Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Tue 25 Sep 2007



The Centralian advocate Tue 25 Sep 2007


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

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 61 no. 38

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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8 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, September 25, 2007 PU B : C A D V D A T E : 25-SE P -2007 PA G E : 8 C O L O R : C M Y K Are you a woman 50 to 69 years without any breast symptoms? Free breast screening will be held in Alice Springs at Eurilpa House, Todd Mall from: Monday 24 September to Friday 19 October 2007 breastscreenNT is taking bookings now, call 13 20 50 to make your appointment. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES OPINION Real jobs double-speak Sir, Further to my letter lambasting Minister for Workplace Participation Sharman Stone for her lack of frankness about what is happening with the CDEP (Centralian Advocate, 18/9/07), I would like to make clear my general support for the declaration of the Emergency, and for most aspects of the Intervention Strategy. In my opinion, there has clearly been an unacknowledged emergency situation here in relation to Aboriginal social, health, educational, housing, cultural, behavioural and employment problems for the 30 years that I have resided in Central Australia. However, the Emergencys formal recognition should not be used as an excuse for politicians to mislead the public. It is especially important that the Aboriginal people most affected should not be misled, whether it be by over-simplifying issues or policies, or by describing the policies in misleading terms. It is Orwellian double-speak and sheer hypocrisy for the Australian Government to imply that the CDEP was intrinsically unable to underwrite real jobs, or that a real job can only be one that is salaried or has superannuation attached. The Australian Government always insists on counting casual and part-time work as jobs for the purpose of its own statistics and policies. If you are going to cut peoples incomes and move them from jobs on to welfare, with a very high risk of subsequent long-term unemployment, so you can manage their money for a while and teach them about value and budgeting, you may have very good reasons for doing so, but please be honest about it. Most ex-CDEP workers are not being moved onto training programs or into jobs funded by other departments or private enterprises. Centrelink staff have told me that the large majority of CDEP workers are heading for disability pensions, sickness benefits, Newstart allowances, ongoing Work for the dole status or, if they are breached, no income at all for a considerable period. Only a minority will end up with actual jobs under this plan. Not that I would argue that CDEP was perfect. It was hamstrung by insufficient management resources, sometimes silly regulations and ineffective monitoring. Whether something better will be built in its place is impossible to tell at this stage. But whatever replaces it will also require massive amounts of government subsidies, and will not benefit from continued efforts to distort the publics understanding with political propaganda. Bob Durnan, Alice Springs Get the message Sir, I would like to express my disgust at a local resident who, every Saturday morning without fail, brings their rather large dog through Springs Plaza speciality shops and Piccolos Cafe. Do you mind? Obviously you think its acceptable to bring an animal into a food establishment while you wait for your morning coffee. News flash: Its not. Other customers and staff have given you dirty looks, hoping the message would get through, but it seems you just dont get it. Leave your dog at home where it belongs. Name withheld on request Alice Springs Its way too much Sir, Is it just me or do others feel like they are living in the middle of a social engineering experiment which is suddenly going horribly wrong? Have you felt the anger of people around you as their rights and respect are taken, yet your own are unaffected? There is something very wrong about the Federal Government Intervention and Local Government Reform happening at the same time. Its too much, way too much, and the pace is relentless, agressive and inflexible. Alderman Jane Clark Alice Springs Training quality vital for nurses Sir, Centralian Advlocate has recently published a number of letters describing the high quality of health services provided at Alice Springs Hospital (ASH). A staffing complement of qualified nurses make a significant contribution to such consumer satisfaction and does so in the context of a regional and global nursing workforce shortage. Contrary to the claims made by Prime Minister John Howard, the plan to introduce hospital Nursing schools will not be a quality initiative to improve nursing services. Instead, it will change the structure of the nursing workforce to once again include unqualified student nurses. The financial gains of such a move will not be a solution to the nursing shortage, but instead will simply mean that qualified nursing positions will over time be replaced with the cheaper trainee workforce and a lower quality of health care. Similarly, a return to the sys tem of 25 years ago does not address the current problems with unpaid tertiary nursing education. While the Prime Minister should be congratulated for acknowledging the need to provide financial incentives to encourage nurses into the profession, he has been misinformed that TAFE and University nursing courses do not provide enough on-the-job experience. As a senior nurse academic with over 20 years combined clinical and academic experience both locally and internationally, research evidence supports my observation that the major obstacle to acquisition of hands on skills is the lack of funding for supervision during hospital placements, not the amount of time spent in the workplace. In the context of the nursing workforce shortage, Australian hospitals cannot accommodate the large numbers of nursing students without paid supervisors and neither the health system nor the tertiary sector is currently funded to match the recent increase in university/ TAFE places. Nursing students around Australia are currently facing delays in graduating while they await clinical placements. Hospital nursing schools would only compound the problem further. If the Federal government is serious about improving nursing education, then they need to invest the $170 million additional funds to support the current world class system and listen to the peak nursing bodies to gain an informed perspective on how to do so. Robyn L. Aitken Alice Springs EDITORIAL, September 25, 2007 New laws test for our goodwill Central Australia has entered a confusing new era. Laws designed to bring order to the disordered lives of the inhabitants of town camps and bush communities have wrought some fundamental changes across the Territory. The flow of grog is being reined in, access to porn restricted and speeding on the roads checked by new speed limits. And much good is being done. Fly-in medicos are assessing childrens health in a more comprehensive way than ever before. Root causes are being targetted and it seems that after so many years, there is political will to force change in Aboriginal communities and funding to match. For this, the Federal intervention and dry town laws are to be applauded. But some of the changes are hard to cop, and perhaps, poorly-aimed. Like the $100 cap on take-away grog. Customers spending more than the cap must show identification and record where they will consume their purchase. The ruling has sparked long queues in bottlos as overtaxed counter staff check licences for every customer wanting more than $100 worth of alcohol. Some bottlos estimate more than 60 customers in a morning fitting this category. Even modest drinkers will fall foul of this inconvenient law. Further, it is then disheartening for those same shoppers waiting in queues to observe groups of Aboriginal drinkers, blatantly and in large groups, flouting the new dry town laws. Cans in hand, these wandering drinkers seem still to flourish, despite the best efforts of Alice Springs police. Not so long ago the NT Government slapped open-road speed restrictions on Territory drivers. It is a ruling that has added considerable time to every trip taken on the regions lengthy highways. The law was designed to save lives. Yet a quick glance at the latest fatality statistics reveal the principal cause of deaths on our roads continues to be alcohol related. Now the Federal Government is targetting pornography. And rightfully so, if it is pornography that is truly contributing to the rampant sexual abuse plaguing bush communities. But the first shot fired in this porn war has seen a pay TV provider say it will cease transmitting the World Movie channel to the NT in a bid to comply with the ruling. Meanwhile, the millions spent rolling out high-speed broadband to remote communities has given rise to another problem: How to filter all of those portals in order to save the bush from internet porn. Little wonder many are questioning where it will all end. Central Australians are by and large a motivated bunch, caring and ready to lend a hand. But there are limits to generosity. And those limits are being tested. There is one overriding factor Federal and Territorian governments must remember as they seek to stymie the freedoms of some Territorians for the benefit of others: It had better all be worth it. Otherwise those governments will pay a heavy political price for their mistakes. The Centralian Advocate PO Box 2254 Alice Springs NT 0871 Editorial Facsimile: (08) 8950 9740

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