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Alice Springs news



Alice Springs news


Alice Springs news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspspers; Australia, Central; Alice Springs (N.T.); Newspapers

Publisher name

Erwin Chlanda

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 7 issue 17

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Erwin Chlanda



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University and his work experience since then he is at present a sales consultant for Sun FM has prepared him well for the task.He is confident of his ability to "unite aldermen and staff into a tight team", and one that lives within its means.He says he lives by this principle, and sees no reason why it should change "when dealing with public monies".For this reason, he is concerned about the mooted new Civic Centre."There would have to be concrete and favourable outcomes for the town before I would agree to such massive expenditure of ratepayers' money."Apart from using his youth as a selling point "if it draws media attention, I will use that to benefit the town" Mr Marcic is not especially focussed on youth issues."I want to appeal to the citizens of Alice Springs across the board, regardless of their age, creed or race."He does, however, see the need for a community-sponsored social venue for teenagers."They need a place where they can hang out without having to spend money."He does not understand why there is an intolerance of young people hanging out around shopping centres and in the streets."As on other issues, I don't have all the answers, but I want to find them or find the people who have them."Mr Marcic will also run for alderman. While he would prefer the top job, he wants to get on to council " to do my bit for the good of Alice Springs". WILL CANDIDATES LEARN FROM THIS? A former alderman says candidates for the local government elections next month, especially those touting community involvement as their policy, would do well to bear in mind what happened to an Eastside park.Daryl Gray, who served on the council from 1993 to 1996, says he worked hard to get a number of projects up and running involving the council and local residents, one of them being the beautification of the two hectare park between Goyder and Mueller Streets and Lindsay Avenue.However, the council bureaucracy then headed by Town Clerk Alan McGill came up with a raft of reasons why the project wasn't feasible.Today, many of the park's trees are dead or dying, no new trees have been planted for many years, and there is still no shade for the playground equipment, some of which is in bad repair.PARASITEAbout 10 trees are rotting due to a fungus, and in others the parasite mistletoe is more prominent than the tree's own foliage. Says Mr Gray: "Residents were prepared to plant appropriate shade trees, replace old ones damaged by years of poor pruning, put up shade structures, and help with the upkeep and maintenance of play equipment."Mr Gray says at least 30 people from the immediate neighbourhood had offered to provide volunteer help, and many of them are still keen. They ranged from gardeners, carpenters, politicians, and musicians to public servants and retired pastoralists.However, despite "the constant theme of community participation", such projects were often excluded from the budget estimates processes."The council was tied up with all sorts of issues," recalls Mr Gray."There would need to be council staff to supervise."That would create problems rostering people on weekend overtime."Then there was the issue of council public liability what if someone injured themselves?"Or somebody was injured by a falling branch or by equipment?"And it was argued work of this kind is the council's job and responsibility where do you draw the line?"And what would we do in areas where people don't want to be involved?"Mr Gray says "the way they shot it down" was claiming insurmountable difficulties created by another nearby project, spearheaded by photographer Mike Gillam and the Eastside Residents' Association.They were trying to beautify Lindsay and Winnecke Avenues, turning them into true avenues with rows of tall trees."The council argument was to do with logistics, closing off sections during the work, and the fear that in the case of an accident, the council would be bankrupted by litigation."The council said, we have our existing programs and we can't upset the applecart."It was all bureaucratic bulldust," says Mr Gray."As it turned out the council wasn't prepared to include community, use its expertise."The next generation would have benefited from the trees."Their children would have been able to play in the shade."I'm raising this now because we have all these candidates talking about what the council should do. "Here's an example of one activity that was frustrated by political and bureaucratic means. "We should ask the candidates, how would you deal with something like that? "What would you be willing to do about it?" ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS ARE NO CURE-ALL. Report by KIERAN FINNANE. If the Territory Government is really serious about addressing alcohol problems, apart from considering issues of availability, they must also look at issues of education, employment and the economic position of not only Aboriginal people but large numbers of non-Aboriginal people who don't have meaningful work.So says Dennis Gray of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) in Perth. As Alice Springs appears to be moving closer to the trialling of alcohol restrictions, Dr Gray warns that they must not be seen as a magic solution. He urges government and the community to look at the alcohol action plan proposed by Congress."There really needs to be more debate in the wider community about the measures proposed in that plan to see where they can go," says Dr Gray.Congress heads their list with a call for the implementation of the recommendations of the Bob Collins review of Indigenous education in the Territory about which, almost six months after its release, there has yet to be a detailed response from the NT Government (see report this issue).Next, Congress calls for the development of a comprehensive strategic plan for Aboriginal economic development in Central Australia. Only then does the Congress plan talk about alcohol specific measures, proposing a wide-ranging and culturally appropriate alcohol education campaign.The Congress plan is a good first step, says Dr Gray:"Not all alcohol and drug use is caused by economic deprivation but we know that a lot of it is. "Unless you do something about lack of opportunity for people you are going to have high levels of alcohol and