Hello Dave, your mention of the brand new, and deeply …

Comment on A car wreck’s tale of bureaucratic incompetence by Alex Nelson.

Hello Dave, your mention of the brand new, and deeply troubled, Aquatic Leisure Centre raises an interesting point. The value of history comes from the lessons that we can learn from past mistakes (and successes) which can be applied to decisions being made for the present. Do you remember the ill-fated Red Centre Rapids waterslide site of the late 1980s? That was a highly controversial development from beginning to end, when the area it occupied was eventually redeveloped as Mercorella Circuit (ironically right next door to the YMCA). It’s worth recalling that private development was opposed by the Alice Springs Town Council (under late Mayor Leslie Oldfield) from the outset – and the town council’s fears were (ahem) rapidly proven correct. Not just once but twice! (There were two attempts by private developers to make it work, before it was abandoned for several years). Did anybody, not least the Alice Springs Town Council, learn anything from this debacle? Obviously not.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

A car wreck’s tale of bureaucratic incompetence
In response to both Russell Guy and Rex Neindorf, there is no doubt in my mind that the long entrenched and growing social problems we endure in our society can be directly attributed to our country’s multi-tiered system of governance and administration. Our nation’s federal political structure is not just outmoded, it is archaic and hugely inefficient. We have had politicians, especially at federal level, pushing reform of industry and the economy on us for a long time now, and they are continually arguing for greater productivity from the private sector, but the same does not apply to bureaucracy at all three tiers of government.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the Northern Territory, which I believe must be the most over-governed jurisdiction on the planet. It’s well worth comparing the NT’s statistics and performance with that of the Australian Capital Territory; we have long indulged in the sport of “Canberra-bashing” but we’re not so keen to pluck the log out of our own eye before telling others to take the sticks out of theirs. The ACT actually provides some very (potentially) useful material for a much better standard of governance than what we must endure in the NT. Charles Dickens wrote “A Tale of Two Cities” a long time ago; Australia could easily provide material for a new classic called “A Tale of Two Territories”.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Why aren’t people listening to us? 
I attended the public rally held on the lawn outside the Civic Centre but initially wasn’t going to stay for the council meeting. I changed my mind and am glad I did, for a good deal of what I heard last night was a revelation to me.
My position on this issue is obvious but it was most reassuring to hear the strong opinions voiced by many people who made it clear and unequivocal that the NT Government – and whoever it is that has persuaded the government – has got this issue well and truly wrong.
This is the third attempt in four decades to repurpose the use of Anzac Oval as a “village green” cum open space, and relocate rugby to another oval.
Both previous attempts were made by the Alice Springs Town Council.
In 1979-81, rugby league was going to be moved to the new Head Street (Rhonda Diano) Oval; and in 1994-96 there was a protracted struggle between the town council and the Eastside Residents Association (of which I was a member) over relocating rugby league to Ross Park Oval.
On both occasions there was overwhelming public opposition to the town council’s plans, and the council lost.
Now it’s the turn of the NT Government attempting the same arrogant approach – well, all that the government has succeeded in doing is to stir up the hornets’ nest once more.
History convincingly shows how this struggle will end.


Preaching ‘treading carefully’ then sending in the bulldozers
@ Russell Grant (Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:00 pm): Quite so, Russell, and that area included the property of the Arid Zone Research Institute of which the area now occupied by Kilgariff was once a part.
The original dust control effort at AZRI was divided between the Soil Conservation Unit of the former Conservation Commission of the NT and the Institute’s farm management of the Primary Industry Branch/Department. It was the farm management of AZRI that undertook the dust control work in the southwest area of the property, including Kilgariff.
What’s happening there now is taxpayer-funded, government sanctioned vandalism on a grand scale that beggars anything we’ve seen (and criticised) for years on private rural properties.
The hypocrisy of contemporary NT government policy implementation is simply staggering.


‘Save Anzac Oval’ motion defeated
The current government continuously attempts to mask or deflect attention of its ineptitude by making constant reference to the previous CLP regime. It doesn’t wash – it’s just business as usual, regardless of which party is in power.
Right now there is significant evidence across the nation of most people fundamentally disillusioned with government at all levels, party politics, and (most worrisome) even with democracy. The behaviour we’re witnessing from the NT Government now (and from its predecessors) amply illustrates why this is happening.
Most people have had enough. Large numbers in parliament will not provide sufficient buffers against voter anger anymore.


Town planning farce: Lawler dodges the hard questions
This encounter instantly reminded me of a passage in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” when Winston Smith followed an old man into a pub with the intention of finding out from him what life was like before the revolution that led to the rise of Big Brother.
Yet no matter how earnestly he asked the old man to recall the early years of his life, “Winston had the feeling they were talking at cross-purposes.”
He kept on prodding the old man for information but “a sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The old man’s memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details. One could question him all day without getting any real information.”
Plying the old man with beer, he tried one more time but failed: “Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old man suddenly got up and shuffled rapidly into the stinking urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-litre was already working on him. Winston sat for a minute or two gazing at his empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet carried him out into the street again.”
Welcome to the Big Brother reality of honest accountable government in the Northern Territory!


Student boarding funding restored – for now
Isn’t that something? A minister of the NT Government has listened to concerns about a government decision, and reversed it in a day.
Little aggravation, and great relief for many, I should think.
Minister Selena Uibo has set a fine example – now, if only certain others of her colleagues would take notice of public concern about the NT Government’s poor decision-making over the location of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery…


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