Sigh. It’s no bloody wonder our town struggles to lift …

Comment on Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity by Steve Brown.

Sigh. It’s no bloody wonder our town struggles to lift itself off the deck when you read comments like some of these. I guess that’s why you won’t put your names on your posts. A tiny little bit embarrassed? Completely understand why you would be.
The salt mine doesn’t need the road. They are quite happy to run a fly in fly out operation and in fact would like an excuse to do so. They are sealing the necessary operational transport route to the rail head, some 10 km.
Alice Springs needs the road sealed if we want to attract the workforce to be permanently based in our town, growing our economy!
Along with that workforce we also get the local business boosting ability to provide services. And we get to be involved in the tourism and ornamental side of the salt mine.
The road will not only serve the mine. It will serve the pastoral industry, the tourist industry, it will also provide all weather access to the community of Titijkala.
It will provide all weather access to the off-road facility facilitating the establishment of a vehicle testing industry, already in the wind.
It will provide access to the proposed blocks and tourist facilities at Ooraminna. It will provide all weather dust and rut free access to the Finke track or at least the first 100 km of it, to the date farm, to future business.
Yes! This is a service road that we must eventually seal anyway.
In fact, the NT Government has just very short sightedly clawed back the funding for the first 20 km of it, otherwise work would be already underway!
Why wouldn’t we want the jobs for our kids? Try and understand the earnings from this project into our town over a 25 year period, extrapolate that out to a couple of hundred years of rates on two hundred houses. 200 high income wage packets into our economy every week!
The extra jobs over and above the mining jobs in service industries the extra bods in our community organisations!
The facts are that if we a clever enough if we move fast enough the Alice stands to gain mightily from this project.
The alternative, if we think it’s all OK to sit around on our non-contributing proverbials worrying that someone might get something for nothing, while contributing somewhere around nothing ourselves, I guess we’ll get what we deserve as well.
A big fat nothing.

Steve Brown Also Commented

Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
“Pathetic” is a good description for someone too gutless to put their name to a comment.
Legitimate questions come with a legitimate verifiable names – happy to answer any of those that I can.
I won’t however answer tawdry obvious push propaganda, questions that treat Alice Springs News readers like a bunch of fools!
You should direct questions about the mining process to Tellus Salt, they have been very open throughout the process to date, regularly and openly consulting the public through a series of public presentations.
The last of these were in open council and before media just a couple of weeks ago … hence my letter asking the question that should be on everyone’s lips if this project goes ahead and it appears to be very much on track to do so.
What does our community gain from it? Is there opportunity for us? What do we as a community do take advantage of the available opportunity?
Or are we simply going to be bystanders watching a wonderful natural resource disappear much like Northern Gas.


Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
@ Jimmy: As always he is pushing propaganda and half truths.
The salt mine business case is based on the mining and sale of salt the space created by that activity is available for storage and as such makes up “part” of the business plan.
Storage in a salt mine is a logical natural fit as salt deposits are considered to be the world’s most stable geological formations which have zero connection to water bearing aquifers.
We know that because salt can’t exist in the rock form where there is water.
This salt is five hundred million years old. That’s twice the age of other well know salt deposits, making this mine arguabley the world’s safest storage location and certainly much safer than an wherever waste products are presently stored.
The mine will have space available for storage for all kinds of products, clearly we will be relying on our Government to regulate what the stored waste can consist of.
That regulation can occur under the Mining Act or whatever Act Government chooses, governments write acts, Jimmy.
It could even occur under a specifically written Act called “The Chandler Salt Mine Act of 2017”.
However, in all the discussion we should not lose sight of the existence of waste products of almost infinite variety that require safe storage until the world finds another way to deal with them.
Nor should we ever lose site of our combined responsibility for those products! All in all just another very urgent reason for Government to get publicly involved in this project.


Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
@ Alex: Just because we made a stupid short sighted mistake once before doesn’t mean we a destined to repeat that same mistake over and over.
We are humans we are supposedly in possession of a level of intelligence that allows us to view our mistakes and learn from them.
There is no comparison however between Tanami, some 600 km, away and a mine project that could drive its staff to work from town if there was good all weather access.
The salt mine is quite prepared to go ahead without that access in fact I think they prefer the FIFO option.
I’m suggesting that we negotiate an outcome that is more beneficial to the region so that we aren’t eventually left with no gain and a big hole! I’m suggesting we legislate FIFO, making it much more difficult to base projects on its use.
At the same time we negotiate the funding for the road, a road that we need anyway, regardless of the mine.
I’m suggesting we leverage the absolute maximum outcome for our community from this project. If we can’t achieve that in the final analysis we certainly should be questioning whether or not we want this project.
Further to all of that, the salt mine is not the only project close to town currently considering its options for staffing.
So right now is a very good moment for a new government to set some direction and to show some willingness to make deals that maximise outcomes for all parties.


Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
The longer this process goes on the more likely we are to lose it altogether. That’s a loss of $150m into our economy, just on build!
The government has made up its mind on the site. That’s their right! That’s what we elect them for, to make what they see as the best decision, on our behalf!
So, while about 4% of the population whinge about it, and try to foil the process, keep this in mind.
If it doesn’t go ahead at Anzac there will be no new rugby grounds! Another $20m to $30m.
There will be no amphitheatre or the CBD space to put one. Another $3m to $4m.
We will miss out on an expansion of CBD parking. Millions more!
And we will miss the opportunity to create much increased foot traffic into the CBD and the resulting growth in small business. Millions more.
There is now very little chance of it going anywhere else. It will either go at the Anzac Hill site or we will lose it altogether!
Federal Politicians looking for an excuse to fund it in South Australia have been handed exactly what they want, local dissent!
It shouldn’t take much more to tip the scales, if the damage hasn’t already been done.
If we believe in our community, if we want to grow our economy, create opportunity for ourselves and our children into the future we have to be prepared to accept change, to put our petty likes and dislikes along with what often amounts to rather shallow competitive political viewpoints aside for the greater good.
To put it bluntly, “suck it up and stand aside in support of the best obtainable outcome for our community!
Let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face!


The millions and the misery
Interesting article that this may be, I would not like to see discussion centred around the ins and out of funding to various Aboriginal organisations being conflated in anyway with our discussions around funding and locating our proposed youth centre.
We are attempting to get a whole of community approach to this!
That approach, if it is to be successful, will most certainly include the organisations mentioned.
While we clearly share everyone’s enthusiasm for the Old Memo Club as an ideal site for our centre and have said so publicly on a number of occasions, the fact remains that this is the legally owned property of Centercorp and the only way that we could possibly acquire it for the centre is if these organisations believe in our cause and choose to come on board, something that I very much encourage them to do.
My apologies Centrecorp and Congress if we have caused inconvenience, we were “dreaming” our best possible options for getting something off the ground, ASAP.
We fervently hope in the interests of this community’s children you will give the promoted concept some very serious consideration and come to understand as many already have, the true value to the community, and all your investment in it
It is having a happy, healthy, united community where kids know they are cared for and see exciting future prospects in front of them, with staff, volunteers and mentors from our new centre showing the way.


Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?
@ Evelyne: No, definitely too far from CBD and don’t think the neighbours would be to keen.
The bed requirement part of the concept is “emergency bed requirement” only, as per “Careful’s” comment probably not a large demand for it. We could manage with temporary facilities and grow after assessing demand.
I imagine that most kids would catch the bus at the cessation of evening activities. The most important part of this centre will be kitchen, dining and activities which would also clearly encompass such things as after school care.
As for existing facilities: This is not a petty competition nor are we interested in the petty politics of those more interested in protecting their own backsides than looking after children.
Let’s deal with the basic facts: Governments of all persuasions have struggled with this issue for 50 years or so. They have funded and de-funded all manner of organisations in the process!
And they have failed.
Yes, there are existing organisation who have cross over interests.
However, we still have the issue.
In fact it is a large growing generational issue, at times literally hundreds of kids hanging about on our streets, growing crime and increasing isolation, increasing division, increasing us and them, increasing have and have not and increasing community anger and resentment.
The concept of bringing kids and community members, not just street kids into a central location, is not just about food and activities, it is about containing the hanging out to a really “cool” location and it is about cross community interaction.
Breaking down the division!
It is about rebuilding a community out of a rapidly growing divide that threatens its very foundations.
The issue is far greater than the petty self interests of a few professional youth workers who feel someone is intruding on their turf!
If your a genuine committed professional youth worker you will know the value of the community interaction too which I refer and you will get on board.
This is not a government initiative, it is a community movement, the only ones in the end who can really make a difference.
And not just for neglected kids, not just for underprivileged kids, but for all the kids in our community, which in the end means a difference for all of us!
We envisage that those centres already working in this area would come on board and work with us, probably moving their services into the central complex or maintain offices there, or doing pick ups and drop offs so that everybody’s together, part of the activity and excitement, of things going on: That is what we want to create.
We have said all along, while we are looking at a community youth centre driven by volunteers it would also incorporate professional management and youth workers.
This is about everybody in the sector putting aside selfish interest and uniting to bring about effective change.
It’s about making a massive difference to a whole lot of young lives and making our community a whole lot happier place to live for everybody.


Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?
While I share the enthusiasm for getting our priorities right and dealing with our Youth issue first up, projects such as the art gallery are equally important in building a successful community … no economy, no people, no funds or assistance for a centre.
So we aren’t looking to swap one for another, we are looking to do both and more!
Importantly I can report to you that I am running into a great deal of support for the youth centre project from all sectors and I don’t think we are going to have to many issues funding this project, even with the art centre going ahead.
The cross community support I have encountered so far leads me to believe we are going to be successful in getting the project off the ground.
My real concern at this stage is the amount of time it will take to do that!
Obviously if we can’t find an existing facility of the right size and location i.e. the Memo Club there is likely to be a period of at least a couple of years before we can build and be operational.
This is a really urgent issue, requiring immediate action, especially when you think of those two years through the eyes of an eight year old child virtually living on the streets.
Two years is a lifetime, and for that matter for a town being battered by a street kid crime wave, two years is also an eternity!
So clearly we need to act and act now! All ideas are welcome but we must have large open space kitchen and dining, multiple toilets / bathrooms to cater for several hundred kids in a central well lit location.


Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?
We were always aware that Congress had intentions for the Old Memo Club and our project certainly doesn’t hinge on being able to get our hands on those premises.
I put it forward as a potential location so that everyone would understand the desired CBD location, building size and layout that our proposed Centre requires, large open areas, dining and kitchen facilities – very much like the Memo Club.
This of course would have been ideal if it were available.
So if you change your mind Congress, there’s a lot of kids who would greatly appreciate it.
In the meantime I imagine we will be looking for temporary premises to get things underway while we raise the funds to build to our design.


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