Here's another question to elevate the Can't Do Brigade's blood pressure: Why don't we channel our unemployed into growing produce? The correct answer: "Ohhh, it's going to take decades, mate."
We did, you know, 70 years ago, when the Territory just about became self sufficient in locally grown produce.
The population was 100,000, which remained much the same until the late '70s. True, we now have more than twice that population. Are we growing half the fruit 'n veg we need? Nope.
Is that because governments now prefer handing out sit-down money to mobilizing human resources? The wartime farms grew water melons, lettuce, tomatoes: "They had a go at just about anything."
By 1945 the annual production was 1.7 million kilograms a year, according to historian Peter Forrest, interviewed by the ABC on the anniversary of the bombing of Darwin. That's 1700 tonnes.
"The army almost achieved its goal of making the Territory self sufficient in produce," Mr Forrest recounts.
Cut to Central Australia of today. Almost all produce is imported from "down south", and there are a string of failed ventures while a few enterprises show we could do much better, provided our present day army of unemployed could be recruited to work.
But while the dole is so easy to get, don't hold your breath. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.PHOTO: This garden in 1944 was using water from the showers of the hospital. Alice Springs was self-sufficient in fruit 'n veg. From the Joan Higgins Collection, courtesy Graham Ride.
Steve Brown, your article gets the gong from me and many of my fellow land holders. We all have to lobby our local members and the public in general that to close down produce producing properties any where in Australia is going against the philosophy of Australia being a food bowl. The present PM thinks we should develop other industries to take us forward but I assure you that whatever we do, everyone still has to eat. Tony Sanderson
Ok we all love young guns, it’s a day for the boys and girls of Alice Springs to evolve into ladies and gentleman with our frocks and suits, but 40 dollars a ticket that’s outrageous. It wasn’t that long ago it was only 15 dollars a ticket and everyone went, now barely anyone wants to go! It’s a great day for the community to band together and socialize. When the price went from 15 to 20 dollars a ticket the number of people who went dropped. Turf club what are you doing?? The demographic “young” guns is aimed at can’t afford to spend money there, if they used most their money to get in the gate Drop the price back to 20 dollars and you will be amazed how many people come along Ashley Ogden