Relentless violence, drinking and rowdy conduct: The answer from the government is a lick of paint and more lighting, comments ROBYN LAMBLEY, independent MLA for Araluen. PHOTO: The flats in 2006, by ALEX NELSON.
Dramatic reductions in alcohol consumption and alcohol related family violence assaults are likely to feature prominently in next week’s public meeting about control measures in the next two years. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Tipping out alcohol when the Congress Shop surrendered its liquor licence in 1990.
A gripping inma – dance – by traditional healers – nangkaris – today opened the $25m new hospital emergency department in Alice Springs with a story that will unfold there many times in reality: Mothers bringing their sick children to a place where they can be made well again. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
The Banned Drinkers Register did not reduce drunken violence on our streets and did not stop drunks accessing alcohol.
A huge haul of alcohol (picture courtesy police) obtained by Alice Springs Police today illustrates why the BDR simply did not work, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles.
Tangentyere Council needs to come clean with the taxpayer about how it spends the $43m a year it gets from the public purse, says NT Minister for Indigenous Advancement, Alison Anderson (at left). She says the arganisation was previously responsible for all or most of the town's up to 19 camps, but is is now looking after fewer than half of them; is failing to stem the "rivers of grog" despite the camps' "dry" status, is incapable of curbing extreme violence; and is treated by the Shaw family as its private "dynasty". ERWIN CHLANDA reports.PHOTOS: Garbage in Charles Creek in 2010. The same location on Wednesday this week, after Ingkerreke has taken over from Tangentyere clean-up and parks maintenance functions.
The Supreme Court in Alice Springs sees a 'seemingly never-ending stream of violence'
Chief Justice of the Northern Territory Trevor Riley (pictured) today added his voice to the recent calls for more to be done to "restrict the flow of alcohol to those who abuse it". He made his comments when sentencing 41 year old Errol Nelson for a violent assault on his wife in March this year. The couple had been together for about a year, were living at Areyonga but had come in to Alice Springs. Both had been drinking. Ever harsher sentences would do nothing to stem the "seemingly never-ending stream of violence" coming before the Supreme Court in Alice Springs, said the Chief Justice – "other measures must be taken". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
KIERAN FINNANE talks to two new faces in the councillor contest.
Law and order has moved to centre stage in the local government election campaign, following a horror week in Alice Springs: two suspicious deaths (March 6 and 9, the latter in Antherpe Town Camp), two serious assaults around midnight on March 7 at Little Sisters Town Camp (over one of which star footballer Liam Jurrah has been charged), a domestic violence incident on March 9 in which two people sustained knife wounds at Mount Nancy Town Camp (a stronghold of the Shaw family, usually among the more peaceful town camps), and a daylight attack on March 6 on a teenage girl in an Eastside suburban laneway. And these are only the worst incidents of personal violence. There were also house and vehicle break-ins, property damage and vandalism.
The above list of violent attacks was not complete when Mayor Damien Ryan on March 8 reported his contact with the Chief Minister and the assurances received that a strike force was to be mobilised, bolstered by Darwin officers. "Too little too late", accused Alderman Eli Melky, seeking re-election and also campaigning for the top job. He wanted to know why Mayor Ryan had not supported him on the issue of a youth curfew; why he had "repeatedly declared" law and order is not the job of the council.
Such is now the fraught atmosphere of this election campaign, with no sign that anytime soon Alice Springs authorities will get a chance to rest on aspired-to laurels. It's not new, of course, and it's interesting to observe the strong field of candidates that has emerged in response to these challenging times.
It fills candidate for councillor John Reid with hope: "This is a very passionately contested election. I feel very positive about many of the other candidates, their passion to represent the interests of the town, the policy-driven perceptions driven by strong research of people like Edan Baxter. We need that."
Mr Reid, a researcher himself at the Centre for Remote Health, has lived in town for 25 years. That's almost as long as Jade Kudrenko has been alive. Yet the 29-year-old, who works as a trainer for the Central Land Council's Indigenous Ranger Program, talks the same language: "I'm for evidence-based approaches," she says, careful to not commit herself on issues where she feels she doesn't have the knowledge.
Ms Kudrenko expresses "real concern" over the spike in violence but says council is not "the lead agency" in dealing with crime and needs to work closely with the NT Government and police.
Pictured from top: Jade Kudrenko – she wants "evidence-based approaches" and a tree register for the CBD to protect our mature trees. • John Reid – he says Port Augusta's collaborative approach to arresting the decline of their town has lessons for Alice.
UPDATE: Police last night arrested and charged a man in relation to the death at Antherpe Camp. He will appear in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court this morning. The dead man, who appeared to have suffered fatal stab wounds, was 36, the man charged, 31. Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Malley from the Major Crime Section confirmed that the two men were known to each other.