The new Economic Reconstruction Commission will come up with major and valuable recommendations. But does the Government have the ability, commitment and resources to implement them? And what role will the resource industries play? ANALYSIS by DON FULLER (pictured).
We are angry that the Giles government is cutting schools budgets, as revealed in The Australian today. We are appalled to learn today that not only is the Giles government prevaricating on Gonski, they are also planning further cuts in their own state budget, writes Angelo Gavrielatos, Federal President, Australian Education.
The request from Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, to appoint an assessor to review liquor premises is another example of Federal interference in the Territory, write Peter Chandler, NT Minister for Business. Meanwhile David Tollner, NT Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation and Policy, writes the Federal government is acting on incorrect statistics from the former NT Labor government.
A possible cure for the Berrimah Line malaise is the by-product of the report by Alice-based remoteFOCUS – part of Desert Knowledge Australia – about fly-in, fly-out workers, presented to the Senate this week.
And this tonic would be far more potent than the pledges from either major party, invariably broken, that Central Australia will no longer be left out in the cold.
The answer could be a commission or authority, or a company established under the Corporations Act, wholly owned by the members, or some other legal mechanism, says Bruce Walker, the report's main author.
He tailored the recommendations to the Pilbara, where governance is driven by a sustained mining boom, but says they could easily be adapted to Central Australia, which now has the welfare industry as its main business.
Dr Walker says the background to the decades-long desire of people in The Centre to have control over their lives is a litany of neglect, misunderstanding and disinterest. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photos from the report – landscapes in Central Australia and the Pilbara.
When Kwementyaye Briscoe died in the Alice Springs police watch house in January it was a tragic event for him, his family and the community. The coronial enquiry heard evidence that police procedure surrounding the death was inadequate and more appropriate action by several officers may have prevented the death of the extremely drunk man. Counsel for the Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) Lex Silvester addressed the enquiry and acknowledged the severity of the events: "That Kumanji’s death occurred in the circumstances then prevailing is a matter for profound regret. The loss of a child, brother, sister, relative or friend causes terrible grief the extent of which can only ever be known to those closest." However, much of Mr Silvester's address to the Coroner, in its content and significance to the community, went well beyond the events of that night. It painted a horrendous picture of the trauma, mayhem and tragedy alcohol is causing, and the intolerable burden that is placed on the police, every day. It went further to urge a sweeping independent review of the take-away liquor trade in Alice Springs. The Alice Springs News Online has been an important forum for discussion about better management and control of the use of alcohol. It is in this spirit that we publish excerpts from Mr Silvester's submission.
PHOTO: Police CCTV image of Kwementyaye Briscoe in the watch house shortly before his death.