@Anonymous And five storeys for the Melanka site, although that may …

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

@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.

Hal Duell Also Commented

$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.


$60m church, town council deal may make Alice buzz
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.


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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