Erwin, As a local involved in tourism for 20 years, I …

Comment on Inspiration from the roads of a big country by Charlie Carter.

As a local involved in tourism for 20 years, I applaud your enthusiasm. However I take issue with a few of your remarks.
Remember the last time we had unskilled idiots in high powered vehicles doing ridiculous speeds in the NT? Yes, the “Cannonball Run” in 1994. Four dead. The mums, dads, kids, grey nomads, road trains, buses etc don’t need this on their public roads.
Like the much touted “film location” thought bubble, the gliding centre(s) of Australia has been done decades ago. Corowa and Narromine have this sown up, and are much close to where the people are.
You are right about the idiocy of the “no campfires” on the Larapinta trail, but it happened well before Bess Price’s Ministry, in the time of the Labor Government. It resulted from a “management plan” done by a firm from “down south”. One of the common comments in the visitor books concerned ugly stone “fire rings”.
The preferred solution was to ban fires, rather than educate people. The two commercial operators at the time, the late Charlie Holmes (World Expeditions) and myself (Trek Larapinta) lobbied hard against the recommendation but to no avail.
I reckon it was sheer envy, the walkers from down south were used to having no wood, or if they had any it was too wet to burn, so they didn’t want us to have fires.
Having just returned form a 10 week extended relly run to, and around NSW I agree with most of your comments re the lack of “bush camping” areas, as we also had our swag and were self contained.
Mt Isa has a lake: Yes, but it also has double the rainfall, and more reliable rainfall than us. Also the topography for their “lake” to be a reliable water supply. We don’t.
Unfortunately the writers of the “tribute” sign had an abysmal lack of geographic knowledge.
Gladstone is in Queensland, and the described route makes no sense at all.
A peaceful and sustainable New Year to you and all your readers.
Charlie Carter
[ED – Hi Charlie, Minister Price condoned the fire prohibition.]

Recent Comments by Charlie Carter

That’s why we all live here
It was bloody marvellous even from the backyard in Eastside.

Territory: Hot and dry
1mm at Eastside.
Made a bit of mud in the bottom of the gauge.
But he petrichor was sweet and strong.
Followed by another 4mm next night.
Laid the dust, and the cool overcast was good for the recently planted replacements for the stuff that was cooked over the summer.

Gentle rain starting to fall
Galahs screeching in the dusk
A dozen on the power lines
upside down, wings spread
swinging from the wires
wetting under their wings.

Jacinta Price spits dummy
@ John Bell: You have either misrepresented or not read Marcia Langton’s article.
It is “The Folly of Jacinta Price”.
That is, the silliness of running a do-nothing, lacklustre, ranting bully who is the darling of the racist right.
Not Jacinta’s follies.
As for the snide remark about Marcia’s “follies”, I too have been around a while.
I worked closely with Marcia in Alice, and although we had our differences, I found her to be a woman of integrity with a passionate commitment to Aboriginal rights, and particularly the rights of Aboriginal women.
This is just smear by innuendo.

Speed up road building, say cattlemen
Two points:
One answer is to stop the “Gas Development”.
It is a fossil fuel.
It will soon be a stranded asset.
As usual this Territory Government is chasing last decade’s tail.
The second point is a bit tougher.
The beef industry is also on the way out.
The planet cannot support it.
That wipe out in NW Queensland is the harbinger of things to come.
Drought followed by floods.
The sensible thing would have have been to compensate the pastoralists and buy them out. Offer them jobs managing the land. Ferals, fires, weeds.
I know how hard the lifestyle change would be.
I grew up on a farm.
But taxpayer funded “relief” is an expensive non-solution.
As would be taxpayer funded road upgrades which would never be recouped, either by gas or beef.

Horses starve, rotting carcasses near homes
One suspects that Mr Shiell is well meaning.
Unfortunately his comment is incoherent and incomprehensible as usual.
If it relates to use of pheromones for mustering animals (a possible interpretation) it is off topic, irrelevant, and ignorant of animal behaviour.

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