The Northern Territory news Sat 4 Sep 2021
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
34 OPINION SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 PROPOSAL A BOOST FOR TOURISM THE proposal to build a $200mhotel at Little Mindil is thebiggest indication yet that theTop End has a great shot at atourism-led recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the developers, the plan represents the biggest development in Darwin in five years. It shows the Top End still has the potential to draw in big dollars and investment. And it comes at a time when tourism and hospitality operators are in dire need of reassurance their industries are going to pull through the current crises. Theres no guarantee but the fact two major companies are willing to combine and put down $200m on a development is a sure sign theres optimism. When complete in 2025, North One will hopefully bring more people to the Top End, and through the increased visitor numbers, the potential to boost neighbouring businesses and tourism operators across the wider region. The more people up here on holidays, the more people who venture on to Mitchell St on a Saturday, or into our dining venues for a midweek meal, or out to Kakadu on a scenic flight, or to Berry Springs for an authentic taste of the Territory. As the old saying goes, a rising tide floats all boats. New development in Darwin is sorely needed to bolster the economy and make the NT an attractive place to stay and play. CLEAR BOAT RAMPS PLAN NEEDED KICKING the can down the roadis a very familiar pattern forthose who know politics well. News that the government has cho sen, for the last five years in a row, not to spend over half of the $50m earmarked for boat ramps is just the latest example of the budget manoeuvre known as revoting. It means the government can say its allocated money to something, without actually spending it. But the problem with this approach is people will cotton on eventually. Now our boaters and fishers, whove noticed their long-promised new boat ramps still havent materialised, are making waves. The government needs to come clean about how exactly it intends to spend the rest of the $32m on boat ramps. If it is simply going to spend it maintaining existing ones, it shouldnt be dressed up as new money. If its going to be spent on new infrastructure, then it should be spent sooner rather than later and the projects put out to tender. Indefinitely revoting the funds into the long grass just weakens the publics trust that our government can deliver anything. GET INFORMED Recently a candidate standing for the Daly by-election put out signs along the Cox Peninsula Road that state Labor is soft on crime. What is his basis for such a claim? Has he done his research? Furthermore, is he proposing a realistic plan of action? Ive seen no evidence that this is the case. As a social scientist Ive seen no evidence that any NT government has been soft on crime, whatever that means. However, some are smarter on crime than others, and thats what all need to be aiming to do. Reading through the literature posted by candidates I came upon another spurious claim, that Labor doesnt care about the bush. Again, where is this candidates evidence for such a statement? And has he compared past governments of both persuasions in regard to rural and remote areas? People in rural and remote regions tend to have less access to education and transport (Parliament of Australia, 20032004; Eldac 2020) and primary health care services (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). Does he have plan to reduce the inequalities? I suspect these are examples of politics by gut feeling. And I have doubts about the wisdom of voting for those who use such ploys particularly in this time of Covid. Voters need informed candidates and a less adversarial approach such as that of our previous representative MLA Gary Higgins. All candidates would do well to emulate him. Dr. Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow, Darwin River FIRE RISK VERY REAL I have to agree strongly with Maria Grujicics letter (NT News, 1 September); Ludmilla north has not been cared for by its various leaseholders and the amount of gamba grass has been increased by bulldozing trees. This has resulted in a decline of wildlife and an increase in bushfires. The yearly bushfires have been on a scale that has threatened residents and their properties; this year burnt embers travelled as far as the beaches at Fannie Bay. The smaller Cracker Night fire near McDonalds was allegedly started on purpose in the afternoon by a teenager; lack of amenity creates criminality. Thanks once again for the prompt action by emergency services. I have written to the Chief Minister and the Mayor mentioning the fires but am still waiting for a positive response. David Percival, Ludmilla LUCK OVER POLITICS Political fortunes can rest on luck rather than good policy. Michael Gunners decision to call for Cracker Night when the Top End bush is very dry and gamba grass now ready to burn was bad policy. Where political luck was concerned, many parts of the rural area were somewhat protected by recent rains. And his bad decision effectively forced our professional and volunteer firefighters into a situation where they had no option but to defend property and bush that night and following days. Over 300 fires were reported, a meaningless number given that gamba fires are dangerous while small grass fires are readily managed. Mr Gunner should be showing leadership and reporting realistically. He should also be educating the public about the impact of fire on our dwindling bushlands. Many social media posts, for example, erroneously claimed that properties would be safe if fire breaks were prepared properly when in fact many fires can even jump wide roads and many responsible landowners have neighbouring gamba grass that no break can protect them from. In addition, frequent posts urged those against Cracker Night to return south highly ironic since locals who understand our bush, know the danger it is in. We can only hope that Mr Gunner will realise that the rains and dedicated and brave firefighters helped him fudge his bad decision. Surely he is not going to put so many people through this high level of anxiety and potential danger again. He must listen to responsible advice and declare the next Cracker Night at a date that works for all of the Territory. Jane Alexandra, Humpty Doo