Election shock: the person bringing change may well be you


p2350 supreme court, residency 1COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA
Good morning, and welcome to the first business day of the Labor Government.
The adage is that a government can only be as good as its opposition. Given where we’ve just come from, and where we are going, we can expect to be in for interesting times.
It’s not my job to tell you what to think, but let me suggest some questions that you may like to ask your family, your friends and yourself.
Where is the fail-safe device in our Northern Territory democracy? Most cars these days have a computerised one, and previously if something was clonking, something was wrong, we’d stop, check and fix.
For most of the past four years, in our vehicle of state the lights have been flashing and the alarms blaring – many of them in these pages – but the driver kept the throttle to the floor and the passengers their fingers in their ears.
Distrust in government is a global phenomenon, just think Brexit, Trump and the relentless growth of fascist parties across Europe.
In that spirit, here are the questions I am suggesting to you:-
How many representative organisations have been bought off with at least partial government funding?
How many experts who can advise the community have been silenced by lucrative commissions and contracts?
How many community groups have been satisfied with peddling meaningless bumph instead of presenting well researched, peer-checked and costed arguments?
How many people have allowed themselves to be bullied into silence instead of proudly exercising their sacred freedom of speech?
How many people have been turned against their own community with money, flattery, positions and privileges?
You can play a role in shaping the new era starting today. All you need is the guts to do it.
PHOTO: Symbol of the past four years – the five-storey Supreme Court building, a temple to crime and commercial space that isn’t needed, towers over The Residency, part of what us locals, and visitors from the world over, love about Alice Springs.


  1. Thank you, Erwin! Yes, each one of us can make a difference, it is called democracy.
    The result of the NT elections proves it. Each time I see the new Supreme Court building growing bigger and uglier, thus dwarfing the gentle Residency, my stomach turns upside down. It will be the legacy of a government whose mantra of Law and Order never gave any consideration to the aesthetics of proper urban planning.

  2. Maya, the Residency is the symbol of Tai Chi.
    At its simplest and deepest, the Tai Chi symbol is a symbol of existence and the process of creation. It holds a reminder of the very best that each of us can create, for ourselves and for the world.
    The Supreme Court is the symbol of karate: it employs mainly blocking, blowing, punching and kicking techniques.

  3. For me, now that the new court house is a done deal I just hope they leave the red-back hanging off the back wall.

  4. I think the new law courts would make a excellent hotel, its time Alice Springs had something modern: it’s time to move on and not to the past. A lot of our tourist attractions need to be upgraded and are poor. Move on.

  5. It would be just our luck to find, as in a growing list of new buildings around Australia reporting materials from China are containing asbestos, that it has this problem too.

  6. The new Supreme Court building is one level too high. Its designers have tried to do too much with too little space. But that simple error of design has ruined forever the “heritage” aspect of that formerly delightful portion of Alice. Pity. So watch for further aberrations.


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