Central Australia is getting merely crumbs off the table in "a significant investment in bush roads across the Territory" by the Federal and NT Governments.
Malarndirri McCarthy, NT Minister for Regional Development, and Warren Snowdon, Member for Lingiari, announced today they would be committing $16m and $90m, respectively, to a "new Regional Roads Productivity Package" to "encourage growth and development in a number of communities and local industries".
The slice of that for Central Australia will be for "upgrading the gravel condition of priority sections" – no lengths or costs disclosed – of the Santa Teresa Way whose total length is about 70 kms.
Bob Durnan (pictured) is a community development worker with over three decades of experience in working with Aboriginal people in town camps and remote communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland. He looks forward to where we would hope to be when the sun sets on the current 10-year second phase of the Federal Intervention into Indigenous affairs in the Territory.
Those of us – of all ethnic backgrounds – who seriously look forward to still residing in the Northern Territory 10 years from now need to start getting our acts together if we want a tolerable social and climatic environment to enjoy in our dotage.
Apart from the grim fact that we must hope Australia doesn’t get dragged down into a world-wide economic quagmire – the new depression – and endure the suffering that would accompany the further disappearance of finance and trade, jobs and commerce, we have to still deal with our own unfolding local social catastrophe.
To help us do this dealing, we also must hope our nation’s strong streak of mean-mindedness and lack of empathy is diminished, at least a bit, as we badly need to continue receiving generous helpings of the GST gravy if we are to have any chance of achieving a safe, well-educated, healthy, productive and integrated society in the NT.
Equally we must hope that measures to abate global warming are implemented rapidly, despite their impacts on trade and finance. It’s hot enough in Central Australia as it already is.
If Australia’s national wellbeing survives these and other possible threats (the usual – war, terrorism, and their pressures for increased population shifts) then we could reasonably expect our national government to build on its already large investment in the Northern Territory Emergency Response, and see some Stronger Futures evolve in the NT; but as you may sense, I think it’s a bit of a long shot.