When it comes to picking an attractive candidate it doesn't get much better than Nova Peris: She is thoughtful, a good communicator, energetic, a sporting star, Territory born and bred and good looking. For a Labor candidate she is surprisingly conservative on some issues, quoting that four-letter word – work – as the key to fixing much of what's wrong in the Territory. Far from focusing on just Aboriginal issues she says bringing back to speed the live cattle export industry will be one of her top priorities. She spoke with Alice Springs News Online Editor ERWIN CHLANDA. Ms Peris, at left in the photo above, is picturedat the Alice Springs Show with law student Que Kenny, from Hermannsburg.
At recent meetings in Alice Springs, the NT Police Commissioner met with NT government departments, but not with Federal departments or non-government, community-based organisations.
The key Federal departments that he failed to involve are those controlling Centrelink and the new Remote Jobs and Community Programs (RJCP) which replaces CDEP from July, 2013.
These departments are critical to solving alcohol-related, anti-social behavior, by re-evaluating welfare entitlement and creating employment opportunities. RUSSELL GUY comments.
Meanwhile, Federal Member Warren Snowdon (pictured at left) has not responded to a request for an interview with the Alice Springs News Online, exploring to what extent a multi billion dollar program for indigenous people in the Territory will be fostering self-help.
PHOTO AT TOP: Aboriginal dingo trapper in the 1960s. Was he self-taught or had he participated in the kind of program Mr Snowdon has announced? "$19.1 million to create 50 extra Aboriginal Working on Country ranger positions in remote Northern Territory communities over the next four years."
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks told Q&A's national audience on Monday: "We live in absolute poverty."
Do they? At the very least the residents of Utopia have income support in the form of Centrelink benefits.
Does "we" include her and her family?
They have a three bedroom house with airconditioning, according to someone familiar with Utopia, 250 km north-east of Alice Springs.
That person spoke with us after watching Q&A and on the condition of not being named.
Others might be sleeping rough, but sometimes it’s a choice: it's great for accessing the shop, a factor of transport rather than accommodation.
Sometimes camping rough is a necessity due to sorry business. No number of permanent housing will alleviate cultural expectations. Some
people have access to housing on nearby outstations.
A local artist living on a truck was one of the exhibits when Salil Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, called in on his
one-day fact-finding mission.
But the artist's house on his nearby homeland was a fact not found by Mr Shetty because he wasn't made aware if it, our source suggests.
If he had, perhaps his finding would not have been that "around 500 homeland communities are being left to wither as the Government starves them of essential services". ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Photo: Naronda William Loy, 21, with her daughter Karlishia Raggatt, 1, speak with Amnesty International's Secretary General Salil Shetty, at Mosquito Bore, Utopia, 8 October 2011. Courtesy Amnesty International.
"I've got 55 positions across MacDonnell Shire – I can't fill all of them because I have to compete with Centrelink."
It was one of the starker statements of the two and half hour public meeting held in Alice on Tuesday evening, about the second phase of the Federal Intervention.
The speaker was Tracey McNee, coordinator of Community Safety at the shire, making a point about the disincentive to work created by ease of access to the dole. She "took her hat off" to shire residents who had taken the work, but commented on the remaining vacancies: "[People] don't necessarily have the same pressure and pushes to apply for those jobs."
The jobs are with night patrol services: "No-one is saying night patrol is an easy job, but it is a job," said Ms McNee.
Centrelink is potentially "a large part of the solution," responded veteran community development worker Bob Durnan, suggesting that the organisation has the motivation and capacity as well as permanent staff in communities to help people into jobs (presumably with some forcefulness, if necessary). He said while government has poured a huge amount of money into job networks, they are not based in communities and don't have local knowledge. Centrelink is in a good position to take over job network functions, he said. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Photo: Youth worker George Peckham on the microphone at Tuesday night's public meeting.