@Jason Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:38 am I am assuming …

Comment on Selling parks again on the agenda by Hal Duell.

@Jason Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:38 am
I am assuming you have a car capable of easily transporting four children and at least one adult from the Old Eastside to Larapinta.
Other families, especially those living in The Gap, are not so lucky.
I agree with you that Council may be onto a good thing with a degree of rationalisation of our parks. However I would rather see them sell the parks that really are not capable of being developed into a useful open space, and leave those, no matter their size, that are used extensively by the nearby residents.
The Draft Urban Open Space Assets Report is worth a careful read.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Selling parks again on the agenda
A former alderman on the Alice Springs Town Council posed a question to me this evening.
Aren’t the parks in Alice Springs the property of the residents of Alice Springs, and if so, can Council legally sell them?
Any answers or opinions?


Selling parks again on the agenda
Fair enough Eli, and I will refrain from asking you any more specific questions outside of Question Time during Council meetings. It was a bit rhetorical anyway. I realise yours is but one vote of nine.
However, I do think your reply begs the question I did ask. If Council is managing our many parks on its current budget, why sell any?
I look forward to the debate and the public consultation.
The river is another matter, and I do hope Council finds the funds to slash the eastern bank. That’s where all the river fires have been this season, and the one at the end of the Taffy Pick Bridge cost us another Old-Man River Gum. Either that or get the firies to do some controlled burns.
An open spaces coordinator might not be a bad idea. Mike Gillam could be onto something workable here. If he/she were to work in with the community through an adopt-a-park program, or adopt-a-riverbank, and have it all overseen by Council, it might be surprising what help emerges.


Selling parks again on the agenda
I think there is now a case for a public meeting to discuss the future of our open spaces, and I would include in that both our parklands and our river. Clearly the management of our parklands within budget is proving a task beyond the current set-up, just as the recent fires on the east side of the Todd show what happens when an area escapes being slashed.
Both the river and the parklands are or have recognised sacred sites, but while the parks so designated are being mentioned for returning to the NT government for future management, I remember hearing Council reject the notion of similarly returning the river.
Perhaps it is time to consider an open spaces coordinator, but then I thought that was what Council was supposed to do as its day job. If a coordinator is appointed, I suggest one of his/her first tasks will be to clearly establish authority.
While the cited Draft Urban Open Space Assets Report is from 2004, the fifth paper under TS agenda Item 9.6 from the last committee meetings is current. Cr Booth is mentioned in it, and its Point E is a request for direction on whether or not to proceed with the redevelopment of Ashwin and Finlayson Parks. I understand a former Council decided against this redevelopment, but after three months (?) I believe Council can revisit a decision and go the other way.
I now have a specific question for Cr Melky, who has shown he is following this discussion. Does this Council plan to redevelop Ashwin and Finlayson parks?
And, finally, aside from selling the Gap’s children’s playground out from under their feet, what particularly galls me about the plans for Walmulla Park is that not so long ago I asked a senior Council officer if there were plans to sell that park. He looked me straight in the eye and said, No. He lied to me.
[ED – The Alice Springs News Online has sought comment from the council on these matters.]


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Gallery: Friday is the day
Now that would have been an interesting question. Do the residents of Alice really want another art gallery? Or are we being sold a pup?


Bush community learning centre to close
“Batchelor Institute say that increased funding would be needed to run the Centre in 2018, they run similar programs in three Warlpiri communities where they are funded through royalties money.”
Sounds like a plan.


Cops with assault rifles footage six years old
I would like to thank CM Gunner for clarifying the issue of armed and masked TRG police being deployed on the streets of Alice over the coming summer. There won’t be any. Good!
The use of specialised equipment to assist operational officers is a good idea. The perpetrators of youth crime need to be identified.
But this begs the question of what will be done with these young criminals once identified? We can’t hold them in detention, we can’t hold the parents accountable, it seems we can’t do much of anything, really.
These plans are not very encouraging. I suppose they will keep the vigilantes off the streets, but will they keep the kids off them as well?
Perhaps these running-amok kids can be identified as coming from a specific community, and then the royalty payments going to their community can be sequestered until the damages done by them to the residents of Alice have been fully paid for?


Masked cops with assault rifles, but where are the parents?
So it’s come to this. A Tactical Response Group may be deployed to Alice to deal with youth crime. And we have no one but ourselves to blame.
Consider the alternatives.
The NT Police dare not intervene in youth crime for the simple reason that to so much as look sideways at a juvenile delinquent in action is accompanied with reams of paperwork and the high likelihood of a departmental inquiry and possible legal action.
The Town Council is not constituted to deal with policing matters. They can and do host meetings to try to reach a community consensus on what to do about children “getting ready for the summer crime spree,” but internal divisions and differing agendas make theirs a fractured voice.
And while the larger Indigenous organisations often voice their concerns, whatever they may be doing has clearly not worked in past years, and there is little to suggest that this summer will be any different.
And so now we may be seeing armed and (I assume) masked men (and women?) patrolling our streets, not to deal with organised criminals or national or international terrorists, but to deal with children. How inept are we?


Council not keen on offer of help to fight crime
One objection to Mr Alice’s comments as reported above would be that rather than a need to clean up our town to make it safe for tourists, we need to clean up our town to make it safe for residents. Accomplish that, and tourist safety will not be an issue.
Yes, there is a need to make parents accountable for their underage children, to address our irresponsible consumption of alcohol, and so much else. And perhaps chief among the “so much else” is a need to really look at what the rampaging kids are showing us.
And what might that be? I suggest that within these “gangs” that we are reading about, and no matter how fleeting and unarticulated, there will be hierarchy, loyalty and discipline.
Can we possibly provide that within a whole-of-town context, instead of a three hour talk fest going nowhere and beset with a confused hierarchy, split loyalty and little discipline?
The kids are showing us what is needed. Start there.


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