TO PAUL PARKER: With respect Paul, you are way off …

Comment on Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime? by Ted Egan.

TO PAUL PARKER: With respect Paul, you are way off the mark. The land rights struggles of the 1960s sought to enable traditional First Australian groups to define and have recognised their occupancy of their specific tracts of land.
Further, we sought to enable them to be empowered to stay on that land with recognised title and, if necessary, to rehabilitate and develop that land themselves, with necessary assistance, on their terms precisely.
Alice Springs was recognised as Arranta land and we respect their ongoing presence and wisdom.
Today’s situation in Alice Springs has Warlpiri, Pitantjara, Pintubi and many other First Australians living on the fringes of town through no fault of their own.
They have no traditional rights in this area, hence they should respect the Arranta: indeed, 100 years ago they would have been subject to strict rules of behaviour.
Sadly, most of the visitors are in the grip of Centrelink or have health issues, or both.
That is not good enough: they deserve better. They deserve what all other Australians insist is their right: a town with normal facilities – in their country.
Alice Springs additionally has thousands of people other than First Australians, people like me.
I wasn’t born here, I am not a First Australian. But I recognise this as Arranta country and am happy to live in respect of Arranta guidelines, which are well-known to me. The same requirement is there for all “newcomers”.
The Arranta Elders must be invited to call the shots. We are not talking apartheid. We did once, but not any more: a tragedy is that South Africa learned from Australia how to implement the abhorrent policy of apartheid.
In Australia today we are talking proper land rights and normal behaviour. Bring it on!

Ted Egan Also Commented

Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime?
To Larry Pinta: Congratulations! I had never heard the word, but yes! Allodial title. I wonder why the term has never been applied in Australia before?
To John Bell: John, thanks for the kind remarks. As I am not a First Australian I have no authority to seek to speak on their behalf. But I have seen cases where local elders reminded visitors of their obligations when on somebody else’s country. They were very promptly obeyed, believe you me.
If we are to recognise and respect traditional authority, perhaps the Town Council, as a body, could seek out Arranta elders and ask them to provide a behavioural standard for all Alice Springs residents. Councillor Satour is of Arranta descent.
I would even suggest that a couple of places on the council should at all times be reserved for Arranta nominees. New Zealand does this sort of thing and it may even be the thin edge of the wedge to establish the “voice” that the Uluru Statement sought.


Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime?
Only the Arranta elders and a caring Federal government can resolve Alice Springs youth crime issues.
Fact 1: Most of the offenders are First Australians.
Fact 2: Most of the First Australian offenders are kids, starting at around 10 years of age.
Fact 3: Most of the First Australian kids are living in Alice Springs because of somer health or social services issue that requires them to be here.
Fact 4: Most of the offending First Australian kids do not attend school; they spend their days getting ready for tonight’s activities – house breaking, car theft, assaults, general mayhem.
Fact 5: Most of the above First Australian families are following the “fringe-dwelling” self-fulfilling prophecy that has happened long ago in most other regions of Australia: Living on the edge of established society, they are unhealthy, unemployed, unemployable, minimal money, in the grip of Centrelink, prone to alcohol and drug addiction, minor crime, leading to major crime as we now know.
Solution? Fill the gaols?
NO, they only become more skilful criminals. A Federal government must establish the 20 or so “Bob Beadman Towns” that were once proposed, whereby a place like Yuendumu has school, hospital, supermarkets, sports facilities, libraries, motels, decent housing just like a “normal Australian town”.
Next they determine to pay social services money only at these regional centres, so the owners of their land can be on the spot for work programs to rehabilitate their country on their terms.
This was the destiny sought in the land rights struggles of the 1960s.
It’s not apartheid. It’s land ownership and the undisputed owners of such huge tracts of land should be millionaires. The Federal and NT Governments have lost the plot completely.
And what should Arranta elders do? 100 years ago no outsider would behave like this on Arranta land.
Today’s Arranta elders should play the race card: This is our land.
Either respect and conform to Arranta standards or go back to where you came from.
This to ALL outsiders, Ted Egan included.


Recent Comments by Ted Egan

Blackout: Managers must go, says union source
The most annoying factor was that it is not possible to speak to a real person.
At 9 pm Sunday night, having been told earlier by the plastic 1800 voice that the power would be on at 8 pm, I rang the number again.
The plastic voice advised me that the power had come on in our region at 6.30 pm!
And where was the ABC? In the bushfire season the ABC, through heroes like Derek Guille and Trevor Chappell, stays at the post, advising residents of the graphic detail of what’s happening.
Not a mention of the whys and wherefores of our power outage.
Busy creating the latest “Thingy”?
Clue One: I happen regularly in Alice Springs. Clue Two: Nobody knows how, why, or when. TBC.


Arrernte Mary and Jesus watch over Alice’s Catholics
Magnificent. Congratulations to Kathleen Wallace and all those involved in the establishment of this beautiful, sensitive, appropriate work.
It joins with the combined talents of Cedar Prest and Wenten Rubuntja at Araluen.
Cities start to achieve real maturity when they commission stained glass windows and respectful statues.
When do we start on statues of Albert Namatjira and Michelle Castagna?


What would John Clarke have said?
Beautiful work Mark. Keep it coming. Satire rules.


Billionaire may invest in giant Tennant solar farm
Brilliant. In addition, why not a wind farm of comparable size?
There is always a wind in Tennant, hot in summer, cold in winter, never at excess speeds and thereby perfect for generating power.
In creating a solar farm of this size it would be a good idea to put the solar panels on steel structures of 45º facing north, in order to additionally capture and reticulate the rain when it does fall.
OK, it doesn’t rain often in Tennant but they occasionally get four to five inches in one go and that huge volume of water could he harnessed and reticulated into tanks or Mary Ann Dam.
The Port Augusta solar tomato project is an object lesson for this sunny part of Australia.
We will become an important food bowl for those stupid countries which encourage large populations. Let’s do it sensibly.


‘Voter apathy greatest threat to Territory democracy’
I think I am correct in asserting that NT Aboriginal people, once denied the vote, were given the right to enrol in the 1960s – well before the 67 referendum – and, once enrolled, voting for them was compulsory, as is the general rule in Australia. They are not compelled to enrol, so if they are not on the rolls that’s their fault
All enrolled voters are compelled to vote, even if they want to submit an informal vote.
My mother always voted informally: “Don’t encourage them,” she would say. That was her statement to the pollies: “You don’t impress me.”
I don’t advocate informal voting and to informal voters I say: “Don’t complain about the government: it’s put there by voters. You had your chance.”
If registered voters do not vote, even informally, they incur a fine.
So I would suggest to the Electoral Commission they take steps to impose those fines next time round. It should be a good earner?
People carry on about discrimination, but the voting power of the people is what determines our political outcomes.


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