When the Todd floods, the water carries a quantity of …

Comment on LETTER: Removing sand from the Todd makes no sense as a flood mitigation measure by Hal Duell.

When the Todd floods, the water carries a quantity of sand. Is that fair?
Then, if the flow is slowed, some of the carried sand drops. Is that fair?
The causeways, but especially the Taffy Pick crossing, slow all floods. Is that fair?
Economic constraints dictate that we will never get rid of, or even rebuild, all the causeways. But we could lose the Taffy Pick crossing, not by replacing it with a bridge (economic constraints again, and possibly geographic ones as well), but by replacing it with a level crossing.
If we did that, in the next flood wouldn’t at least some of the recently deposited sand from either side of the crossing flow out through the Gap?
I question if this work would mean a rate hike. I thought the crossing was the responsibility of the NT government who, I have been told, insisted that the original builders of the casino put that crossing across the Todd. If this is true, who owns it now?
Surely the removal of up to one meter of sand from the junction of the Bradshaw and Bloomfield drainage systems with the Todd River increased the flow of flood water through the Gap. I don’t know if that counts as sand-mining or not, and I don’t see it making, or even hinting at, a “concrete drain”.
I too am all for “best practice” in the Todd, but what is best practice? If anyone thinks we can find one clear scientific opinion on this, I suggest they try to follow the global warming debate in which scientists of all stripes seemingly cannot find any common points of agreement.
This may change after Cyclone Sandy, but I doubt it.
While we look for that elusive best practice, and await funding and process for a flood-mitigation dam, how about we petition the NT government to level the Taffy Pick crossing. It would be a start.

Hal Duell Also Commented

LETTER: Removing sand from the Todd makes no sense as a flood mitigation measure
Thanks for the explanation.
I will admit that I still think it was better to remove the built-up sand, couch and all, rather than wait for a flood to do it. Chinaman’s Creek drains most of Alice Springs west of the Stuart Highway, more or less, and I like the idea of any water coming down that system exiting thru The Gap as quickly as possible.
(Where does the run-off from the old Racecourse area go?)
I agree with your comments about a river’s ability to alter its own banks. I too have seen that happen, although a bit further downstream. I have been told this phenomenon is known as a “hungry river”, and not much can stop it once it gets its teeth in.
Perhaps that is another reason to remove any built-up sand before a flood – let any flood go through without getting its teeth in.
To minimise the chance of that happening between the Telegraph Station and The Gap, I hope the sand currently being removed be ASTC is only being taken from the middle channels, and not from the sides.
One more comment about the Taffy Pick crossing – in answer to a question at last night’s committee meetings, I learned that the crossing belongs to the NTG. This means that if it is to be knocked down to a level crossing, they are the ones to do it.

LETTER: Removing sand from the Todd makes no sense as a flood mitigation measure
Are you saying that it was either wrong or unnecessary to remove the built-up sand earlier this year from the junction of the Bradshaw and Bloomfield drainage systems and the Todd River. (Is that Chinaman’s Creek? I heard that somewhere, but now can’t find it anywhere.)
The Todd’s bed was about one meter higher than the bed of the drainage system, and was heavily anchored with couch grass too thick to walk through.
I don’t know if grasses like couch and buffel are why sand builds up, but I suspect they help hold it when it does.
Also, do you think that when flood water is checked, it drops some of its load? And if it does, does that impact on the flow of subsequent floods? This question leads into the Taffy Pick crossing, so don’t answer it if you don’t want to.

LETTER: Removing sand from the Todd makes no sense as a flood mitigation measure
Since my last post, I have been informed that the Taffy Pick Causeway was built with money from the NTG, the Commonwealth and a contribution from Hotels Australia, or whoever the home page of the first casino operators belonged to.
The responsibility for its maintenance was accepted by (dumped on?) a reluctant Alice Springs Town Council in the late 1980s.
But who owns it today? Before it can be replaced with a level crossing, or even a bridge if that kind of money is available, that question needs answering.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

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.

Cr Satour wants answers on ‘verbal abuse & violence threat’
With respect, please, Catherine and Jacinta, stop it. Just stop it.
One of the key reasons this town is not progressing is because you lot refuse to make common cause, you and your extended families. Enough!
We need both of you, you and all the others, to work together, not to continually tear each other to shreds.

Unfolding story: Kids race ute through town
On Saturday evening my wife and I attended a 6pm screening at the Alice Cinema. When parking in the Target car park, we passed up several available and convenient spaces to position our car as close as possible to the cinema and, hopefully, watchful eyes.
Now ask yourself what sort of a town are we living in that makes such considerations necessary?
The next morning, when walking thru the Todd Mall Markets, I noticed Dale Wakefield, NT Minister for Territory Families, standing at the NT Labor tables. She was beaming out to all as only politicians do, seemingly oblivious to the trainwreck she has made of her portfolio.

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