First a disclosure: While I live next door to …

Comment on Selling parks again on the agenda by Hal Duell.

First a disclosure: While I live next door to Walmulla Park I feel that whether it is sold or not would have a minimal, if any, impact on my life or on the value of my property. I ask these questions not from a personal interest but in the interest of the residents and the children of The Gap.
In the Draft Urban Open Space Assets Report, why is Walmulla Park listed as not used at all and no potential use (item G on page 17 and then carried to the table on page18) when it is continually used by the adults and, especially, by the many children living in and visiting The Gap?
Has it been noticed that while this factually incorrect statement is repeated on page 22, also on page 22 Walmulla Park is acknowledged as only one of very few (3) parks within the precinct, a precinct clearly overflowing with young children?
In the same vein, has it been noticed that Walmulla Park scores its highest rating in the draft report (item B on page 16 and then in the table on page 18) by being the only park within a 400m radius?
Are the adults and the children of The Gap to be penalised simply because they are not as vocal as the residents surrounding both Finlayson and Ashwin parks (pages 37 and 38)?
Is it of no concern that Council will be seen to be disadvantaging the already marginalised, the bureaucratically mute?
And finally, I wonder that if Walmulla Park, at 1,270 sq. meters, is deemed too small to retain (pages 22 & 43), what will be the size of the remaining public areas in Ashwin and Finlayson Parks if they have partially sold and reconfigured?

Hal Duell Also Commented

Selling parks again on the agenda
A former alderman on the Alice Springs Town Council posed a question to me this evening.
Aren’t the parks in Alice Springs the property of the residents of Alice Springs, and if so, can Council legally sell them?
Any answers or opinions?


Selling parks again on the agenda
Fair enough Eli, and I will refrain from asking you any more specific questions outside of Question Time during Council meetings. It was a bit rhetorical anyway. I realise yours is but one vote of nine.
However, I do think your reply begs the question I did ask. If Council is managing our many parks on its current budget, why sell any?
I look forward to the debate and the public consultation.
The river is another matter, and I do hope Council finds the funds to slash the eastern bank. That’s where all the river fires have been this season, and the one at the end of the Taffy Pick Bridge cost us another Old-Man River Gum. Either that or get the firies to do some controlled burns.
An open spaces coordinator might not be a bad idea. Mike Gillam could be onto something workable here. If he/she were to work in with the community through an adopt-a-park program, or adopt-a-riverbank, and have it all overseen by Council, it might be surprising what help emerges.


Selling parks again on the agenda
I think there is now a case for a public meeting to discuss the future of our open spaces, and I would include in that both our parklands and our river. Clearly the management of our parklands within budget is proving a task beyond the current set-up, just as the recent fires on the east side of the Todd show what happens when an area escapes being slashed.
Both the river and the parklands are or have recognised sacred sites, but while the parks so designated are being mentioned for returning to the NT government for future management, I remember hearing Council reject the notion of similarly returning the river.
Perhaps it is time to consider an open spaces coordinator, but then I thought that was what Council was supposed to do as its day job. If a coordinator is appointed, I suggest one of his/her first tasks will be to clearly establish authority.
While the cited Draft Urban Open Space Assets Report is from 2004, the fifth paper under TS agenda Item 9.6 from the last committee meetings is current. Cr Booth is mentioned in it, and its Point E is a request for direction on whether or not to proceed with the redevelopment of Ashwin and Finlayson Parks. I understand a former Council decided against this redevelopment, but after three months (?) I believe Council can revisit a decision and go the other way.
I now have a specific question for Cr Melky, who has shown he is following this discussion. Does this Council plan to redevelop Ashwin and Finlayson parks?
And, finally, aside from selling the Gap’s children’s playground out from under their feet, what particularly galls me about the plans for Walmulla Park is that not so long ago I asked a senior Council officer if there were plans to sell that park. He looked me straight in the eye and said, No. He lied to me.
[ED – The Alice Springs News Online has sought comment from the council on these matters.]


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

The task ahead is rebuilding
I agree that the issue will soon turn to rebuilding.
The question then becomes what will we rebuild as?
All around the world the public sector, and I am thinking primarily of health and education, has been neglected and hollowed out in the name of austerity. Now, when we really need a public health sector, in too many places it’s just not there.
Meanwhile military budgets have blown out to obscene levels, and while we in Oz may have escaped the worst of the cuts to public health, we have not escaped the blowout in military spending.
Which way will we go? Our overlord to whom we are “joined at the hip” is increasing sanctions on Iran and Venezuela at the very time that those two nations are struggling to deal with a global health crisis, maintaining a belligerent attitude to Russia and China in spite of those two nations helping it in its hour of austerity-induced need, and generally acting like a bully on the world stage. Do we really want to continue to go there?
This is fundamental. What sort of a nation do we want to be known as, and who do we want to count as our friends?


Do what I do: a lesson for the government, police
@ John Bell, Posted March 28, 2020 at 8:47pm: Bit of a cheap shot, that “Wuhan Virus”.
It could just as easily be called the Fort Detrick Virus.
Maybe we should all just stick with COVID-19 until we know more.


Do what I do: a lesson for the government, police
That the officer in question did what he did speaks to a degree of selfish irresponsibility that has to call into question his right to bear arms in public, to detain and arrest.
I hope he survives the virus, and I hope those he infected, if any, do also.
And then I hope he is dismissed from the NT Police.


Now it’s five
And has anyone suggested that the New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard should be charged with criminal negligence for allowing those 2700 passengers to disembark without being tested for the virus?


Record NT debt: Gunner mum on collateral
There’s another serious problem with Gunner’s program for the coming year, and that has to do with the price of oil.
Saudi Arabia and Russia have just started an oil price war, and the perhaps intended consequence of that will be to shut the US shale gas out of international markets.
Lower than a certain price, and fracked gas is simply not economically viable. Bankruptcies are expected.
So probably good news for the anti-fracking lobby – profit and loss economics may make that whole problem go away.
This Gunner dude is looking more and more like someone who simply doesn’t keep up.


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor