Home' Tennant and District Times : 2015-0828 TDT Contents 4 TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 28 AUGUST 2015
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By BARRY NATTRASS
A PROSPEROUS ECONOMY
The key to creating opportunity is building connections for
all, which is why the NT Government is investing a record
$1.4 billion in infrastructure, including $587 million building
roads, bridges and airstrips. We’re working to cut red tape,
making it easier for businesses to get ahead. We’re taking
the lead in developing Northern Australia so all Territorians
can enjoy a great lifestyle, and we’re working to reduce
the cost of living, with initiatives such as our work to drive
down the cost of fuel.
These are just some of the ways we’re working with
Territorians for a prosperous future.
$6 million to establish the
Business in the Bush Program
Cut more than 200 pieces of
Record road investment
including the Mereenie Inner Loop,
Tiger Brennan Drive, Litchfield Park
Road and Outback Way
11,000 more people are in
jobs compared to three years ago
We’re on track to deliver more opportunities for Territorians.
To see how visit ontrack.nt.gov.au
DELIVERING FOR TERRITORIANS
DELIVERING FOR TERRITORIANS
WILLIAM Edward Hanley Stanner or
“Bill” as he was better known by, was
a 1930s Aussie journalist who served
in World War II and became a politi-
cal advisor for colonial policy deci-
sions in Africa and the South Pacific
as well as playing an influential role
in the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal
Stanner summarised early 20th century
Australian society as ’relations between two
races in a single field of life’ and described
the absence of the Aboriginal perspective in
that story as ‘the great Australian silence’.
He died in 1981 but if he was still around,
what would be his assessment of Tennant
Creek today as compared to what he saw and
wrote extensively about in 1934 when he
drove here from the Daly River region in a
second-hand Chevrolet utility he called ‘the
Much has changed for better or worse in
that time, but one situation stands out as a
progressively debilitating dilemma.
Strategies such as liquor restrictions, moving
people on and for that matter, placing them
in protective custody has without doubt,
changed the environment of the main street
life in the town. You would be hard pressed to
find an exposed sheet of glass after hours that
is not damaged and even the most elaborate
measures to protect a premises can be in vain.
There are smartphone videos of children
as young as 10, playing chicken with road
trains in Paterson Street for want of something
engaging to do with their time, only to be
caught on camera breaking in and vandalising
a nearby business on the same night.
The rhetorical question arises; “where are
the parents?” and “why are these kids not at
Sad reality is that not only are the parents
not available as carers, the concept of a mod-
ern home may never have been an option to
Adult education is a tall order at best and
Tennant Creek has had it’s fair share of
controversy and inaction when it comes to
addressing the housing issues of the town.
If the proposal that fixing the housing and
turning under-educated adults into model par-
ents overnight is the priority solution, we’re
probably going to see these “at risk” kids of
today, repeat the cycle for decades to come.
Incarcerating institutions can’t be built
fast enough to cater for the older siblings,
parents and relations of these youngsters and
unless society is ready to go back to locking
up children as well on mass, which has been
tried before and failed, then what to do with
this burgeoning problem?
Alice Springs has tried without much suc-
cess for years to introduce a curfew and it’s
a popular theme people turn to when looking
for an answer to the vagrant youth challenge.
Targeted funding to provide 24-7 access to
a facility such as Sport and Recreation with
some engaging programs, could be the magic
It would need after hours staff, a kids soup
kitchen facility and even somewhere to crash
for a few hours without blowing the budget
because most of the infrastructure needed is
Children who are found on the street by
Night Patrol or the Police could be ushered
to this facility where at least they would be
reasonably safe and have no excuse to be put-
ting themselves and others in danger.
The irony is that such a scheme could be up
and running cheaper and quicker than what it
would take for a committee to be formed to
consider anything like a feasible alternative
Youth vagrancy at crisis point
A BUSINESSMAN has captured disturbing phone cam-
era footage of young children playing dangerously with a
road train travelling through town.
Doug Harris from Deadly Sweets said the children were about five
or six years old.
“They can be seen reaching out to touch the moving road train,”
“The driver can be seen braking when he realises what they were
Doug said he shot the footage because the children’s behaviour is
becoming increasingly erratic.
“They’re clearly bored,” he said.
“Because our shop is open until 8pm, we’re getting to see what goes
on in the main street.
“Quite often at night, young kids gather on the median strip, waiting
for some action.
“I’ve seen them run across the road in the path of moving vehicles,
including road trains.
“It’s quite distressing to watch because it’s only a matter of time
before something goes horribly wrong.”
According to Doug, the main street is bedlam, especially at night.
“There are dozens of kids with no parents in sight and fights are a
“We’ve even seen a woman with a baby on her hip punching into
another woman as a couple of toddlers clung to her legs, crying.
“And sometimes, like on Tuesday night, there are fights with up to
40 or 50 people involved.”
Doug said since opening up Deadly Sweets nearly three months ago,
the shop has been broken into once and vandalised twice. One night,
one of the workers was punched in the face by a customer who was
angry that there were no hot dogs left.
“It does put a bit of a dampner on things but overall it has been
fantastic,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from customers and we’re
“But I do think the town has to be more proactive with what’s hap-
pening on the streets at night because it’s just not a safe place for
children to be.”
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