Of course Ian Sharp (Posted May 22, 2015) is correct …

Comment on Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen by Bob Durnan.

Of course Ian Sharp (Posted May 22, 2015) is correct as usual: “We live in a mixed economy, a free market private enterprise system with a strong government component to address the failings of the market economy”, and we need the “dynamism of the free market” which flows from “harnessing the self-interest of entrepreneurs” as an essential element of a successful local economy.
However Melanie Ross (Posted May 22, 2015) is right too, in asserting that we in Alice Springs need to concentrate on “building on our strengths”, and not just gamble on possible short term bonanzas for a few businesses that would flow from this or that time-limited mining enterprise or other flash in the pan economic activity.
It should hardly bear mentioning that our principle unique assets (Uluru, the Macdonnell Ranges, strong Aboriginal culture) and our home grown community events and institutions (the Finke Desert Race, the Desert Mob, Transport Hall of Fame, Araluen, Olive Pink, Blatherskite Park events, Henley on Todd, The Beanie Festival etc), together with the private and government services that are required to service and support the population, will continue to be the mainstays of whatever array of sound economic structure we may be able to generate.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen
Thanks Erwin (Posted May 24, 2015 at 11:14 am), I agree with your observations, and appreciate the access to information on this subject via your archive.
In my comment about flood risks and mitigation options, I was of course referring to those events alluded to by Ian Sharp (Posted May 24, 2015); i.e. floods that are larger than those which on average occur once in a hundred years.
There has not been an occurrence of such a flood for close to 200 years, according to estimates in the literature.
Of course, we could have a once in 150 years event any time, just as we could have a once in 10,000 years flood, or any other flood event.
Nobody will know until it happens, as scientists are unable to predict the precise details of local weather events very far into the future. You only have to look at recent rain events in NSW and Queensland to see good illustrations of this conundrum.
Therefore, we do not only have to “figure out why any industrialist in his right mind would locate [a capital intensive industrial development like a nuclear energy facility or vehicle manufacturing plant] so far from suppliers, markets, and skilled workforce,” as my mate Charlie Carter queries (Posted May 23, 2015).
We also have to add the real risk of a catastrophic flood to the list of Alice Springs’ inherent limitations, along with the “tyranny of distance”, the very high construction costs, a local climate that is heading towards much higher average temperatures, and limited reliable water supplies.

Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen
Unfortunately, this new group of business interests seems to want it both ways: they want more competition at Yulara, just when it is showing strong results as an Aboriginal-owned training enterprise, after years of it having been a key component of the CLP’s government-funded Silver Circle political kickbacks rort; but they want to be protected from competition in the Alice accommodation and caravan space rental markets. They want less red tape restrictions on themselves, but more on community organisations and mining companies’ employees.
As for their suggestion that “Football carnivals, the annual show and other fixtures likely to strand bush visitors in town need to require non-cancellable return tickets paid in advance”, I might be inclined to support that if they were also to advocate that entrepreneurs who get various forms of government support should guarantee to reimburse the public purse for these contributions before they leave town, or when they sell off or otherwise dispose of their assets.

Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen
Richard Bentley (Posted May 20, 2015): The calculations about all conceivable options for flood mitigation (dams and otherwise) were done in the early nineties, and are available in reports in the CLC, AAPA and government libraries and archives. Some of these are available online (I put links to some such a few months ago in some comments in the Alice Springs News Online).
One certainty is that there is no feasible option to prevent the biggest floods that will continue to occur at unpredictable times on the local flood plain.
This is because the town has been built at the worst possible place on the drainage funnel through which the huge volumes of water from major rain events over a vast area to the north of town must flow.
This will continue to occur, as it has many times in the past, regardless of flood mitigation measures, the best of which will only diminish the impacts of the small to medium flood events.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians
Wrong again Matthew Langan (Posted August 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm).
It was actually “big knob socialist flogs” from the CLP who talked up and used government funds to build the Desert Park, the Araluen Arts Centre and the Strehlow Museum.
If you have complaints about those places and their costs to the public purse, go talk to the conservatives. Nothing to do with the Labor mob.
The CLP under both Adam Giles and Gary Higgins has indicated it would also support a new National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.

Architect of Katherine’s masterplan to be Alice council CEO
James (Posted June 6, 2019 at 8:14 am): How many parks in Alice Springs commemorate Aboriginal leaders or dignitaries?
Nothing against Father Smith, but couldn’t we consider looking collectively at setting some priorities before rushing in to barrack for our favourite project?

Price family were sole complainants against Cocking & Satour 
Conservative (posted May 1, 2019 at 9:19 am): what do you mean by ‘props to Erwin’? Stage ‘props’? It doesn’t make sense.

Road toll drops by half
Like InterestedDarwinObserver, I think Assistant Commissioner Beer’s claim is a somewhat questionable one.
Given that the majority of NT road deaths are normally the result of single vehicle roll-overs on remote roads, it is questionable whether more intensive traffic policing in Alice would necessarily produce this good result as claimed.
We would need a much bigger sample and more details of the individual accidents to really get an idea about what is actually going on here.

Massive horse deaths now a risk to humans
Hal, (Posted April 14, 2019 at 1:29 am): Don’t be so disingenuous. It is obvious from the article that CLC staff have been trying very hard to get permission to act.
They have now made their frustrations known to the relevant authorities, who are able to step in.
My point is that your criticism should have been aimed at those responsible (the traditional owners in question), not at the CLC as an organisation, as the staff are trying to do their job and get something done about the situation.
I was at both Mulga Bore and Angula a little over a week ago, and found very few people at Mulga, and none at Angula.
There were no dead horses that I saw, or smell of dead horses, around the houses then at either place, but there may have been some elsewhere. Of course the carcasses should be disposed of, wherever they are; that is what the writer and the CLC are trying to achieve.

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