I’m currently delving into the history of flying flags on …

Comment on Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet by Alex Nelson.

I’m currently delving into the history of flying flags on Anzac Hill.
The two current prominent flag poles were erected in 1989 as part of a major upgrade of the top of Anzac Hill commencing with the removal of the old watertank allowing for increased parking and improved traffic flow.
I think it was at this time that the NT flag first flew permanently at the top of Anzac Hill, alongside the national flag. This prompted the first call, by the Central Land Council in late 1989, to also fly the Aboriginal flag atop the hill, too – this was rejected by the Alice Springs Town Council.
What we all appear to have forgotten is that before 1989 there were four standard flag poles at the Anzac Memorial, these were used for flying the national flag and three armed services flags on special occasions such as Anzac Day and Armistice Day.
I can’t recall if the Commonwealth flag flew on its mast constantly but I think probably not as vandalism was a constant headache for the management of the memorial site.
However, what is definitely the case is that up until late 1989 nobody ever called for the flying of the Aboriginal flag or any others on top of Anzac Hill.
This debate was triggered by the deep political and ideological divide that existed in the NT during the early period of NT Self-Government, and what is occurring now is simply a renewal of this polarising argument by a new generation oblivious to recent political history.
It was a mistake to erect those two prominent flag poles in 1989 as they serve only to emphasise political division in our community.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Centre of attention: Glory days of Anzac Oval in the 1950s
@ Peter Bassett (Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:33 pm): Appreciate your comment, especially about the old high school, Peter.
Contrary to what has been reported in the some media, the old school building is a very well constructed building with enormous inherent heritage value.
There has been – and is – a deliberately false and misleading campaign initiated by the NT Government, amplified by vested interests through a complicit and compliant print media, to denigrate the worth and value of that old education complex.

From mud, dust to grass: The beginning of Anzac Oval
@ Dr Ongo (Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:08 pm): You raise an interesting point; however, your observation applies equally well to other listed heritage sites, eg. such places as the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Alice Springs Heritage Precinct (including Stuart Park, old hospital, old Alice Springs Gaol, and several houses in Hartley and Bath streets), and the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct.
There are histories, stories or law applicable to all of these places since time immemorial but other than to acknowledge previous Aboriginal occupation or use of such sites, I’m not qualified or knowledgeable enough to comment about them.
In regard to “untyeye that once grew there” at the Anzac Oval site (referring to corkwood trees – Hakea divaricata), only one still survives just inside the boundary near the Senior Citizens Club. It’s the same tree on the right of the photo, framing the new school, taken by Prue Crouch’s father in the early 1950s.
The heritage statement for the nomination of Anzac Oval does state: “The Anzac Oval Precinct contains several sacred sites.”
Thanks for your comment.



Home owner bonus: New build sector bleak, says CLP
The situation generally in the Northern Territory is giving every indication that it’s rapidly spiralling out of control.
I suspect the NT Government’s reactions are too little, too late; and this latest scheme will likely end up being home owner bogus rather than bonus.

West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
Such a shame, Steve, that we’re unable to harness your sprays to put the wildfires out.

Government fails to protect major tourism asset
My recollection is that the major wildfire years in the earliest period of this century were 2002-03, and again in 2011. Both of those periods closely followed years of exceptionally high rainfall (2000-01 and 2010 respectively).
This isn’t unusual in itself – there were significant wildfire years in 1968 (following the breaking of the drought in 1966) and in 1975 (following 1973-4, the wettest period on record in Alice Springs).
What’s different now is that this major wildfire event has occurred after a very dry year, with a record set at Alice Springs in 2018 for the longest period without rain being recorded, although (as I recall) this wasn’t the case further west of town.
In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel west and east of Alice Springs a number of times and also to fly frequently to Darwin and back with clear views of the area around town.
The clear impression I’ve gained on every trip is the extent and dominance of the spread of buffel grass in the ranges.
It’s like a blanket hugging the ground as far as the eye can see. It’s spread is overwhelming, and the ecology of this region is forever changed.
There are often comments about the need for protecting Alice Springs from major floods but that’s the least of our worries.
It is major wildfire that poses the most serious risk to our town, and the recent disaster in the West Macs demonstrates this risk can occur at any time.

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