A correction to my earlier posting – the development of …

Comment on 75 dwellings jammed into old bowls club by Alex Nelson.

A correction to my earlier posting – the development of the south corner of Renner Street and Sturt Terrace was in 1995, not 2005. My memory usually serves me well but sometimes what happened in the more distant past still seems to me like it only happened yesterday! Quite coincidentally, I reside next door to this location.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

75 dwellings jammed into old bowls club
In late 2010 I wrote a front page article in the Alice Springs News on this theme, in which I highlighted how the Eastside Residents Association was involved in the planning process for the units built on the south corner of Renner Street and Sturt Terrace during 2005. I was a member of the executive committee of the ERA at the time.
The result was an outstanding success, leading to the construction of high density accommodation that nevertheless is aesthetically pleasing and has been a highly desired residential location now for nearly two decades. I believe this is the only such development in Alice Springs that encouraged participation from a group of people who had no direct financial interest in the building project.
Subsequent to 2010 the block on the opposite corner of Renner Street and Sturt Terrace has also been redeveloped into high density accommodation. There was no public input with this project, certainly not along the lines of extensive consultation with the local neighbourhood.
The contrast between the two complexes could hardly be greater – the earlier development is comparatively spacious and sheltered, the latter is a concrete enclave. It’s euphemistically called “Renner on Todd” – I’m of two minds whether to liken it to an army barracks or a “correctional facility”!
I’ve no problem with the development of higher density housing at the old Alice Springs Bowling Club site but I certainly don’t support the current proposal.
This project needs to go straight back to the drawing board, and I suggest the developers and architects make the effort to encourage input from the local neighbourhood, as (based on my experience) the result is likely to be far more pleasing for everyone concerned.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Another great river tree goes up in flames
@ Karen (Posted August 21, 2019 at 2:04 pm): Hi Karen, I presume you mean the wildfire on the Ross Highway side of Todd River in 2002, as I recall?
That was a very damaging conflagration fuelled by buffel grass that had grown rampant during the wet years of 2000-01.
It came very close to rural properties next to the river.
As it happened, I took photos of that area several times prior to the wildfire so was able to get contrasting before and after shots that demonstrated the severity of that particular blaze.
There were a number of other deliberately lit fires at the time such as along Colonel Rose Drive, and the damage remains clearly visible to this day.

Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site
@ Some Guy (Posted August 19, 2019 at 10:43 am): No, I don’t “feel like this golden opportunity of a project to secure the future of Central Australia both in an economic and cultural sense on the world stage is slowly slipping through the fingers” because it was an illusion in the first place.
This isn’t the first occasion that a big project has been held out for us in The Centre offering some kind of economic Nirvana; we were told exactly the same kind of thing with the casino 40 years ago, and again with the development of the Alice Springs Desert Park in the mid 1990s.
Both of these facilities may be attractions but have never come close to fulfilling the visions originally held out to us as major game changers for the Centre’s economy.
With all due respect, I cannot see how a “National Aboriginal Art Gallery” will prove to be any different in the long run.

Another great river tree goes up in flames
@ Bob Taylor (Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:38 am): In this case grass wasn’t the problem, Bob, as even hard up against the trunk of the tree I noticed that none of it was burnt.
What seems to have happened was that a campfire was lit under one of the old exposed support roots of the tree and it was from this source that the flames spread into the trunk.
The roots in turn have been exposed by erosion exacerbated by the lowering of the river bed over a decade ago for flood mitigation.
The lowering of the river bed has also enabled campers to conceal themselves better from view. Unless the river bed is physically patrolled, no-one else knows they are there.

Invasive buffel grass soon part of international focus
The caption for the photo: “Dense infestation buffalo grass in land near the Alice Springs airport” brings back some memories. During my years at school in the 1970s, invariably when I spoke about buffel grass everyone thought I meant buffalo grass, a common variety of garden lawn. [ED– the autocorrect of ‘buffalo’ for ‘buffel’ has now been corrected, thanks Alex.]
As my home was at AZRI and then the new CSIRO field station next door, I was completely familiar with buffel grass during the time when its systematic introduction for dust control (especially for the Alice Springs Airport) and improved pasture was fully underway.
However, this was still the time when buffel grass was not yet dominant in the landscape so most people were unfamiliar with it.

Nuke power way to zero emissions, or a solar shortcut?
@ Ted Egan (Posted August 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm): Hello Ted, if you go to this link https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2013/07/11/when-gas-turns-to-hot-air/ and check out the CLP’s full page election advertisement from 1980, it’s just possible to make out that one of the energy options the NT Government was touting was “an experimental wind power generator for the Barkly Tablelands”.
The CLP was also giving consideration for nuclear power at that time, too.
Ah yes, we’re right into recycling!

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