What will it take for the government to act in Alice?


p2122-Chansey-PaechLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The NT Government needs to show the same urgency about Central Australian youth issues as they are in the Top End town of Katherine.
I congratulate Youth Minister Peter Styles and Katherine MLA Wilhelm Westra van Holthe for supporting community calls for a youth drop in centre in Katherine in response to concerns about young people chroming.
This begs the question why the NT Government and our four local members, including the Chief Minister, are ignoring repeated calls for action to combat the serious youth issues in Alice Springs.
The NT Government de-funded our successful youth drop-in centre, has slashed youth programs and services and utterly ignored the advice of youth workers, business people and the wider community to reinstate funding for youth services, especially after hours services.
A young person died recently after chroming in a busy public car park but there has been no response from the NT Government.
It’s been a horrendous summer of crime in Alice Springs and I’m extremely disappointed there has been no serious attention from the NT Government to address issues in Alice Springs and listen to the sensible solutions put forward by people on the ground.
The NT Government seems to be paying attention in Katherine only after dangerous and irresponsible vigilante action. This is the last thing we want in Alice Springs.
Cr Chansey Paech (pictured)
Alice Springs Town Council

0431 810758


  1. The NT government is operating under severe financial restraints.
    However, this seems like a good project for Centrecorp which was established to “undertake and implement activities which further the economic and social development of Aboriginals and which are conducive to the advancement of Aboriginals”.
    Centrecorp can afford help out, it has grown to be one of the largest investors in Central Australia, with interests in a car dealership, a shopping centre, a real estate agency, supermarkets, a gas pipeline, tourist resort and various other small projects.
    The organisation, with a majority share holding held by the CLC, has done very well for itself.
    Time to give back to the youth of our community.

  2. It is a matter of Government priorities. This Government has cut funding to youth services, while putting money towards short-term feel good projects that make a nice headline.
    Ensuring an integrated approach to after hours youth services and activities to prevent tragedies and help kids at risk isn’t up to a single business or organisation.
    While Centrecorp invests in and supports many community projects, setting up a co-ordinated child and youth system isn’t their responsibility.
    It’s fairly and squarely down to the NTG to fund and support non-Government agencies who have the proven expertise to provide these services.
    And thank God Centrecorp is investing in business and economic development in Alice Springs, because the NT Government certainly isn’t putting any long term plans in place.

  3. I applaud the comment above – not everything is tax payers’ responsibility and this is certainly an issue that should be looked at by such organisations as Centrecorp.

  4. Crime is also very bad in Tennant Creek, time to stop the drug dealers and the youths breaking into everything in search of grog. It’s making our Territory look like a prison with more bars on windows and doors to try and stop them.
    Even after these individuals go to court they are just released on bail to re offend.
    I don’t think more money is the answer.
    Time for the youth to get a kick up their butts and to be made responsible for their own actions.

  5. It really is a disgrace that some Aboriginal organizations would rather invest time and effort into the ownership of liquor outlets, petrol stations, poker machines and a newly formed “animal bar” circumventing the Bottle shop Temporary Beat Locations than establish a desperately needed youth diversion program and drop-in centre. (Side note: What efforts are made to employ indigenous staff at these businesses?)
    Equally concerning is when a senior person from these organizations can be often found at [one establishment’s] pokie machines during the work day and then wonders why they are not called upon to advise Government Policy.

  6. WOW, Observer, can you please provide some evidence for those comments and open that other eye while your at it.

  7. Observer. Aboriginal organisations don’t see themselves as part of the solution to town social problems, even if Indigenous youth are the perpetrators and victims.
    They will tell you that Territory and Federal Governments are responsible and if there are problems then they have failed and must do better.
    That’s why David Ross fails to see the hypocrisy in speaking out about Aboriginal issues and the failure of government while the CLC, through its majority shareholding in Centrecorp, has the power to address some of the issues themselves.
    Self help is simply not a meaningful concept with Aboriginal organisations in our town.
    The “rogue” investments in grog outlets etc by some Aboriginal investment organisations, that cause social harm, are a symptom of the same “outsider” mentality.
    The belief is that it is not the responsibility of Aboriginal investment organisations to help undo social harm and nor is it their job to prevent it.
    Sadly, the roots of division in our town run deep.

  8. The previous Labor NTG had the Alice Springs Youth Action Plan (fully costed and funded) which included the Street Outreach Service and the establishment of the Youth Hub at Anzac Hill.
    Just for purely political reasons the current CLP Government has scrapped it and replaced it with nothing!
    Every seat in Alice Springs is held by the CLP who have taken the town and their seat for granted for far too long.

  9. Cr Paech, quit the bitching. Start focusing your great efforts into productive solutions, incorporate them into a wide plan.
    Then unseat these useless self motivated individuals in 18 months time!
    Braitling and Greatorex are there for the taking and either is yours to lose.
    Both current “so-called” members have been a dismal disgrace.
    The time for this is right now while they continue to high five each other THINKING they are doing such a great job.
    They are completely disconnected from the electorates.

  10. I think parents can do more to look after their children. I see young children out in the streets at 10, 11 o’clock at night. Why aren’t they home in bed? The police are doing a good job but good behavior starts at home.
    Just have a look around you, we have excellent sporting facilities, cinema, swimming pool – what these people need is family support and Alice Springs needs a better community spirit. The people here do not know how lucky they are, we do not want government hand outs, we can all do a little, people!

  11. @ 5 – Another Observer – Perhaps you should open your eyes, the evidence for my claims are easy enough to find.
    Even search the Alice Springs News website.
    For your information, Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation own three IGA stores with Bottle Shops.
    Centrecorp owns the licensed Memo Club.
    Ngaanyatjarra owns the Indervon petrol station (not a particularly concerning investment unlike the four above mentioned liquor outlets).
    Another Observer, if you live in Alice Springs – perhaps on Friday evening you would have noticed a steady flow of traffic between the Memo Club and Stuart Park.
    Stuart Park at the time had massive crowds, people passed out, substantial litter and unsupervised children.
    Aboriginal corporations have a social responsibility to reduce harm.
    Owning liquor licenses (often with tax payer funded grants) is akin to Green Peace selling Whale Meat.
    Regarding my statement about regular work day pokies use – I am sure plenty of people are aware of the individual I am referring to.

  12. @ Giant Magpie: Labor borrowed money to pay a big heap of workers to sit in the extremely large building and talk mostly.
    I believe there were 67 approximately youth services organisations and they could do nothing.
    No beds in that centre. The money should have been spent to help kids.
    Big rec centre with dormitory rooms for kids to sleep and get a feed.
    This town is welfare driven and that is its mentality.
    And if you fix the problems – no more money, God, people will have to turn to private industry.
    Oh, that is right, private industry pays the bill for welfare spending.

  13. @ Observer: I have to agree with you, the Aboriginal corporations need to be more responsible. I can only do small steps to solve this problem.
    I don’t support IGA. They are expensive and last but not least the Muslims control the distribution of food to IGA stores. Anything with Allah on it in the shops they receive two and half percent commission.
    That is the reason I do not support IGA. Just one small step.

    – We checked with IGA and they have told us: We don’t ask people delivering food to us to disclose their religion nor their nationality because that would be unnecessary and inappropriate.
    We have no knowledge of any such a commission.
    The majority of our supplies comes from Metcash, one of Australia’s biggest suppliers, and whenever possible, from local producers and suppliers.]

  14. @ Janet Brown: Darling, the Adam Giles / CLP is the most top heavy Government the Territory has ever seen.
    There are more senior management and executive positions than ever before!
    They have sacked half of their youth workers so they could free up the money to pay their mates … Alice Springs is a regional hub, therefore we will always be helping in the Welfare town.
    67 youth services, where are they Janet? Yes that’s right they have all been cut, hence the increase in crime we are having.


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