Like the four lanes through the Gap this is completely …

Comment on Council partnership in CBD complex seems certain by Trevor Shiell.

Like the four lanes through the Gap this is completely out of place, and context.
Can you imagine the fuss if such a proposal was put up at for example Harndorf where their cultural identity and tourism industry was overpowered by a car parking facility next to a high rise ugly courthouse such as what has happened here?
Their cultural identity has produced millions of tourist dollars while ours is languishing.
What should be happening now is to replicate the commercial centre further south around Brewer and leave the current CBD to promote the tourism aspect, which is what people who come here are expecting to see.
I would like to see the figures on how many people and vehicles pass daily through the Gap to employment in the area South of town and ask why they do not have the facilities to live closer to their employment.
This was one of the concepts put up by the consultants to Kilgariff, namely that development should follow the railway, but was conveniently ignored.
Kilgariff should have been further south, and the basis of a complete new commercial entity based around Brewer and the airport – just as what happened at Toowoomba, which has seized huge commercial advantage from its airport with direct access by air to China.
We are just slow learners and do not look at what is happening elsewhere. All the major transport hubs and facilities should be centred there, just as happens at Port Augusta and Broken Hill.
Already mining companies had seen the advantage of storing plant at Bohning, and surely must have given a lead to the planners as to the need.
The current CBD situation and the Gap constraints will be exacerbated by the development of an industrial estate behind the Cemetery, a silly short sighted idea, adding again to the urgent need to move further south to where the infrastructure and future industry will have to be, leaving the town to do its tourist thing just as both Harndorf and Ballarat have done.
One only has to visit these areas to see just how far behind we are in cultural tourism, starting with the visitors centres at McLaren Vale and Georgetown (in Queensland).
We seem to be ignoring this for what is again blatant self interest. This would be a bonanza for the local construction and development industries here and also solve the problem of industrialization of the RL zone lands, which no one wants to tackle.
It would also have left he whole strip between the airport and Gap as vivid exposition of what we can do here to attract investment.
Last year I counted 104 tourists who stopped at the welcome rock in a single morning!
Planners have blinkers just as many of the current council members appear to have.
All of these things, had they been looked at from a broader perspective, would have made the current proposal and the Gap modifications largely superfluous.
A similar structure South of Adelaide is signposted at $140 million. How does that compare with ours?

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Spread renewables, government asked
ReNu energy (formerly Geodynamics), a pioneer in the geothermal energy field, has several solar facilities up and running in several places in SA, Victoria, ACT and NSW all of which are based on community ownership and after the meter billing.
This would be the perfect spot (Brewer) for such a facility if we can keep the red tape at bay.
For more details look at their website. Several of these are based on shopping centres, and the largest shopping centre in Alice would be an ideal site to demonstrate what is possible and what is happening elsewhere.
In addition comments about battery storage and talk of its shortcomings are quite premature and sometimes negative.
Lithium is the favorite of the month at the moment and there is some around here in the local pegmatites but this will shortly be superseded by vanadium flow batteries.
All the details of these are online at Australian Vanadium but the science is a bit complicated to the layman.
This is an ASX listed company and worth looking at to see what is coming.
Interestingly the emerging Vanadium / Titanium province at Mt Peake West of Barrow Creek brings the industry right to our front door, but not yet recognized widely locally.


Consultants with 40,000 years on the job
As a child I remember in the Riverland of SA, an APY lands Indigenous man whom we all idolised, one Jimmy James.
Remember going out onto the river flats around Berri and watch him tracking foxes, and my father showed him how to grow potatoes in a trench.
He lived at Gerard.
Some of feats also were legendary. On one occasion there was a murder at Pine Valley station, North of Waikerie.
Jimmy tracked the murderer for several days through the Mallee until his apprehension North of Renmark.
On another occasion he tracked a mentally disturbed woman for several kilometres through the streets of Berri, claiming she had gone into the river near the old pumping station.
This was dismissed by the authorities until her body floated to the surface of the river exactly where he said she had gone in.
His memory is commemorated by a plaque on the river bank near where the old ferry landing was in the town.
Jimmy was also instrumental in tracking the legendary figure known locally as “Possum” who lived a hermit’s life along the river between Renmark and Wentworth.
His story in now in a book of the same name by a former Renmark detective, Max Jones.


Community solar: the devil is in the wires
Why is it that there are around 60 off grid facilities already in operation in this country ranging from Goulburn in NSW to King Island to a complete new suburb Just North of Perth, where 20 odd houses get power from a battery bank the size of a shipping container, to Moololabank, near Melbourne, and now Chile on a large scale and Morocco where they have a solar / molten salt facility which is to power 2000 houses, with a similar facility in Spain.
One of these has been financed from Wall Street where they know a thing or two about making money, as does Lend Lease Corporation the promoter of several of these subdivisions here.
That could have happened here, putting us right at the front of the industry, with another thing to advertise the place but we did not.
Now we have three shopping complexes going off grid-Griffith in NSW and several others in SA – all being put in by a former Geothermal explorer, and to be followed by several others.
That also could have happened here but no one was looking.
Regarding the cost of infrastructure, the recent inquiry into costing revealed that 40% of the consumer cost is in the distribution system.
Once in tertiary economics classes it was taught that the electricity industry was the perfect example of cost reductions due to economies of scale.
This was partly true until the infrastructure was privatized. Spark Infrastructure, for example, which acquired the distribution network in SA and Vic years ago, showing that each entity must report to shareholders and that economies of scale suddenly went missing.
The energy losses in long distance transmission are obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of physics.
This is why Germany is moving towards carbon nano tube transmission while we live 50 years behind.
It therefore makes sense to move development to the source of generation to minimize costs and encourage industry.
I see no sign of that here.
In addition lithium storage will be obsolete shortly with the advent of nickel and vanadium flow batteries, and in the longer term thorium molten salt reactors.


We’ve got the sunshine, they’ve got the people
Not many people seem to have noticed the bank of invertors outside the big green shed on the main North road, or the solar array South of Coober Pedy, or the community grid going in at Goulburn, NSW, ($500 membership ) or the facility in Morocco based on solar and molten salt, and supplying power 24/7 to two million people, or the same facility in Spain doing much the same thing, or the shopping centers at Griffith or Murray Bridge, which have gone off grid.
All done by an Australian company.
Of the 50 or so mini grids in Australia, many are facilitated by a major development company – Lend Lease. One in WA supplies 20 houses from a battery bank inside a shipping container, while the money for the Morocco unit came from Wall St, where they know a thing or two about money.
We could have been exporting electricity to the Eastern states but for the breathlessly short sighted vision. It’s no coincidence that the facility in SA (Elon Musk) is situated right next to the interstate connector.
And what of the electric cars that will be heading our way? Holland or Denmark runs its entire rail system on wind. Where have we been?


No plans to stop NATS: Gunner
Can anyone remember the inevitable demise of the Cannonball Run which was based on the same mentality? Are there any real differences?
How about a bit of balance in the form of a defensive driving school aimed at young people who think that the more noise they make the faster the car goes and think they are invincible once behind the wheel of a car.
It’s this mentality which these motor sports encourage that is the danger and needs to be discouraged.
There is currently no counter argument on safety and defensive driving.
Similarly with the enormous cost to the community of quad bike injuries. There is also an enormous marketing opportunity in promoting safe defensive driving to the hundreds of senior school students from interstate who visit here every year.


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