While the bickering continues unabated, the entire rail system …

Comment on The power struggle: Schedule for new generators contested by Trevor Shiell.

While the bickering continues unabated, the entire rail system in The Netherlands runs on wind powered electricity.
A solar facility near the former nuclear station in Russia supplies 12,000 houses (and we have far more sun than they do) and a similar facility in Morocco does much the same thing with a similar number of houses.
Closer to home a prominent land developer has commissioned whole land developments in three states with each real estate development being independent of the grid and using updated battery technology the size of a shipping container.
And Elan Musk in the USA is promising even better technology, while we are again living a long time in the past.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

No sign of council playing ball on Anzac Oval
Commonsense tells me that the obvious site for a cultural museum which incorporates Indigenous everything is in association with Yirrara college, and one sector of a much larger concept for tourism south of The Gap.
This would show the positive side of Indigenous education, involve the students in the commercial side of displaying their great culture, incorporate the Clontarf academy, provide a basis for the marathon people and demonstrate the emerging bush tucker industry – all involving the students. Look at the potential and what is happening in NSW on ABC TV landline to realise once again just how far behind we are in our thinking.
All of this would be very attractive to Federal funding.
Add to that a new visitors reception centre at the at the visitors’ stop with the rock, where they can conveniently park their caravans, a mining centre of excellence at the geological centre at ASRI, as Townville has done, and which is where the new museum should have been, a display of developments in solar technology at Desert Knowledge and how it is being used in other parts of the country (Alkinos in WA and elsewhere in NSW) which make the Kigariff developments look like something out of the Flintstones, and how we plan to provide for the thousands of electric vehicles coming here within three years, and then throw our hands up in despair at the short sighted vision planners have.
Pt Augusta would not be in the race, if we played our cards right now.

Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
Once more, the short sighted view is astounding in its defence of the obsolete CBD. It was put there because of Arltunga and the Telegraph Station, neither of which is currently very relevant to the economic prosperity of the district.
Were we to start again it would be south of The Gap as the airport, power generation, water, gas, bulk fuel storage and incarceration has had to do. Can you imagine the airport still along Van Senden, as it once was?
The facility should be next to Yirara, to enable the students to learn business skills and proudly display their own culture.
This should be a part of a brand new tourism complex involving a new visitors centre near the welcome rock (on Tuesday last week I spent 20 minutes there and over 50 people were photographed sitting on it) like Katherine, and Mt Isa and other high tourism based places.
The obvious place for the dinosaur display is in conjunction with the mineralogy display at ASRI and a mining centre of excellence, as Townsville has done.
And where can visitors see bush foods? As a part of the cultural centre / Yirara complex, of course, and demonstrated by the students as a part of their heritage.
Pt Augusta could not match that, while also demonstrating the many positives of Indigenous education. I wish the government would stop flogging a dead horse and move on. It also makes a sad mockery of the obscene developments at Kilgarrif.

Big solar prospects but can the network take it?
Once again we were far behind in our thinking until this initiative came along.
Several years ago the CSIRO suggested that by 2050 a full third of current customers would be off grid.
Newstead in Vic and Tylagum in NSW both got Government backing in the area.
Moroolabank in Vic instigated their own scheme similar to what is proposed here and bought the town servo with the profits and now have a number of houses independent of he grid.
Toyota, Ford, GM and others are moving rapidly in EVs. Volvo will not be making petroleum powered vehicles after 2030 and Tesla has fully electric trucks under test.
How are we planning to cater? Will we retrofit the town? And at what cost?
Lend Lease has a complete subdivision (Alkinos) North of Perth where the houses generate their own power and sell the surplus to each other via a battery bank the size of a shipping container while Lismore has its solar panels floating on their sewerage ponds.
Byron Bay has a wonderful system. Any or all of this could have been done here and perhaps lend Lease should be invited to do the next subdivision here – at Brewer.
And all this while we have been re fitting our power station with machinery which will be obsolete within a few years and building overpriced houses on land where we could have been displaying all that is possible here with our abundant sunlight.
The Amaroo school in Canberra is virtually self sufficient, and several shopping complexes (Griffith, Murray Bridge) with far less sun than we have have cut their electricity costs considerably.
No one notices the boxes alongside the big green shed north of town where over 80% of their power comes from their roof. Again I ask where were our planners when all this was happening?

Drainage work ‘problems solved’
The original plan for the total subdivision included a housing development extending east from the Highway along Col Rose Drive.
No stretch of the imagination can envisage the development of new houses not being a part of the alleged drainage which amounts to gross environmental vandalism.
What is the proposed drain gong to protect if there are no houses there or no plan to build houses there?
Again it needs to be pointed out that the cost of the whole of that plan will be huge in not being able to display to the public what is possible here – mainly in food production, and tourism to attract investment to provide jobs for the people who may need the housing.
It should all have been at Brewer where future industrial development will have to be, and based around an integrated transport and industrial hub.
The shortsightedness is breathtaking. The Indigenous gallery should have been at Yirara where the students can be involved in displaying their own culture and showing to the public the positives of Indigenous education.
The visitors reception area should be associated, directing economic activity to where it is needed, and the museum at ASRI geology headquarters. There is already a great display of mineralogy and knowledge, with the mining industry displaying what is going on here and why.
Then add food production where the houses should never have been, showing what can be done with the emerging bush food and medicine industry.
These are the true costs of Kilgarrif.
Red tape and nepotism?
There have been at least three attempts to start a camel milk industry here, (with the development of native pastures – now being done in Africa with our Acacias!)
All have run up against a wall of small thinking, while one camel milk farm alone in Victoria runs 180 milking animals, supplying a lucrative market.
The Sundrop enterprise at Port Augusta could have been a model to follow but is yet another example of small and inward thinking which is unfortunately the order of the day here.
The north of the Mall is a dead horse and outlived its usefulness. Stop flogging it and look south, not of The Gap but south of the airport.

Buffel grass: Don’t blame (only) the CSIRO
It’s sad that the same effort has not gone into legumes that are native to this area as a meant of maintaining soil fertility and rural productivity as happened with the stylo, Phaseolus and Leucauna families in Queensland.
It is interesting to note that a year or two ago Leucaena was described as a wonder plant around Kununurra. Yet we planted up areas of Fiji with this plant 40 years ago.
The research into alternatives to buffel has been abysmal. There is currently much research going on into our native Acacias but all being done overseas.
The last effort to investigate the benefits of soil microbiology in our area happened in 1983 with a small Mycorriza (soil fungi which release nutrients to other plants) project in the Top End.
Yet WA has made major advances in arid zone microbiology research and productivity and at one stage was looking for research from here with no success.
All this should have been on public display at AZRI but other short term concepts prevailed.

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