The availability of affordable housing is absolutely critical to Gove’s successful transition from a cashed-up mining town to a tourism-based region populated by more realistically salaried families.
If it is not self-interest or downright greed running this region, it’s blissful ignorance, incompetence, apathy or a destructive combination of all.
“Say something,” you say?
One of the problems you will have with a public discussion is that too many of us value our jobs, many of which come with housing, subsidised or not and there are a few cliques within this outwardly idyllic society which would enjoy nothing more than your ultimate relocation interstate, should you feel the need to rock the boat.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this region and have no plans to leave but the wealth and power are controlled by a few at the expense of many; no different to any other purportedly democratic society, I suppose. I have worked in rural community regeneration and development and know from experience that my voice doesn’t matter one iota. However, everyone knows that many voices are capable of great change.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the library’s copies of the Fascist Manifesto, Mein Kampf and anything by Mario Puzo or with “Fifty Shades” in the title are permanently on loan.
In the years I have lived here, I have encountered many residents who see and understand the issues facing this town. Most agree with why it is so and agree with the way forward. The establishment of a community action group to address the issues this town faces has been broached on several occasions and received generally excited encouragement though sadly no action.
I won’t rant and bemoan the town’s woes without at least offering a suggestion on a way forward. If by some miracle several overly prominent members of this community who generally profit at the expense of the majority could be persuaded to relocate interstate, the town could start moving in the direction everybody but the privileged few, desperately want.
Here’s another suggestion, get rid of that DEAL quango and procure experienced and proven community regeneration and development organisations to make real and rapid change.
If that fails, well, I guess if you can’t beat them, join them.
Read more about Nhulunbuy in the NT’s Arnhem Land: