Tall poppies don’t thrive in the Red Centre


p2062halduellOKAs in summers past, the question now being asked is why are there teenagers running amok? Even, horror of horrors, young teenage girls!
Well, that’s easy. Just like last year and the year before that, by day the shops are air-conditioned, summer nights are long and hot, school is out and they’re bored.
And, it’s fair to say, not much is being done to engage them. The Alice Springs Youth Action Plan of the last government was scrapped by the current government just because they could. No replacement was offered.
Is there really no Youth Hub, or something just like it, at Anzac Hill?
It’s always convenient to blame the government of the day, and there’s no denying they could be doing more. So could the individuals involved. But what about the different organisations we hear about in Alice. Other than bickering among themselves, what is their positive contribution?
Too much gimme, gimme, gimme while banging on about culture, and not enough unfunded grunt and initiative with that lot. Perhaps a tick to the Town Council and the Convention Centre is due here. The summer ice rink is popular and a really good idea.
But I think the malaise in Alice goes deeper than a specific lack of youth outreach programs and a general unwillingness to do anything without government funding. I think the negativity Alice parades every time someone, anyone, comes up with an idea for local growth has a part to play in our disenchantment.
For instance, don’t build over the height set by a group of consulting Yanks 50 years ago or the ranges will never be seen again and it will be the demise of Alice as we know her. That is a nonsense.
For instance, don’t promote mining or our aquifers will be fouled forever. That is not a nonsense, but neither is it the whole argument.
For instance, put rocks in the road of the huge development suggested for the Desert Knowledge Precinct. And this after Ninti Not wasted a national resource – camels – from lack of the imagination to build an export industry with it?
Why don’t we ever seem to back ourselves? Why don’t we say yes to some of these development ideas?
Instead, like a tart on a street corner, we pin our dreams on tourists coming by to pay us for a short time. Entertaining tourists might turn a quid, but is that really all we have to offer in this world?
We could do more. But, alas, tall poppies don’t thrive in the Red Centre.


  1. @ Howell: Well said each and every one can do something. It does not matter how small it is, it will make a difference.
    It’s not the federal government’s job, it’s that of parents and citizens of Alice Springs that just need to take time and care with these people as this will make a world of difference.

  2. When I was a kid, in the school holidays Graham Ross would pick up Town Camp kids and kids on the street and take us all out Bush, gave us a good meal and gave us activities to do, swimming, horse riding, bush walking and sharing stories which kept us out of trouble.

  3. What a load of garbage.
    I don’t believe that by people asking questions they are not backing development in the town.
    I do support the people who are concerned over the height restrictions and possible damaging sight lines.
    Hal, I didn’t know you were qualified in water management and development?

  4. Alice Springs News have hardly been watering these tall poppies. Quite the reverse, with a weekly dose of Roundup.


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