Saturday, December 23, 2006

Yet more on Tamworth and Refugees

Photo: Tamworth aerial view. This photo is taken from the Total Travel site. Do Please visit.

I suppose that it was too much to hope that the Australian metro media would leave Tamworth alone for a moment to give them (the locals) time to work the issues through. After all, it is a major story.

In case I haven't made my own position clear in the stories I have written, I thought that the original Council decision to reject the resettlement proposal was dumb, the way Council handled the matter dumber still.

At the same time, one of my key points has been that this is a complicated issue from a local perspective, one that the locals themselves have to work through.

The difficulty with the story now carried in today's Sydney Morning Herald (here) is that it is highly likely to inflame local divisions, making sensible consideration of the issue still more difficult. People dig in if placed under too much pressure.

Community development has been one of my long standing interests. Why do some communities develop, others fail?

In a post back in July - A Town like Alice - development and creativity at community level - I compared Armidale and Tamworth. One of my points was that Tamworth had a long record in business creation and that this helped explain its relative success compared to Armidale.

As a community, Tamworth has been a considerable success. I am seriously concerned that this current controversy will damage the city, affecting every person who lives there, including the thousands in the city who oppose the original council decision.

So let's cut Tamworth some slack, letting them work the issue through.


Lexcen said...

Jim, obviously you believe that when the media focus on a story, it has a major influence on issues it focuses on. What you are saying is that it polarizes people. This is an interesting observation, because I never considered media focus as having such an effect.
Thinking about this for a while, I begin to see that people don't automatically have PC views, they need to be exposed to them. I think that Political Correctness is the lazy way out.People don't think about an issue, they just adapt a pre-packaged opinion. I've never been one to follow that course. Maybe my opinions are offensive and maybe they are off the radar, but I do formulate my opinions after deep thought and consideration of facts at hand.
I like your blogs because you are so careful with facts. I wish I had more access to an easy source of statistics when I'm researching a subject. I find the ABS intimidating. I would like to research migration data, and ethnicity of populations within Australia, for example. That seems like a project too big at the moment.

Jim Belshaw said...

I do like your comments, Lexcen. They always make me think. There are a whole host of issues in what you just wrote.

I have to do some washing up and then cook tea. But one very brief comment now. If I had lots of money, I would set up a foundation whose sole job was the provision of analysis and information. This foundation would not be allowed to express an opinion, to take a side. Its sole role would be to bridge the information gap between those of us who are interested in thinking about issues and the information we need.

I have worked with stats most of my professional life. I, too, find it hard sometimes to get and interpret ABS data.

I hate washing up but I have to do it!

Anonymous said...

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!

Anonymous said...

Grazie entrambi. Spero che abbiate Natale felice.

I, more correctly my wife, cheated with the Italian, although she can speak it some degree.

It's Christmas day now. One present from Helen, my eldest was Hibbert's "Rome: the biography of the city, so the Italian theme continues.

Anonymous said...


This is a courtesy note to advise that the LiberalVoter blog has:

1) Liked one of the comments on your blog so much, we re-published it.
2) Linked to your blog in acknowledgement of the use of the comment.

Sorry we didn't contact you prior to republishing the comment. Since LiberalVoter is an attempt to inject some much-needed humour into the Australian political blogosphere, we hope you'll forgive our impudence.


Jim Belshaw said...

That's fine, LV, though it took me a little while to find you. Thank you for the courtesy in letting me know. It's a free country. I even feel mildly flattered to be included between Tim B on one side, John Q on the other!