Sunday Territorian 14 Feb 2016
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
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SUNDAY FEBRUARY 14 2016 OPINION 13 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA FEBRUARY 19, 1942, was one of Darwins darkest days. The Japanese flew across the Tiwi Islands and dropped their evil cargo on the city about 10am. Around 242 planes attacked the city, airfields, wharves, and the 46 ships that were crammed into her harbour. More than 240 Australians and allies lost their lives, and almost 400 were wounded. Our country lost its innocence, and the brave women and men of Australias merchant shipping services and armed forces bore the brunt. Each year at 10am on February 19, we gather for services at Stokes Hill Wharf and the Cenotaph to commemorate these brave men and women. Lest we forget. Fortunately Australia and her allies triumphed in that terrible war, but now a new generation of merchant seafarers and dock workers face a different battle for survival. The Federal Government is threatening to introduce a coastal shipping system that will grant unrestricted access to foreign-owned vessels. These flag of convenience ships registered in countries that have no regard for the workers who perform this demanding and dangerous work will be permitted to ply their trade along our coastline for up to 12 months. Workers on these dodgy vessels might earn $2 an hour. A Senate inquiry has examined distressing evidence of the terrible atrocities perpetrated against these exploited workers on our nations coast. For them, hard-won conditions such as occupational health and safety regulations, recreation leave, sick leave and superannuation are only a dream. Australian crews are the best trained in the world, and Australian ships are among the safest. The US is resolute in its coastal shipping regulations. It requires that ships carrying freight between US ports be constructed, flagged, owned, and crewed by US citizens and permanent residents. There is a good reason for this. The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. We need to be vigilant to ensure the security of our nation. Australian coastal shipping should be carried out under the direction of Australian citizens and in Australian ships. That way, our national pride and loyalty to our families will keep our coast safe, and keep critically important freight moving around our island nation in times of conflict. Maintaining control of the blue highway around our coast is just as important as controlling the grey highway at the heart of our country. We must also maintain a strong and viable shipbuilding industry. Not just because it provides work for Australians, but because it underscores the Tasmania did it a dozen or so years ago: the Territory is the last jurisdiction to fail to establish a keeping place that would serve all our collection agencies and that includes remote museums as well as our key institutions. And yes. Its not a sexy piece of infrastructure to fund but do we need marching bands and fireworks and ministerial plaques to protect our future? There are some things that just need doing.Other institutions such as Browns Mart, Corrugated Iron Youth and Tracks face difficult futures. Our performance spaces struggle. Smaller heritage sites, such as the Adelaide River Railway precinct and Katherine Museum, stumble from one year to the next in piecemeal funding. While governments allow existing institutions to languish and wither on the vine, all of us are disadvantaged. Governments, of any persuasion, like to talk themselves up as kings and queens of infrastructure. They should clearly recognise that infrastructure spending includes the arts, culture and heritage, and are worthy of investment for economic reasons, if no other. Chips Mackinolty is a former chairperson of ArtBack NT. He has never applied for, or received, an ArtsNT grant. fact that we hold our heads high and take our place among the great countries of the world as a free, sovereign nation. We cant afford to be beholden to others to provide our crucial infrastructure. This Friday at 10am, when the sirens wail at Stoke Hill Wharf, I will again have the honour of addressing a small but committed group of seafarers and wharfies and the families of those brave Australians who lost their lives 74 years ago. We will remember them. And we will resolve anew to defend the rights of ordinary Australian workers who achieve extraordinary things. Thomas Mayor is the NT Branch Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia THOMAS MAYOR: Diluting coastal shipping control would leave security over infrastructure all at sea All the best from social media around the Territory ON WOMAN USING PASSPORT AS TOILET PAPER Disgrace ... Passport is a legal document should not be used for wiping private area. Atilla Sevenler Maybe she thought it said Arseport? She was drunk? John Benett Should of used her socks! Andrew Van der Vlugt hasnt she ever heard of using leaves lol Kaye Harris ON DOCTOR OPERATING ON WRONG BABY about right for Aus. Last time I had a op I WROTE this shoulder on myself just to make sure. Bruce Blair ON DONALD TRUMP VOWING TO MAKE KIM JONG-UN DISAPPEAR Yea great run your mouth start a nuclear and drag every other country down with you if he becomes president theres some serious issues that are going to arise. Flip Mayne can someone make this man vanish , oh Lordy if he gets to be president Denny Dann Wants to be President but has never read the Constitution. Paul M Garcia ON KIDS BEING DRIVEN WILD BY PORN Its because kids these days get away with every thing! Start smacking the lil basterds again and theyll learn more respect, teens will push to see how far they can go and if they dont get punished theyll push harder. Tomas Cummins lack of boundaries growing up, simple rules and routines, call me old fashioned , dont care, but this is half the trouble. Vivienne Wright Why dont we just blame the offender instead of giving them an excuse to get off Zach McCracken You should not be surprised by this - the courts do not punish children for crime so I can see why they rape they get away with it, free sex - the untouchable judges and magistrates have a lot to answer for in society Jon Lovegrove ON TELSTRA BRACING FOR FREE STREAMING FRENZY Some people are just greedy. Natalie George People have to abuse everything dont they? Grahame Gilder Kick up the arts would benefit us all The Territory boasts a vibrant arts scene, from the Darwin Festival to playwright Mary Anne Butler (below) winner of the Victorian premiers main literary award