I can’t agree that the Town Council is quite as …

Comment on No shift in council’s priorities in the river by Hal Duell.

I can’t agree that the Town Council is quite as slack and irresponsible as some would seem to suggest. While I often disagree with Council’s actions, in the case of the Todd River, I wonder what else they can do, in addition to what they are already doing, without more funds and clearer authority.
An increase in rates is never welcome, but without spending more money, how can the grasses be kept from becoming a fuel load? How can the remains of the trees burned by arsonists be removed before they add to next year’s fuel load? And how can the river’s floor be deepened, or its channels improved, so Alice is protected from a Q20 flood breaking the banks?
No one, and on my own I include the Council, wants to see the large river gums go. I suggest the inclination to protect the river is there but is being stymied by other bureaucracies. Why else is Council only allowed to enter the river with handheld tools? Rakes and a whipper snipper or two to look after the broad expanse of the Todd that Council has been given responsibility for by the NT Government? It’s almost as if someone is deliberately putting rocks in Council’s road.
The massacre of mature trees in the riverbed is down to arson, and as Mr Buxton correctly pointed out, that is not Council’s problem. The clean-up is, or could be if allowed, but the act itself is a crime and belongs to the NT Police.
Expertise can be hired. A River Warden has been suggested, but if we go down that path, I would like to see Council remain the designated authority. We have tried splitting authority in Alice before when Tangentyere Council was given authority over the Town Camps, and that just didn’t work. Splitting the Todd won’t either.
I think much of the current problem is that as a town we have turned our back on the Todd. Other than the bicycle path, the Sturt Tce. parklands and the veranda at Juicy Rump, where else is the river the focus? Even in the more than 170 activities listed in the recently released and truly admirable Youth Activities Calendar 2011/12 – summer holidays, not one activity is scheduled to take place in the Todd. Not one.

Hal Duell Also Commented

No shift in council’s priorities in the river
“He said he met with AAPA last week and they are having discussions with traditional owners.” I was in the public gallery during last Monday’s council meeting and heard Director of Technical Services, Greg Buxton, make this statement.
One question: When he said they are having discussions, did he mean the Town Council and AAPA are having discussions with the traditional owners of the different stretches of the Todd River, or did he mean that AAPA is having the discussions and relaying back to Council any decisions?
I would like to think our Town Council is a participant in any discussions with traditional owners when the discussions relate to a matter of public safety for all the residents of Alice Springs. Given the concern that the Todd River is now so shallow that a Q20 flood could break the river’s banks, I suggest these discussions would fall within the rubric of public safety.
Just asking.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Police want parents to stop youth crime
One reason, perhaps the biggest reason, why government authorities are scared shitless to do anything about the kids running wild in Alice is they fear being tarred with the “stolen generations” brush.
Why the Indigenous authorities do nothing is anyone’s guess. Mine is that they are scared of them, or scared of the payback that any action on their part would generate.


Council poll says ‘no’ to gallery at Anzac Oval
Multiple devices? Multiple addresses? Sounds like Putin did it.


SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins
The way to reinvigorate the CBD is not through investing in an art gallery or a cultural centre, but by investing in people.
Build attractive modern flats and populate the area. I understand there are no zoning impediments to doing that.
A skate park at the river end of Parson’s Street would breathe life into many who just hang around, and they hang around because it still is our CBD. We’ve just made a mess of it is all.


Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent
@ Maya: Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:41 am.
With a nod to Russell Guy, and now the Melanka site comes into play. That is, if we’re talking about an art gallery, and not a Cultural Centre.
This could be what we’ve been looking for.


Anonymous donation doesn’t fix conflict of interest for council
It is a very good thing Cr Banks has done. Good for her own image as a Councillor of transpanency, and good for ASTC.
I’m thinking of those councils in trouble over in Queensland, and I wonder how much of that trouble might have been avoided if every council employee, whether elected or hired, had known from their first day that there were NO free lunches.
I think, and I like to think, that our Council is without reproach. Let’s keep it that way.


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