The Northern Territory news Thu 20 Feb 2020
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
10 OPINION THURSDAY FEBRUARY 20 2020 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Your say THE PEOPLES VOICE IN THE TERRITORY Working together for kids TO say that figures from the most recent Report on Government Services from the Australian Government Productivity Commission are alarming would be an understatement. The news that hundreds of Territory children who were given the green light to return home, only to find they were abused again within a year, is both reprehensible and unacceptable. Children are among the most vulnerable people in our society and the process of reporting suspected risk exists because they are often not capable of protecting themselves. Of course, there are a variety of intersecting factors that contribute to the disadvantage of some Territorians but the fact that so many Territory kids are being subjected to abuse or neglect especially in situations that seem to be preventable is impossible to justify. Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that, according to the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglects (NAPCAN) NT manager Lesley Taylor, so much of this harm can be reduced by those in power simply working together more. The communication between those three tiers of government (federal, state and local) is what will reduce the risk of harm in the first place, she said. And shouldnt we be doing just this working towards strategies of prevention? Rather than needing to save kids when theyre in a crisis, or worse, not getting to them in time. And another thing... TERRITORIANS love their pets. In fact, its believed we have the highest rate of pet ownership in the country, with 82 per cent of Territory households owning a furry friend, compared to 62 per cent nationally. So powerful is our love of our pooches that our politicians spent half the week accusing each other of hating puppies in a debate over whether to allow tenants the right to have pets. So if youve got the Territorys best dog, let us know through our Dogs of Oz initiative. Letters Scare tactics over pets RE: RTA changes and Pets: Really Quentin, investors will leave because of the new pet provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)? As you know, the NT has the worst RTA in Australia. It is so biased towards the landlords that the people who ultimately pay off their investments, their tenants, are leaving the Territory every day usually for issues around the cost of living including the draconian and backward RTA that makes renting in the NT a truly negative experience. Every other state has a fairer RTA than the Territorys, has that destroyed property investment in those states? I dont think so. I suspect the outcry from the REINT is more about scaring governments into not reviewing the whole of the RTA. The NT Real Estate Institute knows the current provisions for no cause evictions will stop any tenant from going against their landlords wishes. If the landlord doesnt want pets they will just tell you to leave, legally, with no reason given. Maybe the REINTs voice should be directed towards the property managers who are paid to protect your investment. Everyone pays a bond, if inspections were conducted diligently tenants would be forced to carry out repairs regularly, if property managers did their jobs properly then the landlords investment would be protected. All NT political parties should be aware that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are more renters in the NT than there are homeowners to blindly jump on a bandwagon without doing due diligence will prove to the electorate that you do not have the wishes of the majority in your thoughts, that you have a lack of creativity in policy development and are struggling to differentiate yourselves from the other two main parties. In an election year it would be good for any politician commenting on the RTA to publicly declare their investment property portfolio and their possible conflict of interest. Mike, property owner, Tiwi Pay up and eat well IN AUSTRALIA, and almost certainly most countries, there have been stories of wage underpayment in mainly the food and hospitality industries. A restaurant group underpaid their staff by $8 million in total and today a supermarket chain admitted an underpayment of $20 million. Both have or will backpay the lost earnings. There are many reasons underpayments could happen and yet there is no equivalent massive overpayments, although people may be slower to report any such cases. People deserve to be paid for their work and paid fully, including for overtime. It has been suggested that this theft would be a criminal offence and jailable. Next time you go to a restaurant, check that the smiling people serving you are being fully paid and if there is any doubt suggest to the owner that you are only going to pay part of the cost. Eat well, pay well. Dennis Fitzgerald Thirsty gamba grass LAST month Darwin River Dam, the source of most of Darwin and Palmerstons potable water, fell to 52 per cent capacity, its lowest since 2006 (Garrick, ABC 2020). In late 2019 the aquifer underlying Berry Springs fell to record lows. In 2018-19 the area recorded its lowest rainfall in decades, and the dam the lowest ever (Davidson, The Guardian, May 2019). Its no wonder that people are calling for the bringing on-stream of more water storage facilities. However, a factor other than low rainfall may be playing a part in low groundwater and stream levels. According to Rossiter et al (2004), gamba grass can reduce the downward movement of the groundwater that recharges aquifers. And catchment scale infestations of gamba grass can lessen or even stop stream flow. Furthermore, gamba grass takes up three times as much water as native grasses (Rossiter et al, 2004). Using another tall exotic water-hungry grass sugar cane as a rough guide, gamba grass may use two megalitres of water per hectare over its growing period. Industry stakeholders have accused government of failing to future-proof the Top Ends water supplies. Pastoralists say the Government lacks political will to act (ABC report, Jan 2020). A Government estimate (2018) put the area of gamba infestation at 1.5 million hectares. It has the potential of invading 38 million hectares (NT Government report, 2018). Future-proofing our water supplies may be difficult to do given those figures, unless drastic moves are taken to control gamba grass. Denise Goodfellow, Darwin River Sharp eye on costs DEAR editor, I have an undertaking from Eric Withnall, a candidate for the council vacancy, that he will look carefully at any deals or suggested deals undertaken by the council to add imposts and cost increases that may not easily be uncovered. I share the concern of many ratepayers about the unreasonable costs inflicted by the unusual appointment of staff to work in civic areas but usually away from the council, in the province of state and federal governments. I have also raised with this candidate the unreasonable appetite by the council for international travel and the expenses loaded on to ratepayers. At a time when taxpayers are groaning with government waste, we need conservative-minded and budget-conscious members to sit on the council. Roger Steele On this day IN THE TERRITORY 10 YEARS AGO A POLICE officer charged with drink-driving and fleeing a random breath test has made his first court appearance. Senior Constable Peter Gray, 47, is charged with disobeying police orders. 5 YEARS AGO EMERGENCY response teams had last night been placed on standby ready to move into areas affected by the destructive winds of Tropical Cyclone Lam. NT~ News ())
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