A strong law and order platform greatly helped to secure victory for the Country Liberals on August 25, 2012. Today, 156 days later, nothing substantial has been done by the new government about Alice's most troublesome problem: out of control crime and vandalism by young people whose parents – with impunity – are running away from their responsibilities. Robyn Lambley (pictured), the Minister for Children and Families (and Central Australia!), seems to be doing little about it. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.
UPDATE Jan 29, 2pm
Minister Lambley has issued a media release following the publication in the Alice Springs News Online about Cr Melky's initiative, saying she "has ruled out the introduction of a blanket curfew for Alice Springs.
"A multi-pronged approach is the most effective and preferred way to manage law and order issues in the town," Ms Lambley said.
“I have been on the record many times stating a short term curfew for children would only be considered as a last resort in the face of unabated anti-social behaviour and crime."
"Meanwhile, aldermen also resolved to write to the Territory Government, requesting implementation of a Night Time Youth Strategy, which would see taken into protective care unsupervised children 15 years and under on the streets between 10pm and 5am.
"The model being proposed by Ald Robyn Lambley is similar to the one in operation in Northbridge, Perth which has an emphasis on accompanying support services for the young people and their families."
Tomorrow the new government will release its mini budget. Will the statement by Treasurer Robyn Lambley include the answer to the big question: why does governing the Territory, per head of population, cost five and a half times as much as the national average, asks ERWIN CHLANDA.
Newly elected NT MLA Bess Price’s call for Traditional Owners to step up to the negotiation table is sound. In my opinion, too much government grant money is dispersed by people who have little idea of the inner workings of Indigenous cultural obligation and much of it builds a consultancy empire interstate, writes Russell Guy.
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.
While Lhere Artepe remains tight-lipped about the Mt Johns development, an industry source says the subdivision is "at practical completion now".
It is entering the phase when service authorities – mostly the Power and Water Corporation and the Town Council – are carrying out final testing.
The source says the services such as power, water, sewage, roads and drains are ultimately taken over by these authorities who then guarantee their adequacy.
Once they are ticked off titles can be issued.
The source says it is normal for some deficiencies to be discovered in this process: this was the case with Stirling Heights and the Golf Course Estate, for example. These deficiencies are fixed prior to the issue of titles.
LAE Nominees Pty Ltd – an entity linked to the native title organisation Lhere Artepe – is the majority shareholder in the now defunct CDE Civil Pty Ltd, as well as the holder of the development lease, granted by the government, at Mt Johns Valley. They are two separate entities.
Meanwhile the CDE Civil website, alive earlier this week, comes up with the message "account suspended".
POSTING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON
CDE Civil Pty Ltd, which is linked to the Native Title organisation Lhere Artepe, owed $2.5m to 56 creditors when it was put into liquidation on Friday last week. Alice Springs News Online learned this from a reliable source today. The company was involved in the still unfinished Mt Johns residential estate which followed a native title deal between the NT Government and Lhere Artepe. According to our source, the list of creditors is headed by the Tax Department ($1.6m), a pipe laying company, a plumber and an electrician. A local clinic is owed $200.