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

Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more
What on earth is John Bell talking about? Something that did not happen in 1983?
Anangu didn’t have ownership of the land then.
If the “Charlie” referred to is me, I wasn’t in the NT then, and have never had any role in the management of the park.
Who the hell is Clyde?

Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more
Trevor: I have been a guide at Uluru Kata Tjuta NP. In answer to your specious query, may I suggest;
1. Yes, walk around the rock, slowly.
2. Walk into Walpa Gorge, then watch the sunset at Kata Tjuta (and have an evening picnic).
3. Walk the full Valley of the Winds walk.
4. Spend a few hours in the cultural centre.
5. And yes, you’d probably want to see the sunset on Uluru.

The Territory: It’s a gas!
Gas is well (pun intended) on the way to being a stranded asset.
It is not “clean”.
It will survive as an interim back up fuel for a short while.
See the analysis.

NT Government’s climate response compromised by fracking
Also, a couple of relevant points.
The fracked gas will be incredibly expensive.
It is only viable with lots of taxpayers’ subsidies.
By the time it comes on stream, if ever, it will be an unacceptable fuel source on climate change grounds.
A stranded asset (aka an enormous liability).
Business as usual for the Gunner Government offering last century responses to 21st century problems.

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

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