I am reminded of the quote (perhaps spuriously) attributed to …

Comment on Making the CBD vibrant, again: Detail, please. by Mark Wilson.

I am reminded of the quote (perhaps spuriously) attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”
While ever we must rely on government to provide the economic stimulus we are in dire trouble. Government always seem to think that spending (borrowed) money is a quick-fix solution. Like a junkie: at best it’s temporary till the need returns.
It appears that government knows no other way. Our local council could make more worthwhile changes with policy initiatives e.g. changes to rental fees in the Mall open spaces; even significantly cheaper rates for businesses ON the Mall and the arcades leading to parking areas etc. to encourage business activity to return.
The Night Market and even more regular food stalls along the strip would all bring people.
These must complement rather than compete with restaurants. Subsidise for six months to establish behaviour patterns if necessary.
The problem isn’t unique to Alice. Many CBDs have been killed by decentralised shopping centres.
Darwin is a classic itself. We need creative solutions. Some will need money but others less so. Sorry, but grand plans like river vistas just won’t do it. Fewer consultants would be a great start.

Recent Comments by Mark Wilson

Massive downturn of home starts in NT
During the boom years it proved impossible to find a tradie willing to take on pesky home repairs and upgrades.
Four tilers quoted to upgrade my wet areas but not one showed up! I did the job myself with the certifier reporting my job one of the best he had (ever so briefly) seen as he whisked in and out in five minutes flat for his sub $200 fee.
New projects always seemed simpler with better returns and perhaps without homeowners (like me) hovering and checking work and quality standards. So now the tide may have turned and the tradies who remain may be economically forced to undertake jobs like mine. Time will tell.
The effect should also tend to raise home values I imagine. So a double win for current home owners.


Why solar racing is a brain sport
Hans, the NT and SA should be very proud of this event. Yes, it’s a blend of finance, technology, endurance and the inexact science of meteorology and even guesswork.
The more a team understands the performance of their vehicles under different conditions the better decisions they can make.
The occasional rain and especially the wind has added many uncertainties and significant challenges. However the benefits for the future of solar vehicles is inestimable.


Master plan for town, reconciliation plan for Australia Day
Personally I have no objection to seeing the Aboriginal flag provided the flag protocols are preserved. Decisions of 28 years ago need due consideration but this shouldn’t prevent a different decision in 2017/8.

However, if the Aboriginal flag’s presence would automatically mandate for reasons of political correctness, the necessity of the Torres Strait flag, then this, to me, is a bridge too far. We are not Top Enders here.


Dreamtime stories in the palm of your hand
@ Number 19: “Work for the Dole” is discredited because the projects, like painting rocks white, often have little real value or meaning. We all know this.
Surely here is a genuine activity that could be replicated across many communities that would give meaning and value to the scheme. I’m not sure that paying again over and beyond Centrelink benefits would be taken up if it resulted in Centrelink being cancelled by your suggestion.
Nor do I buy your argument that Tourism NT need to buy respect in order to show it. People earn respect, not buy it in the end.
Indigenous elders would find a real role in cultural maintenance. If Indigenous wish to share their culture I don’t entertain that anyone needs to be paid twice to do so.
This simply demonstrates that culture has been prostituted to a commodity with a $$ value.


The hidden costs in the switch to solar
A very interesting article Erwin. Thank you and glad that someone is awake. You achieve much with little. Others should be embarrassed. Alas, they are not.
I’ve never seen the value in installing rooftop solar unless you plan to live at the address for a very long time.
Because really it’s the house that owns the asset and not you. Further, government feed-in subsidies are not guaranteed in the long term.
They may even go BELOW the cost of supplied electricity if it all goes bad. There are rumblings in that direction already.
A few years back I wrote the relevant Minister in the Giles Government about my suggestions, but, rather predictably, received a “Dear John” response that referred me back to the troglodytes at PowerWater!
Politicians keep taking advice from the same sources! It was simply a waste of my time and effort.


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