Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Thu 5 Oct 2017



The Northern Territory news Thu 5 Oct 2017

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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10 OPINION THURSDAY OCTOBER 5 2017 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Malabar needs urgent solution THE living conditions within Malabar Lodge continue to frustrate authorities and residents as it falls between government agencies who are meant to keep watch over accommodation providers. For the second time in less than six months the Lodge, on Smith St, Larrakeyah, is about to undergo significant renovations. It is hoped they will make a significant difference to the living conditions of the residents. Emergency services have battled with owner George Calvi for months to ensure the building is kept in check with safety codes. They are also concerned for the wellbeing of the tenants who reside in the difficult conditions. The Lodges tenants are some of the most vulnerable people in Darwin. Because the Lodge offers temporary accommodation, it is exempt from Public Health and Environment regulations. Last week, Port Darwin MLA Paul Kirby said a review of legislation was needed to make Mr Calvi accountable for the state of his accommodation. This seems like it would be welcomed sooner rather than later. An overarching law that holds hostels, temporary accommoda tion and boarding houses accountable for the standard of living is needed. Even if Mr Calvi fixes the problems now, without a legislation change other landlords will be able to exploit the loophole in the future. The problem has gone on for too long. The NT News has spoken to property owners who have battled the situation in Smith St for nearly a decade with no success. Everyone is at their wits end and a solution must be found to end the frustration. ... and another thing HUNDREDS of screaming fans attended yesterdays Midnight Oils concert in Darwin, turning out in droves despite the awful humidity. The Oils kicked off the Australian leg of their world tour in Alice Springs with a show on October 2. The bands decision to start its Australian tour in Central Australia was inspired by the 1986 Blackfella/Whitefella Tour of remote communities with the Warumpi Band. Its the Oils first Aussie tour in 15 years. NDIS a worry RECENTLY, I appeared before the Senate Standing Committee of the National Disability Insurance Scheme sitting at Darwin, one of few present living the life of disability as a quadriplegic of 60 years. I know little about its workings. My object was to learn more about the NDIS. What I learnt that day put the fear of God in me. The intrinsic people involved in supporting the scheme, the service organisations, had no idea of the details of the scheme. But its not their fault. I was aghast to hear over and over, we cannot plan on what we dont know. The committee chairman, Kevin Andrews, acknowledged the concerns and claimed the NDIS was a work in progress. I expected to hear the budget and resource shortages of CEOs building little empires; indeed there were a few concerns, but the organisations themselves are necessary mechanisms for service delivery outside the NT Government Disability Services of the NT Health ministry which, in my view, punches well above its weight, particularly in Aboriginal communities. Hearing the submissions, I also opine at this stage, I think it more efficient to fund the NT which is familiar with its specific, known needs than use a centralist approach based on one size fits all, headquartered in Geelong, where decisions now need to be taken. We cannot/should not wait in remote circumstances for decisions from Geelong. They can/should be taken locally. There is an NDIS NT-based manager, and it can be operated locally with minimum bureaucracy, and trust of the service providers, which can still be oversighted locally. And costs can be better contained. For all that is not known, the real concern (for me) is the fiscal budget of over $54 billion. It is claimed that the NDIS and its operational arm, the NDIA, are fully funded. Australias budgets are in trouble if it is. They havent touched the coat-tails of the size of the problem. The Treasurer says $4.4 billion is saved by the NDIS not being up-taken to date. That is a massive understatement! I dont want to undermine the NDIS, or the Treasurer, Im sure motives are wellmeant, but get real! If the figure of 800,000 people on the Disability Support Pension translates to the NDIS, that is extreme cause for concern in the cost alone, which is, remember, still not fully assessed. I was most excited about an NDIS mooted to provide services to Australias disabled, but what if the scheme collapses or must be drastically downgraded, or if Australia can no longer afford such grandiose welfare support the future? If it collapses and implodes it would be overwhelming and crushing for the people concerned, especially for the very needy. The only solution I can see is to reduce the numbers of people who do not need income supports to qualify for the NDIS. Not every disability needs assistance. A poet wrote there are people willing to work and there are those willing to let them. Politicians must have the guts to prune unnecessary aid. I doubt that the Left will entertain that on ideological grounds, not pragmatic circumstances. It is not cruel. Pulling the rug would be cruel! More acute disability needs must be supported; and it is a smaller sector, but the need ineluctably exists. Unless this is done, I fear the NDIS is unrealistically based. I need to learn more, es pecially about the NT, but that process must extend all along the line until controllers treat the NT as a special constituency. It requires its special needs in remoteness tailored, or else a separate difficulty could complicate an already uncertain good intention. The NDIS is universally popular as a good cause but, like many good causes, it can be skittled by poor planning. The question is: can the problems be addressed by the means suggested or by some other way before it becomes untenable? Ted Dunstan, Karama Much improved I READ that the NT Government Home Improvement Scheme also led to extra improvements beyond the scheme. In my own case, I expanded the contracted job to NT Screens beyond what was quoted and in the scheme, and was so pleased/inspired by the excellent job done and cash saved I ordered soil and pavers from Tom and improved the outside to complement the house improvement. So now paving done, soil spread and mulched, just waiting for rains before planting grass to provide a sweeping panorama down the slope it will also add to wildfire protection. So thanks, all. Wes, Howard Springs Letters to the editor should be kept to 250 words or fewer. Send your letters to GPO Box 1300, Darwin, 0801, or email ntnmail@ntnews.com.au. You must include your name, home address or PO Box number. Name and address will be withheld on request. The NT News reserves the right to edit letters. Responsibility is taken by the Editor. 10 YEARS AGO: High-priced chief executives recruited to run the new local governments will live in luxury in larger towns rather than their communities. Job advertisements said all positions would be based in Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and Tennant Creek. 20 YEARS AGO: Henley-on-Todd organisers are praying for a break in the weather today to allow the staging of the world-famous Alice Springs dry river regatta. For only the second time in its 36-year history, the Henley-on-Todd was cancelled yesterday because of showers. 25 YEARS AGO: The dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial in Canberra meant a significant mark in Australias history had finally been made, an NT-based war veteran said yesterday. Join our Let's Make the Territory Greater campaign and email your ideas to news@ntnews.com.au and put "Let's Make the Territory Greater" in the subject line. We'll take your ideas to councils as well as the Territory and federal governments. The NT News wants to hear your ideas to make the Territory GREATERLets make the territory Email: ntnmail@ntnews.com.au I Text: 0428 NTNEWS I Fax: 08 8981 6045 I Letters: PO Box 1300, Darwin NT 0801 Your Sa lllllllllllll'tvoURVOICE IN THE TERRITORY 111111111111111 111 EDITORIAL NT'+News o On this day IN THE TERRITORY CONNECT WITH US ~ www.ntnews.com.au -(;) @TheNTNews Facebook.com/TheNTNews 11 111 111111 1111 111 1111 111 111 111 111 111 111 111 11111111111111111111 1111 111111111111111111111 11 111 1111111111111111 111 1111 111 1111 111 11111 111 111 111111 11 11 ~Letters <fE"Al-1. SVf WHo tATS ALL 1"\-(t; 1) AlMNE'b C\-'( \ CKa.JS, HV~ !?