POINTS TO PONDER

For the life of me, I cannot see why SCOMO had to fly to Japan to meet with his prime ministerial counterpart. That brief (48 hour) trip cost many thousands of dollars to mount for little more than the touching of elbows and the signing of a new relationships deal. Now the PM has to isolate for 14 days at a time fraught with key events regularly unfolding within Australia. Surely the revamped alliance could have been covered by televised media with both men signing the new deal and electronically transferrin documents without the need for a face-to-face encounter.

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We don’t need a “she says, he says” situation developing between the NT Government and the hotel industry over the supply of rooms to support covid quarantine requirements (NT News ‘Covid hotel deal bungle’, 20/11).

The Alice Springs surge of people coming from SA under new entry restrictions caught everyone on the hop. Fortunately things sorted. In moving on there is a need for understanding and cooperation, not discord and conflict. Countering the virus works best when we are ‘together as one’ in countering its threat.

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And people wonder why youth commit crimes! REALLY?

POINTS TO PONDER

It is alarming that there has been a huge increase in the theft (duffing) of cattle. Police Minister Manison suggests that theft of stock should be handled by police in the first instance. However, with police numbers in such short supply, one wonders whether this is possible. Maybe cattle could be microchipped with a tracer device enabling stations to control their movement by technological surveillance. The detection of untoward activity would be a handy alert, allowing police to be notified of possible criminal activity. Drones might also be used to help monitor untoward stock movement.

The NT Shiplift will be a massive construction project. There is potential for it to offer a huge economic boost to the Territory when it is up and operational. The good news is that local construction firms Sitzler and Territoria Civil are in the running to be key project contributors. These two major Territory firms have proven commitment and outstanding records when it ocomes to undertaking major works in the Territory. Both companies deserve to be part of helping construct the shiplift.

The massive power outage which impacted Darwin, Palmerston, the rural area and swathes of the NT down to and including Katherine on November 18, confirms the tenuousness of our electricity supply. The fragility of the NT’s power infrastructure has us all wondering not if, but when, our next major, long term shutdown will occur. It’s a case not of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

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POINTS TO PONDER

Recent government data on public sector enployment “… shows the average Territory government worker earned a gross salary of about $95,000 …” (NT News 12/11 “NT ‘needs bailout’ p.10). If $95K is the AVERAGE and knowing how little the majority receive, one can only imagine at how many there are on multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

While understanding the need for the ADF inquiry and follow up, I hope quality and ethicality of service provided in a war zone (of 12 years duration) by the vast majority of our Defence Force personnel will not be compromised nor the quality of service downplayed through the outcomes of what follows. It would be awful to think that the outstanding and ethical contribution by the majority could be tarnished by perceptions generated by examination of minority conduct. And may the pressures of war under which troops operated, remain to the fore during investigative actions to follow.

My Mum taught me that “patience is a virtue”. That is how we need to be in terms of Northern Territory and Australian recovery. For the NT, not only in terms of population growth (headline p.11, 12/11) but also economically, building and consolidation must be part of our strategy. The greatest impediment to turning the NT around, will be impatience and not allowing the time for necessary changes to work.

BEHOLDEN TO CHINA

To be beholden to any country of the world is not a good thing. We subjugate our Australianism if beholden to others.

That is becoming the case in terms of export trade.

Mr Morrison’s major function should be leading the charge to diversify export markets away from China into opther export directions. China, both officially and through other channels, is putting the squeeze onto Australian exporters. This is to have an effect of silencing political opinion that runs counter to what is comfortable for China. The process is one that aims in my option, to result in Australian acquiescence on points of difference.

It is not good that so much of Australia’s exports head for the Chinese market and in a percentage (volume) that makes us beholden. We need to diversify export markets by heading our products for sale in other directions.

As an example, 93% of our rock lobster exports used to go to Vietnam. Revitalisation of this market and other outlets is entirely possible. The same must be the way things happen for coal, wine, wheat and other commodities. And in an ideal world, it might be that Australian is able to take the initiative in curbing exports to and imports from China.

We are Australian with an entitlement to express our opinions on world issues. We must not be the whipping boy of any other country or ideology in the world.

POINTS TO PONDER

Senator McMahon’s calling the NT Government (and by inference the whole of Australia) out by labelling renewables energy a “hoax” (NT News 24/10) is incomprehensible. Is she advocating a future that should be ‘back to the past’ with a major reliance on fossil fuels. I wish the Senator would not knock the progress we are making toward developing energy sources that do not have a polluting effect on our world.

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There are boundless job opportunities in regional NT. Enterprises in our towns beyond Darwin/Palmerston and Alice Springs really struggle for staff. Many business owners offer added incentives including free accomodation and other support. Towns like Katherine, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy along with smaller centres, offer people the chance to gain valuable work experience. For families, it should be noted that schools are good and that towns are socially welcoming.

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The arraignment of Constable Rolfe and his committal to stand trial in the NT Supreme Court over the death of Mr Walker at Yuendumu is unsurprising. Mr Walker’s death was tragic and events that have followed have been hard on all those connected with what has since transpired. It is to be hoped that fairness and impartiality are part of the ongoing process. That will take some doing because of the significant social responses to Mr Walker’s passing.

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POINTS TO PONDER

It is interesting to read of further changes to staffing on the 5th floor of NT’s Parliament House. Whether these ongoing changes make a difference to governmental effectiveness and efficiency, only time will tell. If fanciful titles and long winded job descriptions are indicators of a positive approach to role set, we should be in for the most productive period of governance since Marshall Perron was our Chief Minister.

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For $32.7 million worth of construction contracts tendered in August to ALL be awarded to local businesses is a shot in the arm for NT companies. $55.4 million worth of contracts put out to tender in September (NT News 12/12) could further boost local providers. It is good to read of Territory enhancing contracts being awarded to local companies,rather than to interstate competitors who take profits out of the NT and spend that money elsewhere.

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Ongoing news stories indicate that saltwater crocodiles are, quite surreptitiously, engaging ever more closely with Darwinians, Palmerstonians and those in our urbanising rural area. They are increasingly being located in rivers, creeks, waterways, swampy bushland , drains, lagoons, ponds, and are encroaching ever more closely upon our beaches. We need to be aware of their threat to civilian life.

THE NT GOVERNMENT IS GOING SLACK ON COVID-19

The Northern Territory Government, which had en eminently sensible approach to border control and C-19, has now thrown caution to the wind and invited everyone in. Restrictions are all but gone!

Hope they are sewage testing because there are precious few tests being conducted. Howard Springs quarantine is becoming a joke.

Give it a couple of months and we will be in the same boat as Victoria was and is determined to remain.

The NT Government thinks the virus has gone away.

They are crowing about the Wonder Territory.

Ministers need to consider,

Just how easily,

A chook,

Loses its head,

And,

That may happen,

Well and truly,

Before Christmas Dinner time.

And when the virus comes home to roost,
Just watch,
All the temporary Territorians,
About whom the Government is gloating,
Flee for the horizons.

THE NT GOVERNMENT IS GOING SLACK ON COVID-19

The Northern Territory Government, which had en eminently sensible approach to border control and C-19, has now thrown caution to the wind and invited everyone in. Restrictions are all but gone!

Hope they are sewage testing because there are precious few tests being conducted. Howard Springs quarantine is becoming a joke.

Give it a couple of months and we will be in the same boat as Victoria was and is determined to remain.

The NT Government thinks the virus has gone away.

They are crowing about the Wonder Territory.

Ministers need to consider,

Just how easily,

A chook,

Loses its head,

And,

That may happen,

Well and truly,

Before Christmas Dinner time.

And when the virus comes home to roost,
Just watch,
All the temporary Territorians,
About whom the Government is gloating,
Flee for the horizons.

13/10/2020

POINTS TO PONDER

There is no way four prisoners should have the right to sue for damages because they have been in solitary confinement following their part in detention centre destruction. Damage was reckless, wanton, massive and inflicted without thought or care for the safety and welfare of others. These four owe a huge debt to the NT Government and Territory taxpayers, to inmates and staff for their actions. There should be NO CASE whatsoever, for them to be entitled to any consideration.

With the upcoming AFL(NT) football season around the corner, a feeling of aura and excitement is beginning to take hold of the sporting public. The level and degree of careful planning and preparation that has gone into readying us for the 2020/21 stanza about to unfold, promises to make this the best season of the present century. Along with thousands of others, I just can’t wait.

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There have been efforts in the past to turn the NT into a tourist mecca during the wet season, but success in selling the message to visit during this season has been limited. That in large part has been due to Territorians heading south or going overseas during Christmas and the New Year period. With virus induced circumstances contriving to keep us territory bound, end-of-year tourism could really take off.

AGED CARE IS A FRIGHTENING PROSPECT

I am 74 and find the whole issue of aged care totally, totally frightening. Euthanasia is a much preferred option to committal to what is tantamount to imprisonment, in places where the only thing that seems to count is profit for private owners.

Aged care should not be an ‘industry’ supporting rich owners lining their pockets with profits derived from those in care. They too often pay the most for the least and are held to ransom by ‘agreements’ with fine print clauses and exceptions.