Feds say no to Alice Springs CBD project funding

Alice Springs Town Council and the Uniting Church say they will explore new avenues for funding the proposed meeting place and commercial development in the CBD after receiving notification the bid to secure a grant from the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) was unsuccessful.

 

The $60m project was first reported by the Alice Springs News Online. Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon (pictured) did not respond to a request for comment today.

 

Mayor Damien Ryan has expressed disappointment: “The Council submitted a $15 million application in early April to the RDAF for a project in partnership with the Uniting Church.

 

“Despite this unsuccessful bid I remain optimistic and we will continue to explore all opportunities that are available to us to help fund the vital investment for our town.”

 

Chairman of the Uniting Church Property Working Group, Dr Bruce Walker, said the church is still committed to moving forward and working with the council.

 

“This is an important investment for Alice Springs and we will continue to work together and examine other avenues in review of our financial model.

 

“The project will transform the CBD into a meeting place where every one can enjoy the town. It really will benefit our community both socially and financially and enhance our town centre”.      – ERWIN CHLANDA

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5 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Domenico Pecorari
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    The ASTC and the Uniting Church practically declare that their grand plan is not economically viable without heavy financial subsidies from the Feds. The failure of their grant application has done the town a favour, in my opinion. Let’s look at the evidence.
    In the recent past, we have had planning approval for 5-story residential units (Melanka), but it has been shelved. Financially unviable I believe was the reason given by the developers.
    We have had CBD units built (Bath Street), but they are still awaiting buyers at the sale price of nearly $700,000.00 each.
    Janet Brown’s “build it and they will come” approach is laughable. What is needed is professional analysis, not ideas based upon nothing more than gut feelings.

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  2. Ian Sharp
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Janet, even if the guidelines for the grant were such that it had to be spent in Alice, rather than out in the communities, I wouldn’t see the CBD project as the priority. I think there are lots of more worthy projects unable to attract private investment, and therefore needing government funds to get them off the ground.

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  3. Bob Durnan
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Machine-Gun Brown (Posted June 30, 2013 at 10:21 am) should answer a few questions if she’s going to present herself as the expert on these matters.
    Has she traveled the roads to Walungurru or Ampilatwatja or Urlampe lately without risking damage to her vehicle?
    Tried to move her young family out of her parents’ overcrowded house and rent her own place at Atitjere or Utju (or Urapuntja or Nyirrpi)?
    Begged to get a badly injured tourist or local evacuated after dark when the creeks are running on the Santa Teresa or Hermannsburg or Plenty River roads?
    Endeavoured to get accommodation for more nurses (or other skilled workers) at just about any bush community?
    Maybe she has tried to get a teenager through secondary education at Titjikala or Docker River, or find a qualified pre-school teacher at a dozen bush communities where they don’t exist?
    If she hasn’t done these things, and can’t tell us convincingly how to overcome these problems without government assistance, then maybe she should apologise to Ian Sharp, start lobbying the NT and Federal governments to get a move on to deliver basic essential services in the remote communities, and help the Alice Springs Town Council and the Uniting Church raise private funds to finance their Hartley Street car park and apartment development project.

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  4. Janet Brown
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Nonsense, Ian. Most bush people like to be in town for long or short periods of time. Or just moving in full time. The CBD project includes a large amount of CBD accommodation. To compliment the Mall upgrade. This would go a long way to housing many workers so there is no need to rely on our minimal public bus service. This is not an attack on our bus service it is not logical or financially responsible to run extra services. This idea is valuable to our town and residents and our economic future. Alice Springs has been stagnant in residential infrastructure projects in regional Australia. We hold the top spot for neglect. And the Feds refuse our application to fix this. If we hold top spot in neglect I hope they have a good reason to say no. I hope council is going to ask for a reason for failure. We have spent decades in a wilderness of the glass dome effect. Many private people have tried and failed to provide land for development. There is a large amount of private land in and around Alice Springs. Governments have failed Alice Springs and deliberately implemented policies that refuse to allow any growth. With the CLP in power I want to see the can do approach to development. I want the red tape that has been plastered over the doorway by government departments who hate those with money making more by providing housing and stimulating of financial growth removed. You have to spend money in investment to make money. News flash guys. Those who spend money to make money not only increase their bank accounts, they improve the lives and opportunities to others. But the Feds in this instance made the wrong decision.

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  5. Ian Sharp
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    With due respect to Damien and Bruce, there might actually be more pressing needs for $15m of Federal funding in the regions than the Alice CBD, which probably should be expected to be capable of generating funding from the private sector.
    Infrastructure in some of the communities in Central Australia might have a greater claim on scarce Federal resources.

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