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Appendix A: Example of a completed open-ended response schedule, Alice Springs surveys 1980 and 1981 (responses are in italic print)
Please complete as many as you wish of the following statements in any way which you feel describes either:
i. existing living conditions, or
ii. any changes which you would like to see made.
For instance, the first statement might be completed by someone as follows:
................... that it is so easy to get to know people.
1. I think that the greatest difference between living here and living in a capital city is: A more peaceful existence. Living our life and not continually being battered through the media, advertisements (neon signs) etc.
2. Living here would be absolutely fantastic if it weren't for our parents living so far away in Sydney and if we had our church to attend each Sabbath.
3. More attention should be paid to creating easier access to cities to the south by having an all-weather road for the Stuart Highway to Pt. Augusta and a subsidy by the government on airline pricing so we can go to Sydney cheaper than to Singapore.
4. There is too much emphasis on bringing in the tourist dollar by creating gambling joints such as casinos, here and in Darwin. Why cater specifically for only that type of person when it's the beauty of the country around that is the best "draw card?"
5. Living here is like living in another country. You have a large aboriginal population both urban and settlement and one needs to understand their culture somewhat to come to grips with life here in Alice.
6. I am glad that there are incentives for living here in Alice Springs e.g.: tax deduction for children, zone A allowance, district & air force leave for public servants.
7. I wish that it wasn't so expensive to travel south or east through Queensland and that the retailers gave more realistic prices for merchandise sent up from south, e.g., freight on one item may be $30 for a stove. Why put the price up to $100-300 per stove?
8. I would rather live in Canberra at the moment so we can be nearer our aging parents and that they can have access to their grandchildren more than once every two years.
9. Living here I find that I have learnt a great deal about Australia and its people. To get to the coast you have to travel through such beautiful and yet terrifying country. A/ice has a varied population and many itinerants coming from all parts of Australia and the world.
10. The aspect of living conditions here which I think most important is the freedom one can have to explore the country without being restricted as much as one is in a city. People do not always take advantage of it but nevertheless the choice is there.
11. I came here because the challenge and the job I went into appealed to me. Secondly I met my husband who was doing the same job and together we come here as young marrieds to make a life for ourselves.
12. The tourist industry has always been the No. 1 industry in the town since we have been here. It has grown 10x. The whole physical look of the town is being modernized and all due to the tourist dollar. At times I don't like the emphasis, but we all benefit from it.
13. If only this town had more playground area for the younger child-18 months to 8 years. Areas where there were trees and grass for mothers to get their children out of the house. Also public toilets are lacking in the shopping areas.
14. If Alice were twice the size the problems would be twice as bad and I wouldn't want to live here, is my first reaction. But then humans are adaptable and we all fit in somewhere in the environment. I know that I really don't want Alice very much bigger but that is a selfish attitude.
15. There are often activities which I personally would like to attend but due to having young children that require a baby sitter on my leaving, they are restricting my move" meets. Having close family living in town (grandparents) can help out in these times.
16. Is there anything which you would like to add which relates particularly to the time of day or day of the week when services and other activities occur? If so, please jot them down in the space below.
Most of the services and activities offered by the town are convenient to a mother at home if she has her own car. Without a car in this town, mothers at home can lead very stifled and narrow lifestyles. If a person is prepared to make an effort to attend these activities and services they will continue to be offered, and perhaps extended-e.g., community courses for leisure, business end academic training.
17. Maybe there are some other points which you would like to make?
This town, being small, does not offer the variety of job opportunities and careers that a city, especially a major one like Sydney or Melbourne, offers Much tertiary training has to be sought for in these places making a strain on the family ties and purse. Thus / fee/ Alice is a young people's town with a fair shift in the population year to year; this in itself is an unsettling feeling that pervades the town.
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