@ Alex Nelson: Let’s face it. Self government creates more …

Comment on 1 Territory too fixed on opposition to fracking: Lambley by John Bell.

@ Alex Nelson: Let’s face it. Self government creates more chiefs per number of mug punters.
It is a lucrative salary and power drug that attracts would-be chiefs like bees to the honey pot.
I lived for years in Canberra. More ministers than you can point a stick at. For a concentrated population of 250,000 to 300,000 in a small region that has every advantage and service you could ever imagine in a centre that houses our Federal Parliament.
Their pomposity and self-importance is laughable. At least the NT, with its population spread out over huge geographical and logistical issues, has a case.

John Bell Also Commented

1 Territory too fixed on opposition to fracking: Lambley
@ Alex Nelson: Your view of the optimism of the McMahon era is appreciated. I went to Alice in 1967 within weeks of Harold Holt’s referendum.
I was there when Whitlam came to power.
There came a different type of optimism that brought with it massive influx of “sit down money”, grog, drugs, a huge human rights push (RDA of 1975) and a push for self-government that grew.
Federal politics radically changed – was reversed – from Holt to McMahon to Whitlam. The “progressive” tide of money and anti-discrimination was unstoppable.
The NT has always been shaped by Federal politics.
Whatever optimism there was once under conservative government, changing politics created serious social issues, demanding responsible self-government in these terribly uncertain times.
Federal or outside interference cannot be trusted.
Historical facts cannot be revisited to change what is in place today.


1 Territory too fixed on opposition to fracking: Lambley
@ Alex Nelson. I believe that the geographical isolation of remote NT communities is a deciding factor in supporting a self government structure with its base in the capital city of Darwin.
It promotes a spirit of community inclusiveness with access to accountable elected decision makers who are homegrown, rather than under the control of interstate forces.
For example, the fast developing NT economy needs local Territory policy.
Another example is the need to understand the inclusion difficulties of isolated communities with different cultural backgrounds. I would not trust control of these areas of community concern to “offshore” states.


1 Territory too fixed on opposition to fracking: Lambley
There is another option. In the 1980s in the early years of ACT self government, Dennis Stevenson formed the Abolish Self Government party.
If enough members were elected to form a quorum, the pary would voluntarily dissolve the Legislative Assembly and return the ACT to the former territory administration.
The former administration ran the territory brilliantly, providing first class road rubbish and rates services.
Of course, the major parties, whose members had all been hangers-on office staff on Capital Hill but were now big shot politicians and Ministers for this and that, and the Canberra media, ganged up on poor old Stevo, ostracised him as only vicious self-seeking pollies and media can do, so he lasted only one term.
But heck, a lot of people voted for him.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Arrernte Mary and Jesus watch over Alice’s Catholics
Returning to Alice every year in the first week of May throughout the late 70s, through the 80s and 90s to 2002, I made it a ritual journey to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart church, to sit up the back late in the afternoon, contemplating.
The late arvo sunset would stream through the stained glass windows, casting amber, red, green shadows down across the pews.
Looking up at the stained glass figures in the silence, contemplating, was serene, peaceful and beautiful.
It never failed, every year. It was a great feeling.
So I’m looking forward to getting back to the Alice once more to sit and contemplate Mrs Wallace’s painting Urtakwerte Atywerrenge Anthurre / Very Sacred Heart.
Thank you, Kathleen. Just wonderful.


Labor, CLP discuss preference swaps: Scott McConnell
@ Stewart Hyway: At Federation there was only one organised major party in the Federal Parliament the Labour Party (later changed in 1913 to the American spelling Labor by its American leader King O’Malley).
The rest of the Parliament consisted of individuals who were never going to have any clout getting legislation passed if Labour was against it.
So after a few years they organised little groups with similar interests, developing gradually to parties with clout.
If we stop voting for the major parties, then two things are sure to happen: We will return initially to an early post-Federation of a parliament of not even one party, and MPs will be running around aimlessly pushing their own individual agenda items.
Nothing getting done.
Then, when it becomes obvious that things are a chookhouse mess, the brighter MPs will put their heads together … and hey presto! Parties are formed once more!
Human nature never changes mate. There is nothing new under the sun … especially in the power mindset of our pollies.


Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime?
@ Ted Egan. I note your comment “The Arranta Elders must be invited to call the shots”.
I accept your long history of very special involvement in the Aboriginal community.
In view of the reality of the current difficult tribal population mix in Alice, how do you propose this invitation should be extended?
By whom?
And how can the Arranta people call the shots in the practical day to day governance of the town?
Do you have a plan to be implemented? I am interested in your views.


Climate: Spreading the word across generations
Has Alice Rotary committed to any specific action as a direct consequence of the students’ presentation?
Are there any plans for a further similar representation at a Rotary dinner or function?


Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime?
@ Ted Egan: Ted, I note with interest your reference to the “Bob Beadman towns” proposed so many years ago.
I first met Bob when I went to work for the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation in Canberra in 1981.
Bob was in Aboriginal Affairs. Bob showed a genuine interest in our work to promote sport for Aboriginal youth.
In 1982 when the NASF held the first ever presentation of Aboriginal national youth sport awards on Channel 7’s Sunday World of Sport in Melbourne on February 14, 1982, Bob was the first to ring us and congratulate Brian Dixon, Syd Jackson and the board.
Then in 1992 Bob was an ATSIC manager who gave evidence in the Castan human rights tribunal case. Bob has certainly been around in Aboriginal youth affairs.


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