What a great event! Because my mind works the way …

Comment on Alice mountain biking classic turns 10 by Trevor Shiell.

What a great event! Because my mind works the way it does, it wandered back to a long gone trip to Japan where I watched on National TV a 100km long marathon relay for senior secondary school students from all over the country.
It was later revealed that the estimated TV audience was 80 million. Yes, million! I often since wondered why not here?
My mind immediately switched to Glen Helen to Alice – a distance of around 130km and thought why not?
I passed the idea around but it met with a wall of indifference.
This beautiful place is only limited by our limited thinking.
The bike event should be only the tip of the iceberg with a bit of thinking outside the square.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

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.


The power struggle: Schedule for new generators contested
While the bickering continues unabated, the entire rail system in The Netherlands runs on wind powered electricity.
A solar facility near the former nuclear station in Russia supplies 12,000 houses (and we have far more sun than they do) and a similar facility in Morocco does much the same thing with a similar number of houses.
Closer to home a prominent land developer has commissioned whole land developments in three states with each real estate development being independent of the grid and using updated battery technology the size of a shipping container.
And Elan Musk in the USA is promising even better technology, while we are again living a long time in the past.


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