Town centre facelift would grind to a halt under Labor funding, says Mayor Ryan

Country Liberals suggest Labor “stuff-up”: Traeger Park TV lights are already there.

 

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Alice Springs will get only half as much as its Town Council asked for, and much later than expected.
This is the response by Mayor Damien Ryan to the campaign promises made by Chief Minister Paul Henderson last Friday.

Mayor Ryan says the council asked for $5m in 2012/13 to continue the town centre re-development, but will only get $2.5m, deferred and over two years, 2014 to 2016.
Labor, if re-elected, would spend the shortfall of $2.5m on broadcast-standard floodlights for Traeger Park oval – something that the council did not ask for.

Meanwhile the Country Liberal Member for Braitling, Adam Giles, says the Labor government announced in a press release in 2004 that lights suitable for TV coverage had been installed.

Says Mr Giles: “Labor has committed its $2.5m to ‘broadcast standard’ lights at Traeger Park.

“Is this an admission that they stuffed up last time as the last set of lights erected in 2004 or 2005 was supposed to be up to the required standard for night time television broadcast? See project information by GHD.”
Mayor Ryan says the council did ask for lights at Albrecht Oval but this isn’t in Mr Henderson’s current program.
Mayor Ryan says the first $5m from the government for the CBD facelift will be spent in this financial year.
“By Christmas the Parsons Street section will be done and by mid next year, the Todd Street section,” he says.
“It’s pretty disappointing that the CBD doesn’t rate before 2014-15 which is a long way away.
“We don’t have a rate base to be able to do this job and always saw it as needing NT Government investment.
“We as a council are disappointed. We would need to do stage two pretty quickly.
“You wouldn’t be able to start stage two with that small a commitment.
“Without funding we won’t be able to start stage two. We need to have the money in place.”
The council’s wish-list was given to both major parties. It included more mall re-development, plus an “all abilities” park, lights for Albrecht oval, and toilet blocks for Jim McConville, Frances Smith, Araluen and Head Street parks.
Mayor Ryan says under Labor funding it is unclear what, if anything, can be done in stage two, given the shortfall and the delay, putting into doubt the long-planned three-stage scheme to cost a total of $15m.
The Indigenous All Stars will play here in 2013, says Mayor Ryan, but he understands there have been plans to upgrade the Traeger Park lights for some time.
He says one of the existing two sets of lights could be put up at Albrecht Oval.
The council also asked for the Solar Cities project to be funded past the end of 2012-13 but this was not included in Mr Henderson’s commitments.

PHOTO: Market last Sunday in Todd Mall. Funding as announced by the Chief Minister would curtail further progress on the long planned town centre upgrade.

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