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

Coles Mural: Government, Heritage Council fall silent
Hal @ November 9, 2018 at 8:09 am: There is no plan that I know of to do anything with the Anzac Oval area other than retain it pretty much as is, just better set up for concerts, other public events and general public access and use, but without football matches being played there.
I am certain that there is no intent “to turn … Anzac Oval into a bus parking bay for the proposed gallery.”


Ice Age in Alice
Steve Brown, you claim ice – crystal meth – is a “massively escalating issue in both the town and surrounding communities for a long time”.
I have just checked with experienced youth workers in several remote communities, and they are all mystified by your claim.
Could it be that you are being fed false information?
You are risking being seen as an hysteric, unless you can substantiate your claim.
The fact that there have been occasional reports of isolated cases of ice use in bush communities over the years does not mean that its use is either widespread or escalating.


Golf Club gets Masters liquor licence despite missing deadline
Mabel, presumably you mean “good logical thinking” by the Deputy Liquor Commissioner.
However, I don’t understand how you see the NT Government as being “wounded” in relation to these matters.
The Liquor Commission is independent of the NT Government, and the police are operationally autonomous.
The NT Government, like the police, can express its opinion to the LC, and ask the LC to consider certain arguments, but it can’t direct it as to how it must act.
Similarly, the NTG has guaranteed autonomy in operational matters to the NT Police.
Therefore Robyn Lambley MLA and others are barking up the wrong tree when they insist that Gunner and the NT Government are responsible for the police submission and the LC decisions around the Masters Games liquor licence application.


Police want parents to stop youth crime
Evelyne, you forget that half the adults of Alice work under contracts that forbid them from speaking publicly.
Others fear the repercussions to their employment, business prospects or social acceptance if they speak up and are seen as being trouble makers, unconventional or damaging to certain vested interests.
Their only recourse is to use nom de plumes, or remain completely silent.


Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
Russell Guy (Posted below on July 14, 2018 at 2:07 pm), as you and Sue Fielding (Posted below on July 14, 2018 at 8:46 am) both posit, “generational trauma, racism, alcohol abuse and domestic violence [are] some of the reasons for anti-social behavior among the young people responsible [for much crime and disturbance in our town]”.
What you and many others fail to recognise is that Chief Minister Michael Gunner, Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield, and most other NT Cabinet members share this analysis. They are collectively taking serious steps to address these problems as quickly as possible.
They are doing this via several important measures, including by working in partnerships with Aboriginal community groups, organisations and remote communities to establish and support new out of home care and rehabilitation services; designing and building new therapeutic and educational rehabilitation institutions; as well as by assisting Alice Springs and other regional centres to develop positive directions and strategies.
As you observe, “Anger and frustration are two of the motivational issues, [as well as] mindless vandalism, which is existential for many kids”. However, anger, frustration and mindless vandalism, when permitted to flourish during the child’s development phases, can themselves become a driving habitual mode of operation and subconscious rationale for living.
These ingrained compulsions may be so strong that they become a huge obstacle to rehabilitation, and a powerful force undermining workers’ attempts to undertake generalised prevention strategies and early interventions with other young people who may be shaping up to replicate the patterns set by the dominant role models in their peer groups.
It is ignorant and patronising to suggest that [the politicians] are not completely aware of the need for investing “in healing, strengthening and skilling up young people”, and that they are not committed to achieving this as soon as possible.
The Chief Minister is providing strong support for both a national Aboriginal art gallery, and a national Indigenous cultural centre, in Alice Springs. He is also funding extra development of regional art centre facilities and staff accommodation in remote communities to help attract international tourists to spend time in Central Australia.
He is doing this to help provide direction for the town and region, responding to the requests by Indigenous leaders over many years.
His vision will extend the tourist season to year round activities, as these facilities will be air-conditioned and enable comfortable extended holiday breaks for Asian, European and North American visitors during the northern winter.
Trevor Shiell has some fine ideas, but he fails to see that the art gallery needs to be at the heart of the town, where it will maximise involvement not only of tourists, but also of townspeople on a daily basis, particularly local Aboriginal people, via jobs, training, social and cultural activities, and family events. A place to be very proud of, in a town that is providing futures for our youth, including Aboriginal youth.


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