Do we need the footy carnival?


p1908michaelliddle2LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – I and many other people I have been in discussions with have serious concerns about holding a football event, the Easter Carnival, just for the purpose of holding it. What are the reasons of continuing to take the path of “the show must go on at all costs”?
The season proper is well in progress. Alice Springs town clubs no longer play in the carnival and those players that do play,end up playing for a community team. So this idea shortens the season to probably 8 to 10 games for each club (Federal, Pioneer, South, West and Rover). Ask any local footballer and they will say the season is far too short.
It’s freezing in July, accommodation or lack of it is problem, many of the teams that participate in the carnival have the bonus of a holiday each end of the weekend for travel to town and back from town when it is held during the Easter weekend.
Sid Anderson from Papunya has got a competition running out on the Western front next year which includes the teams from, Areyonga, Papunya, Yuendumu, Willowra, Hermansburg, Kintore and Mt Liebeg.
How will these dates impact on that competition, have they been consulted, how will this effect their competition by holding the carnival in July? How will this effect the local competition?
We are all engaged somehow in providing some sort of direction that promotes good health and well being to all that minimizes all aspects of bad behavior. The Australian Rules Carnival has been going since 1984, that’s 31 years and things have changed, especially social behaviors and acknowledging the Alice Springs Town Council and the Arrente people regarding codes of conduct when visiting town.
My interests lie in developing change and creating change for the better lifestyle for all to enjoy. The carnival needs good robust conversation around aims and objectives for the continuation of it.
For the majority of people, the enjoyable experience does not exist because of a number of reasons, the whole town goes into lockdown.
The AFLNT does no longer hold a carnival before their season because it encouraged increased hospital statistics, court appearances, housing issues, alcohol abuse etc. Action was required by the community of Darwin and this way is the best way that they seemed fit to address the situation.
I still maintain and am very unconvinced that a football carnival has to happen in the year 2016 because of a number of reasons that I have touched on above.
Michael Liddle
Alice Springs


  1. This is a thoughtful and progressive contribution to the debate on this matter.
    Perhaps one idea to consider is to borrow an event from the past, I saw a report from decades ago describing the first footy match between an Alice Springs team and an Aboriginal team from Hermannsburg.
    I think the game was played at Hermannsburg (I’ll have to find that story again).
    Is it possible, I wonder, for a representative team from Alice Springs to travel to the major regional communities rather than everybody travelling into town for the Easter Carnival or in July?
    This could be a spur to help improve facilities in some of these communities while avoiding some of the problems that are attendant with the major footy carnival in Alice Springs.

  2. I think it should go ahead, these people need need to be house trained. These people need to act responsibly or receive the full extent of the law.

  3. Following the public debate (for lack of a better phrase) that occurred last year, a broad-focus Taskforce (“Neo”) was setup to look at ways to better mitigate issues that occur when there is a large influx of visitors to town.
    At the time this was touted as more than just the standard taskforce – with real resources in the picture and a real interest for trying some new ideas.
    Is there any update on how Neo is tracking?


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