Lets not forget this is a two way thing. I …

Comment on The financial crisis in the Northern Territory by Trevor Shiell.

Lets not forget this is a two way thing.
I am aware of several female friends who have mothered Indigenous children for both social reasons and to get the substantial benefits which go with being Indigenous.
I also have seen contractors in a remote community having completed repairs on around 30 houses then having to return to house one to start again. Pretty lucrative work.
I also recall seeing TV footage two years ago showing a group of Eastern states people being taken to the Top End and shown a house in disrepair, but the occupant insisting on being given a new house when there was a lot of evidence (not mentioned) that she really needed a scrubbing brush, some soap, a toilet brush a broom and a bit off elbow grease to improve her situation considerably.
But the programme was structured to not offer these as an alternative as the rest of us would be expected to do.
To see where the money has gone, and how effectively it has been used, visit Mt Barkley, near Conniston, or Pannels Well near Ambalindum – and this is the thin edge of the wedge.
There will be readers who immediately consider this as racism. But my two closest friends are Indigenous men.
I had an Indigenous tutor as a child and who virtually lived with my family and I grew up with their children.
I also lived for a long time in a remote part of a Pacific Island country where if you wanted a new house you did not wait for the Government to provide – you just got in and built it.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
It is inevitable that the commercial centre will move south of The Gap and in spite of all the vested interests in the current CBD, how many re invigorations of the mall, and how many plans and initiatives have resulted in not much?
The dinosuar museum is a case in point, with many people not even knowing it is there and a cultural centre as proposed will go the same way.
No one seems to have noticed that we have a unique set of facilities grossly under recognised and unutilised with the convergence of three cross country highways, Outback Way, Stuart Highway and now the Tanami with an international standard airport and cross country rail.
This is where the long term economic activity will have to be. The obvious place for a cultural centre is in conjunction with Yirara College, where students can proudly display their cultures and as a learning exercise in management skills, and show the positive side of Indigenous education.
Add to that a brand new visitors centre where the Transport Hall of Fame is along the lines of Katherine, Winton and other places, to intercept visitors rather than the reactive approach where they arrive in town and then are targeted.
Such a centre should serve the whole of the NT. The numbers of visitors stopping at the welcome rock makes this an obvious action but never explored by planners. The cultural centre and the hall of fame should be the centre piece of a visitors experience, as it is in Winton.


NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse
China now has a ship laying out solar panels on an abandoned and flooded coal mine in Anhui province in Eastern China. It will be producing power for 35,000 homes as apart of supplying up to 11% of today’s energy requirements.
Yakindndra in Victoria is completely off grid and brought their own servo from the proceeds, while the Alkinos sub division in WA is completely independent of the grid.
It should have happened at Kilgariff, and the big green shed on the North Road is generating over half of its energy requirements every day.
No one seems to notice the row of inverters and batteries on the exit, nor do they seem to care. Where were we when all this was happening? Finke or the footy?
And what of our gas? The same company that has spent so much money in Darwin (Inplex) on their gas facility is now planning to build a much larger one in Indonesia!
Have we been taken advantage of yet again? And to rub further salt into the wound, Tesla claims a 2.1 year payback period on its newest electric truck and a 21% to 54% per km savings over diesel. What are we going to do when that arrives here? (Renew.org.Au)
And Denmark runs its entire train system on wind power from the North Atlantic. What another huge win for Tennant Creek (potentially). What have we been doing?


NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse
So obvious, yet once more ignored.
The old Chrysler factory on South Road in Adelaide is now a potential producer of hydrogen claiming that their comparative advantage is the quality of the sunlight for electrolysis of water, while Toyota is marketing hydrogen powered cars.
In the mid 1980s the Frauhoffer Institute in Germany was looking to re locate their solar research facilities, but no one thought to invite them here.
Where were we when this happened?
Under a previous Labor administration here there was a document issued called Towards 2030.
In it I put a proposition that the north south rail be electrified using solar and wind and used as a conduit to export electricity interstate and provide a unique tourist experience of travelling across the continent on a solar powered train.
It got two lines of attention in the back of the document while the rest was social platitudes. There is an Australian company retrofitting shopping complexes with solar power right across Australia but was never invited here.
As nice as this place is to live we are still 20 years behind, and feel good social philosophies do not fill bellies or pay power bills.


Mating odour to catch feral cats
Last year I lost 16 prize chooks to wild dogs, and then the feral cats got in and took the replacement chickens.
Using the same cat trap and chook pellets I have caught 10 rabbits so far and fed them to the crocodile as dessert.
The ears from most of those cats have gone to genetic research interstate to trace their origin and hopefully to eventually research into reducing their numbers.
And with all the ferals we have here, I still don’t understand why the CRC for research into feral animal control appears to be based in Tasmania.
It obviously should be here, but we are further away by far, than the deer, goats etc which are right under the public and political eye.


Ted Egan: Forget splitting hairs, counting drops of blood.
Again we have looked around and ignored what we don’t want to see.
Having lived in a rural part of Fiji for many years, the efforts of the British there go largely unnoticed, and often criticised, as they do here.
The Brits stepped in in Fiji as requested by the chiefs and the first thing they did was to sit the chiefs who were at war down around a bowl of Kava and determined who owned which pieces of land traditionally.
This land ownership was then assigned to a common ancestor, (a “matangali”) and carefully recorded so everyone knew which family group they belonged to, and which piece of traditional land was theirs.
Now every child born with a common Fijian ancestor is recorded in a register as belonging to that piece of land and is recorded as “kai viti”.
My children were all born in that lovely country to my wife and I and are all “Kai loma” I am “Kai valangi” meaning to have come from another country and my wife is “Kai viti” having come from Fiji.
Kai loma (loma means inside) means between, or inside both and is a lovely way to describe people who are between as so many of us are.
Is that all too simple?
As a footnote my children are all eligible to claim ownership of their traditional land in Fiji but have chosen not to do so as land is scarce.
However, whenever we return their Fijian heritage makes them very comfortable.
There is a middle path, but for some reason it is sometimes ignored.


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