@ Local 1 (Posted May 2, 2018 at 9:24 pm): …

Comment on National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Anzac Oval off the table by Alex Nelson.

@ Local 1 (Posted May 2, 2018 at 9:24 pm): Interesting you mention the Stockmans’ Hall of Fame at Longreach; as did Dave Batic at the public forum.
Again, another example of the lack of corporate memory that afflicts our town and Territory.
In the mid 1970s Alice Springs was in the front running for hosting the Stockmans’ Hall of Fame. Several places were considered for it, including the the Old Telegraph Station and the Farm Area (Ragonesi Road) but – as I’ve mentioned in a previous comment – the decision was taken to build it in Longreach.
Reason? It was strategic, intended to intercept tourist traffic making its way up along the eastern side of Queensland, and redirect that flow to western Queensland and on into the Centre. Concurrent with this concept was the push to seal the Plenty Highway.
I’m not so certain about the wisdom of placing an “Arrernte Living Cultural Centre” at the Desert Knowledge Precinct. My ears pricked up with a reference to this site being of high cultural significance.
I lived out there, at AZRI from 1967 to 1975 and then at CSIRO (now Centre for Appropriate Technology) from ’75 to 1988. I continued to work at AZRI until 1993.
I knew all that area like the back of my hands and I can assure there was no significant sites on that area where the Desert Knowledge Precinct has been built.
A claim to that effect was made in 2002 at a public information display for the Desert Knowledge concept which was the first I’d ever heard of such a thing.
I checked with an old friend, a member of a strong traditional Eastern Arrernte family that was living at AZRI when we moved there in 1967, and he confirmed what I suspected, namely there are no sacred sites in that vicinity.
However, he told me the whole vicinity is spiritually significant because ancestor beings are said to roam that area, but again emphasised there are no specific sites.
Watch this space, I reckon.

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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