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

Government-made dust bowl: What comes next
That’s not the issue. It should never have happened in the first place.


NT the biggest climate change offender
Apart from all the other considerations listed in Jim’s article, all of which have been shot down in national press this week, I can’t believe that land has been put aside in the Pedirka basin for exploration.
This basin overlies 600 million tonnes of high quality coal.
As a shareholder in Central Petroleum, I attended their AGM in Perth several years ago and spoke at length with the then CEO John Heugh about that prospect and remember distinctly when he returned from the Colson Track to Old Andado with the initial soil samples and proclaimed “we’ve got it”.
I was there at that moment. Subsequent to that, there was an attempt to gain influence over the CTP board by Clive Palmer who planned to convert the company into a coal miner and build a railway from the central Simpson to Gladstone in Queensland to export it.
I am proud to say that I voiced strong opposition as the desert is very dear to me. This may have been a part of the reason why the Giles administration upgraded a section of the Old Andado road east of Allambi in anticipation.
If this Government is supporting at arm’s length such developments – shame on them.
Both gas and coal are obsolete as a long term future source of fuel as the Indian Government is at last recognising.
The BBC reported this week of the pollution problems that currently are causing much concern in Mumbai and other places largely due to fossil fuel consumption for electricity generation and transport.
In the light of this, one has to question the sanity of our Government policy which exacerbates a world wide problem and showers ridicule on the Adani project in Queensland (and our Government).
One wonders what will happen to the coal that may be extracted.
My guess is that they will re-export it to China and in doing so thumb their noses at our expense and our ignorance.
India’s population will exceed that of China within 20 years and as Lee Quan Yu once said we will be the white trash of Asia.
Surely, a Government that claims to have some green sympathies as ours does, can do better than that.
In the meantime India is looking to develop electricity generation based on thorium and nuclear waste while we fiddle around with soon to become obsolete fossil fuel based technology.
Silly actions such as the one cited above will not help. The same goes for food production in arid zones.
We have it. They need it, but we build houses on land which could supply what they want.


Preaching ‘treading carefully’ then sending in the bulldozers
The whole issue of Kilgariff will go down as a masterpiece in political pork barrelling, with the current debacle being a masterpiece in disgraceful planning both by the Henderson and then Giles administrations.
As pointed out many times both the commercial and environmental costs will be enormous.
The environment costs are now emerging. The economic costs in the form of lost opportunities to promote new economic activity and advancement in food production technologies in full public view have now gone.
In the meantime countries like India (quote from our National newspaper of Monday last) “Australia’s rural and food exports to India could soar 10 fold to more than $30 billion in a decade, according to India’s High Commissioner”.
Perhaps we could be selling them our Kilgariff type houses to eat, or maybe canal facing real estate to go into aquaculture.
The high commissioner was talking on greater agribusiness opportunities and growing demand from India’s 1.3 billion people looking for better quality food from overseas, and India’s predicted doubling of food production by 2050 will not satisfy their requirements.
Within 10 years India will have more people than China.
The warning to get researching in this area was issued years ago by the Vice President for food production in China, but again ignored by the then Giles Government, in favour of self interest votes here, and once again we will be caught flat footed.
This is he true cost of the disgrace that we call Kilgariff.
And the thinking does not stop there. In the last months at least two emerging Australian agritech companies have moved to Israel because no one thought to encourage them here to do their arid lands research.
Israel has an export market of over $10 billion in irrigation technology and we are entitled to ask ourselves what were we doing when all this was happening and where is our share?
Building houses which are expensive and on a recognised flood plain, perhaps?


Gas-first government dodging urgent need to act on climate
In other parts of the country government involvement seems to have slowed down the inevitable move to renewable energy.
The huge development at Tailem Bend in SA, for example, has Singaporean money behind it and there are similar stories elsewhere.
A major real estate development North of Perth (Alkinos) was put in place and is largely independent of Government involvement in electricity, by a private developer.
That could have happened at Kilgarrif with just a little government foresight.
A public company is initialling significant solar resources on southern shopping centres and schools, and our own green shed has enough capacity on its trade outlet alone to power 35 houses, and no-one notices the row of inverters along the front supplying over 80% of it power needs.
The Alice could own and be very proud of owning its own power if we all got behind Re-power, as several other municipalities interstate have done.
Often governments slow progress down.
Who seems to care about the flood of electric vehicles heading this way and how we are going to benefit from them or even cope with them?


Business group may establish ‘federal’ prison in The Centre
Put it at Anzac next to the cultural centre and fill it with bankers and insurance executives, on the recommendation of the current Royal commission.
Great business for the northern end of the mall, where the major business group seems to want to operate.


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