@ Alex Nelson. I believe that the geographical isolation of …

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

@ 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.

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: 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.


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

Harts Range garnet mine in trouble
In the 1970s we used to convoy it from Melanka to the Harts Range race meeting weekend.
Never knew if it was the sun glinting off the mica in them there hills, or the reflection off the bottom of the CB stubs.


Rolfe bail application under exclusion of the public
@ Peter Dixon: “The charges must have been laid on the evidence.”
Not necessarily. Peter, I agree with you that police are not above the law.
But the question here is – why was the charge of murder laid so quickly? There is a whiff of NT government influence here. In the highly volatile immediate community reaction at the time, so hastily laying the most serious charge of murder, rather than say, manslaughter, it is not a quantum leap to think that police were leaned on by the NT government to try to defuse and placate the community anger.
Down here in Victoria, when 26 government MPs were found by Ombudsman Deborah Glass to have rorted (i.e. misappropriated) public funds of $300,000 to pay Red Shirt volunteers to win the 2014 election, Andrews refused to allow the police to interview them.
They were never charged and sit in Parliament scot free today. The same major party is in government in Victoria and the NT.
Who is to say that the NT police were not leaned on in a similar manner by Mr Gunner?


Rolfe bail application under exclusion of the public
@ Evelyne Roullet: I respect your comment Evelyne.
However, the third person is only “central” to the incident in the fact that he is a witness whose account may or may not be given weight to find guilty or acquit.
My point is that the two central young men have been impossibly captured and trapped by the media and stereotyped into opposing racial camps.
The media cannot help itself. Sensationalism that only exacerbates the bitterness and attracts readers and viewers.


Rolfe bail application under exclusion of the public
With all due respect. The Australian’s reporting of this incident, and for that matter the reporting of every other mainstream media outlet, gave full and fair coverage – sensationalistic coverage, in fact – to the community’s outrage.
From the very first moment that the news broke, it was reported with very heavy implication that it was a racial incident. With hatred of police thrown in.
Anyone who dared to suggest otherwise ran a serious risk of accusations of racism.
Two young men were central to this incident. The dead Young man will rightly be respected and honoured in death. As should be by family and friends and community.
However, the one who has been charged with murder (very hastily it would seem for political reasons), is now firmly stereotyped as a white racist.
His pic has been emblazoned on the front pages and we know him as a white twenties lad with tattoos from a white well-off family.
He has been condemned automatically by at least 50% of the population.
I will be very interested to see if his trial will be by jury or judge alone.
I think a jury trial would not guarantee a fair trial.
Media attention to the different treatment he has been accorded will only make a fair trial by jury even more doubtful.


Alice group says ‘no’ to extradition of Assange
@ Jerry Fitzsimons: A former local 4 has a fair point; why worry about Assange when there are far more relevant and important local issues to report in many Alicians’ opinion.
I tend to agree. I have long been impressed with Murray Stewart’s Desert League of Champions initiative.
I personally think it has been a lovely community bonding exercise over the last 20 years. 10 nominees every year for 10 years then a big celebration of the 100 in 2019.
Much prefer to read a report on an event celebrating Alicians and the sporting history of a town that has a magnificent sporting tradition than reading about the Socialist group rally.


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