UPDATED, November 29, 2013, 6.37am and again at 9.27am. See FULL STORY.
The Opposition describes government intentions for the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) as "a dangerous plan to scrap" it. However, Bess Price, as Minister for Community Services, says the Opposition's statements are an "hysterical beat-up". The controversy follows recent conflicts between the AAPA and the Mbantua Festival about the use of the Old Telegraph Station in Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
It's about the size of Central Europe. Less than 48,000 people live there, half of them in the major centre. Six governments look after it. They do not usefully coordinate their services. Yet each year, measured per-capita, they spend an obscene fortune. They rule from capitals thousands of kilometers away. The two main racial groups are at loggerheads. More than a third of the people are on welfare. Public service is the biggest employer. Of the 1800-odd businesses, 79% are micro or small, and of these, 83% rely on government spending and a transient population. There is no coherent plan for that country's future. What is its name? You guessed it – Central Australia.
But wait, there is hope and no better time than now to develop a vision for how this might be different. Dr Bruce Walker(pictured) heads up Desert Knowledge Australia remoteFOCUS in Alice Springs which will release a major report on these issues next week. Here is a snapshot. PHOTO AT TOP: Aborigines were a key to the change of government. This is mobile polling station in the Karnte town camp in Alice Springs.