The Centralian advocate Tue 15 Apr 2008
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 61 no. 93
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
6 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, April 15, 2008 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 1 5 -A P R -2 0 0 8 P A G E : 6 C O L O R : C M Y K OPINION Going out is a risky affair Sir, The recent attack on Michelle Castagna has highlighted the fact that this town has been for some time a dangerous place for disabled persons, seniors and, in fact, the general population. High-risk areas exist. Night-time Cinema is out, evening trips to the supermarkets or liquor outlets a dodgy business, plus really any outdoor activity after sunset. The fact that Michelle was victimised in the daytime, at a peaceful social gathering, only emphasises the disregard many parents and children have for people and their possessions. We regret that many children are often totally unsupervised by parents or responsible persons. Police action must be taken to provide us once again with some sense of security. Mary Pritchard, June Burns, Pat Pate, Alice Springs New law offers some dry humour Sir, Has there ever been a bigger legislated joke than our dry town legislation? I read in the Centralian Advocate that a study is imminent as to whether or not this has been successful. Hello. Have those paying to conduct this study thought to simply take a walk through our CBD any day around the time the liquor stores open? The influx of bingedrinking Homelands refugees has reached such a pitch that I wonder if a walk by our major liquor outlets as they open for trade could be marketed as an authentic contemporary cultural experience. It must be admitted that the spectacle has its own bizarre fascination. To see so many people so focused on getting a charge is a sobering sight. If only they could see themselves. In several recent television shows I have listened to women from different communities talk with pride of how they have managed to clean up their townships. The one decisive action they all took was to stop alcohol and those who abuse it from trashing everything for everyone else. Many of their displaced drinkers are now in Alice where they are merrily trashing everything here instead. Their presence is proof again that the Brough Intervention is working. They are here because the rivers of grog flowing into the remote communities have run dry. Any day now we will have a new Town Council. Good luck. Hal Duell Alice Springs Mining would turn Alice into another dirty old town Sir, I recently read in your paper that there is the potential for uranium mining to come to Alice Springs. Am I the only one that thinks this is a terrible idea? Without even thinking about the fact that we live in an arid environment where water is a precious resource not to be gambled with or wasted in a water intensive operation such as mining, surely there has to be more to attracting people to our beautiful town than just the lure of money. Personally I didnt move to Alice Springs to live in a town like Mt Isa. I think mining towns are ugly and dangerous to human health. An article in the Australian on 11/4/08 confirms this by saying A series of lawsuits is looming against Swiss mining giant Xstrata after blood tests around its Mount Isa operations revealed dangerously high levels of lead poisoning in more than 10 per cent of the towns children. We are not even talking about miners that know the risks. We are talking about affecting the health of our whole town and many generations to come. I urge the council and residents of Alice Springs to do all we can to oppose this ludicrous idea. Mishell Warner-Camp Alice Springs Visitors can get trip cash Sir, I write to respond to your article No way back for visitors (4/4/08) in the Centralian Advocate, which reported indigenous people in the NT were unable to return to their communities under the Return to Country Program because income management limited their ability to pay for transport costs. Centrelink customers who are subject to Income Management have 50 per cent of their payments set aside to help ensure that priority needs for individuals and families can be met. Income-managed funds can not be used to purchase excluded goods and services alcohol, tobacco, pornographic material and gambling products. Centrelink customers receive the remaining 50 per cent of their Centrelink payments and they can use this money as they choose. Where a customer needs to travel home, they can use their discretionary funds and, where necessary, can talk to Centrelink about accessing any funds remaining in their income-managed funds account. This can be used for transport costs when other high-priority needs have been met. Mark Wellington National Operations Manager Centrelink Northern Territory Emergency Response Grateful green Sir, After a long cam paign and delays due to a recount, it has been humbling to be voted in for a second term as alderman on the Alice Springs Town Council. My congratulations to our new Mayor Damien Ryan. I look forward to a fruitful partnership on council. Id also like to thank all those who may have voted for the Greens for the first time on March 29. I will reward their confidence in me with experienced, con sidered action on council during the next four years. The newly-elected council presents a range of people from different backgrounds, ages and perspectives on life. This reflects the diversity of the community we serve and I am sure we will all strive hard to move Alice Springs into a brighter, prosperous future. Jane Clark Alice Springs Treadlies funded federally Sir, Id like to clarify, for your readers, an inaccuracy reported in your story of last week (11/4/2008) on the re-establishment of the Deadly Treadlies bike rebuilding program. Deadly Treadlies have been kindly funded through the National Community Crime Prevention Program of the Australian Government Attorney-Generals Department. It was reported in last weeks article that the program was being funded through the NT Government. To date, NT Government has shown no interest in financially supporting this innovative program. Staff and management of ASYASS believe it is important to accurately acknowledge those who are actively willing to support this program. Tracey McNee Manager Alice Springs Youth Accommodation & Support Services History of litter Sir, Indigenous Aust ralians have socialised along the bed of the dry Todd River for countless generations as part of their culture. B u t t h e n a t i v e peoples of old never littered the places with rubbish like their descendants do now. This was because the type of litter commonly seen laying about today (mainly empty cartons and cans) was not so readily available and was therefore neither an environmental issue nor such an ongoing eyesore. Douglas H. Moyle Alice Springs Wed love to hear from you Readers are reminded to keep their letters short, whenever possible, and always to the point. Only letters that include the writers full name and address will be published. Preference will always be given to writers who are willing to have their names published. But names may be held at the editors discretion if requested. Dongas no answer Sir, In response to the article Posh Inmates (11/4/08), I would like to say it is good to see the government spending money on the accommodation. But lets not stop there. If you increase prisoners you have to increase everything else, programs, officers, civilians, etc. Why, oh why a band-aid proposal? Why not, with all the spare room in the jail grounds, build another block for 50 prisoners? This would increase your capacity to 450+. Why spend $10 million on dongas? You have the funding. Build a permanent, long-standing area. Oh and one other slightly important factor, what are your officer numbers? I bet, or actually, I know you dont have the officers now to properly staff 400, without a copious amount of overtime. Where and how are you planning to staff these new areas? More over time for the 135 (which is well short of the 160 required) staff? Or let me guess, another band-aid anyone? Its about time we the people of Alice Springs got involved and demanded some money be spent on our corrections and police and be tougher on law-breakers. They are costing us a fortune. All our taxes go to arresting, processing and then releasing these criminals back on to the streets, only for the process to continue again. Our courts constantly release criminals on good behaviour and parole, or make sentences concurrent in multiple offences to reduce prison time. This is due to our prison being full. You do the crime, especially when you do it over and over, then you do the time. I am all for people do make mistakes so yes, for first offences, most people would agree, leniency, stern warnings and a reminder of what could be are good options, but not second, third and 10th offences. Lets lure some good people into this Territory and then lets give them packages, long-term like five or 10-year packages, which will entice them to stay. Name withheld by request