Have plans been drawn up? Even suggestions? Where, for instance, …

Comment on $60m church, town council deal may make Alice buzz by Hal Duell.

Have plans been drawn up? Even suggestions? Where, for instance, will the tall apartment blocks be going?
In theory I’m all for the idea of turning the centre of town into a lived in area, but both the Melanka block and the Commonwealth bank building stirred up a deal of controversy, gained planning approval (or at least the Melanka site did), and then came to nothing.
I hope we get a chance to read more of this. There is optimism across the Top End with development gaining traction up there. The Ord River Scheme, one of the world’s largest inland irrigation systems, may finally realise its potential. At the same time, Darwin is turning into a city and Australian’s port to Asia.
It would be most welcome to see a Town Like Alice become the city of Alice Springs, but first the precious mind-set that we are a dusty little town at the back of beyond will need to evolve.
That’s an interesting point made about the new building on Lizzy Milne’s old block. Does it even have a name? And if it could have gone above three stories, would an open public space have been included? As it is, it’s an exceptionally attractive exterior, or at least it is to me, but it’s a bit forbidding. A garden would have softened that.

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$60m church, town council deal may make Alice buzz
@Anonymous
And five storeys for the Melanka site, although that may have lapsed by now. Is the exemption for developing the old Commonwealth Bank building still valid? Hope so.
I don’t remember a height exemption being mentioned for 50 Bath Street. If that’s the number of the Green Well, I wish they had taken advantage of it. Alice is being stunted by being kept in these low-rise boxes.
I also like the idea of something tall being built on the site of the old petrol station on Wills Terrace. Then a light show could be projected from the roof to stop the kids throwing rocks from Anzac Hill into the windscreens of passing cars.
All this future development would help us reclaim Alice Springs to make it a safe and sane urban environment. One problem – these proposals need money, and where that will come from is anyone’s guess. But let’s hope it comes from somewhere, or we look to be walking into a future as a struggle-town.


$60m church, town council deal may make Alice buzz
So four stories were considered for the Green Well but knocked back by the DCA. Had the taller structure been allowed, the building might not be quite so forbidding. Not much to do about it now. It’s still an attractive addition to Alice Springs, ‘rusty rectangle’ not withstanding.
It’s worth noting that the rusty look softens immeasurably with landscaping. Visit or look online at the imposing and award winning Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart.
Our Town Council would not have the power to impose a three story restriction, so this must come from Darwin. It is possible to ask what right Darwin and the DCA have to so limit the development of Alice, and do they mean to continue? Why are they holding us back? I notice that there is no such height restriction in Darwin.
Wasn’t the same three story restriction used when the Alice Plaza was built from boundary to boundary? And what an uninspired exterior that is! With another level, might the planners of the day have been inspired to soften that eastern wall? If that had happened, we might still have a pedestrian mall instead of even more traffic through the CBD.
Neither the Alice Plaza nor the Green Well offer examples for the proponents of the height restriction to crow about. Why not offer a trade? Another story or two and in exchange the street level to be welcoming and pedestrian friendly.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
Mr Gunner would do well to remember that the last NT Chief Minister to lose control of the streets in Alice was Martin, and the Intervention followed. Turnbull might have a smoother smile, but he is cast in the same mold.
And Where’s Warren will again wring his hands and cry shame, but the only shame is that he is still there. Go Jacinta! I don’t know if you will be any more effective, but remember this: You cannot do worse.
Also, consider this: There has recently been a national Angst over all the kids in detention in the NT being Indigenous, but then think how many priors each of those kids had to have had before they finally earned detention.
CM Gunner’s answer to the collapse of Alice seems to be to ignore the clearly stated preference of the majority regarding the art gallery and to work with them, but to instead indulge in a swinging big-dick moment. He wants to get real while there is still an Alice to get real over.
And the TOs and their families and friends? To be honest, I think they are scared of their own children. Or perhaps they are scared of each other.
Either way, they sure as hell aren’t doing anything.


Some creatures in The Centre used to be big
So glad the Ducks of Doom feature. As soon as I get back to Alice I will visit.


At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
It will be interesting to see if the results of Council’s survey are similar to those published today by our local print newspaper.
Over a two week period it conducted an online poll asking residents of Alice what they thought of plans to use Anzac Oval for an art gallery. The results are unambiguous: From a total of 988 votes, 32.4% said it was a good idea and 67.6% said it wasn’t.
As for the old high school, over to you, Alex Nelson.


Aboriginal-led ‘from the bottom up’: cultural centre
A National Indigenous Cultural Centre is arguably so much more important, nationally, locally, and indigenously(?), than another art gallery. I imagine it would include an important and pertinent section on the birth and development of the Central Australian art movement. This last point alone would obviate the need for a National Indigenous Art Gallery, especially given that all major cities and most of the smaller ones already have their own collection of Indigenous art.
As an aside, do we really imagine that the cities, both large and small, will strip out their own collections to further a gallery in Alice Springs? Will the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory be sending its rare and priceless collection south to Alice? Of course they won’t.
And for a National Indigenous Cultural Centre to be led and directed by local Indigenous voices, in consultation with other Indigenous voices from around Australia, is only right. Their culture, their land, their choice. Hopefully Gunner and Co will, this time, listen and learn.


Council code of conduct questions not answered in public
Well then, under the theory that where there’s smoke, there’s fire (fresh dung in the farmyard on a cold winter morning notwithstanding), it seems this issue is not going to go away. I do wonder if we’ll ever learn something.
That remains to be seen, given the beauty of Section 81(2C) quoted above. Unless I’m reading it wrong, this seems to say that disciplinary committee meetings are to be held in public unless the disciplinary committee doesn’t want them to. Now that’s a get-out-of-jail card if ever I saw one!
As often quoted in other contexts, “You can’t make this stuff up.”


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