By ERWIN CHLANDA
Young people “running amok” outside the government’s 24/7 youth centre, corner Railway and Wills Terraces, reached a peak yesterday with rocks being thrown at a dog in a blind lady’s yard, a car being trampled on and a business “rocked”.
This is according to a Railway Terrace resident who spoke on the condition of not being named, as the town’s three non-Labor MLAs are banding together to stop the ongoing unrest, and are seeking a meeting with Chief Minister Michael Gunner.
“It is a nighty occurrence. People cannot sleep,” says the resident, with staff of the centre usually taking no action once children leave the premises where they have been “fed and hyped up with drinks”.
Centre staff usually do not call the police.
In an apparent initiative to “clean up” the area on occasion of Mr Gunner’s visit, police last night “rounded up” children into paddy wagons, the woman says. Tangentyere buses then arrived and took them to unknown places.
The Alice Springs News is seeking information from Tangentyere and the police.
Meanwhile the Members for Braitling, Joshua Burgoyne, Namatjira, Bill Yan (both CLP), and Independent for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, are calling on Mr Gunner “to sit down with Alice Springs victims of crime of who feel abandoned by this Labor Government.
“Alice Springs is a town under siege.
“Spend some time in our town. Talk to the residents and businesses who are being affected day in, day out by rampant crime” they urge Mr Gunner in a letter attached to a media release.
“We don’t need another carefully stage-managed media opportunity without any real action. Ditch the cameras and media spin and meet with the public.”
Ms Lambley says her co-operation with CLP politicians should not be seen as an indication she will re-join the party.
The three have written to Mr Gunner seeking a meeting wth him.
This photo is from a petition signed by nearly 5000 people calling for a class action against the government “for lack of action and results in addressing youth crime”.
The resident we are quoting has now agreed to have her name published. She is Leisal Mac Donald.
JUST A NORMAL AFTERNOON IN ALICE SPRINGS
It is about 3pm. Ms Mac Donald observes two boys walking north from MacDonald’s fast food restaurant along Railway Terrace, teasing several dogs in the front yards, making them “go troppo” and then throwing rocks at them.
The rocks are a danger to anyone nearby, including the blind lady, says Ms Mac Donald.
She calls the police – about two minutes’ drive away. The boys duck into the government’s 24/7 youth centre at the northern end of the street and proceed to play games.
Ms Mac Donald challenges them. They say the dogs were about to bite them and give her “a mouthful”.
A police car arrives, stops at the youth centre, the two officers do not get out, let alone confront the boys, turn into the service station across the road and disappear in direction of Stuart Highway.
The police job number Ms Mac Donald had been given is P 21024877. She had given the police the names of the children whose age she estimates at 12 years.
“They can now come back and do it all again,” she says.