DARWIN 35 YEARS ON FROM MY ARRIVAL
The peace and quiet of Darwin has largely evaporated. A road that was a minor road, passing close to our house in 1987, has become a two-way each-way drive with about 25,000 vehicle movements each day. Movement is starting earlier and finishing later.
The city throbs to the life injected by tourists and young people who like clubbing. While the suburbs are more austere, the newer ones are far more congested with ever larger houses being build on ever smaller blocks.
Sadly, there is a lot of fighting, ever increasing numbers of traffic accidents, and paramedics who are overworked in conveying victims of accidents and fights to the RoyaL Darwin Hospital. The wail of ambulance and police sirens regularly punctuate each day and night.
A lot of long time residents are opting to leave because they feel insecure and believe their property and possessions to be vulnerable. Assaults on people are at an all time high. Shopping centres are often subjected to terrible behaviour by ‘patrons’. Riding on a bus is often like a jungle experience because of unruly passenger behaviour.
Sadly, many of our schools have become unsafe because of fights between students, mainly at secondary but also at primary school level. Students are allowed free access to mobile phones during the day. Many fights are orchestrated in order that ‘fight and film’ episodes can be shared on social media.
The peaceful, quiet and happy Darwin I came to in 1987, is, sadly, a Darwin of the past. Things are out of control and authorities almost hopeless and helpless when it comes to dealing with these issues.
Sadly, Alice Springs is the same, Katherine has major issues, Nhulunbuy is impacted by socially negative behaviour, while Tennant Creek has been declared the most unsafe place in the NT (and possibly Australia).
The only way is up, but when.