In 1968 the design of the planned new Alice Springs …

Comment on Lambley: Asbestos just one problem in hospital by Alex Nelson.

In 1968 the design of the planned new Alice Springs hospital was for a four-storey building with a helipad on the roof. A year or so later this design fell out of favour for the current complex subsequently built in the 1970s.
In the early 1980s the Member for Sadadeen, Denis Collins, revived the idea of a helipad to be located at the Alice Springs hospital.
Perhaps ironically, the suggestion is now being made by Robyn Lambley to build a new hospital on crown land (the old Butchers’ Paddock) near the Alice Springs Airport.
However, I contend the best solution is to seriously and genuinely work towards reducing the morbidity of the local population.
We’ve forgotten the existing hospital complex was designed and built at a time when the population of Alice Springs was anticipated to grow to 50,000 residents by the turn of the century.
We’ve never come close to this, even on a regional basis, and yet the hospital has often been stretched to its limits over the years.
Moreover, the whole complex has been undergoing almost continuous upgrading at massive cost to the taxpayer for the last two decades yet invariably it proves to be insufficient to keep up with the apparent demand for health services.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Lambley: Asbestos just one problem in hospital
@ R Henry (Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:28 am): You make a fair point but it’s interesting to compare your observations about asbestos with the history of tobacco advertising in Australia.
The National Archives of Australia provides the following: “The connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer was already evident by the 1920s. It was, however, in the middle decades of the twentieth century that evidence of the links became more widely known and accepted.
“The influential British Medical Journal published results of a study in 1950, and in 1956 the first report of the British Doctors Study, a study of some 34,000 doctors, linked smoking to both lung cancer and coronary thrombosis. The United States (US) Surgeon-General announced in 1964 that smoking caused lung cancer. In 1965 cigarette advertising on United Kingdom (UK) television was banned, and health warning labels became compulsory on US cigarette packets.”
With regards to electronic media, Australia was a full decade behind. The Whitlam Government decided to ban tobacco advertising on radio and TV but the legislation was finally passed by the Fraser Government, coming into effect on September 1, 1976.
Tobacco advertising in print media didn’t cease until July 1, 1993.
When it comes to implementing and enforcing public health policies in light of clear scientific evidence, Australia tends to be the laggard; however, once the policies become official, our country rapidly makes up for lost time.
We are witnessing the same pattern in play for alcohol abuse and atmospheric carbon emissions, both of which have enormous influences on public health.


Lambley: Asbestos just one problem in hospital
In 1968 the design of the planned new Alice Springs Hospital was for a four-storey building with a helipad on the roof. A year or so later this design fell out of favour for the current complex subsequently built in the 1970s.
In the early 1980s the Member for Sadadeen, Denis Collins, revived the idea of a helipad to be located at the Alice Springs Hospital.
Perhaps ironically, the suggestion is now being made by Robyn Lambley to build a new hospital on crown land (the old Butchers’ Paddock) near the Alice Springs Airport.
However, I contend the best solution is to seriously and genuinely work towards reducing the morbidity of the local population.
We’ve forgotten the existing hospital complex was designed and built at a time when the population of Alice Springs was anticipated to grow to 50,000 residents by the turn of the century.
We’ve never come close to this, even on a regional basis, and yet the hospital has often been stretched to its limits over the years.
Moreover, the whole complex has been undergoing almost continuous upgrading at massive cost to the taxpayer for the last two decades yet invariably it proves to be insufficient to keep up with the apparent demand for health services.


Lambley: Asbestos just one problem in hospital
@ R Henry (Posted September 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm) – A quick check of the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia website reveals the following: “Most homes built before the mid 1970s contain asbestos in some form, and in fact asbestos building products continued to be used up until the early 1980s.
“Asbestos was easy to work with, was affordable and had the added quality of being heat resistant.”
The fact is that the use of asbestos in construction was commonplace in the 1960s and 1970s so it should come as no surprise that it occurs in major construction projects of that time.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Turn rock-throwing into backflips: how community can help
I smile at the circularity of Rainer Chlanda’s preferred location of a youth hub without walls at the “courthouse lawns” (DD Smith Park), adjacent to the Alice Springs Police Station (the former Greatorex Building) and across the road from the local magistrates courthouse.
I say “circularity” because the first drop-in centre for youth on the streets at night was located in the old police station on that corner where the courthouse now stands. Established in 1976, it was named “Danny’s Place” and lasted all of no more than a year when it was forced to shut down to make way for the said courthouse.
And from that time on, youth drop-in centres, real or proposed, have bounced around from one site to another all through town; including an old house in the north end of Todd Street that was demolished to make way for an office block (now called Eurilpa House), the empty Turner Arcade – the last shop there was Grandad’s icecream shop, a once popular hang out for kids of my generation, also in the north end of Todd Mall (that was my suggestion, nearly 30 years ago) which was later bulldozed to make way for expanding Alice Plaza and new carparking spaces; and even the abandoned waterslide site in the early 1990s, which instead was demolished to make way for infill real estate development (Mercorella Circuit, near the YMCA).
We have decades of recent history of kids in trouble (or causing it) being shunted from pillar to post. As a society, history shows we’re not really fair dinkum about resolving this issue.
Sadly, there is nothing new in any of this – Rainer’s father and his colleagues were reporting on these kinds of issues 40 plus years ago, and it continues unabated to the present day.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ 5 Minute Local (Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm): Definitely living up to your pseudonym. Your suggestion is not a new idea – it’s been raised several times since the early 1970s.
The last occasion was when the construction of the railway north to Darwin was being finalised in the late 1990s-early 2000s when there was significant lobbying of the NT Government to re-route the railway around Alice Springs, including by the Alice Springs Town Council.
I also took up the cudgels on this issue as an individual and was publicly criticized by a local CLP member, notwithstanding the same member several years earlier had himself advocated the removal of the rail yards out of the town centre and to re-route the eventual railway to Darwin via west of the town.
These pleas were rejected by the government as being too late or too expensive (it would have added about three per cent to the overall cost, from memory). There’s no prospect of this happening now.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ John Bell (Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm): John, the only sacred trees on the Melanka site would be (or are) two old river red gums near the southeast corner adjacent to the intersection of Stuart Terrace and Gap Road.
None of the other trees I’m aware of on that site are local native species nor predate the construction of the Melanka Hostel.
This includes the towering lemon-scented gums of which the majority are now dying or dead as a consequence of lack of care and the extended dry conditions.
Consequently the trees don’t pose any significant issues for redevelopment of most of that area, at least as far as sacred sites are concerned.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ Hal Duell (Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:59 am): Hal, I’m still in the process of collating information. Gathering the history pertaining to this location is rather like measuring a piece of string but it all adds up to demonstrating the considerable heritage value of this site, the extent of which I think will surprise many people.
The nomination for heritage listing of the oval and school will definitely proceed.
The fact that this issue has blown up in the NT Government’s face demonstrates the stupidity of over-reliance on advice from vested interests (with no regard for anything except their bank accounts) and overpaid outside “experts” who have no background in local knowledge.
Once again we see the consequences of the corporate amnesia that afflicts this town and Territory, and history shows it makes no difference which party is in power.


Cemeteries could be turned into parks
There is another method of burying the dead which is also held to be environmentally friendly, it is called “promession”.
According to the Wikipedia entry on this subject, it’s a system of disposal of bodies of much more recent origin (two decades ago) than alkaline hydrolysis (19th century).
It involves cryogenic freezing of bodies in liquid nitrogen to -196°C (in effect, crystallising them) after which vibrations are applied that shatter them in minutes into fragments.
This material in turn is freeze dried and all metal or other non-natural components (eg. fillings, artifical joints) are removed.
The final stage involves “the dry powder being placed in a biodegradable casket which is interred in the top layers of soil, where aerobic bacteria decompose the remains into humus in as little as 6 to 12 months.”
Invented in Sweden, it’s a method already expressly adopted in South Korea and has expressions of interest from up to 60 other countries.
I think promession also deserves consideration as an option for burials.


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