By JAN HEASLIP
I arrived in Alice Springs on August 20, 1957, and apart for two years after I was married, have always lived here.
If you drive into Alice through the hills early on any morning, you can see a slight mist over the town. I have always called this the “magic of Alice”.
Some people love Alice and some don’t. It seems that some of the people of Alice stay about five years, others forever. It can easily get into your soul.
There are so many conflicting views on Alice Springs these days, so thought I would just add my view.
I see that the prices of housing, either to rent of buy, is ridiculously high and completely over the top for families. Why is this so? It didn’t use to be.
The ongoing problem with anti social behaviour is the biggest problem Alice has. The alcohol consumption and the violence it brings, needs strong handling from the law, really strong, and the people of Alice should be prepared to support the police actions at all times. Stop pussy footing around. Accept the law, completely.
Families should be held completely responsible for the behaviour of the children who roam the streets at night, totally responsible. The consequences for parents and children who do not accept that responsibility should be hard and we should accept that, regardless.
After all, parents are responsible for their children’s behaviour, not the schools and not the police.
I’m delighted to see the re development of the Mall, it is a positive move to bring people, both locals and tourists into the area again. Let us all support this move.
We have excellent shopping in Alice Springs and can buy almost anything we want. Shops open for extended hours, helpful to the locals and tourists. A service such as this isn’t always available in other parts of Australia.
I am very pleased to see the ridiculous law of identification to purchase liquor has been removed by the new Government.
We have great medical and dental services in Alice. I know there are some frustrations with the hospital, but generally speaking we are fortunate with the services we have. The visiting specialists to Alice are exceptional.
We have wonderful sporting facilities available that support most of the sports people want. This is often marred by the alcohol consumption of spectators. Time for strong control of this.
I should like to acknowledge the presence of the police these days, the work they are doing is exceptional in controlling anti social behaviour.
It is a credit to them and people of the town should be very happy. Do not knock the actions of the police, support them.
We have simply wonderful education facilities for our children through preschool, primary and secondary level, with many courses available at the CDU in Alice.
One of the schools in Alice offers exceptional overseas exchange for students. I firmly believe the students in Alice Springs have facilities that equal anywhere in Australia.
I say: Don’t knock Alice, just get behind the opportunities available in this great and exciting town, but be prepared to support the law and order that is paramount to the success and safety of this town.
[Mrs Heaslip lives and works on Bond Springs cattle station, just to the north of the town, which has a small operation for tourists, accommodating them in the historic homestead. She is the patron of St Philip’s College, which she helped to found, and the patron of the Northern Territory Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association.]
By JAN HEASLIP