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

Jacinta Price ready to turn her back on the Town Council
Life, your goals, your communities demands, your commitments, are effected by the passage of events around you. They can and often do change from day to day, let alone from year to year.
Movement from Council to either State or Federal roles is and always has been a natural progression. Yes, it has a cost, that cost is the price of democracy!
After rising to prominence as an Councillor and activist Jacinta has been asked, even pressured by many around her, to take her obvious talent in advocacy and use it to better present the Territory’s cause in Canberra.
That decision, that civic duty asked of Jacinta is a decision reached in conference with many people.
It’s not a personnel whim, it is not a betrayal or a lie, for pity’s sake! It’s actually an extension of Jacinta’s commitment to the Alice, Central Australia and the Territory! It’s not a joy ride at our expense! It’s an enormous commitment made on our behalf.
How many of you who sit on your proverbials on the sidelines of everything and criticize, have any idea of the enormous work load, the upheaval, not only for Jacinta but her entire family this commitment represents?
Please don’t do the small town petty envy thing and pull down the local star, the rising talent.
We are better than that aren’t we? Recognise, as the party and her peers have, that Jacinta her talents, her family origins having a foot in both worlds represents a unique chance for change.
A chance of a better quality of life for may Territorians.
Get behind her and the revolution in attitudes she represents.
Jacinta is the hand in the face of the status quo, if we get behind her in sufficient numbers, with dedication and commitment, Jacinta and those around her present a rare chance for a big leap forward in who we are and how we live in the Territory.
Congratulations, Jacinta!

Jacinta Price: talking about Aboriginal people but not for them?
Jacinta is an elected representative by a huge majority, in a small population that is at least 30% Aboriginal.
So unless you think all Aboriginal people look like each other and all vote one way it is safe to assume a good percentage of her vote comes from Aboriginal people. My own experience as a person in contact with many people across the community is that Jacinta certainly does enjoy the support of many locals of all political persuasions and racial backgrounds.
Jacinta speaks for many like myself who voted for her and continue to support her.
I didn’t I turn up at the rally. Yep, quite frankly I was busy and forgot it was on.
Which brings me to the much lauded Arrernte Women Group, who as a born and bred Alicespringite, I feel inclined even obligated to support yet can’t quite get my head around this fact: After all this time, all the years of mayhem after all the calls to arms from the community re the abuse of children, yes, their very own relatives, they attack Jacinta Price! One of the very few who have had the guts to cop the hate and raise the issues around neglected and abused women and children.
Right across the nation many recognise that strength, Jacinta’s compassion and the validity of her arguments, follow her online comments you will quickly become aware of the strength of her following including many many people who identify as Aboriginal.
Jacinta’s message a cry for help for the lives of thousands of children, [yet] some appear willing to sacrifice everything, even the interests of the children to have a go at her, in a vile sickening often blatantly racist attack founded on envy and a self-serving parasitic need that thrives off keeping Aboriginal people in poverty.

Cr Melky alleges budget irregularity
Mmm, as usual Cr Melky fails to grasp even the most basic of budgeting principles. It is pretty much in line with his earlier confidence in predicting a budget surplus of around $12.6m last financial year, even promising to resign if he got it wrong.
I believe the surplus came in around $1.2m, some $11.4m less than predicted. I wonder what happened to the resignation. LOL
The half million Cr Melky is worried about will not appear on the next financial year’s list of expenses so council will not need to raise funds to cover it.
This should translate into a much lower or even no increase in the rates this time round, unless of course councillors who don’t understand what they are doing force additional cost onto the community.
Try working on that, Cr Melky, perhaps you could promise to resign again, if there’s an increase … just a thought.

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet
I’ve been reliably informed that the petition is not signed by a thousand locals but by persons from right across the globe. As such it makes a contemptuous mockery of local opinion and should be treated with the distain that it deserves.
Any petition must carry the names and the residential addresses of those who sign so that they may be verified.

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Concerned Arrernte Man: If you were indeed a concerned Arrernte “man” you would use your real name, like a man, so that we locals know what your word is worth.
What I suspect is that you aren’t local at all. We are trying to put our town together not rip it apart, your intention is clearly the opposite.
Anzac Hill was sincerely and solemnly dedicated by TOs many years ago to the purpose which it serves respectfully to this day.
It was and remains a joint community effort, if indeed you are a Arrernte man you would do well to respect and to learn from the decisions of your elders.

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