'Serious assault causing injury' is the standout crime in the Police Southern Command, according to the picture painted by Police Annual Report for 2011-12, tabled in the NT parliament yesterday. Police stats show a 246.7% increase in that category, compared to 12.3% in the Darwin Metropolitan Command and 131.4% in the Northern Command. The raw numbers for the Southern Command are 137 in 2010-11 jumping to 475 in 2011-12. That puts Southern Command in 2011-12 way ahead of Darwin Metropolitan with 229 such offences, and Northern Command with 162. By KIERAN FINNANE.
UPDATED: November 1, 2012, 12.28pm. See graph at FULL STORY.
Protective custody statistics shown in the Police Annual Report, tabled in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, show a considerable drop in police protective custodies over the last six years, with a big hike in the middle period followed by a big drop in 2010-11. This puts a different complexion on the recent mileage made by NT Attorney-General John Elferink of the small drop in police PCs between 2010-11 and 2011-12. A small drop building on a big drop is a better look for where alcohol policy was heading than just a small drop on its own. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Council will not be proceeding with wombat crossings between the Post Office, Yeperenye and Coles – nor any new crossings at all – pending further consideration of past reports and a new traffic study in the CBD. The issue had been discussed at length by the previous council, with the wombat crossings finally agreed to. At last night's meeting the Technical Services department was seeking council's permission to proceed. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Above: Probably the CBD's busiest crossing, on Hartley Street in front of the Yeperenye shopping centre.
If the Town Council is a barometer of public opinion, Alice Water Smart may have some trouble with getting the community to warm to "water rules". Council has been asked to nominate a representative to the Citizens' Advisory Panel on the development of the rules. As previously reported here, the rules are not intended to be compulsory, more a set of guidelines drawn up through a community consultation process. But words matter and Councillor Steve Brown led the debate with his objection to the use of the term "water rules". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Town Council rangers have had a "more difficult workload" since the removal of the Banned Drinkers Register, according to Mayor Damien Ryan. He told his fellow councillors last night that he had conveyed this message to the stakeholders' meeting on alcohol issues convened by Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley on October 5. Meanwhile, his opposition to the NT Rock Bar's application to extend its trading hours had evaporated as had Cr Eli Melky's. Council had received an extension of time to comment on the application and last night voted to "not object". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
The Territory Government is determined to let Aboriginal people decide on whether they want grog or stronger grog in their communities. Minister for Indigenous Advancement Alison Anderson backs this while also expressing her confidence that 99.9% will say no to grog. Now Aboriginal Peak Organisations have announced a summit to get a "firm overview of Aboriginal views".
"Our politicians are right—the ultimate decision over managing alcohol on our communities must lie with our people—all of us," said alliance spokesperson Priscilla Collins.
Freedom of choice for Aborigines is dominating the parliamentary debate on alcohol but the link between excessive drinking and lack of employment is also receiving attention. Member for Barkly Gerry McCarthy (Labour) told parliament about the "great fun" he had at Aboriginal social clubs in Kalkaringi and Nguiu but stressed that "the employment programs are running at less than 30%" in those communities. Member for Braitling Adam Giles (Country Liberals) said "paying people to do nothing" remains "the No 1 issue", something that Independent Member for Nelson Gerry Wood strongly agreed with. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Source: MLAs' comments as reported in Daily Hansard.
Something has to be done about flood mitigation. Burying your head in the sand will not make it go away. We live in a climate of extremes and some of our older residents will remember the terrible Easter flood in 1988 with massive property damage, writes Ted Skahill, of Alice Springs. Pictured is Junction Waterhole, the site proposed for a dam.
Sarah Fitzgerald, 21, (left) from Mildura, Victoria, wants to win in next year's Tatts Finke Desert Race, one way or another: She will apply to be a grid girl, and if that doesn't work, she'll straddle her new 125cc pit bike – her first – and give the boys a run for their money.
Another early hopeful to join the glamor girls, sponsored by Inland Electrical, is born and bred local, Jade Hatt, who says she can’t wait to apply when entries open on November 1, "continuing her journey of growing up with the race".
“Our race is a national event open to anyone and everyone wishing to compete," says race committee member, Claire Ryan. "The same applies with our volunteers and Grid Girls.”