Dr Walker and Fred Chaney appear to be on the …

Comment on Remote Oz: neglect is just the beginning by Bob Taylor.

Dr Walker and Fred Chaney appear to be on the money with this broader issue of remote OZ and Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO).
As I said at the recent Chamber of Commerce forum the Whitlam government tried a similar decentralising policy, but that – or was it the government – suffered a natural death. The CLP have promised (or was it Terry) a decentralisation policy and only time will tell on whether they can deliver. So both sides of politics have seen the need, have tried or are trying to introduce decentralisation as a policy. However as the article hints the present FIFO regime does not benefit remote OZ and the powers that be in the Australian government and/or private enterprise do not see any advantage to a decentralising policy for their bottom line.
I don’t know who said “follow the money”, but the wealth of the nation might originate in remote and rural Australia, but it soon flows to the south east, south west or overseas. By placing strong conditions on mining permits and/or the purchase of land by overseas corporations or governments this flow could be slowed or reversed to a certain extent. For example permanent accommodation and facilities must be built within an half an hour’s drive of the mine and/or in the nearest gazetted town and all land purchases must be controlled or owned by a majority of Australian citizens or shareholders. This would help promote and focus “the national interest in remote Australia” – whether it would help foreign investment is another matter.
Thanks to a democratic internal party vote Robyn Lambley is now the Deputy Chief Minister, congratulations and a win for remote NT. Her promise to protect the political back of Terry Mills might be tested during the term of this parliament. I have yet to be convinced that the powers that be in Darwin are in agreement with and will fully support the new paradigm shift, but I do have my fingers crossed.

Recent Comments by Bob Taylor

Recommendations in for National Indigenous Art Gallery site
If they / we are looking for a MONA effect and an outcome that the whole world will want to come and see, the following may be required as a minimum:
A David Walsh type person with a vision, passion and skills necessary to drive this major project. Retain ANZAC Oval and the rugby facilities, so there is a green buffer between the proposed National Indigenous Art Gallery and the CBD.
Purchase the RSL property and together with the high school site, build something grand with a sweeping northeasterly aspect into, around and backing onto ANZAC Hill appropriate to any needs of the traditional owners of the hill.
Place the main entrance and vehicle access on Schwarz Crescent with an improved foot / cycle pathway system linking into the CBD on either side of ANZAC Oval. Just another comment to keep the ideas flowing.

On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries
On the subject of grandmothers and their potential for a positive influence on children’s lives I recommend the reading of the “Hillbilly Elegy” by J. D. Vance and the comments on the book by Greg Sheridan in the Weekend Australian July 22/23 2017.
As Greg says: “The real hero of the book is his grandmother,” although an American (USA) author and a story set in America about poor white working class people, the outcomes of the author could be achieved by an Australian child with the help of a caring grandmother.

CBD planning: The vibrants are at it again
Unfortunately in regards to development of the CBD we are reliant on landowners, developers, governments of all kinds and private and taxpayers money in general to put any plan into practice.

Heritage, cultural considerations and established social norms also limit what can be done or not with some of the CBD blocks. A case in point is a suggestion on Friday (13/10) on ABC radio to move the Post Office (PO) out of the CBD, partly because occasionally it is congested at the front of the PO and hard to park within walking distance of the PO.

Well it could be argued that the daily or weekly visit to the PO draws people into the CBD, who do other activities in addition to visiting the PO, such as spending money in some of the struggling businesses surrounding the PO. In other words, moving the PO out of the CBD could kill the heart of Alice Springs. The PO is a link between Alice Plaza, court houses and the Yeperenye Centre and close to the main bus stop, a taxi bay and disabled persons car parking spaces.

Probably what is needed is a three or four storey car park south of the PO and / or make Hartley St one way going south and create angle parking on the PO side, if you look at Map 1 on page three of the Discussion Paper you will see this area is a very central location and easy walking distance to most of the rest of the CBD.

Discussion and planning can be good for any community, but money and the ownership of the land would appear to trump any plan prepared by the Planning Commission or Council, whether or not the plan is professionally drafted and / or put together with enthusiastic community support from a wide cross section of the people of Alice Springs.

Partition off Darwin to fix NT’s urban bias: Professor
I am sure similiar problems exist in all states, an argument could be made for every state in the Commonwealth for fiscal equity.
All state capitals have been established on or near the coast where rainfall and climate is more favourable, the chances of the powers that be changing the political system in the states is almost zero, about the same chance of this happening in the Territory.

Another river giant goes up in flames
Not knowing the tree or the circumstances surrounding the fire, however from my personal experience the main culprit (apart from the arsonist) for spreading fire into the river gums is not buffel grass, but the dreaded invasive couch grass.
This is not to absolve buffel, which is where a lot of fires are started and then spread to the couch grass which tends to like our local river courses and would appear to clump around trees and when set on fire, burns hotter and for longer enabling the fire to spread into these poor old hollow gum trees.

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