The fact is that the efforts to revitalise the north …

Comment on Art gallery: Govt keeps major Alice lobbies in the dark by Trevor Shiell.

The fact is that the efforts to revitalise the north end of the Mall have consistently not worked.
It is dead and the current CBD is in the wrong place. It was based on the telegraph station and Arltunga neither of which is now relevant, and a new approach is badly needed.
The TOs have stated categorically that their culture centre must remain south of the gap. The Art & Culture centre should be incorporated into Yirara College and have the students there demonstrate the strength of their culture as well as give visitors a positive experience of what is happening in Indigenous education.
Next to that goes the visitors centre at the welcome rock as has happened in Katherine, Mclaren Vale and Mt Isa, where both busses and caravans can manoeuvre (impossible here).
That lesson was learned years ago by tourism facilities interstate, but ignored here.
Then put the museum next to the brilliant display of geology at ASRI and encourage the mining industry to display what is going on next door and why.
Then just down the road (if there is room between the houses, which should not have been there in the first place) to display the many bush foods that are in huge demand nationally.
Then add the Transport Hall of Fame, and you have a tourism mecca unique in the country, all in one precinct where everyone entering from the south has to pass, plus an emerging industry.
Our wonderful town has been lost in the mindless rush to be the same as everyone else in the country, and then we wonder why tourists don’t stay.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

The financial crisis in the Northern Territory
Lets not forget this is a two way thing.
I am aware of several female friends who have mothered Indigenous children for both social reasons and to get the substantial benefits which go with being Indigenous.
I also have seen contractors in a remote community having completed repairs on around 30 houses then having to return to house one to start again. Pretty lucrative work.
I also recall seeing TV footage two years ago showing a group of Eastern states people being taken to the Top End and shown a house in disrepair, but the occupant insisting on being given a new house when there was a lot of evidence (not mentioned) that she really needed a scrubbing brush, some soap, a toilet brush a broom and a bit off elbow grease to improve her situation considerably.
But the programme was structured to not offer these as an alternative as the rest of us would be expected to do.
To see where the money has gone, and how effectively it has been used, visit Mt Barkley, near Conniston, or Pannels Well near Ambalindum – and this is the thin edge of the wedge.
There will be readers who immediately consider this as racism. But my two closest friends are Indigenous men.
I had an Indigenous tutor as a child and who virtually lived with my family and I grew up with their children.
I also lived for a long time in a remote part of a Pacific Island country where if you wanted a new house you did not wait for the Government to provide – you just got in and built it.


National Indigenous Art Gallery future in doubt: Gunner
The so obvious position for a cultural centre come art showplace is adjacent to Yirrara college and in conjunction with that institution.
It would enable the students to display and promote their own culture and art and at the same time acquire the business skills needed to run such a business, as well as showing the positive side of Indigenous education.
As a complete complex it should also incorporate an open air market for the combined art centre movement.
Of course, this would go down like a lead balloon with the huge vested interests North of The Gap but as Professor Ian Chubb, former Chief scientist, recently said to the National Press Club, its the communal good that is sadly lacking in many planning matters, not sectional inwardly directed interests as so often has happened here.


Human rights, centre stage
Many years ago the then Human Rights Commissioner Dame Roma Mitchell visited Alice and spoke to school groups on human rights. At the end I asked her to also talk on human responsibilities. It didn’t happen. There must be a balance somewhere?


Top committee grapples with tourism development in the North
Any business that presumes to know what the market wants is doomed to fail.
That has happened here. No one to my knowledge talks to the visitors as they arrive or as they leave and what we have is thrust upon them.
I do that on a regular basis both on Anzac Hill, and at the welcome rock south of Alice and suggest that someone from the tourism industry do the same.
A couple of examples, which have been passed on to various people but ignored.
Several years ago the well known “Australia all over” programme canvassed what the travelling public needed in a visitors centre.
The response was unanimous – ample parking and clean toilets. Ours in Alice Springs has neither. Katherine got it right, on the edge of town, as has happened in many other places.
The lack of emphasis or explanation of our regional and unique geology as viewed from Anzac is appalling.
A few seats and tables perhaps. Some wise person planted trees in front of one set of sunset viewing seats! I attempted to explain the geological history to a friend several years ago and finished with an audience of about 30 people – all visitors.
How many know there are fossil fields in the ranges? There are unique one day walks in abundance close to the town, multi million dollar industries in other areas but ignored here.
There is an underlying assumption that visitors and operators are only interested in the high end of the tourism market.
A 100 Km senior school marathon relay in Japan with a TV viewing audience of 80 million was put forward here from Hermansburg or Glen Helen to town, but treated with disdain.
How much would that scale of advertising cost?
Like in so many other areas, the thinking is very short sighted and lacking in vision.
Please talk to the tourists.


Deputy Mayor Paterson: Don’t stop now!
I sat at the “Welcome to Alice” rock for 35 minutes today waiting for a plane. In that time 28 cars pulled in there and forty plus people were photographed sitting on that rock.
Surely this is the target market that is being overlooked.
Yes, we do need a presence in the Mall, but has anyone ever talked to these people on what their expectations are?
Re the airport land, there could have been a high technology industrial park there 40 years ago, based on our unique sunlight, licencing and exporting all the things that are unique here, but nothing happened.
Nor are the minds open to this type of industry in planning decisions.
As examples, our own spinifex is being planted commercially in the Ord because it contains micro fibres that add strength to latex.
All the development has been done interstate while we were asleep, apart for a great effort at Curtain Springs.
There are thousands of bush tomato being grown in the district to meet a growing demand, but who knows and where can potential investors see them?
With the mad rush into medicinal cannabis how can we benefit?
I have had two expressions of interest in purchasing my rural block because of its proximity to the airport – both from tourism related companies who find it both expensive and inconvenient to use industrial land in town.
Surely the airport could offer the tour bus industry development land close to the source of their client base and income to the mutual benefit of both parties.
That surely would be a better deal than a prison.
The great walks on the south side of the ranges is also grossly underutilised.
Eco walks business is becoming a major industry and visitor attraction interstate but ignored here. Instead we had a proposed industrial envelopment at Arumbera on a particularly interesting and unique piece of ecology, while three major interstate highways, a rail terminal, and an airport with international status lie a few kilometres away.
Surely this is the basis of a huge transport hub and associated industry. The shortsighted view of planning is astounding.


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