Work – mainstream, private, lucrative and honourable – may achieve for Aborigines what four decades of social engineering and handouts have not. Nigel Scullion (pictured with a Top End elder), the first NT based Minister for Indigenous Affairs, clearly does not want to amend the Land Rights Act which would trigger a national outcry by lower-case 'l' liberals. Yet he must bring into play Aboriginal assets that have lain idle for too long: Half a million square kilometers of freehold land, and thousands of working-age people on the dole. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Su McCluskey (pictured) heads up a think tank that rates Central Australia amongst the least competitive regions in Australia, on a scale of five (see map FULL STORY). Last week she spoke to a forum at Desert Knowledge Australia, the organisation which has been charged, for the past 15 years, to find ways for arid inland of Australia to be a better and more productive place: so far the results are slim. Editor ERWIN CHLANDA put to Ms McCluskey that The Center has a million square kilometers of land, lots of water we know of, and doubtlessly more that we don't, lots of idle labour, as well as backloading freight opportunities, both on road and rail, which could take produce to Alice Springs or south. How come we're not rolling in money?
The delivery of the Early Childhood education program by the MacDonnell Shire in the Ikuntji / Haasts Bluff community is appalling, says a former employee, Susannah Taylor. The shire responds that it delivers Early Childhood Education programs in nine communities "and due to the success of our programs has recently been awarded a tenth community".
An Alice Springs labour hire company says business is down compared to a year ago and job seekers outnumber available positions about five to one, says Chris Jackson, of Centre Labourforce and Recruitment NT.
Before the downturn 150 people a week were contracted through the firm, she says.
That figure is now down to between 80 and 100. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Is there an income test for people to qualify for government subsidised housing on town camps? Yes. Does it apply to the Shaw family, which has dominated Tangentyere Council for decades, and has turned much of Mt Nancy (pictured) into their private domain? No. By ERWIN CHLANDA.