The lack of community testing raises many questions: Is the lack …

Comment on COVID-19 testing in Alice: It’s a secret by Ralph Folds.

The lack of community testing raises many questions:
Is the lack of testing the reason there are no reported cases here?
Are some people feeling safe because they think the virus is not here yet?
Are people not bothering about social distancing and hand washing because there are no reported cases?
Are schools with remote students still running because they think students can’t become infected and can’t infect their communities?
Many things would change if COVID-19 was found to be loose in our town but if there is no testing there could be dozens of infections before we know about it.
Most cases of the infection are mild and some have no symptoms so it can spread unnoticed.
Community testing is essential if the death toll is to kept low.

Recent Comments by Ralph Folds

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.


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