@ 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

No Medevac when climate disaster starts
The fact is that per capita head of population and national economy, Australia is taking up renewables at a rate 4 to 5 times faster than China, India, the EU, Japan or the US. Fact. And in our country that has banned nuclear power development.


Cr Melky: Mayor’s CLP candidacy, a risk for the council?
@ Curious: It is long established that local councils have become a stepping stone, the testing ground for budding state Parliament pollies.
The bigger issue is that councils around Australia are beginning to encroach more and more on the role of state government, becoming a wannabe mini parliament.
That is a real worry in a country that is already the most over-governed country in the western democratic world. More chiefs and wannabe chiefs than Indians.


Hermannsburg Mission: questions of survival
@ Jack: In 2010 I was fortunate to catch up with Gus Williams after many years.
Gus was an old friend, a fellow Feddy and a regular organiser of the Hermannsburg team to the Yuendumu Sports Weekend.
Gus talked about the school education troubles in the community. At length.
Gus held a particular view that would surprise white urban activists.
Gus reinforced for me that there were great benefits brought into the Ntaria community by the Strehlow family and the Lutheran missionaries.
To coin a saying, it is not all black and white when two different cultures inevitably come together and interact.


Warlpiri don’t want Zachary Rolfe murder trial to be in Darwin
@ Local 1: Thanks mate. Good thoughts. While we would appear to disagree on whether this should be trial by jury or by judge-alone, I think we both would agree that the integrity of the court process is paramount no matter where the case is held.
I see your point about previous contentious trials of remote community deaths and the need to be judged by your peers.
However, that is precisely why I fear trial by jury in such powder keg cases.
Trial by jury fails the pub test in such cases. Juries are highly vulnerable. I must admit that some would get a negative message if the Supreme Court held the trial by jury in Yuendumu.
I would be very worried too. But in a judge only trial, where a good judge will not be swayed by the volatile crowd, I think it would be a terrific vote of confidence in our criminal justice system.
The pressure would be on the judge to weigh up all the evidence immediately after the trial, far from the madding crowd in isolation to deliver a verdict in due course.
Reading the verdict in a packed courtroom in Yuendumu would be a supreme test (pardon the pun) of integrity and community goodwill for everyone concerned.
Such a situation would force everyone to accept that this is for an impartial judge to decide. Fearlessly. In the heartland. Focused on the evidence of all the parties. Transparently covered by mainstream media. Somehow though, I don’t think any government would be brave enough to create this scenario. A pity. In my opinion.
Hope you have a happy Christmas. My thoughts are with the accused cop and the lad who lost his life.


Warlpiri don’t want Zachary Rolfe murder trial to be in Darwin
@ Local1: I think I understand your argument. Criminal cases are usually conducted in the jurisdiction area covering the community where the alleged murder is committed.
In this case it would be Alice Springs.
But there is nothing to prevent the court from conducting the case in another physical location.
It is only a courtroom location after all.
In a judge-only trial, an appointed competent judge who applies due process and procedural fairness will come to the same decision, regardless of the trial’s physical location where appropriate security measures are in place.
I think a good judge would never ever let the surroundings affect his or her judgment.
I ask you the question: Why do you think holding the trial in the Yuendumu community would affect the judge’s decision? Can you put your reasons into words?


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