The Centralian advocate Fri 5 Apr 2013
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6 Centralian Advocate, Friday, April 5, 2013 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 5 -A P R -2 0 1 3 P A G E : 6 C O L O R : C M Y K OPINIONOPINION ALICE BY NUMBERS OPINIONOPINIONOPINIONOPINION ALICE BY NUMBERS OPINIONOPINION Real issue is addiction Alcoholism is a legally sanctioned addiction, permitted by all of societys gurus: politicians, clergy, moralists, councillors, etc. Once effects manifest their ugliness in widespread violence, self-harm and criminal behaviour, and when the Alice Springs jail overflows with 650 prisoners, the do-gooders in our midst start squealing about additional police, shortening hotel hours, increasing bureaucratic staff to cope, and all sorts of makeshift, illconsidered remedies all of which have in the past been tried and failed. Has anyone yet considered cutting the excessive amount of alcohol in the grog itself? Those of us with long memories can recall an era in bygone years when the makers of a popular American softdrink secretly added cocaine to each bottle in order to ensure it would become addictive, and thus their clientele would be assured. When the US Government banned the company from using the drug in this manner, the company replaced the cocaine with hefty amounts of caffeine. By utilising a permitted substance, the softdrink producers are still able, to this day, to entrap customers via addiction. Realising all this, maybe if the authorities approached the problem of alcoholism at its base level, we might be on the way towards controlling an escalating disease affecting our communities. Jerry Attrick Alice Springs Concession threat alarm The threat to take away, or to limit, the vital concessions provided by the NT Carers Concession Scheme could see many caring families face economic disaster. Unpaid family carers are among the worst off in our community. These carers provide unpaid support to family members or friends who live with a disability, have a chronic or mental illness or who are frail. These carers are the mainstay of the health system providing over 70 per cent of the care in the community and in doing so saving the NT community an estimated $400m a year. The NT Pensioner and Carer Concession Scheme is the only substantive financial assistance provided to these carers by the NT Government. Any cuts to the scheme will severely impact on these caring families. The increases in electricity and water charges announced recently would be catastrophic to carer families if they lost the concession. For many of these families, simply turning off the air conditioner is not an option due to the medical condition of the person receiving care. Others need to continually run machinery that the care recipient relies upon to sustain life. Loss of car registration concessions will also impact on the ability of carers to maintain important transport alternatives which are imperative for things like medical appointments, education and community connections. . Garry Halliday CEO Carers NT Markets in call for help It is very disappointing to see the lack of stall holders and visitors at the fortnightly Sunday Market at the HeavyTree Gap Tavern. The location is good, people are friendly and its a pleasant atmosphere. Tea and coffee are available at the tavern and good food at good prices. Its a comfortable place to be on a Sunday morning. My dog loves it. Pat Pate Alice Springs. Editorial Super stupid way to distress voters NOT surprisingly, there is currently a considerable amount of very heated debate over the Federal Governments plans to make changes to the rules around superannuation in the May Federal Budget. A growing number of people believe that Labor is planning simply to raid peoples private piggy banks to pay for the growing debt associated with existing or proposed Labor policies. The Government says it is trying to create a more egalitarian system by cutting superannuation tax breaks to the rich. Whatever the merits may be of reforming the superannuation system, any changes should only be the result of careful consultation and planning. To use something as important to the future of Australia as superannuation to pay down debt is just plain bad policy. To even hint at retrospectivity is akin to shouting fire in a darkened cinema. Superannuation is always a hot-button issue for Australians even more so as the country grapples with the rising future costs of an ageing population. Instead of inspiring confidence in their ability to handle this tricky area, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan are fanning the flames of uncertainty, not least by maintaining an air of smug mystery about potential changes. It is clear that many Australians do not have enough superannuation to live off in their old age and the issue needs to be addressed. But tinkering around with the system in the run up to an election is not good politics or good economics. The big winner at the moment is the Opposition who are sitting back and counting Labors growing tally of own goals. We welcome your letters to the Centralian Advocate. Letters To The Editor should be 200 words or less and sent to PO Box 2254, 2 Gap Road, Alice Springs 0871, or via email to email@example.com and include your name and address. Electoral editorial comment published in the Centralian Advocate is authorised by Anne Fussell of 2 Gap Road, Alice Springs 5 Alice Springss ranking on the list that rated the most advantaged government area in the Northern Territory. 50 The number of extra prisoners who can be housed at Alice Springs jail once extensions are complete. Terrible decision to scrap drink register Letters to the Editor PO BOX 2254, 2 GAP ROAD, ALICE SPRINGS FAX: 8950 9740 firstname.lastname@example.org Open Letter to Adam Giles: On its way to winning office in last years NT election, the CLP promised to dismantle the Banned Drinkers Register. While I respect the faith you kept with the electorate, the arguments you use to justify your decision are dodgy. The claim that exceptional boom times were enjoyed by sly-grog merchants selling to banned drinkers is not only debatable, its irrelevant. Opportunistic predators have always been among us. Even when they are in business, the police are on their case while the prices they charge limits their reach. I dont debate that some drinkers on the list bought from sly-grog outlets, but so what? This only leads into the second dodgy argument. This second argument claims that the no-hopers, the chronic recidivists, stayed drunk even when banned, and this is proof that the BDR didnt work. But social engineering never works around the edges. It will always be possible for some to slip by, and some always will. And then comes the argument that there are actually fewer people being charged by the police with being drunk and disorderly now than when the BDR was operational. These numbers can be misleading. An accurate comparison needs to include those picked up and taken to the hospital as well as those picked up and taken to the watchhouse. The police are using the hospital to deal with drunks whenever they feel they can. The Briscoe death saw to that. Just ask the nurses working ER. No supporter ever said the BDR was perfect, that it alone was all we needed. It was always meant to be one part of a larger effort. Before it got canned it was beginning to show just how effective it could be. Alcoholics and binge drinkers were being helped to not buy grog. Others had voluntarily placed themselves on the register to escape the pressure they were under to shout a carton and join the latest session. It was their excuse to say no. For everyone else, it was starting to make Alice Springs a safer, more sober place to be. Hal Duell Alice Springs 300 The number of millions of dollars it will cost to build a roundabout at Undoolya Road and Sturt Terrace. of the week WeAreAustralia@Perignonic: There are some places like Alice Springs, but there are very few towns in the desert areas. louisariple:y flying to Alice Springs today ready for a hot air balloon and Ayers Rock woooooooooo. girlbites: NT Governments crackdown on Hells Angels is discriminatory, says social justice campaigner. KathSwinbourne: Wow. Whod have thought? Some of Australias rarest orchids are being grown in a backyard in Alice Springs. syedahmedz: Maybe I should move to Alice Springs in the middle of the desert, a bit too much rain in Brisbane janevTT Definitely going to Alice Springs for the boat race! KGSupernatural @TMATEOTB youll love it. Ive been twice - once in Africa & once in the Northern Territory (from Alice Springs). neatafox: Inspirational stuff from @TheLongWalkOz: The Long Walk in Alice Springs n!
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