Aboriginal gallery is bound to have a stone wall

2579 Anzac Oval OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Chief Minister Michael Gunnner was long on bluster and short on facts when he replied to questions today from independent Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, about the Aboriginal art gallery.

 

He said in Parliament: “We have been consistent in the approach we have taken … the council, on the other hand, has been an example of dysfunction.

 

“It voted five to four to advance conversations on the development of the national Aboriginal art gallery at the Anzac Oval site.

 

“The question is to what extent council wants to be involved in the project. The council does not know how to answer that question.

 

“We have proposed the idea of transitioning to a single owner because of the fact council cannot work out what it wants. It either votes five to four or four to five on an issue.”

 

In fact on October 15, during its most recent discussion about the gallery issues, the council voted unanimously against “transitioning” the ownership of the oval to the government.

 

Mr Gunner repeated a well-worn response: “A total of 88% of the Alice Springs community consulted said they want the project to progress and are supportive of the Anzac Hill Precinct or are site neutral.”

 

“And just want us to get on with it,” was the recent addition by Arts Minister Lauren Moss when questioned by the Alice Springs News Online.

 

She claimed: “It is complete nonsense to say there is ‘huge public opposition’ to this site.”

 

Both Mr Gunner and Ms Moss are overlooking that 58% of more than 2000 people voting in a council referendum rejected the sale of Anzac Oval to the government, while the government argument is inconclusive on numbers.

 

Their 88% argument has a significant flaw: It puts two lots of opinions into one pot, those who favour the Anzac Precinct and those who don’t care where the gallery is built.

 

However, their respective percentages are not given.

 

They include people who couldn’t care less what is being built and where so long as significant public funds flow to the local construction industry.

 

Ms Lambley also asked Mr Gunner: “Will you rule out compulsory acquisition of Anzac Oval from the Alice Springs Town Council?”

 

Mr Gunner gave no straight answer but said: “We have written to the Alice Springs Town Council saying that we are open to the idea of transitioning to civil ownership.

 

“I said there is a range of things we still need to talk about with the Alice Springs Town Council.

 

“It is critical that they are partners to the project, whether it is one owner for the site or not, because there is a range of issues that still need to be worked through with council in and around the art gallery site, if not specific to the site itself.”

 

PHOTO: The northern half of Anzac Oval.

 

UPDATE October 25, 6.10am

 

A reader has pointed out to us the following text on the government’s consultation website: “During the engagement period, the total number of people engaged face-to-face was 755. This was achieved through 114 meetings and 11 face-to-face pop-up information stalls in the Todd Mall and at local events.

 

“Our finding show that 63% of the Alice Springs community consulted were supportive of the project and the preferred site. 25% were supportive of the project and site neutral, and 12% were either not supportive of the site or not supportive of the project.”

 

 

 

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10 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Kimmi Evesson
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Government did same BS at the hospital site in Darwin. Dictatorship.

    View Comment
  2. Dr Ongo
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Meanwhile the Minister for Families is helping destroy families by talking apparently to only one of the apmereke-artweye and ignoring all the rest of the family. All apmereke-artweye or kwetungurle should be involved and consulted with, listened to, respected etc.

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  3. Kenneth
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Dale and Labor will be gone next election if they so persist against the Aboriginal voters and the whole town.
    The “Family Ministry” has NOT cleaned up the streets at night nor had an effect on schooling numbers, still they WANT to demolish the one school that could be for the Aboriginal children. Dale ignores the Aboriginal people and families as a non-productive minister.
    She is obviously TOO WHITE in her approach.

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  4. Interested
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:11 am

    This has gone on to long. Sick of hearing about it.
    The best thing to do is not have it at all. Move it to Darwin or Adelaide.
    It is going to be vandalised every weekend here no matter where you put it.
    I know that’s not a good thing for the Alice but spend all those millions cleaning up the streets. Imagine or dream that Alice Springs wins an award of the tidiest town lol.
    Stop the alcohol issue and violence that tourists see when they arrive.
    Before everyone gets angry at my message, we are leaving Alice next year due to a incident which will be in our minds forever.
    I hope things improve as I really want Alice Springs to change. It has so much to offer.

    View Comment
  5. Joel
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Anyone else think the gallery is a smokescreen?
    In the NT bond issue prospectus, there is no provision to pay for the gallery. The biggest project is a $15m bridge.
    What are they hiding??

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  6. Yvonne Driscoll
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Leave Anzac Oval alone and listen to our community. There is a lot of opposition to the art gallery being built on the Anzac site.
    Consult with the Furbers, the Littles and the Stuarts and show respect to the Indigenous people. After all is it an Indigenous art gallery. Mr Gunner, you need to show some respect.

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  7. Local 1
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Erwin the breakup of figures to the poll are available from the website. I asked the same question and got a very straight answer. From memory about 58% for that location, the rest not fussed.

    [ED – Thank you, Local 1. Please see update to our report.]

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  8. Arunta Man
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    It all comes back to square 1. $50m would be the cost to rid of the school and maybe build a couple of unisex toilets.
    No 2: We still have not got the new grounds to keep the sports men and women to play their sports and the question is how long to wait for the grass to grow and build the facilities?
    No 3: Where is the money for the Art Centre?
    No 4: Where is the money to build the two new ovals with lights?
    We, the people, would like to know, Mr Gunner.

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  9. Dr Ongo
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    “It is critical that they are partners to the project, whether it is one owner for the site or not because there is a range of issues.”
    One thinks it would be critical for traditional owners to be partners too, not feeling alienated and disrespected as they are now and as are many in the broader community.
    There are a range of issues and people that the government are choosing to ignore.

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  10. Michael Dean
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Central and southern NT will punish this government badly come the next election, I suspect.

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