In late 2010 I wrote a front page article in …

Comment on 75 dwellings jammed into old bowls club by Alex Nelson.

In late 2010 I wrote a front page article in the Alice Springs News on this theme, in which I highlighted how the Eastside Residents Association was involved in the planning process for the units built on the south corner of Renner Street and Sturt Terrace during 2005. I was a member of the executive committee of the ERA at the time.
The result was an outstanding success, leading to the construction of high density accommodation that nevertheless is aesthetically pleasing and has been a highly desired residential location now for nearly two decades. I believe this is the only such development in Alice Springs that encouraged participation from a group of people who had no direct financial interest in the building project.
Subsequent to 2010 the block on the opposite corner of Renner Street and Sturt Terrace has also been redeveloped into high density accommodation. There was no public input with this project, certainly not along the lines of extensive consultation with the local neighbourhood.
The contrast between the two complexes could hardly be greater – the earlier development is comparatively spacious and sheltered, the latter is a concrete enclave. It’s euphemistically called “Renner on Todd” – I’m of two minds whether to liken it to an army barracks or a “correctional facility”!
I’ve no problem with the development of higher density housing at the old Alice Springs Bowling Club site but I certainly don’t support the current proposal.
This project needs to go straight back to the drawing board, and I suggest the developers and architects make the effort to encourage input from the local neighbourhood, as (based on my experience) the result is likely to be far more pleasing for everyone concerned.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

75 dwellings jammed into old bowls club
A correction to my earlier posting – the development of the south corner of Renner Street and Sturt Terrace was in 1995, not 2005. My memory usually serves me well but sometimes what happened in the more distant past still seems to me like it only happened yesterday! Quite coincidentally, I reside next door to this location.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Nationals in Canberra run Country Liberals media
Perhaps it’s splitting hairs but there were two previous Trades and Labour Councils established in Alice Springs before Warren Snowdon “founded” the Central Australian Regional TLC.
The first was in December 1976 when Miscellaneous Workers Union officials Bill Thomson, from Sydney, and Ray Rushbury (Melbourne) arrived here to establish the Alice Springs Trades and Labour Council, as an adjunct to the TLC in Darwin. This was achieved by the end of the year, and Rushbury was appointed the permanent organiser in late 1977.
In early 1977 the Alice Springs TLC shared office space with the NT ALP in Reg Harris Lane. The new NT Labor leader, Jon Isaacs, was the secretary of the MWU in Darwin – he rose to prominence during 1976 when the North Australian Railway was closed.
The first Alice Springs TLC appeared to have become defunct by the end of the decade. In January 1981 a new organiser, Ray Ciantar from Perth, was appointed to re-activate the Alice Springs TLC but with responsibility extending to Tennant Creek and other regional communities; however, this effort seems to have been even less successful than the first.
The third “founding” of the TLC in Alice Springs was by Warren Snowdon in 1985, this time called the Central Australian TLC.


Wards for Alice council, including one for town camps?
Wards for the Alice Springs Town Council are not a new idea but have never been supported by the NT Government.
There was discussion about wards in the mid-1990s, which was firmly rejected by the government.
It was also raised by candidate Steve Strike during the town council election campaign in May 1988. Like Eli Melky’s current proposal, Strike also suggested five wards, each with two aldermen; however, he didn’t overlook the rural area on that occasion over 30 years ago (the other wards suggested were for Eastside, Gillen, Braitling and the Gap Area).
The town’s municipal boundaries were expanded significantly in early 1988, incorporating the whole rural area for the first time despite widespread opposition from affected residents. The idea of a ward system was the final suggestion to differentiate the rural area from the town, after calls for a separate community government and a shire were rejected by the NT Government.
It’s interesting to note that during the operation of the original Alice Springs Progress Association from 1947 to 1960, the town was divided into wards a couple of times for choosing delegates onto the association. The wards were the (now old) Eastside, town centre (now the CBD), the south side of the town, and the Farm Area along what is now Ragonesi Road. The town’s population grew from about 2000 to over 3000 residents during this period, which was long before there was a town council.
One person who represented the south ward from 1958 onwards was Bernie Kilgariff, kickstarting what was to become an illustrious career in NT politics.
Personally I support the concept of wards; for one thing, it would substantially reduce the cost and inconvenience of town council by-elections.
With regard to increasing the number of councillors from eight to 10; well, it’s just over a decade ago the reverse occurred.
Moreover, the ASTC first started off with eight aldermen (plus the mayor) in 1971 until 1977, when the number was increased to 10.
Here we go again?


Move School of the Air to Anzac High building
@ Watch’n (Posted April 15, 2019 at 4:48 am): Remember when the Drive-in was de-listed? To make way for real estate? Wasn’t that a great development.


Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’
It’s obvious the majority of voters in Araluen got it right in the last Territory election campaign.


Killerbots, guided by Pine Gap, same as any other weapon?
Humanity is becoming too clever for its own good.


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