@ Eli Melky (Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:36 am): …

Comment on Council partnership in CBD complex seems certain by Alex Nelson.

@ Eli Melky (Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:36 am): Eli Melky’s argument that building more commercial real estate to add to the glut of existing vacant premises will improve a prospective tenant’s “ability and leverage to negotiate a cheaper rent” might apply if normal market forces were in play.
However, I was informed some time ago that absentee landlords of vacant commercial premises in town are able to offset their losses in Alice Springs against income generated by properties they own in capital cities for taxation purposes.
Consequently there is no incentive to reduce rents in Alice Springs, and (for example) this is reflected in extraordinary rents charged for empty premises in Todd Mall which deters prospective businesses from opening new shops there.
Is this actually the case; and if so, what should be done about it?
I’m also informed that in other countries (such as New Zealand, I was told) owners of commercial properties that remain vacant for an extended period of time are penalized, and this naturally creates an incentive to reduce rental costs in order to attract business tenants.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Raw deal for Alice from NTG & Murdoch Advocate
It’s one thing for the NT Government to promise “first class facilities [for rugby] – indeed far better than the current ones – that will be built when the Gallery is built” but it’s a tall order to expect the proposed new playing fields will match the quality of the existing turf at Anzac Oval anytime soon.
Anzac Oval is reputed to be one of the best playing fields in Australia for the rugby codes; and one well-placed informant told me last week it is actually regarded as one of the TOP THREE in the whole of Australia!
Given both the history of this site – the base for the Darwin Overland Maintenance Force during World War Two, an immensely important link to the national war effort – and the current national-standard playing field (incidentally, the first turfed sports oval in the Northern Territory), it seems to me a very strong case can be made for Anzac Oval to be the site of the NRL Match of the Day annually for Anzac Day.
How about it, Alice Springs?


CLP propaganda courtesy of a Senate office?
Lobbying for sealing the south Stuart Highway began in 1953 when the Alice’s first tourism association was formed.
Bob Rumball raised the subject and former Brigadier, Noel “Tommy” Loutit, made the first representation to the Federal Government about it.
The south Stuart Highway was finally sealed in 1987, so it took 34 years to achieve.
To my knowledge, the first call for upgrading and sealing the Plenty Highway and Tanami Road was made by the newly elected Member for Stuart, Tony Greatorex, in July 1966.
In the following month a similar call was made for the Petermann Road (now in part the Lasseter Highway) by a touring party from WA.
So that was 52 years ago – over half a century – and still counting.
The current “Outback Way” effort was preceded by the “Reef to Rock” campaign that began in 1984 and carried on into the 1990s, especially under former Mayor, Andy McNeill.
The Member for the Northern Territory was granted full voting rights in Federal Parliament in 1968 (that was Sam Calder in his first term) and we got two senators in 1975.
Seems to me a case can be made that getting this increased Federal representation has not resulted in any significant advantages for Central Australia over this time.


‘Anzac Oval not for sale’: govt under pressure on gallery plans
I will simply point out to everyone concerned that the old school complex at the north end of Anzac Oval has by far the greatest heritage value of any school campus in the Northern Territory – repeat, the Northern Territory.
I have come to this conclusion after months of gathering information, commencing well before the end of last year.
It would be unconscionable for the NT Government to proceed with any development on this site without first undertaking a properly independent and professional assessment of the history and heritage values of this location, including genuine public consultation.
This has not happened.
If this Government decides to proceed with this developnment in disregard of the heritage values of the old school site, it will lose all credibility that it may currently have and demonstrate it cannot be regarded as any better than its predecessors in office.


Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
This is a brilliant article, Rainer, a valuable contribution to public discourse that will stand the test of time.
Much of what you have written has been observed before, and much of what you describe is instantly recognisable from the time of my own childhood here in Alice Springs.
However, when I was young there was a sense of the corner having been turned when the NT achieved Self-government and there was great hope for the future. Things were about to change for the better for everyone.
I feel a sense of deep disappointment combined with great anger that nothing has improved for so many people in the Territory, and generation after generation of young people born here find themselves “coping” in life conditions no better – and, in many cases, far worse – than the supposedly “bad old days” of Commonwealth control.
It’s equally profoundly disappointing that the energy and intellect of young people such as yourself, Rainer, are left to pick up the pieces of a failed legacy of earlier generations.
But it’s wonderful that you are doing so, and that’s why hope survives.


Alice may follow Wadeye’s lead on street kids
This seems to me to be precisely the concept that Maya suggested and I supported for the old high school at Anzac Oval.
Today comes the news of increased GST cutbacks to the Northern Territory but the NT Government seems hell-bent on spending taxpayers’ dollars it’s not going to have on capital works projects both here and in Darwin that are not supported by the majority of people (VOTERS).
In the NT election campaign of 1977, virtually a referendum on impending Self-Government, Labor’s slogan was “First things first – statehood comes later.”
In this year of the 40th anniversary of Self-Government, I say “First things first – focus on the kids.” Forget about underground carparks for public servants, four-lane boulevards cutting through public parks, a new museum to compete against MAGNT, or a national indigenous art gallery on the wrong site.
We all need to get our priorities straight, not least the NT Government.


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