they go to? To be police in another jurisdiction, or to do something else?
How much does this revolving door cost us?
What ideas are out there to change this situation?
Does our new commissioner have any new ideas?

Painting new step in store’s growing links with Aboriginal people
One hopes that Coles have achieved critical mass now, with enough Aboriginal employees to make them feel they really belong, and to provide mutual support.
Previous significant efforts at Aboriginal employment by supermarkets appeared to fail, with the recruits falling by the wayside once their initial support was withdrawn.
The same happened at the hospital where there was an initially successful scheme about 20 years ago. Once the funded support system was withdrawn the workforce was not large enough to be mutually supportive, and they dwindled away with no program in place for ongoing recruitment.
Ironically, there was a much higher proportion of Aboriginal employees at Alice Springs hospital in the 80s than there is now.
Meaningful employment is one of the foundations for the health of the individual and their families: It is great to see the supermarket chains taking a leading role here.
Let us hope this time they follow through with retention strategies, and that other large employers look to fulfil their social responsibilities.

Tree death and the challenge of heatwaves
What about systematic water harvesting for nature strips so that water from thunderstorms etc is retained rather than running into the drains immediately?
This is something property owners can do themselves to help preserve their own street trees by making bunds adjacent to the kerb.
The Council could cut slots to enlarge the existing expansion joints in the kerb to allow some infiltration into the subsoil between the kerbstones.
If a few neighbours got together to trial this in a street or two in town the idea might be proven by demonstrating healthier growth in a year or three.

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