Can I suggest again that planners recognize the limitations placed …

Comment on The West MacDonnell Ranges start at the council dump by Trevor Shiell.

Can I suggest again that planners recognize the limitations placed on the town by The Gap.
If we want the town to be a tourism hub let’s do it and follow the Hahndorf model. Like many things of German origin, they do it so well.
But we continue to try to make the town a replica of the worst of city outskirts and base it around motor transport and high rise apartment.
If traffic is such an issue help the Show Society and make that park a daily car park to ferry consumers via shuttle buses into the CBD where the business is, at say 15 min intervals.
But that’s probably pie in the sky when train passengers have to walk in to the CBD, or to their lodgings with bags, because no one offers them a ride.
I don’t think we really want them or their custom here or we would be offering better than that.
The still obvious solution is to dedicate the strip of road from the Adelaide turn off to The Gap as a tourism precinct just as Hahndorf has done, shift the refuse facility and sewerage well to the south where the infrastructure is already in place, and create a series or foot based recreational facilities west and south of The Gap, with a new commercial entity near Brewer.
I did a very basic traffic survey in that area late last year and estimate around 400 vehicles take people to employment in the area south of The Gap each day.
Can I ask the council or government to conduct a more thorough survey? There was one done several years ago, and the results of that are still available.
I also counted over 100 people stopping to have their photos taken at the rock in a single morning in May 2015. The implications of this are so obvious to everyone but the planners.
Either we are a tourism town or we are not. And of the comments I hear from visitors from Anzac Hill on the courthouse would make the hairs on your neck curl, if only they could see the sunset through the vegetation so conveniently planted in front of the viewing area!
On the positive side, it is good to hear of plans to develop horticultural enterprises at what is left of AZRI. It has been frequently pointed out that the opportunity cost of Kilfgarif will be extremely high in the loss of promotional opportunities to attract investment to create employment here.
That whole strip should have been a blatant advertisement for what is possible here in the way particularly of food production to attract investment and consequent jobs.
We import around 50,000 tonnes of carob into Australia per year. Yet they grow like weeds in Gillen. Pomegranates are yet another example. The possibility of recycling waste water as Israel has been doing for years in a desert – there should be no such thing as waste water.
This should be something to advertise, as should the Indigenous medical production hidden at the rear. This housing development was a major blunder in the wrong direction for the wrong reasons, but something may yet be salvaged.
I well remember a Frank Sinatra film of a long time ago which started with this little poem:
He who whispers down the well
About the thing he has to sell
Will never make as many dollars
As he who climbs the tree and hollers.
This is the mantra of the real estate and developers, and there are lessons here for the rest of us.
We have unique tourism and lifestyle things here. We don’t need to hide them behind high rise and car parks.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

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.


Let the gas flow, says Nigel Scullion
Us long in the tooth people may well remember the Connnor plan of the 1970s to have a national network of gas pipelines to distribute gas allover the country.
It got short change at the time. In this context, you might also notice that the shortest distance from the NW shelf massive gas resource to the Eastern states is via Brewer estate and the new Tennant to Isa pipeline – a distance of around 1700 km.
Only the millionaires factory seems to have noticed this and hence their recent attempts to collar the gas export market from Melbourne, and to have a tilt at controlling our local gas supplier, and controlling the cost of transporting gas through that pipeline by the devious method of valuing its cost by various meant to justify the prices they want to charge.
It’s not called the millionaires factory for nothing. We don’t need fracking, if we need gas at all.
Morocco is but one of many emerging solar installations that can supply 24 hour power to several thousand houses. Again we are thinking behind the times.
The recently announced pumped hydro project in the Snowy Mountains is only another example of belated thinking and like massive solar, should have happened years ago.


How to vote cards point to totally new council
Is the alternative another new world (aka new court house) totally in keeping with the nature of the town (NOT!) and a multi story Sydney style apartment development on a site which is currently used as a temporary used car sales yard? Who or what is driving this crazy debate?
And all this while, with the heavy transport load through the gap to go bonkers with the outback way providing the quickest way from Queensland to WA we still talk about re vitalizing the current CBD, and the local indigenous art market has no organized place to go as they would have if they lived in Kuranda, or Hahndorf.
What is so badly needed is long term planning by locals, not fly in experts from the east coast, and the alleged need to attract capital from there in their image.
One candidate is proposing environmentally sensitive housing and there are numerous exemplars to look at elsewhere but never envisaged here.
Look for example at the Christies Close development in the Adelaide CBD or the Eco Village South of Adelaide, and then look at what we have here, and wonder why?
Then ponder over the local area solar grid independent off grid developments emerging elsewhere to realize just how far behind we have fallen.
We also have failed to look at what is happening in other tourism centered spots and adapt that to our needs.
Look no further than the magnificent tourism facility at Mc Laren Vale, in SA and weep for what we have here and the caravaners with no space there to park.
Then look at the people who stop to photograph the welcome rock south of the town and weep buckets of blood at our loss, and the extra day they might spend here.
One urgent need is to correlate the ambitions of the government in Darwin and local govt and who is responsible for what.


Ross River resort moving into the future
Again the planning boffins had their ear muffs and dark glasses on when they designed the Outback Way.
It would be so easy to direct much of the traffic that will enter from the east into Alice via Gem Tree, Hale River resort, Arltunga and Ross River, thus opening up a new tourism province to a new market.
One of the drawbacks (minor) of Ross River is that you return via the same scenic route. Few people I speak with mention the circle via The Gardens road OR Gem tree.
The same reasoning applies to freight traffic from Queensland to WA and to provide an alternative to congesting the Gap with road trains and directing them to an integrated road rail and air freight centre hub at Brewer via the East Macs and even to Santa Teresa providing commercial possibilities there.
This is so obvious but ignored. Time for a bit of very forward looking thinking and a new commercial centre near Brewer. But I just saw a pink camel fly over my back fence.


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