I hope that if Mr Buxton is responsible for releasing …

Comment on Officers a leap ahead of councillors on parks by Hal Duell.

I hope that if Mr Buxton is responsible for releasing the 2004 Draft Urban Open Space Assets Report, he comes in for a commendation, not a condemnation.
Consider the wealth of information it contains relating to how Council views the parklands in Alice Springs and their responsibility for them. None of that information needs to be kept secret. There is far too much of that in Council’s dealings with the rest of us.
I have long suspected that that reliance on confidentiality is, more than anything else, a method of maintaining unaccountable executive control over the workings of what is our third tier of elected government. The bureaucrats are not the bosses, although I suspect they might think otherwise.
Far better to get these reports out into the public realm, especially after they have been considered and either adopted or, as is the case here, rejected. Then we can all have a read and, where clearly called for, offer corrections. Such as referring to Walmulla Park as being of no use and of no possible use when it is used all the time.
It is also instructive to know that Ashwin and Finlayson parks were to be redeveloped, not sold, and that the public space within each was to be consolidated, not shrunk to a fraction of what each was. This terminology was considered advisable so as not to alarm the near-by residents who were known to be vocal. Kept secret, such thinking can only be considered sneaky.
I think something similar was (is?) considered for Oleander Park, a (re)development clearly not to the liking of some of its more vocal neighbours.
It is also instructive to learn that some “parks” are hilltops or drains or blocks with a sacred site on them. Clearly Council can do little with such blocks in the way of offering a viable public park, and perhaps they could be sold or otherwise taken off Council’s books.
And perhaps Council can be more vigilant in the future to ensure developers don’t off-load unusable blocks when complying with their obligations to provide open space in any new development.
We have a right to know these things, to know in advance what Council is considering. Public consultation is all well and good, but there is no obligation that I am aware of compelling Council to take more than a passing glance at what may come out of any such consultation.
If Council were to bite the bullet, and this current Council might just be the one to do this, and allow us the electorate greater access into their deliberations, they just might find more support and more understanding and more respect for what they are doing.
Governments across Australia and the world are on the nose these days, and a lack of trust lies at the heart of that. We elect them to act for us, not to lecture us from behind a curtain of confidentiality.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Inquiry into fracking: Giving it the green light?
“Harness the sun, the wind and the tides for energy.”
About those tides: Electricity is generated from motion. Wind works, as do turbines whether powered by coal, gas or uranium. And tides?
In Darwin tides are reportedly up to eight meters twice a day with a million tonnes of water flowing by at high tide. Why doesn’t someone stick a wheel into that?
Or, of course, we could probably generate enough power to run a dim globe or two if we harnessed the power in the revolving doors in our government house.


Local government: A lot of action beyond the 3Rs
Two big differences to consider would be that Murray Bridge is 70 kms away from Adelaide while Alice is 1600 kms away from Darwin, and Murray Bridge is on the edge of the agricultural and industrial heartland of Australia while Alice is on the edge of a desert.
It seems that our population numbers are similar, but I cannot think of a single other similarity.


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It’s called denial. If only we did waste as well as we do denial.


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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?


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“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.


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