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

Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
Long live Stuart the Explorer and Two-Up the Bunny! Long may they stand with the Undoolya Perenti as monuments to Alice Springs’ artistic identity.
More would be better. Where is the Indigenous hero to join Stuart along Stuart Terrace? We all know Council would fall over themselves to balance the story being told there.
Mark Egan has created a couple of outstanding examples up the track at Aileron, but whether he would again willingly venture into the hotbed of PC naval gazing that seems to be the default atmosphere here is another question.


Inquiry into fracking: Giving it the green light?
“Harness the sun, the wind and the tides for energy.”
About those tides: Electricity is generated from motion. Wind works, as do turbines whether powered by coal, gas or uranium. And tides?
In Darwin tides are reportedly up to eight meters twice a day with a million tonnes of water flowing by at high tide. Why doesn’t someone stick a wheel into that?
Or, of course, we could probably generate enough power to run a dim globe or two if we harnessed the power in the revolving doors in our government house.


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Two big differences to consider would be that Murray Bridge is 70 kms away from Adelaide while Alice is 1600 kms away from Darwin, and Murray Bridge is on the edge of the agricultural and industrial heartland of Australia while Alice is on the edge of a desert.
It seems that our population numbers are similar, but I cannot think of a single other similarity.


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“It’s not me! I didn’t do it!” And yet I doubt if there is a household in Alice that doesn’t have at least one product the manufacture of which has contributed to the waste slated for storage.
It’s called denial. If only we did waste as well as we do denial.


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Now that would have been an interesting question. Do the residents of Alice really want another art gallery? Or are we being sold a pup?


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