An experienced news reporter has broken down on live TV as he made a desperate plea for action to be taken on the out-of-control crime wave gripping Alice Springs.
Sky News Darwin bureau chief Matt Cunningham held back back tears as he stood in front of the central Australia city’s welcome sign on Friday.
The respected Cunningham has been a working journalist in the Northern Territory for more than 12 years an has been Sky News’ Chief Northern Australia Correspondent since 2016.
‘Have a look at this place, it is the most beautiful place in the world, the heart of this country, but it’s breaking at the moment,’ he said.
The Northern Territory community is in the grip of a spate of break-ins, robberies and violent crimes, committed primarily by youth, since alcohol bans were lifted in July.
Sky News Darwin bureau chief Matt Cunningham choked back tears as he stood in front of the Alice Springs welcome sign on Friday
The Northern Territory community is in the grip of a spate of break-ins, robberies and violent crimes, committed primarily by youth, since alcohol bans were lifted in July
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Tuesday temporary restrictions would be brought in for the next three months in an effort to stem the crime wave.
Cunningham – the former editor of the NT News – took in a deep breath as he bravely tried to maintain his composure, saying the crimewave had been going on for too long.
‘I’ve been reporting on this stuff for a long time,’ he said. ‘I see the country that cares for about five minutes and then it moves on, it doesn’t care anymore.
‘Maybe we’ve got a chance here that we are focused on this for once and maybe something will actually happen and something will change.’
The issues are particularly close for Cunningham who has frequently reported on the town’s problems.
He covered the murder of Alena Kukla and her baby child who were killed by her partner Bernard John Alice around the same time the alcohol ban was lifted last year.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Tuesday temporary restrictions would be brought in for the next three months in an effort to stem the crime wave (pictured, resident drinking a ‘hand sanitiser cocktail’)
Cunningham had been presenting the segment on Friday as concerns increased about the ineffectiveness of an alcohol ban (pictured, a destroyed fence as a result of uncontrollable crime in Alice Springs)
Alice had a history of domestic violence and shot Ms Kukla and murdered her baby boy before he turned the gun on himself.
Cunningham had been presenting the segment on Friday as concerns increased about the ineffectiveness of an alcohol ban.
Some residents are expected to exploit loopholes in the ban by driving to neighbouring towns to pick up alcohol.
There are also fears there are too few liquor inspectors to enforce the ban.
Alice Springs locals were quick to mock Anthony Albanese as the ‘fly-in fly-out’ or ‘FIFO’ PM after his whirlwind visit to the troubled community on Tuesday.
After the visit lasting just a few hours, Mr Albanese was accused of failing to get any in-depth appreciation of the increasing anarchy on the city’s streets.
After the visit lasting just a few hours, Mr Albanese was accused of failing to get any in-depth appreciation of the increasing anarchy on the city’s streets (pictured, a fight in a car park on the same day Mr Albanese flew into Alice Springs)
A Northern Territory homeowner released CCTV footage after his house was broken into this month
Crime and lawlessness in the iconic Outback city entered the national spotlight this week amid reports up to 200 children roam the streets at night, breaking into homes and businesses and stealing and burnings cars.
According to videos posted on the Action for Alice Facebook page, the PM’s visit coincided with a stabbing in the Coles-Liquorland car park, and open drinking of a ‘hand sanitiser cocktail’ by a woman in front of children on a main street.
One person posted a picture of the jet stream of the PM’s plane, writing ‘Albo leaving 5 mins after the press conference’, which prompted the response: ‘Albo loves his jets. He’s never out of them.’
Another joked ‘what was the John Denver song … I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again’, and one person questioned if ‘Albo and the rest of the fly in fly outs’ saw the ambulances gathered for an emergency on the town’s main street.
Others posted ‘Did any of them visit business owners in town’ and ‘word is he was only in town 2 hours then gone’.
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