@ 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

Student boarding funding restored – for now
Isn’t that something? A minister of the NT Government has listened to concerns about a government decision, and reversed it in a day.
Little aggravation, and great relief for many, I should think.
Minister Selena Uibo has set a fine example – now, if only certain others of her colleagues would take notice of public concern about the NT Government’s poor decision-making over the location of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery…


Remains of missing man found near Yambah
@ John Bell (Posted September 20, 2018 at 10:21 pm): The skeleton was identified, a young man only recently arrived in Alice Springs in 1965. It’s believed he was a victim of an accidental discharge of his rifle, not a suicide.


Ring a bell?
Is it just me, or is it the case that the “Boundless Possible” embarrassment has suffered a swift death, consigned quietly to the wheelie bin of history?
Ah yes, a government elected into office that promised us all greater standards of honesty and accountability; but no, it’s just business as usual, that we’ve long endured for decades in the Northern Territory.
It really makes no difference who’s in charge.


Four dogs suspected poisoned with 1080
@ Ruth Weston (Posted September 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm): Sodium fluoroacetate is the commercially produced 1080 poison, and is closely related to potassium fluoroacetate, the poisonous chemical found in a wide variety of plant species.
Both chemicals have the same effect, disrupting the Krebs Cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle) which disrupts the ability of cells to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.
It was biochemist Ray Murray, based in Alice Springs with the Animal Industry Branch from 1954 to 1966, who first identified the naturally occurring 1080-based compound that occurs sporadically in poison Gidgee (Acacia georginae) which plagued the beef cattle industry in the east of Central Australia and across the Queensland border.


Stagnant CBD; industrial land, rental shortage; houses hold
The photo caption “The ANZ Bank has relocated from this prime Todd Street North site, opposite the Visitor Centre, to Gregory Terrace” serves – perhaps inadvertently – to emphasise the “moving of deckchairs” in the CBD, as the Visitor Centre itself was relocated to its present site a few years ago from its former Gregory Terrace location adjacent to the Civic Centre … and that particular building, the former Queen Elizabeth II Infant Welfare Clinic, that was heavily modified and opened to great fanfare in 1997 as the new Visitor Centre, remains steadfastly vacant.
Aside from the shift of the ANZ Bank (which, incidentally, opened its doors on its former Parsons Street site in August 1962, exactly 56 years ago) and the recent Wicked Kneads shop on the opposite corner now up for sale, there has also been the closure recently of two nearby hairdresser businesses, too – one of which was for sale for a long time but obviously attracted no serious interest.
Just yesterday, walking along Gregory Terrace, I was shocked to see “For lease” notices plastering the windows of La Casalinga restaurant, a long-standing business in this town and even something of an institution.
This town has weathered significant economic downturns on previous occasions – the mid 1970s, the late 1980s and early 1990s – but I’ve never seen the relocation of so many businesses (the “shifting of deckchairs”) on such a scale as has been occurring in recent years. It’s quite a phenomenon.
This situation is concurrent with the only significant new developments – the Green Well Building in Bath Street and the multi-storey Supreme Court building in Parsons Street – being occupied by government departments and instrumentalities, to the detriment of existing commercial lease stock in town. These developments, along with the re-opening of Todd Street North to traffic again, have done nothing to arrest the decline of the CBD, notwithstanding all the hype and propaganda of government and the private sector arguing in support of them.
Recent history quite clearly shows that the proposed National Indigenous Art Gallery will prove NOT to be the economic nirvana for this town. Exactly the same rationale was given for the developments of the casino almost four decades ago, the major hotel developments in the 1980s and the Alice Springs Desert Park in the 1990s – clearly none of these institutions, either on their own or altogether, have assisted in averting the current decline of our town, and there is no reason or evidence to show that the gallery will prove to be any different.
On the contrary, it will be yet another expensive long-term burden for the taxpayer to bear.


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