Robyn is taking a less opportunistic and more constructive, even …

Comment on 10 ideas for revitalising the Alice Springs CBD by Careful with that $, Eugene.

Robyn is taking a less opportunistic and more constructive, even bi-partisan, line than usual with her suggestions here. Engagement with landlords, and assessment of existing expenditure and maintenance practices are good starting points, if they have not already been done by the NT government and AS Town Council.
The suggestion by Mr/Ms “Free Cash Giveaway” to “encourage [landlords] to not sit on an empty asset by charging higher rates for empty shopfronts” – i.e. by council charging them extra rates if a shop is left vacant for too long – sounds like a very good suggestion.
I also share “Free Cash Giveaway’s” belief that public money should not be contributing to the improvement of private business premises.
I like Robyn’s proposal to allow one-way traffic flow in the whole Mall.
On the other hand, I strongly disagree with her suggestion that the NT government should enrich the white shoe brigade further by buying the old Melanka site. Not only would that use up $10m of the funds that will be needed to construct the art gallery; but it would also have the unedifying effect of having the gallery pearl facing off against the ugliness of the 24 hour servo wasteland, ultra-banal shop fronts, the Thrifty Car rentals yard and the KFC outlet: exactly what is not needed for the ambience of Central Australia’s foremost cultural attraction.
There are other good sites that are already owned by the government that could be used for the national Indigenous art gallery, in or very close to the CBD.
I also like the suggestions coming from many citizens for more shaded (probably multi-story) car parking close to the Mall and the CBD shopping centres, and more diversified indoor play spaces for children in the vicinity of the Mall and the shopping centres. We have to remember that it is too darn hot to do without these facilities for six months of the year.
I don’t believe that we should go overboard and provide every self-styled artist or craftsperson with a free pop-up space without regard to the nature and quality of the work on display. We could wind up with too much very self-indulgent clutter of little interest to most tourists and locals if we don’t watch out. You can revitalize the arts without going to extremes.
In relation to Maya’s thoughts: Malls are not sacred. We can change its name to the Arts and Business Precinct, or whatever. Don’t get hung up on the word Mall. Cars will not interfere with pedestrian activity where there is in actual fact normally very little pedestrian activity anyway. In the six months of the year when it is too hot for most tourists, and most locals are at work or school in our air-conditioned caves, who is going to walk around anyway, Maya?
As for window shopping, we are at home reading the Alice Springs News Online and the New York Times on our Ipads, cooking our gourmet meals with Masterchef on the telly, ordering up new clothes and food processors from China, or watching Game of Thrones until midnight.
Why should shopkeepers risk more broken windows courtesy of alienated drunks or bored children by taking down their shutters after dark if we local residents are not going to go out in the heat of the night to gaze at bohemian creations or great art that we already see on our trip to get coffee from the Red Sands during the day?
Sorry, but more lights are not going to do it. We are all mostly too time poor for that.
And allow coffee shops to remain open till late? Nothing, except the non-appearance of we patrons, is making them shut at 4pm.

Recent Comments by Careful with that $, Eugene

Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.


Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Alex, of course one part-time worker with CAALAS is not able to, in your words, “work closely with EVERY SINGLE young person going throughout Central Australian court system, their family, community, lawyer, school and other service-providers to provide the young person with the support they need to get back on track and stay out of trouble”.
That is exactly my point, and why it is wrong for you to lay the blame on that worker, as you did when you wrote “if your PART-TIME advocacy programme co-ordinator did her job after this child’s court appearance in March, then he wouldn’t have appeared in court again in May.”
As I said earlier: That advocacy programme co-ordinator performed her job with great diligence and dedication, and cannot be held to blame for any alleged failure of duty of care, as the case load of such cases far exceeds the ability of one worker to cover even a small proportion of them. She was doing her job very well, covering as many of the cases as she could, but she wasn’t a magician. So your cheap jibe at her reputation is wrongly placed, and you should withdraw it.


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Evelyne Roullet, Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm: Ralph was not talking about where or how the kid should be housed. He was referring to the bigger issue of the huge trauma in his life, caused by the alleged killing of his mother by his father. Kids who experience this level of trauma need intensive help and support, and we need to make sure that they get it, from wherever it may be best available.


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