DEVELOPING POLICY BASED ON IGNORANCE IN THE NT
The rebirth ‘as new’ of old and dispensed with ideas occurs in large part because of ignorance about our history. One of the standout examples to illustrate my point is that of the CBD and particularly the mall having been re-visited at least four times during my time in the Northern Territory. There are other examples to do with our infrastructure development that have been similarly revisited.
Within departments, the same sort of thing happens. I’m most familiar with education. The idea of regionalising (decentralising function) educational management has been tried at least three times. When revisited nobody takes account of what has gone before. They often don’t know that ideas have been previously tried. That’s because we have a very poor record of recording history in the NT.
Another reason for regurgitation is that people in high level decision making positions often come and go after fairly short periods of time. People new to these positions often don’t know what has gone before. As well, they are often interested in adding their own “personal touch” for the sake of building curriculum vitaes to gain positions elsewhere and generally not in the Territory. The Territory is used as a stepping stone.