A pandemic is about to overtake Central Australia and Aboriginal …

Comment on Gunner the statesman short on facts for Centre by Peter.

A pandemic is about to overtake Central Australia and Aboriginal people are at high risk.
Where is Congress?
What are they doing when there is so much they could do?
They have many Aboriginal staff who could take the keep safe message to Aboriginal people in town and on communities.
They could be running programs in schools and in particular Yirara College and the Bush Mob.
Most importantly they could be speaking out about the approaching health disaster.
They could be demanding the measures that all health professionals know are needed such as stopping the flow of people between town and communities and closing schools.
Of course this would be biting the Federal hand that feeds them.
But they should do it anyway.
Are they waiting for a big payment to run a program?
Congress already gets around $50m a year in funding and they own a share in secretive but fabulously wealthy Centrecorp.
Congress have spare cash, they don’t spend all their funding.
In 2017 Congress had unspent cash and cash equivalents to the value of $20.3m.
If the pandemic takes many Aboriginal lives while Congress sit idly by their failure will be remembered.
Their credibility will be zero.

Peter Also Commented

Gunner the statesman short on facts for Centre
Driving around town I see Alice Springs Town Council work gangs operating as if nothing has changed.
Workers are not obeying the social distancing rules.
And should they really be attending to routine non essential jobs that involve gangs of workers?
Council workers need to be redeployed to help fight the coming pandemic.
There are many jobs they could do in conjunction with health organisations.
Time to refocus Alice Springs Town Council.


Gunner the statesman short on facts for Centre
Schools in Queensland are to be closed from next week except for the kids of essential services staff.
Here is Alice even schools catering to high risk Aboriginal students from bush communities are open.
These kids run away often or go home for funerals or sports etc then come back.
Just a matter of time before some of the students are infected and in turn infect their communities.
Schools teaching remote Aboriginal students in our town are doing a huge disservice to Aboriginal people.
They should be focused on the well-being of community families not just on the money they get for the students.


Gunner the statesman short on facts for Centre
@ Joan: You are doing the right thing, or trying to.
The whole issue of testing is unclear in the NT.
We are the only State / Territory to not release our testing data.
COVID-19 cases are doubling every three to four days in Australia.
So 2146 today then 4292 in 3-4 days then 8584, 17168, etc etc the numbers become enormous very quickly.
Inevitably hospitals will be overwhelmed in April.
Italy’s infection rate has been doubling every four days so it’s about the same as ours.
In the last 24 hours there were 743 deaths in Italy.
Central Australia is not a good location during this pandemic with a high risk of infection and a lack of medical services if you become seriously ill.
Many venues in Alice Springs are crowded and social distancing is mostly ignored.
Travel between Aboriginal communities and town continues as before even though Aboriginal people face a high risk of serious illness or death.


Recent Comments by Peter

The task ahead is rebuilding
@ Charlie Carter: I know two families whose income has been severely hit by the Casino closure, two more who lost their jobs when gyms closed, another made part time at a local business. Unemployment is soaring throughout the nation and our town is no exception.
This is why Morrison has stepped in to support the newly unemployed.
As well, food prices are extraordinarily high which is another blow to the struggling.
But I don’t accept that Town Council employment should be supported by our very high rates.
No way! The Council should cut its cloth to the present circumstances just as the rest of us are doing.
The town has few residents from remote communities, no need to patrol the river, it is much quieter. Many ranger duties are not needed now.
$1.2m for Rangers. Is that about 15 positions?
Halve the numbers and save half a million.
Those stood down can get the government wage support.
The work gangs are out there as if nothing had changed, breaking the social distancing rules which is inevitable in a gang of workers.
Parks and Reserves $1.4m. Reduce to urgent works and save $1m.
Library $1.9m. Take away books will never work as the pandemic gathers pace.
Each book and every page would have to be cleaned to make sure it is safe.
Get a Kindle, Charlie.
Huge savings to the library budget.
I could go on and on.
Many millions could be saved and passed on to residents by way of a rate cut that will be welcomed by the growing ranks of the unemployed.


The task ahead is rebuilding
@ Charlie Carter: Unemployment and underemployment is growing in our town and there is no escaping to other places for employment.
The Feds are spending huge sums to ease the burden.
In this context “small government” is not bullshit if it contributes to the national effort to take pressure off struggling families and out of work casuals.
Would you like to increase the size of the Town Council and add to the rate burden?
Improved efficiencies and downsizing the Council to cut rates would be very timely.
The Council will not do this voluntarily, they will defer rate payments but not cut the rates.
This is a completely out of touch response.
A review of Council operations and staffing is needed.
The beneficiaries are likely to be most residents.
By the way, the NT has a record debt of around $7 billion, the interest on which is $1.2m per day.


COVID-19 calls for straight answers
Irresponsible of the NT Health Minister to say that the Territory is the safest place in Australia.
Testing about one Territorian in 100 is insufficient to draw that conclusion.
Nowhere is safe and health messages should not imply otherwise.


The task ahead is rebuilding
@ Pseudo Guru. Agree we need a grounded discussion.
Very hard to grow the economy but we can cut costs to give residents more money to spend locally.
Start with rates.
We have a bloated town council and sky high rates.
A public review of the Council’s operation and staffing is long overdue.
Is it meeting residents’ needs? (Note the out of touch response to the Coronavirus emergency with huge job losses).
Is it overstaffed?
Are the high rates justified?
Are there alternative models that deliver better service less expensively?


Aborigines may defy orders, come to Alice for food: CLC
Very few remote community residents travel to Alice Springs to shop for a healthy food basket.
Keeping the price of healthy food low on communities will not prevent people from coming to town.
There are fast food attractants in town, plus the availability of alcohol that draws remote residents to town.
But the healthy food basket is not one of them.


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