The Todd River in Alice could be a public linear …

Comment on Todd River: will we stand by and let the worst happen? by Hal Duell.

The Todd River in Alice could be a public linear park stretching from St Philip’s in the north to Heavitree Gap in the south. For that to happen, we will have to get over the idea that the Todd is still a wild bush river, and embrace the truth that it is an open public space in the heart of an urban setting.
Other municipalities have accepted a similar challenge. Think of the Torrens in Adelaide and the Yarra in Melbourne. Just because the Todd is shorter and drier doesn’t make it any less a river, or any less able to become a public space.
Substantial extra funding will probably have to be found if we are to do this. I suspect it will cost more money than Council now has to remove the carcasses of dead trees, keep the grass down, install lights and maintain security.
There’s also the possible need to dredge the river so it can take future floods safely and quickly through the Gap.
Most importantly, a public education and awareness campaign is needed to discuss what can be done about the current unsatisfactory state of affairs.
The Todd is too central to Alice to be abandoned to the arsonists and the social flatliners who have had recent success in taking it away from us. Forty and fifty years ago, before the ubiquitous air-conditioner, some children in Alice slept as often as not in the river as at home on hot summer nights. No parent today would even consider sending their child down to the river for a night’s sleep. Most would caution against it during the day.
With good will, community effort and sufficient funding it could again become an area to be enjoyed by all, no matter the hour of day or night.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Todd River: will we stand by and let the worst happen?
I’m very glad to hear that the Athel Pines still in Alice will be going soon. Having seen what they did in the Finke River around Horseshoe Bend homestead, I cannot find any sympathy for them at all.
About the other trees Mike says are listed as weeds by Greening Australia, I have no opinion other than to hope that if they are removed, they are replaced so we can retain a riverside parkland along Stott Tce. That area really is a well-used and much loved pride of the river.
Have the seeds dropped into the Todd River by these mature exotics resulted in new growth downstream? Or will they be forced to go just because they are something new, just because they haven’t been here forever and a day?
I hope Greening Australia is not listing as weeds any tree not originally a native of Central Australia. I would hate to see a crusading nutter insist Alice lose the citrus and mulberry trees so many of us have in our yards and eat from when in fruit.


Todd River: will we stand by and let the worst happen?
Mike
I agree with you about the necessity to control weeds in the Todd River. Mexican Poppy and Athol Pine would be among the front line offenders. I am sure you would agree that they need to be eradicated wherever they are found in or adjacent to the river system.


Todd River: will we stand by and let the worst happen?
According to the Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia, the Todd River is 272km long. A mere 5km flows through Alice Springs between the Telegraph Station Reserve and Heavitree Gap.
I am intrigued by Jane Clark’s question – how long until the river system reaches the tipping point? How many years do we actually have left?
For a lot of the old trees, time’s up. The arsonists have done for them.
But for the watercourse itself, it will remain a watercourse even if the riverbed fills with silt, spills out into the town and Alice reaches a tipping point.
To argue against doing anything is akin to the climate change deniers. Good arguments can be deployed to challenge the science of climate change, but meanwhile the arctic sea ice is shrinking, the glaciers are melting, etc.
In Alice Springs, the Todd is being choked by sand islands anchored by couch and buffel, the trees are being burned out by arsonists and the Town Council needs to grasp the nettle and assume control.
But then we come to Jane’s other question – who pays?
Good question, that.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
Mr Gunner would do well to remember that the last NT Chief Minister to lose control of the streets in Alice was Martin, and the Intervention followed. Turnbull might have a smoother smile, but he is cast in the same mold.
And Where’s Warren will again wring his hands and cry shame, but the only shame is that he is still there. Go Jacinta! I don’t know if you will be any more effective, but remember this: You cannot do worse.
Also, consider this: There has recently been a national Angst over all the kids in detention in the NT being Indigenous, but then think how many priors each of those kids had to have had before they finally earned detention.
CM Gunner’s answer to the collapse of Alice seems to be to ignore the clearly stated preference of the majority regarding the art gallery and to work with them, but to instead indulge in a swinging big-dick moment. He wants to get real while there is still an Alice to get real over.
And the TOs and their families and friends? To be honest, I think they are scared of their own children. Or perhaps they are scared of each other.
Either way, they sure as hell aren’t doing anything.


Some creatures in The Centre used to be big
So glad the Ducks of Doom feature. As soon as I get back to Alice I will visit.


At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
It will be interesting to see if the results of Council’s survey are similar to those published today by our local print newspaper.
Over a two week period it conducted an online poll asking residents of Alice what they thought of plans to use Anzac Oval for an art gallery. The results are unambiguous: From a total of 988 votes, 32.4% said it was a good idea and 67.6% said it wasn’t.
As for the old high school, over to you, Alex Nelson.


Aboriginal-led ‘from the bottom up’: cultural centre
A National Indigenous Cultural Centre is arguably so much more important, nationally, locally, and indigenously(?), than another art gallery. I imagine it would include an important and pertinent section on the birth and development of the Central Australian art movement. This last point alone would obviate the need for a National Indigenous Art Gallery, especially given that all major cities and most of the smaller ones already have their own collection of Indigenous art.
As an aside, do we really imagine that the cities, both large and small, will strip out their own collections to further a gallery in Alice Springs? Will the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory be sending its rare and priceless collection south to Alice? Of course they won’t.
And for a National Indigenous Cultural Centre to be led and directed by local Indigenous voices, in consultation with other Indigenous voices from around Australia, is only right. Their culture, their land, their choice. Hopefully Gunner and Co will, this time, listen and learn.


Council code of conduct questions not answered in public
Well then, under the theory that where there’s smoke, there’s fire (fresh dung in the farmyard on a cold winter morning notwithstanding), it seems this issue is not going to go away. I do wonder if we’ll ever learn something.
That remains to be seen, given the beauty of Section 81(2C) quoted above. Unless I’m reading it wrong, this seems to say that disciplinary committee meetings are to be held in public unless the disciplinary committee doesn’t want them to. Now that’s a get-out-of-jail card if ever I saw one!
As often quoted in other contexts, “You can’t make this stuff up.”


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