Add Food For Thought to the holiday table

The Alice Springs News normally closes over the holidays but this time we’re challenging our readers to make room for reflection about our town’s future in the merriment of the season.
Our decision to go exclusively online in March has been massively vindicated by the subsequent traffic growth on our site.
Since July monthly visits increased 31% from 9906 to 13,012, and page views skyrocketed 76% from 16,920 to 29,792.
Our readers’ comments section blossomed, and more than ever in our 18 years of weekly publication, we’re the ideas forum of The Alice.
Each week over the festive season, when great food on the table is a pleasure, we’re asking you to give Food For Thought a go as well.
Locals prominent in their field, until the end of January 2012, will set the scene for this debate each week.
Then it’s over to you, to use our comment box, to agree, argue, protest, expand, praise, cane. You’re not limited to just one response: Ranging far and wide will enrich the debate. Take aim at the panelists’ points – as well as what other correspondents have to say.
Our usual news reporting will resume on February 2, 2012.
Till then, tell us what YOU think needs to happen in 2012, with Town Council  and Territory Parliament elections as political high-points.

Other panel members include:-

Liz Martin
CEO of the National Transport Hall of Fame.
The local champion of lateral thinking has parlayed the Hall into the town’s top private and volunteer initiative. When this year visitation dropped Liz swapped focus to big functions. How can this kind of “never say die” thinking be applied to the town’s current woes?

Mike Gillam
Photographer, environmental campaigner.
Why looking after our natural heritage and assets is good for our community and good for business. And how we can do it better.

Kay Eade
Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce.
When things get though the tough get going. Kay strutted a no-nonsense attitude at a string of recent public functions: Enough talk, more action.

Ian Conway
Senior Mparntwe (Alice Springs) custodian. Successful tourism operator over three decades. Toxic infighting has given native title a bad name. How can this be stopped and in what way will the town benefit from its Aboriginal heritage?
Publication December 29. Deadline December 22.

Deborah Rock
Tourism Minister, Malarndirri McCarthy says a new Tourism Strategic Plan is needed to guide the industry from 2013. Will Alice still have a tourism industry then, and what needs to happen to ensure it will? Deb has been in the tourism industry for 20 years, currently running a Bed and Breakfast, and has a history in sales, marketing, car rentals, tours, inbound and promotion in Sydney and overseas.

Bob Durnan
A community development worker with over three decades of experience in working with Aboriginal people in town camps and remote communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland. He will look forward to where we would hope to be when the sun sets on the current 10-year second phase of the Federal Intervention into Indigenous affairs in the Territory.

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. David Chewings
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Happy new year Harry and Zie. I enjoy your comments about Alice and the surrounding environments especially as first time tourists. I presume your comments are completely independent. Enjoy the Alice as it is for change is the only constant. Thank you.

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  2. Posted January 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Happy New Year 2012 Readers!
    Guess what? I’d like to further comment under the column of Tourism for Alice Springs: Deborah Rock. My husband, Harry Brindley and I have had such a challenging, exhilarating and memorable holiday in Alice Springs! We’ve just been back to Melbourne Tuesday 3rd January (I don’t feel like coming home…).
    We conquered walks around Uluru, climbed Kings Canyon and Kata Djuta! The native plants surrounds the entire environment is so refreshing. The air is pure and fresh. Yes! It’s hot, temperature wise. This is life. This is enjoying it. For me, that was my first visit. This has obviously eroded my prior preconceived visual idea of Alice Springs. Alice Springs has its history, its culture, heritage and the open paddock. I opine Alice Springs could do well as a Tourist Destination given effective marketing strategy well from now.
    We also enjoyed the walk along Standley Chasm. Gorgeous! So, yes, we opine that Alice Springs can grow; with the strong backing of the tourism industries.
    Zie and Harry
    3rd January 2012

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