Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Tue 23 May 2006



The Centralian advocate Tue 23 May 2006


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers; Northern Territory; Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.); Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.); Australia, Central

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 59 no. 105

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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8 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, May 23, 2006 PU B :C A D V D A TE:23-M A Y -2006 PA G E:8 C O LO R : C M Y K Australian Mines and Metals Association and the Agribusiness Employers Federation are providing all employers free education sessions regarding the new WorkChoices legislation. Put yourself in the best position to understand the new legislation. Register now for the free WorkChoices legislation education session near you. Phone 1800 981 662 or visit www.amma.org.au/workchoices/ for session times and locations. These sessions are free, so come along and Get On With Business. TICKET GIVEAWAY Telstra, Araluen Arts Centre and the Centralian Advocate would like to offer readers an opportunity to win tickets to the Alice Springs performance of Bangarra Dance Theatres Clan on Wednesday 24th May, 8pm at the Araluen Arts Centre. The fi rst 3 readers to visit the Araluen Box Offi ce after 10am will each win a double pass to tomorrows performance. The fi rst reader to arrive will also receive a $100 Telstra prepaid phone voucher. 41 46 02 /0 6 Sad realities set to stay in Centre Sir, When the firestorm of indignation un leashed by the remarks of Dr Nanette Rogers on the Lateline program (15/5/06) has died down and everyone has expressed an opinion about violence in Central Australian indigenous communities and society generally, the tragic realities will remain. In the meantime the blame game plays itself out. A bizarre example is an indigenous academics suggestion that defence lawyers were to blame because customary law featured in a defence case. The problem clearly lies with customary law complained of, not the lawyer who was entitled to use it. Blaming simply diverts attention and avoids confronting reality. Alcohol abuse, the abysmal status of women in indigenous society, victim blaming and customary practices in relation to youngwomen that have no place in a civil society all of which fuel violence will remain when the fires of righteous indignation have burned themselves out. We are all part of the solution but change can only come from within the hearts of indigenous Australia. Commitment to physical and cultural survival based upon positive change and driven by full engagement with the broader community is essential. Otherwise many of the children and young people we see each day risk being added to the generations already lost to alcohol, petrol, mindless violence and hopelessness. This prospect should be unthinkable. Tom Svikart, Alice Springs Theres mild abuse too Sir, While we are on the topic of child abuse, lets consider the more common and milder forms of abuse. First, the streets are teeming daily with children not in school. It is not the fault of the children because most indigenous kids enjoy school. There is no encouragement from the parents or the law to send kids to school. Second, the diet of the children is appalling with babies being given cordial, soft drink, chips and so on. Third, children are driven around unrestrained in unsafe cars by inebriated parents. Finally, for what its worth, its absolutely imperative that we recruit good male indigenous role models into the schools. Name withheld, Alice Springs Role is to advance cause of our town Sir, I thank theCentralianAdvocate (19/5/06) for acknowledgingmy appointment to the position of DeputyMayor of the Alice Springs TownCouncil. I regard this as a great honour which I embrace and take extremely seriously, thus this Letter to the Editor. My comments on the role of council in addressing the social problems of Alice Springs were misquoted in the Centralian Advocate, (19/5/06). The Alice Springs Town Council has a vital role to play in lobbying the NT and Commonwealth Governments on issues such as law and order, substance abuse, the future of the town camps and the welfare of women and children in our community. Council must place pressure on the powers that be to improve the quality of life for all. The challenge for the Alice Springs Town Council is to balance the role of political advocate with our traditional core business of ensuring that ratepayers and residents of Alice Springs receive thehighquality and responsivemunicipal services they expect, such as footpaths, street lights, conscientious waste management, well-serviced roads, parks and verges. With the current national spotlight focused fairly and squarely on Alice Springs and our overwhelming social problems, it is easy to lose sight of councils technical foundations: Rates, roads and rubbish. Alderman Robyn Lambley, Alice Springs Neglect is key to poor roads Sir, Much has been said and is being said about our indigenous communities, most of it focusing on the negatives. Many of the discussions argue forAboriginal people to be more integrated into mainstream Australian society, for example, limiting the time a person can participate in CDEP, discouraging people sleeping rough, questioning the viability of remote communities and so on. Yet when it comes to creating opportunities for Aboriginal people, both NT and federal governments are poorly lacking in going the hardmile. An example of this is the road to Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) which has a population of over 400. This road links Santa Teresa with Alice Springs which is only 80km away 70kmofwhich is over themost appalling road conditions in Central Australia. Many of the communitys residents drive conventional vehicles which dont last long. Everyday commuting for work opportunities, education, health care is really out of the question unless you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, which are expensive to buy and maintain. The Northern Territory Cattlemans Association was successful in lobbying the NT Government to spend extra funds on roads. Some of these beneficiaries are the Plenty Highway ($2m), Point Stuart Road ($1.6m), Buntine Highway ($1m), and MaryvaleRoad ($800,000)while the Sandover Highway and Finke Road will each receive $500,000. I congratulate NTCA on their success but there was no mention of the Santa Teresa Road. So what do we make of this? The cynic in me says the government puts cattle before people, but Im sure thats not the case even though there was a promise at the last NT election to improve the Santa Teresa Road. No, I think its just pure neglect. If it was a white community it would have had a sealed road 20 years ago and the population of that community would have all the opportunities that Alice Springs can offer. And so much for giving the Aboriginal people of Santa Teresa accesses to those opportunities. But I am glad the cattle are going to have a smoother ride as I do like a tender steak. Alan Tyley Alice Springs