In 2011, as I recall, I put forward the suggestion …

Comment on Cultural centre – think big! by Alex Nelson.

In 2011, as I recall, I put forward the suggestion of the Melanka block as a site for an indigenous cultural centre.
My thoughts were that it is located exactly in line between Billygoat Hill and Meyers’ Hill at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, both locations long recognised as significant / sacred sites to the local Arrernte people.
It’s also immediately adjacent to the town centre and on a major route (Gap Road – Todd Street) into town. (Incidentally, there was an attempt in the late 1980s to establish a local indigenous cultural centre on Gap Road).
I’ve been dubious from the start about the prospect of the “Melanka Towers” (and other previous high-rise proposals) being a viable development option for Alice Springs.
As I’ve mentioned several times previously, proposals for high-rise developments in Alice Springs always coincide with the onset of economic downturns, and I’ve no reason to believe that’s going to change now.
(Incidentally, last year I read with interest the recommendation of the 1969 HKF Report into future tourism development in Alice Springs and Central Australia that the proposed redevelopment of the old Stott House site into a much larger hostel accommodation complex should be relocated to another site. That recommendation was ignored, and construction of the new Melanka Hostel commenced in 1971).
However, while we wait for something to happen, it’s interesting to observe that two of the large Eucalypts (non-local species) on the Melanka site have perished, and others are in serious decline.
So whatever development may eventually occur there, it’s unlikely that most of the existing trees will be in a condition to be incorporated within the design and landscaping of that site.
I had a long conversation yesterday with a senior TO in Alice Springs, and she favours the Desert Knowledge precinct for the location of an indigenous cultural centre.
Her reasoning is that in the past (pre-European settlement) it wasn’t possible for people to enter Mparntwe (Alice Springs) through Heavitree Gap without first gaining the consent of the local Arrernte custodians.
Locating the cultural centre south of town would be an acknowledgement of that old custom.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

‘Catastrophic’ drop in construction work
@ Evelyne (Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:15 pm): Perhaps you should ask people working within the public service/bureaucracy about the difference between democracy and tyranny. On second thought, don’t bother – they all have to keep their mouths shut.


‘Catastrophic’ drop in construction work
@ Interested Darwin Observer (Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:04 am): Oh! Are we a democracy?


Alice to get first Aboriginal owned earth ground station
If I recall correctly, the Geoscience Australia Antenna commenced operation as a Landsat receiving station in 1979, so this year marks its 40th anniversary.
Our family was living at the CSIRO residence by Heath Road at the time, now the Centre for Appropriate Technology.
There was one funny occasion when my brother was wandering around in the paddock nearby the new facility, and wherever he went the antenna would swing around and point towards him.
I think he got a bit spooked by it but it was the technical officers in the adjoining demountable lab that were just having a bit of fun.


Architect of Katherine’s masterplan to be Alice council CEO
This is tremendous good news for Alice Springs. I shall put on hold my plans to move to Katherine 🙂


Car crashed into supermarket, alcohol stolen
Certainly not the first time that kind of offence has occurred at those premises!


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