Blimey .. fossils back in The Mall is on the …

Comment on Fossil museum set to return to the CBD by Mark Wilson.

Blimey .. fossils back in The Mall is on the agenda again? The Museum of Central Australia previously located in the Alice Plaza was sadly ahead of its time and the vision of many politicians. But are people seriously suggesting that fossils can rejuvenate our Mall? Seems like more folly to me.
It would be an interesting exercise to determine the cost of the merry-go-round of moving people and assets around different locations within our town and Territory. The numbers of ‘back office’ public servants located in or close to the Mall is a sure way of killing it after 4:21 PM Mon-Fri.

The Mayor is partly correct when he says that the shops will never be the same here or elsewhere while on-line purchases are a significant way of doing business. However I see a recent closure of a shoe retailer in The Plaza adds to a sad number of vacant shops. I really question how many people purchase shoes on-line. This seems a very risky proposition to me. A far bigger issue is the unrealistic cost of shop rentals combined with absentee, out-of-touch landlords, and the costs of regular reglazing large shopfront windows following regular vandalism and break-ins.

But tourist numbers will never return while travel costs to our town remain so high. I recently visited Rotorua in New Zealand. What a vibrant town bustling with foreigners and seemingly with so many activity options. But realise that Rotorua is only several hours drive from an international airport and a country well set up with camping parks and facilities. Australia by comparison offers expensive travel options even for the budget traveller. There seems no easy solution other than growing our town from within and not relying on visitors to sustain and rebuild our CBD.

Recent Comments by Mark Wilson

Heat rises on cooling plan
Look hard enough and it’s possible to find a report opposing any project.
I believe the Mayor’s heat mitigation deserves a trial. Bath Street is as good as anywhere, planted not too close to corners.
The “clear zone” is an issue but I wonder if it is a serious issue in the 40kph zoning area.
Choose the right native species like kurrajongs that set deep roots and monitor road damage.
Surely trees planted on the curb also risk road damage but we do proceed in that direction already.
Perhaps citizens may wish to adopt a local tree and nurture it through the first few years.
Expensive irrigation shouldn’t be necessary with council attention.
Sadly school kids adopting trees and median strips probably shouldn’t mix.

Tourist perished: Has Coroner’s recommendation been followed?
It seems that Monika Billen was used to walking alone off track. Clearly she was not familiar with the conditions here in high summer.
The bottom line is that people are in the first instance responsible for themselves.
People are free to ignore recommendation if they choose.
But, yes, some processes could be set in place to minimise the dangers both high summer and winter. Accommodation venues could ask guests if they plan to walk in the region. Backpacks are a sure telltale as guests leave their lodgings.
Then they could be issued a leaflet in one of several languages outlining safety precautions and the dangers. Far better is a personal discussion of the dangers. An emergency beacon could be rented for a very modest cost and added to the accommodation charge.
As a frequent trail walker overseas I appreciate how confusing navigating by the sun can be in the other hemisphere to the one you are familiar.
Add to that that the sun is so high in the sky at this latitude that around midday navigating by sun becomes very difficult.

Suddenly everyone is talking about 1Territory
The NT is way too small a jurisdiction and the resulting small number of elected MLAs in government to really be across the multiple portfolios that each minister carries.
As a result the ministry is largely controlled by senior “Yes Minister” bureaucrats beyond reach of the Parliament and the voters. When it all goes belly up it’s the minister who carries the responsibility.
But unlike previous times they rarely “fall on their sword”. It just carries on until (often sensationalist) media brings the issues to the fore and then it becomes damage control time. This is what we have seen in recent days.
Braedon Earley speaks a lot of sense. Can he bring fiscal responsibility back to the NT is the question?
Let’s hope someone can before they send in the administrators.
Are these the guys who want statehood? Really?

Former gallery advisor scathing about its planners
“It is a bizarre idea doing a business plan before someone has even started resolving what the issues are,” says Mr Lynch. Exactly my argument in my last letter on the topic in another thread.
And yes, Domenico, I have previously lamented here the loss of the Emily Kngwarreye work overseas when the sale occurred.
We may end up with a building looking for those crowd-pulling paintings and unable to afford to buy them back. This is yet more “planning” by NTG.
(Still) watching in amazement …

Aboriginal gallery: rushed business case yet immediate start?
Does the new gallery have to operate as a business, turn a profit or be subsidised forever (the business plan should tell us)?
What on earth is Ernst and Young doing writing the business case anyway?
Yes, I know their website says “(we are) committed to building a better working world” blah blah blah. With apologies to the Lions I bet Ernst and Young could make a business case to hold an ocean regatta in the Todd if pressed.
I recall the business model for the Desert Park was to have it open nightly till around 9 from memory. Not sure when that all disappeared into fairy dust.
We keep watching in total amazement.

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