Oh yeah, within 20 years, 15% of 4,500 new dwellings …

Comment on Darwin to get cheap housing but Alice not yet by Maya Cifali.

Oh yeah, within 20 years, 15% of 4,500 new dwellings will be ear-marked as “affordable” housing: this is a mere 675 if my maths are correct. The other 3,825 will be available at commercial / market value. I insist “within 20 years”. In the meantime Alice accommodation deficit remains in crisis and the Melanka block is still vacant! And who are they, those who may be willing to live in “Kilgariff” and commute to work and could afford it? Where does the figure of 15% of 4,500 for “affordable housing” come from? Why not 50-60-70% thus shorten the waiting list for public housing? Government and developers may find themselves with an even larger problem if and when some of the 3,825 new dwellings remain with the “for sale” sign for lack of buyers.
Whether the NT government likes it or not, Alice Springs is and remains a “regional and remote” (not even “rural”) centre servicing the large Centralian region. The major part of its permanent or transient population are public servants (the scores of xxx@nt.gov.au). Its Indigenous population is increasing and will require even more than today decent and affordable accommodation, schooling facilities and jobs. I am not sure that Kilgariff + AZRI will answer this need.
The tourists want the exotism of a Town like Alice: suburbia has never attracted tourism.
What is sure is that for the time being, it is Darwin that receives all the attention (and funding) and in the meantime Alice-Town is slowly loosing its population and small businesses are closing down and move away. What could be the attraction of the Centre to promote a sudden increase of population – unless the US military to be stationed in Darwin expand 1,500kms south? Would Power and Water supply be able to cover the consumption of 4,500 additional dwellings? They talk of dwellings, not individuals … so many un-answered questions.
I may lack vision – but my 26 years in Alice tell me that we better keep it simple and focus on the revival of our township as expressed in the public consultations held in 2010-11 without waiting for Darwin to come good within 20 years.

Recent Comments by Maya Cifali

Anzac highschool trashing no surprise
Will the Old Anzac Hill Highschool site remain open to vandalisn of this kind when the National Aboriginal Art Gallery is erected there? What measures will be taken to avoid broken glass and stolen works of art?

Business group may establish ‘federal’ prison in The Centre
What is he talking about? Who is this Major Business Group?
We are already overwhelmed with our own NT prisoners, now they want to go Federal?
ASMBG is a pie in the sky like the HUGE roundabout of Lovegrove Drive.

Booze ban sign: can they be serious?
Is there a contradiction in term when the message reads on the one hand: WELCOME and on the other one of the many restrictions the visitor will encounter, such as don’t spit on the floor, don’t swim in the waterhole, don’t drive beyond 40km/h, don’t bring any fresh food stuff, don’t drink within the 2km limits of an alcohol supplier, don’t buy your beer before 2pm, don’t overstay your tourist or working holiday visa (unless you know the Home Affairs Minister) and don’t ever try to rebuild your life in Australia or you’ll languish in Nauru, etc.
If new signage is contemplated, perhaps it could offer a smiling welcome with message such as: WELCOME TO ALICE SPRINGS, HOME TO THE NATIONAL ABORIGINAL ART GALLERY or WELCOME TO ALICE SPRINGS: YOU ARE IN ARRERNTE COUNTRY, RESPECT.

Gallery vital as starting point to our tourism paradise
Just a reminder: For the NAAG to be successful it has to be connected with the natural art and beauty of the Centralian landscape rather than the Mall or a war memorial.
Up to the pollies to listen.
So far they offer a deaf ear!

Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent
To whomever is the un-named consultant who gives us a cool-headed analysis of the BIG project: well said.
After all these considerations, why don’t we make it a SMALL project rather than a BIG one.
Why shouldn’t we develop a modest, personalised Centralian Aboriginal Art Gallery instead of a national one?

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