Thursday, 30 December 2010

The weather rant: left-outs and language

Click to enlarge

I lay in bed to-day listening to the reading of weather conditions on Radio National.  Now I realise that these are in-brief readings and if you really want to know anything you should go to the Bureau of Meteorology.  But to-day was a corker of how skewed the weather reading can be.  From memory, the reading goes something like this: Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Broome, Perth.

Showers were expected only in Broome, Darwin and Cairns.  Everything else was fine.  As I write, I googled one simple word "floods" and here is the search result at 11.27am.  The entire population of Theodore in Queensland has been evacuated.  Further north and west, a significant slice of the population of Emerald has been evacuated. On Christmas Day, a cyclone crossed the coast near Cairns. Things are not good. Queensland is awash - again. New South Wales has been.

And while I am on that list. A few comments.  OK, most Australians live on the coastal fringes of the continent. Probably so they can get capital city weather forecasts - there is only one inland town given on most radio lists, Alice Springs.

I also get mad about Cairns being on the list and not Townsville.  Townsville is larger than Darwin  and is the de facto capital of North Queensland.  In fact, the Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh is considering nominating Townsville as a second capital city for Queensland. I think Cairns gets mentioned only for the sake of southerners and tourists and the fact that, because of neglect of Townsville, there is an international airport there. There are more North Queenslanders living closer to Townsville than they are to Cairns. But Townsville does not get the prominence it deserves in weather readings on radio, and - in some, but not all, cases - on television.

I don't know whether Broome is representative of tropical Western Australia or whether another town would be more representative or relevant to higher population numbers.  Sandgropers might like to educate us on that point. 

As an expatriate Queenslander of great age and antiquity, I would like to make known my weather pleasure when Howard Ainsworth was still at the ABC in Brisbane. His dulcet tones are now heard on Brisbane's Classic FM station, 4MBS. During a Queensland Wet Season (more places to mention in the Wet than in the Dry), it was a delight to hear Howard Ainsworth give the rainfall.  Like other parts of Australia, Queensland has its share of tricky names of Aboriginal derivation.  Howard would never slip. He had to read with a certain degree of pace to get every town and hamlet into a limited timeslot.  And he did it beautifully and perfectly.  

I often listen to the BBC Overseas Service during the night (yes I love my radio!), and there is a man whose name I have not yet found who reads the Soccer scores. Beautifully articulated but he draws out some of the words in an amusing way - I guess he is afraid of sounding monotonous because there are as many football clubs in England as there are towns to call for rain in Queensland.  I think he could share a Hall of Fame with our Mr Ainsworth.

BTW, I might mention that Beverley O'Connor has not done too well reading Queensland names in ABC TV news items about the floods this week. As an instance (and this has not been the only slip), she pronounced Munduberra incorrectly. She pronounced it as mun-doo-berra.  It is pronounced mun-dub-erra. Beverley  also pronounced, in the same broadcast, Dalby incorrectly.  She said Dal-bee.  Correct usage, is Doll-bee. She later pronounced the name again, this time correctly.  Beverley, sorry you have flunked the Hall of Fame test.  And, Mr ABC, I thought you trained people and trained them well.  Do you allow enough time for pre-reading and verification prior to people getting in front of the camera?

Thinking of you, Queensland.

Postcript at 1.50pm
I am currently listening to Qld flood news on ABC radio
via Livesteam

Anna Bligh says 80% of Emerald people will be out of their homes.
Waters rising in Dalby

at 3.50pm.
Condamine Township about to be totally evacuated
Condamine River the peak at Dalby
and Condamine area will experience that in the next week
Moonie River area is being evacuaed.
Homes in those areas have never had to be evacuated in 140 years

at 3.30pm
SMS texting appears to be working well in flood-affected places.
An Emerald man on hols in Thailand even got an SMS.
Theodore people now in Moura appreciate the help of Anglo Coal.
Dongas on the way. Theodore folks could be in Moura for a week.

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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Vale, Denis Dutton - who made sure we read & listened to the best stuff

Click to enlarge and read detail.

To-day the banner of Arts & Letters Daily is in black - instead of its usual red.  It announces the passing of Denis Dutton who is the same age as me. Ah, mortality!  

Whatever else Denis Dutton may have left behind, A& L Daily is quite a legacy.  

I discovered Arts & Letters Daily via Shane Maloney.  While Dutton originally designed A & L for his students so that they could keep up with essays, articles etc, it is the most wonderful resource for the miscellaneous mind. And A& L covers so much more including international newspaper and radio links. 

Thank you Denis for the hours of pleasure you have given me.

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The Empire strikes back: USA takes China to the WTO over wind power subsidies #renewables #trade #flexingmuscles

Wind Turbines, Lake George (Weereewaa), near Bungendore NSW
September 2009
The turbines were in test mode at this time.

What can one say about the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from my lowly position in the world?  I hear news items from time to time announcing that Australia is taking a matter to the WTO or someone is trying to get their produce into the Australian market and has had to take their case to the WTO. We object because our country is clean of whatever and the other country gives room and board to some insect or disease I have never heard of.  Is our complaint just?  I don't know.  We just might be drumming up objections on behalf of our sweet-smiling agricultural folk who carry a lot of weight come election time. A bit like the case outlined below which is taken at the instigation of steelworkers in an economy in which manufacturing has been declining.

In short, the WTO probably saves us a few wars, armed conflicts and military skirmishes - which might have been the case a century or two ago.  To New York, the nations of the world take their trade disputes. International bureaucratic processes ensue and a long time later there is a response or a decision.  Well, you know what they say about conception and elephants, Networkers.

That long-winded intro is to tell you about what might be a little doozy for the WTO to decide - and innocent by-standers are left to their own conjecture on what it might be all about actually.

The Obama Administration in the USA has filed a complaint with the WTO over China's wind-power subsidies.  I learned this from my Daily Grist (see here). Based on my limited knowledge and limited ability to observe Australia's goings on at the WTO, the Grist assessment sounds reasonable.  The outline done by greentechmedia gives a good nuts and bolts description of the process. But we mustn't be one-sided about this, must we.  So over I popped to the New York Times.

The NYT highlights the involvement - or quiescence - of General Electric, a company not always known for sound environmental practice.  Further criticism of China is here in highlighting the way China is alleged to treat foreign companies in China.

I have to say though that I do find this response from an NYT reader of interest:
There is another side to this story, of course - namely, that both the Obama and Bush Administrations have focused on subsidizing the following:

1) Coal-to-gasoline plants (billions from the DOE, often cloaked as "CO2 capture projects")
2) Tar sand imports (billions in Congressional loan guarantees for new gas pipelines to feed the tar sand production system)
3) Liquefied natural gas imports (more billions to Exxon and Chevron for their Indonesian and Papua New Guinea LNG projects)
4) A new round of ridiculously expensive taxpayer-subsidized nuclear reactors ($8 billion in loan guarantees for Southern - Georgia nuclear plants).
There are many similar examples of the Obama-Bush focus on fossil fuels and nuclear - but solar and wind have received almost nothing in comparison.
Clearly, this could be challenged by China as unfair government support for fossil fuel & nuclear (which, despite the earnest claims of Energy Secretary Chu, are hardly "clean" and definitely not renewable) - but China is obviously more concerned with reducing its dependence on fossil fuel imports by moving state support away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
The U.S. would be wise to follow suit - but the gross imbalance between U.S. subsidies for fossil fuels & nuclear over solar, wind and sustainable biofuels (algal biofuels & artificial photosynthetic approaches) has distorted U.S. energy markets and made investors very hesitant about putting their money into renewables - a situation which pleases the fossil fuel & nuclear cartels to no end.
Hence, the U.S., on energy, is running with cartel capitalism - not with competitive free market approaches - and should itself be subject to severe WTO penalties for such blatant market manipulation.

I suppose Networkers,
(bad pun warning!)
we shall have to wait and see which way the wind blows.

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Life and living : cause and effect : #effective #life

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SeeClickFix: Daily Grist: Improving the 'hood #community #sustainability

Each day the Daily Grist lands in my email box.  It is American and it is useful.  Well, not always so useful because it is American and geared to an American way of life. But when I do find a gem or two they are worth taking on board.

I am taking the trouble to tell you, Networkers, about Daily Grist to-day because of a beaut idea I have discovered through it.  It is called SeeClickFix. I have heard of nothing like it in Australia - but it would be good to see it here.

SeeClickFix allows citizens to complain about non-emergency situations in their neighbourhoods which need fixing: an unsafe intersection; a dog barking incessantly, public eyesores etc.  The sort of things you wish "they" would do something about; the sort of things that you might organise your street, neighbourhood or suburb about.   Please, SeeClickFlix, go international and come to Australia.

I like the writing in my DG by Sarah Goodyear. Here is to-day's piece about making your neighbourhood a better place. Some good tips!  She has a lovely photographic site here.  That's where I discovered this gem.
You can also follow Sarah on Twitter.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Jewish Fast for Gaza - Break the silence. Lift the blockade. Pursue peace. #gaza#israel#judaism

It is good to know that there are others in the Jewish community abroad as well as in Israel who want to bring about peace in Israel and Palestine.  One Israeli friend of mine works on a volunteer basis in a Palestinianhospital.  These are the unsung heroes searching  for a peace and a justice befitting both Israel and Palestine.  I wish them all success. Tweet them @fastforgaza

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Size matters - that's the length & breadth of it! #genitalia#men#women#intellectualcapacity

Beth Wilson's article to-day is most welcome. Particularly, in a period when we have had the AFL p*nis pictures controversy and descriptions of the rising number of women seeking cosmetic surgery for their undercarriage.  

What has always bugged me is that for decades, French movies have not been shy about showing the male in all his glory - and, of course, the female in his hers.  Conversely, Hollywood has never been shy (well at least for about five decades) about exploiting the female form but baulks at showing the male in toto.

Size is clearly a male pre-occupation, comparison and embarrassment which has now corrupted the female of the species for whom this was never an issue except in rare anatomical circumstances.  This is what we have liberated females for? To be seduced by male pornographic pleasures of airbrushed women juvenile-style which have given us nude genitalia and now 'enhanced' or 'deformed by bad surgery' genitalia.  Great! Women can still be conned by men. Women can still not think for themselves?

And as for the the AFL footballers. They are a disgrace.  I for one am not going to line up in the condemnatory queue against the 17 year old girl.  The AFL footballers were well past the age of consent. The 17 year old was barely past the age of consent. In addition, the footballers have been the recipients of all sorts of courses and directives by the AFL for the purpose of trying to do the impossible, keep AFL footballers out of trouble, particularly of their own making. 

The AFL footballers and their club are crying foul when the solutions are quite simple. To the clubs: Pick footballers who can think rationally as well as run and punt.  To the footballers: Don't do anything that you wouldn't like to see publicised in a photograph. 

And I am not convinced by their almost tearful performances. You see I think they are genuinely shocked by what has occurred.  But the real worry is money - money for personal endorsements, money for the club.  After all what does a footballer endorse after his p*nis has been publicised - p*nis enlargement? 

Let's attribute blame fairly and squarely where it is due: men who cannot exercise any intellectual capacity above their navel. Simple as that. They ruin their own lives and the lives of women foolish enough to hang around them. 

Vale, Maurice. You were and will continue to be - valued.

While I had news of the death of Maurice Rioli early yesterday afternoon, I waited to post my Vale to him. And I will tell you why.

I am s-o-o disappointed about the newspaper reportage of the coverage of Maurice's life. The majority of the words written about Maurice are seen through the lens of AFL football. Fair enough when seen from one direction - and one direction only. 

Football changed Maurice's life and it has been instrumental in changing Australian views about Aboriginal people and their capabilities.  But there is little or no mention of Maurice as a representative of his people and as a representative of Northern Territory people in general.  

There is more to life than football  and while football may also have been the entree to his political life - it would be good to see the media taking this part of Maurice's life seriously. Maurice's political life might not have been a career to set the world on fire but it was a serious and meaningful part of his life, even with the difficulties he encountered while doing his best to represent the people of Arafura.

So I postponed writing this because I wanted to find a picture of Maurice as I knew him, as a Parliamentarian - suited and booted below that wonderful head of glossy, curly black hair.  I sent an SOS out on Twitter - but to date no success. So, Networkers, if you come across a picture of Maurice Rioli in his parliamentary days and attire, please forward to me to fill the vacant pictorial space on this post.

Vale, Maurice. You were and will continue to be - valued.
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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Scary ideas on privatising forests. Could the idea spread to woodchipped Australian forests? #Environment #Forests #Privatisation

We have just had an election in Victoria which has brought about a change from Labor in government to the Liberal and National Parties governing in coalition.  Now the scary thing when there is a change of government is the people who influence government who aren't elected.  First of all, there are their ministerial advisers and the behind the scenes party influentials.  Then there are the bureaucrats of the various departments. And somewhere in all that mix are the ideas.  From whence and whom do they come?  Sometimes from like-minded political parties in other parts of the world.

So I became rather scared for Victorian forests when I read this. Just what if this idea was to gain currency in Victoria.  Large slices of Victorian forests already have gone to woodchip and photocopying paper.

Gunn's have been pulled into line in Tasmania through Geoffrey Cousins and his 'social licence' strategy and the advent of a Labor/Greens coalition government. But could the conservative parties in Victoria draw on the ideas of their Tory cousins in the UK?
Further reading:

Postscript 5/1/2011

The Digital Story of Nativity - (or Christmas 2.0) #Christmas

for drawing my attention to this

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Part 2 - Colonising Christmas with false commercial symbols #Christmas #Horticulture #Flowers

 See pictures in more detail in yesterday's post.
You can see the Pointsettia on the right in all its tropical glory.

Further to yesterday's post, Colonising Christmas with false commercial symbols, there has been a communique from Denis of The Nature of Robertson.

Welcome to the club.

I hate poinsettias with a passion.
The way they are grown is about as natural 
as was the Chinese Women having Bound Feet.
They are mature plants, cut off and potted up as "cuttings" 
and then they flower at 9 inches high, not 20 feet high.
You are right about the "forcing. 
They grow them in cool houses.

Think of their CO2 "footprint" - 
to get them to flower in summer, they grow them in coolers, 
and control the amount of sunlight they receive, 
so they "think" it is winter, with only 6 hrs of sunlight per day. 

Imagine the Greenhouse gases involved in that production schedule.

Don't tell anyone at Woolies - the Fresh Food People - 
but the leaves and stems of Poinsettias are poisonous, 
but so are Daphne, and Daffodils.

And remember the red and green colours of Christmas 
were largely invented by Coca Cola.
Commercialism is rampant in every cell of this plant.

Postscript from Miss Eagle:
If you are cutting the  'real' pointsettias 
to use in floral decoration,
you will find them sappy and,
 like hydrangeas,
you need to burn the ends. 
Handy to do if you have gas burners in the kitchen. 
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Bryce Corbett, Shay the Showgirl and AFL risky photos #AFL#women#blogging

Networkers, I have just read what I think might be the best post I have read on a blog in the whole of 2010 - and, just possibly, ever. It is titled Ignoring the homoerotic elephant in the locker room

Now the topic is a hot potato - always grist to the blogging mill and stoking fires that need a vent.  It's not just that.  The writing is excellent.  The writer covers all aspects, it would seem, of the topic - and makes lucid comment on each aspect. He says what needs to be said. In short, he calls to account the actions of those complaining; calls to account those who receive popular adulation and seldom appear to be called to account.

So I looked to see who this writer is because I had never heard of Bryce Corbett - and the bio is attractive. 
Bryce Corbett is the mild-mannered Associate Editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly. He began his journalism career as a copyperson at the Daily Telegraph and rose to lofty heights of the newspaper’s gossip columnist before scampering overseas to find his fortune in the Mother Country.
Stints in London at The Times, The News Of The World and as TV producer at Sky News all ensued before he jumped a Eurostar and moved to Paris. He spent 10 years living and working in Paris, during which time he wrote two books, married a Moulin Rouge showgirl and sired two adorable kids. He returned to the homeland in February. 
I am sure there are bits of that biography that would be the envy of any AFL footballer - and their wives and girl-friends.  Imagine turning up for the Brownlow if you had a Moulin Rouge showgirl on your arm!

Now if I can just learn to be a snappy and intelligent blogger,
like Bryce Corbett!
I might have a remote chance of doing that.
I have never looked like and never will look like
Shay Stafford.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Jeff Harmer departs FaHCSIA. Any changes to the NT Intervention? #Aboriginal #Policy

The Prime Minister has also announced the retirement from the Australian Public Service of Jeff Harmer, head of  the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs.  Here is the article about Jeff Harmer from the Canberra Times of December 2005.

Please note, that his appointment to this department was eighteen months prior to the introduction of the ill-thought out and never-researched Intervention. I know it will not happen soon but some sort of biography, book of record or the like which included detailed discussion of The Intervention would be welcome, Jeff.  Please don't drop dead without telling us in the ins-and-outs of one of those most dreadful pieces of public policy since white settlement.

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Ken Henry, 'finishing his role' and the preservation of the spotted owl #ozeconomics

The Prime Minister has to-day announced that Ken Henry is to "finish" in his role as Secretary to the Treasurer early in the next year.  Networkers might find this article of interest. In 2006, the Canberra Times ran a series of articles on department heads in the Howard Government.  The one on Henry gives some interesting insisghts and I am pleased to note his interest in one of my favouritest economists, Amartya Sen.  

Further reading:
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Colonising Christmas with false, commercial symbols #Christmas #Horticulture #Flowers

Did you purchase one of these Pointsettias as a Christmas symbol and decoration this year?  If you answer yes, A Very Merry UnAustralian Christmas to you.  You have allowed your Christmas to be colonised by a foreign empire, the United States of America.

You see, that blurb purporting to come from Andrew, the Fresh Food Specialist is not true - at least for Australia and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere.  So here's hoping he knows more about food than he does about flowers.

The Pointsettia you purchased has been specially bred or forced or whatever artificialities can be introduced by horticultural practices in Australia to make money out of the Christmas season for producers and on-sellers of horticultural products. In short, this is no pretty Christmas symbol but a producer-to-consumer driven product.

The Pointsettia is a symbol of Christmas - North of the Equator.  North of the Equator it is winter. The Pointsettia in Australia is a seasonal flower of late Autumn-early Winter depending on where you live.  The Pointsettia is no more seasonal to an Australian Christmas than Hot Cross Buns in January or Christmas Carols in October.

The above is a Pointsettia in all its glory in tropical North Queensland.  It can be a fairly tall bush and the flowers are positioned on long droopy canes.  In Australia, the Pointsettia is a a symbol of a Christian feast - but not Christmas.  They are often used to decorate churches for Pentecost because the red bracts are reminders of the tongues of fire that descended at the first Pentecost in Jerusalem. Pentecost occurs fifty days after Easter and, therefore, occurs in late May (late Autumn) or early June (early Winter).

So let's leave the Americana on the shelves 
and have an authentic Australian Christmas this year.

Colbert, Christ, Unemployed and Asylum Seekers #asylumseekers #refugees #Jesus

In the USA, Stephen Colbert is concerned about whether Jesus is a Liberal Democrat.  In the wake of the Christmas Island drownings, now believed to be a possible 50, of asylum seekers, where does/would Jesus fit on Australia's political spectrum.  When it comes to giving expression to the following, where do we find God's way in the Parliament of Australia:

You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 23.9)

When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. (Leviticus 19:33)

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:18)

...Mmmm. Now where are we, as a nation, on those parameters? Where are our politicians on these yardsticks? 

So while Stephen Colbert is talking about the unemployed in his rant, perhaps we Aussies can just do a mental substitute and think about the drowned babies and children, the grieving families of Christmas Island and our recent history with and attitudes towards immigrants and would be immigrants in our country. How do we rate, do you think?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Kicking up a song and dance on Byrril Creek : No dam - No way #water #nodams #environment

I love this video.
And, am I mistaken,
or can I see in it
playing the mandolin.

No Dam No way -waterfall Save Byrrill Creek

Water is holy. It is more precious than gold. It sustains all life on this planet. It is literally the manifestation of Holy Spirit that keeps body and soul together. Without it we would not exist and once deprived of it we have very little time left alive.
In utter denial about the appropriateness of rainwater tanks as part of every normal household, and ignorance of the importance of this area as a wildlife corridor between two National Parks the Tweed Shire Council is proposing to dam Byrrill Creek, thereby destroying the habitat of many local people, wildlife and forest. A dam has a major detrimental effect on the adjacent environment, altering forever the local natural infrastructure.

On behalf of all this endangered Nature and their own families and friends, the people of Byrrill Creek recently got together and participated in this colourful film clip, based on a song by Paul Joseph and Brendan Hanley, who recently won the ABC National Q&A video competition for their comedic "Backhander" clip.

With several cameras and a lot of fun the video was shot on Byrrill Creek with camera work from Paul Tait, Paula Glenn-Bland, Megan James and Pat Hall. Editing by Paul Joseph (with his L plates on).

For the best online viewing experience, 
we recommend you click on the "Dim Lights" button 

Rural roads - but what about Aboriginal communities & The Outback. #aboriginal #indigenous #agchatoz #roads

I love it when well-resourced individuals in main stream society start whingeing (ahem, complaining) about occasional matters in their life that ignored individuals, businesses, and communities in remote Australia put up with regularly.  

'I love it' is meant two ways.  Firstly, there's my cynical self. Second, there's the self that thinks - OK this time it might hit some sort of useful place from which to springboard into an actionable place.

This article about farmers getting stuck on muddy bush roads is a case in point.

Please note a few things about this article:
  1. Where. Look at where the people the article quotes come from.  They come from northern New South Wales. Please note the central part of northern NSW. They do not come from dry, dusty, isolated outback NSW. The first spokesperson is Deputy Mayor of Moree Plains Shire Council. She is also Deputy Chair of the Australian Rural Roads Group.
  2. Who. The other person quoted is significantly involved in his region.  Significant enough to chair a local floodplain management committee. and to give a testimonial for some agricultural machinery. One assumes he is also a member of the Grain Growers Association
  3. How. The Australian Rural Roads Group has got its act together - and clearly some dollars, as well - and has published a report called Going Nowhere. You, dear Networkers, can download it above.
Now the tone of what I have written above sounds cynical.  I have written in this tone to emphasise the point I wish to make.  

I am supportive of the organisation and ideas behind Going Nowhere.  I have lived too long in remote Australia to do otherwise. I also realise every great movement has to start somewhere.   One has to look, however, at the gaps and begin to move into them - which I hope,  with this post, to encourage the Australian Rural Roads Group to do.

So let's look at the gaps.

Firstly, I am pleased to see that the cover photograph has been contributed by my blogging buddy, Robbo of Bite The Dust fame.  You can also find him in more up to date fashion on Twitter. As you can see from Robbo's photo and the Wreck of the Week feature on his blog, roads certainly have their moments out where he lives in the Gibson Desert.  You will note the isolation of that bit of Australia marked in red.

Now go to the map in the Going Nowhere report. The most isolated and remote parts of Australia, including Robbo's domicile, are not give the green of participation.  

And to give some information and a big dose of reality, let me take you to my old stomping ground of the Barkly Tableland which is in the Northern Territory and slap bang in the middle of the Australian continent. Ali Curung is a significant Aboriginal community in the Barkly Shire and you can read about it here. Please note the second last sentence.
Ali Curung is fortunate to have a bitumen road to the community. During the wet season the main road to Ali Curung is usually open to traffic, however dirt roads connecting outlying communities are often unusable.
You see, bitumen roads to Aboriginal communities are remarkable.  Sometimes, to travel to an Aboriginal community in the NT, it may be bitumen most of the way such as scooting along the Stuart Highway.  Then the last few kilometres to the community are dirt - as if to reinforce the second-class status of Aboriginal citizens living in communities.

Go a bit further down the highway to the Epenarra turn-off.  This is the situation there.  Note the picture in the top left hand corner.

Now, I don't know what you think Networkers (you might let me know), but it seems to me that to have a lively economy - small, medium or large - an all weather road is needed.  That is what the Australian Rural Roads Group is saying too. 

Noel Pearson is fond of lecturing Australia on the need for Aboriginal people to move away from welfare dependency. Long before the majority of Australians ever knew of Noel Pearson, Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory - and other places too - were trying to do just that.  They were forming businesses. Some were pastoral, some were agricultural, some were tourism based.  Some succeeded - and some have succeeded marvellously.  Some have not.  For Aboriginal businesses and communities, what a difference an all weather road can make.

Without all weather roads, Aboriginal communities can be cut off - not only from developing a vibrant local economy but from accessing business and personal services such as health, education, local government expertise and so on.

In short, when we hear the agenda of Aboriginal needs in the Northern Territory, roads don't get a guernsey.  

The Intervention was founded on halting child abuse.  The doctors found an infinitesimally small number of possible cases. Think about the energy and funding put  into The Intervention with what might have been the case if the same amount of energy and funding had gone into infrastructure such as roads and citizenship entitlements which other Australians take for granted. 

Then something might have been achieved to benefit Aboriginal people, their communities, and the nation.

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