It’s all smoke and mirrors right now. First there was …

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

It’s all smoke and mirrors right now. First there was a 2004 report circulated as part of the papers for September’s committee meetings (20.1 TS Agenda Item 9.6 – Parks Feasibility Study – attachment A.PDF), then there was a request for direction on whether or not to proceed with the redevelopment of Ashwin and Finlayson parks (20. TS Agenda Item 9.6 – Parks Feasibility Study report.PDF).
But is any of it current?
I think it’s fairly certain the this council wants to shed some of our parklands. I also think they owe us clarity on their proposals and a time for public comment and consultation.
Sooner or later we’ll get both the clarity and the public consultation, and then Council will sell some of our parklands. They have been angling for it for years, just as they have been angling to lose the sails in the Todd Mall.
Both are about to happen.
At least one of our officers knows how to play a long game.

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

National Indigenous Gallery advisors: ‘Release full report’
I hope the NT government pays particular attention to the tips from David Walsh, the creator of MONA. After the Salamanca market, MONA is the most visited tourist destination in Tasmania.
Some people fly in from Melbourne, visit the museum and catch a return flight in the evening. Buses are available to and from the airport for this.
For a more leisurely visit, a high speed ferry to and from the Hobart waterfront adds enhanced value.
For my own part, I recently flew to Hobart for a three day visit, two of them spent in MONA. It was worth every minute and every cent spent.
And pay special attention to his advice to put the art first. This project must not be watered down to include other aims like revitalising the CBD. It will only become all it can be by being a stand-alone effort.
Obviously this project will cost, and cost lots. But if we try to do it on the cheap, cheap will be what we get.

Pack of girls attacked me, says Chinese on working holiday
And again, and again, and again.
“Naughty” children – my ass.
Slowly the veneer of civilisation slips away. We live in a third world town.

Cr Satour wants answers on ‘verbal abuse & violence threat’
@ Concerned Arrernte, Posted March 16, 2018 at 10:01 pm
Nah, nothing confusing there man? Woman?
You mentioned an elephant in a room. I thought it looked a bit lonely, poor bugger, so I added a few more. More better now, not lonely, no shreds. Like that.

Cr Satour wants answers on ‘verbal abuse & violence threat’
@ Concerned Arrernte, Posted March 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm:
Given the state of Alice Springs today, or perhaps better yet, tonight, in which rampaging children are holding the town hostage and councillors feel the need of a protective escort when walking between the council car park and the council chambers; given that after how many years of CLC control there is still no enterprise out on the homelands, simply sit-down money from welfare and mining royalties; given the increase in alcohol abuse leading to family abuse leading to child abuse; given the distracting substitution of bromides such as Australia Day and flags on a hill for anything more substantive; given the observable truth that successive NT governments have demonstrated zero ability to address these issues in a manner leading to a change for the better; given just those more obvious elephants in the room, I think it is well past time for everyone, not just Cr. Price, to be showing anger.

Cr Satour wants answers on ‘verbal abuse & violence threat’
Here’s a question: Is there another local jurisdiction in Australia in which the councillors / aldermen feel the need to ask for protective escorts when walking to and from council meetings?
Just how vicious a little town have we become?
Are we still capable of self-government, at least to the extent that the Alice Springs Town Council represents local self-government?
I hope the answer is yes, because if it isn’t, the power stepping in will be Darwin, and if that comes to pass we will be well and truly phucked.

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