The planning debacle is not a simple, single issue, problem! When …

Comment on Housing crisis as 860 dwellings are in development by Steve Brown.

The planning debacle is not a simple, single issue, problem!
When land release was first halted as government wrestled with the native title issue it didn’t take long for the greedy, the speculators amongst us to realize that land restriction meant escalating house prices.
Lobbyists, landlords, homeowners throughout our bureaucracies soon saw it as being in their interest to shut off land supply. Government, always willing to withhold funds, enthusiastically endorsed that policy expressing a heartfelt wish to protect people’s investments.
Trouble is with this kind of self-centered greed driven approach like any pyramid scheme is that when you push prices high enough you eventually reach a point of un-affordability where your workers, the ones you rely on to do the chores and pay the rent, can’t afford to stay. They begin to leave in droves, the result of which we now see in Alice, a collapsing economy.
Missing from the list of projects displayed in this article is the proposed White Gums Sub division of 500 allotments. This project ticked all the boxes through the planning process, enjoyed enormous public support, had some 200 prospective buyers waiting enthusiastically in the wings. Yet against the wishes and the hopes and dreams of many passionate Centralians the scheme was bought to a grinding halt by Minister Delia Lawrie with the following statement: “The government feels that Alice Springs infrastructure is not presently capable of supporting a project of this size, we will review the situation in 18 months.” That was four years ago. That project was worth in the vicinity of $200 million to the town’s economy. How much better a situation would Alice be in now if this and all the projects knocked back or halted for no good reason over the past eight years had gone ahead. How much better placed would we have been to weather the coming storm? The past eight years of deplorable government have seen a massive escalation not only in house prices but in regulation, requirements, hurdles, fees and charges that have to be payed or jumped before any project can begin.
Many are illogical and absurd, many put into place with the deliberate intention of slowing or bringing these projects to an end.
The drainage requirements described in this article are a blatant example of what is utterly ridiculous and completely unnecessary, but doing the intended job … halting the project.
PAWA have also played a huge part in bringing development to halt, automatically objecting to every new project, deliberately setting the bar too high, advising the Minister against proceeding with projects as they see all new infrastructures as a threat to their bottom line’
PAWA thinks that shows how gloriously well they operate as a supposedly private business.
The new and by far the most effective game used by our bureaucracies to stifle developments is the practice of “not setting the bar at all” – a continual repositioning of the goalposts whenever you get near.
The article mentions the 81 unit retirement village at White Gums. The latest government ploy for that project 18 months on, is to demand a completely designed sewage system for the project. This is an enormously expensive thing to do. Because the department demands it now without giving any guarantee they’ll subsequently approve the project, the developer has to gamble on the project going ahead and spend the money [for the design and planning – ED].
With a project approval rate of zero would you spend the money? The sad result for Alice from demands like this is that this and other projects are extremely unlikely to proceed. Once again Alice Springs loses out! And yet out there in the public space the minister is busily talking up retirement villages, and how they’re working with business to get some! Sabotage would be a much better description of their procedures!
How do we fix it? Elect strong leadership! Demand forward thinking! Deregulate, scrap the red tape! Get affordable housing into the market place ASAP! Bring in incentive schemes for long term stayers, schemes such as buying up or building affordable houses, renting them at affordable rates.
Good tenants who stay five years have the right to purchase at cost, automatically qualifying for NT government loans with all the previous five years rent being converted to a deposit against the purchase price.
Give our kids, our workers some incentive to stay! When we do our economy will rebuild! It’s is also a matter of great imperative that we lobby whatever government is in power to bring PAWA back into the fold.
Back directly under the minister’s control as part of a new Department of Planning and Infrastructure that actually has the in-house expertise required to develop the Territory into the foreseeable future.
The privatized model simply does not cut it when because of continual growth large capital input is required on a continual basis. The present privatized model results in PAWA finding it in their interest to work directly against the Territory’s development, particularly in areas viewed as being more expensive to operate – and that is outside Darwin!

Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Hal: My reference is to Russell’s dad escaping the Germans and arriving in Australia.
Given that he escaped Germany during WW2, if he then set out for Australia he would have arrived during Australia’s greatest hour of peril, facing an imminent Japanese invasion.
Out of the frying pan almost into the fire, bar for the intervention of the USA.

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Hal.. My comments relate to the American efforts in the Pacific not Europe. It would behove every Australian to member those efforts, together we turned the tide against the Japanese in New Guinea and in the huge naval battle, The Battle of the Coral Sea! These Battles, strong Australians and Americans standing up, laying down their lives for what we believe. It is they who you can thank for the last 70 years of Peace! Not lefty activist hanging on fences, Australians should never forget that fact. We should not bite the hand that held so strongly to our own, in our Nations hour of peril, Love or Loath their politics, we owe them a great debt, “Yep” The good Old USA!

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
Kind of odd that your Dad didn’t note after escaping the Germans that the only thing that stood between him and the Japanese was the strength and commitment of the USA. Or perhaps he arrived after the work was done and failed, like yourself Russell, to acknowledge those who did that work.
Those who sacrificed their lives, bringing about the “peace” that you seem think you have some claim on.
Peace is brought about by strength, Russell, not by cringing appeasement or for that matter by dirty unemployed blow ins climbing on the fences of our nation’s defences! Acting Russell for those who would tear us down, not for peace!
People in general across the world, including Americans, want and strive for peace, Russell. Funnily enough they actually do not like or appreciate the efforts of so called peace activists, in attempting to break down their positions of strength, because, Russell, those who read history, who understand human nature, know that only the strong find peace and hold it only while they remain strong.
Just as we have seen with North Korea, years of cringing appeasement instead of an early strong stance has led to escalation allowing the creation of a nuclear armed rouge state! A threat to the entire world!
The only thing that will bring North Korea to the negotiating table, Russell, is if they truly believe America is intent on attacking them.
That makes Donald Trump the most likely person to bring about peace! Try not to choke, lunatic lefties!
In the event Korea can’t be forced to disarm all the peace activist in the world hanging on fences all around the world will not make the slightest difference to Kim Jong-un unless of course they succeed in weakening the American position which of course would leave a laughing Kim Jong-un free to wreak havoc and mayhem upon the world. Because that, Russel, will be thee inevitable outcome.
Look back through your history books and see how long appeasement has ever kept a bully at bay.
Appeasement escalates!
It is not the road to peace it is the road to war!
Yes that’s scary, you’ve a right to be afraid, but don’t worry just as they have on every occasion before someone else will stand up for you and you better hope like hell that those Yanks you love to sling off at, are among them, or we, Russell, all of us, are in bloody big trouble!
Wisdom tells us that its not a particularly smart idea to bite the hand that feeds you. I can absolutely assure you that neither is it a particularly smart idea to bite the hand of the only nation that stands between you and annihilation!
America and Americans have stood beside us Aussies through thick and thin they have shed countless lives to protect us as we in turn have done for them.
They are our brothers and sisters defenders of western democracy at all costs and they have been a great big fantastic contributor to the town of Alice Springs, a huge rewarding contributing part of our community, for some 50 years!
A contribution that vastly exceeds the very questionable contribution of a few disaffected peace activists whose true intent was tearing our society down. Yes, the left over rejects of the failed Communist era.

Master plan for town, reconciliation plan for Australia Day
More divisive green party identity politics…
Just making sure those Aboriginals are separated out from the rest, nothing wrong with apartheid if you’re on the right concerned and well meaning side of it.
Aboriginal Aussies need to be reminded every day of their isolation and victim status, especially the kids, can’t have them thinking they’re just like everybody else, equal to the rest of us.
We can easily achieve this goal by flying separate flags, can’t have Aboriginal people thinking of themselves as equal partners in the Australian Nation! “Not one of the mob”! If we allow that how are we going to justify speaking for them, patronising them, creating wonderful government programs at huge expense to look after them? “Yes”, of course at a small fee, Greens have to live too. This is all for their own good, they are victims you know….
Yes all of the above is to be read with dripping sarcasm.
Segregation, Paternalism, Apartheid are our enemy not our friend, deeds done in another race’s name not at their request is what’s known as Paternalism or being Paternalistic. It is the most vile and the most destructive of all forms of racism, it steals away other people’s souls, their identity, their equality and their lives!
Yep, that’s Green Party politics.
Anzac Hill belongs to all of us.
it is there to represent and commemorate the Nations War dead it was given over by the TO’S specifically for just that purpose. We should recognise and respect that dedication.
Anzac hill represents the Nation that means all Australians regardless of race, in this place we are one! Reconciliation is about helping Aboriginal Australians to be comfortable with, or accepting of, being “part of the mob” it is about forgiveness and moving on! It is not about perpetual isolation!
Extending Apartheid!
Its about being “Equal” and perhaps most importantly, about “feeling equal”!
You do not achieve that outcome by exacerbating division!
By flying separate Flags in a place where we gather as a Nation remembering those who sacrificed their lives for all of us Australians, regardless of our genetics.

Tourism, cattle, mining, oil, gas: The world’s your oyster, Stuart.
I agree with all that you say Scott the real question is what are you going to do about it?
You’re the man in the chair.
Over some 63 years of living and working in the bush I came to understand the aspirations of Aboriginal Centralians – especially the kids are just the same as yours and mine.
No-one wants to be left sitting in the bush condemned to an existence somewhat akin to living museum piece, belittled and patronised while being force fed a hopeless going nowhere culture of victimhood, propagated of course by those with vested interest in the status quo!
Yes, Aboriginal people are aspirational! Of course, they are!
That is the driving force behind the ongoing fight for total equality.
It will allow individuals to be able to be the masters of their own destinies to receive reward for their efforts as individuals. It will allow individual ownership and control of homes of land of royalties, just like other Australians!
Equality will allow those who are aspirational and prepared to get off their backsides and work to benefit from their efforts, as opposed to the present system of community ownership, very like the failed Communists systems where those who did want to get ahead were dragged down by those who couldn’t be bothered.
This must change Scott. Break down the stranglehold of the Land Councils, they are parasitic organisations that simply feed bureaucrats while the average Aboriginal person lives and dies a pauper under their rule.
While I understand this will take a long time to achieve we must begin the conversation, show direction give those with aspiration hope something to strive for.
In the meantime, Scott, we have a more urgent problem: Your Labor Government has only been in for a bit more than a year yet we are already seeing the funds sucked back to the North to feed a luxurious lifestyle of Darwinians at the expense of the regions.
GST revenue intended to benefit and advance the lives of all Territorians are once again benefitting those in the capital, while we simply miss out!
Work is running low in the Centre. Love or hate Adam Giles while he was Chief, we saw more even, fairer distribution of revenue under his rule.
So, what are you going to do about that, Scott, Chansey, Dale?
Not much going on down here and we are relying on your voices at the table.
Which kind of brings me to the larger subject the eternal battle of the regions to gain a fair share of revenue, no matter who’s in Government in the North.
I can’t ever see that changing. Centralians are now even weaker with the loss of a seat.
Unless the people of the regions are prepared to put aside party politics and act as a block supporting whichever side they may choose in Government.
Looking back over a chain of failed [from a regional point of view] governments, it is quite clear that the talent pool of experience long term Territorians who understand and can represent the issues is quite small across all parties.
Given that councils made up of members from all kinds of political backgrounds can work it out and perform their role, maybe it’s about time Territorians outside of Darwin considered the establishment of a regional party which puts aside the normal Labor, Liberal divide, and worked jointly to advance the interest of the regions.
Which of course in the end are also the interests of the capital – healthy productive regions, a booming capital.

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