Archive for October, 2012

Kerfuffle

October 10, 2012

Three years ago a new position was created by the NT government, to provide independent oversight of policy and service initiatives – The Northern Territory Coordinator-General for Remote Services. It was devised to be an independent oversight and was given its own office – Office of Coordinator-General for Remote Services.

The brief was to monitor and advise on all aspects of remote service delivery and produce a 6 monthly report. Which it duly has, with the last being delivered just a few weeks ago to the new Minister for Indigenous Advancement, Allison Anderson.

In what must be a spectacular case of mis-placed optimism, the introduction stated;
“I can only hope that a renewed emphasis on ‘bush communities’ by the incoming CLP Government will ensure these matters are given greater priority and cooperation.”.

Because on Monday the Minister not only sacked the Co-rdinator General, but abolished the office. Apparently, the Co-ordinator General gave too much advice, advice the Minister believed that she didn’t need.

Some measure of the precipitousness of the move is that as of today, you can go the MoIA website where, on the left, proudly on display are 4 “Key Initiatives” and one of them is, you guessed it, the Co-ordinator General for Remote Services.

Ah, the NT, were yesterdays ‘Key Initiative’ is today’s road kill!

For now, the reports are still there. Read them while you can.

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Alcohol Policy – Already in a Pickle?

October 10, 2012

The CLP sailed under the radar with its wooing of the bush vote with promises of a return to full-strength beer sales at remote townships with Clubs. Around 2006 sales of full strength beer at some Clubs were replaced with mid-strength or low alcohol beer, with a marked reduction in assaults reported by both Police and health services.

Now the new CM, Terry Mills, has come out in support of relaxing alcohol restrictions, though with a twist – there seems to be some kind of thought bubble about a plebiscite on the matter. It’s hard to really know what the plan is because this was not in the CLPs election platform and there has been silence from the NTs new Minister for Alcohol Policy.

The announcement has drawn fire from the CLP Federal Senator, Nigel Scullion, who played a role in delivering the bush seats that won the CLP government, stating that “alcohol in Aboriginal communities has never been a good thing – never”.

Though, this may play out differently how some are expecting. If it really was to be a plebiscite, there is little doubt that most remote communities would vote for a complete ban on alcohol sales.