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

A touch of light: Artityerrityerre, willy wagtail
Good on you Mike. Some sanity from somebody at last, in this era of drivel. Yes, pound for pound the Willy Wagtail is the bravest creature alive.


Library no go for unaccompanied Alice teens
Honi soit qui mal y pense! Unruly is unruly.


Library no go for unaccompanied Alice teens
What a sound idea! Aggressive, boisterous bobbysoxers are not needed in a library – a place for sufficient quietness, research, study, reflection, relaxation.
They should go to school first, to learn manners and how to read, write and study in appropriate circumstances.


The sound of stockwhips cracking and the thunder of hooves
Good on you Tanya. I so admire the life on a good cattle station.
The essentials: a good Boss and a good Missus.
Tanya, Brett, M’Lis and Ben were so lucky: Great parents, lots of good fun, music, learning essential disciplines from loving parents and companions.
Station kids can ride buckjumpers, walk cattle across Australia, drive trucks, yet they also derive so much benefit from our wonderful School of the Air, today demonstrating to the world the principles of education in isolation.
It’s a great book and I recommend it to all


Council rejects parts of Kilgariff
See my earlier comment. What they have done is redirect the Todd River in flood back to itself, swamping the cemetery en route.
But in reality a 100 year flood (If it ever happened) through Kilgariff is going to provide a slow, gradual, welcome drink for trees and gardens of the blocks.


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor