My first reaction to The Little Prick was: why don't we do political satire in Alice Springs? It's a show of mock-up magazine covers, created in reaction to "lifestyle magazines" – ResideNT and the like (apparently there have been a number). It's funny and provocative, quite crass at times, and what seems significant – in thinking about the difference between Darwin and Alice – is that it targets 'big ticket items'. These include our political leaders. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.
At left: Chayni Henry takes on a Territory Labor sacred cow with INPEX: We will all benefit. (The exhibition went on show in Darwin in July, before the Territory election.)
The new government's alcohol strategies will be a home-brewed solution, driven by locals and not by Darwin.
While Minister for Central Australia Robyn Lambley (pictured), after today's first "stakeholders" meeting on the issues, was surprisingly flexible about most issues, she's adamant that any solutions will come from locals. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
The People's Alcohol Action Coalition (PAAC) presented this graph to today's meeting about alcohol in Alice Springs. It shows that as the wholesale price of alcohol increased (the solid red line)between July 2000 and December 2010, the volume of alcohol consumed per capita by individuals in Central Australia over 15 years of age decreased (the dotted red line). The vertical black lines are the points in time when various alcohol initiatives were introduced.
Source: The graph is from a longitudinal study of the influences on alcohol by the National Drug Research Institute (Curtin University), June 2012.
The new government's grappling with alcohol problems is off to a chaotic start.
Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley called a meeting of "stakeholders" – excluding the media and the public. But uninvited guests – family and friends of Kwementyaye Briscoe who died in the Alice Springs watchhouse in January – turned the gathering into noisy chaos, with his aunt, Patricia Morton Thomas (pictured), noisily demanding that police be charged.
A recent Australian Bureau of Statistics presentation to the Alice Springs Town Council recently showed that the median weekly rent in MacDonnell Shire is $25, and in Central Desert Shire, $20. The Alice Springs News Online asked Territory Housing to confirm this, and asked about the maximum and minimum rents for public housing in the shires. Andrew Kirkman, Executive Director for Remote Housing NT explains.
At tomorrow's meeting of stakeholders about alcohol issues in Alice Springs, we can expect that all the facts will be on the table. But the public will be in the dark about at least one of them: the number of protective custodies this year compared to last. That will become public knowledge later this month, when the NT Police Annual Report is tabled, but until then NT Police are declining to release the figures. The Alice Springs News Online has asked for them following a reader's post which suggested that they had halved this winter compared to last, evidence that the Banned Drinkers Register (rolled out from July last year and with 2491 people registered as at June 30, 2012) was taking effect. However, we have been fobbed off. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Alison Anderson has proved her political clout in her electorate, increasing her vote despite her switch of party and the negative campaign against her. Now she is setting out to prove it as a Minister in two important portfolios – Indigenous Advancement and Regional Development. She has showed her style early, suggesting that Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin is in "La La Land" if she thinks she's "closing the gap", but what will be the substance? The long-awaited report by NT Coordinator-General of Remote Services, Olga Havnen, has finally been released. Ms Anderson is not committing her government to implementing its recommendations as formulated because, although it has attracted a lot of publicity, she says the report is "nothing new". She is also not sure if she will maintain the position of Coordinator-General, which she created as Labor Minister, and her comments suggest she is moving away from the Working Future policy and its associated Growth Towns, again her creations while she was with the Labor Government. KIERAN FINNANE speaks with Ms Anderson in the wake of the Havnen Report.
Pictured: Ms Anderson with Judy Brumby (right) and Esmeralda, both from Areyonga, during her election campaign.