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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

We all pay, lets not let it be with a LIFE!

If you have read some of my previous material you would be aware I believe that Darwin City Council needs to instigate and create a quarterly review process in a Darwin City Safety Plan. The front page of the NT News paper today, quite rightly brought this issue to the front page.

The most dangerous risk that Territorian’s face every day is our environment, and a comprehensive safety plan will recognize and recommend changes, improvements, upgrades and maintenance to reduce the risk we face by the elements, environment and lack of maintenance.

I love Darwin, I was born and bred here, I am not a hater of the environment, “When there is a cyclonic squall, some run from the beach and some run into the water with a surf board.”

I love the harshness and uniqueness of the Darwin and in the old world, we often didn’t have to be concerned about constant litigation and the enforcement of policies, procedure, and regulation in order to enforce Work, health and safety. But we all have a past, we don’t live there anymore! In order to create a more progressive society, we created professionalism in all industries.

Licensing, Courses, inductions, and education wasn’t created to reduce freedom, it was in fact created to enhance it. When you drive on the road, could you be hit by a car? Is there a chance, a high chance that there are people on the road with mental health issues? Is there a chance that the car on the other side of the road could veer off at any time into oncoming traffic? I hallucinate that you are telling me YES.

How do you ever get into your Car and drive anywhere? Well you have FAITH. Did you always just have faith? NO! it is a learned condition based on the knowledge that there are imposed requirements for you to drive a car on the road. You are required education, training, testing, a License and the vehicle is required to be maintained and roadworthy for registration. You are required to were a safety device (seat belt) to make physical check both external and internal (mirror etc) before and when entering the vehicle.

When broken down the steps we road users whether it be in/on a Car, motor cycle, scooter, truck or bike seems impossible to follow to a small child, but we learn and most children will grow up and learn to drive a car.

Dealing with safety concerns, be it the elements (weather), the environment, plants, animals and the technology and tools we use every day is how we not only survive but progressively thrive in a modern society.

The heading “You’ll Pay” was chosen specifically to amplify your emotions and get you to buy the paper. For many it will work. Whether you like the NT News or not it is an important tool in the communication, media and education of the community. A Territorian's have every right to feel annoyed when they are challenged by such a heading, it’s natural. I suspect however that most Darwinites also emotively feel for the loss of the a loved one, taken by what seems to have been a recognized, acknowledged but not communicated and auctioned risk that took the life of a member of the community.

Many Territorian's remember the emotional outrage many felt when a tree branch fell and took the life of a small child Aidan Bott at a Darwin school and the anger when it was discovered the risk had been recognized, acknowledged and ignored rather than dealt with.

The Darwin City Council has begun a process of creating several Risk assessment plans through-out the Darwin area. Some have started, some have finished, some are public (such as the open website reporting) and are progressive and some still remain concealed for a variety of reasons.

The Risks Darwin faces are

  • Elemental (Wind, Rain, Fire, earthquakes/earth slides)

  • Environmental ( trees, plants, animals)

  • Human (Terrorism, Anger derived from fear, ignorance etc)

Human cont’d – Budgetary, Commercial interests, Insurance and litigation, corporate, financial etc.

  • Technological and mechanical (vehicles, buildings and products)

Safety Plans do not get rid of all risks, they reduce risk. They recognize and recommend and influence risk to a somewhat acceptable standard. We cannot stop an idiot sticking a “cracker up his clacker” or a group jumping onto a Croc Trap, but we can instigate plans to maintain and reduce and create and enforce penalties for those that enhance their own and others risk.

I recommend that any person who has a smart phone, who believes in the values of a progressive society, download the City of Darwin Click and Fix App for your smart device at the link below.

Take the time to report anything you might see. The Heading for the NT NEWS Paper is right “You’ll Pay”; we all do, but let’s not pay with our lives or the life of someone we love.

My sincerest condolences for your loss to Bill Browns family and friends.

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