From the heavy rains of January 2000 onwards I’ve documented …

Comment on Boardwalk now a permanent blight on the landscape by Alex Nelson.

From the heavy rains of January 2000 onwards I’ve documented this side of Meyers’ Hill with photographs and have frequently walked and cycled on the track that wound its way around the base of the hill on the Todd riverbank. I’ve come to know this vicinity intimately.
I worked at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden a decade ago when the initial project began to construct a cycle pathway around Meyers’ Hill (a part of the “Alice in 10” scheme begun by the previous CLP administration), that was halted after damage was done during the process of dismantling the boundary fence of the garden. However, whatever damage occurred on that occasion must surely pale into insignificance compared to the abomination that’s being imposed on that site now. It’s astonishingly over the top, as if inspired by the infamous Sydney monorail of the 1980s.
Surely the structure being built there now wasn’t envisaged in the original Alice in 10 project.
In my opinion there’s no reason why a far more low-key pathway sympathetic to that site could not have been constructed, something akin to the Wills Terrace footbridge that has stood the test of time (and every flow of the Todd River) since 1957.
This is disgraceful, and an indictment against everybody involved in this monstrosity. It clearly shows those involved have no idea of what they are doing. It’s so sad – this is the vicinity where Olive Pink used to sit in the 1930s writing up her anthropology notes and gained the inspiration for establishing a native flora reserve on the land adjacent to the south side of the hill.
I can only hope that in due course this structure will meet the same fate as the Sydney monorail and be torn down; but of course we the taxpayer will as usual be paying for it.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Boardwalk now a permanent blight on the landscape
@ David Woods (Posted August 17, 2016 at 11:25 am): I’m delighted at the irony of your comment, David – hands up all those who remember the pedestrian crossing that was constructed on the south side of Heavitree Gap late in 2013 and dismantled early the following year at considerable cost to the taxpayer? There seems to be something about bureaucrats devising capital works projects for the benefit of pedestrians in Alice Springs.
Mention of which reminds me of an attempt in the early 1970s to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in Heavitree Gap by the construction of a concrete path on the bed of the Todd River. I kid you not. No prizes for guessing what happened with the first flow of the river after that project was completed.
A question posed by Mark Wilson in the story linked above asked: “Can there be no end to obvious stupidity?” It appears this latest disaster along the base of Meyers Hill demonstrates the obvious answer is no.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

How do NT Labor and the CLP rate on heritage?
@ Domenico Pecorari (Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:25 am): Concurrent with this period of disregard for heritage, Domenico, is the steady decline of our local economy.
It’s not a coincidence.


Old visitors centre trashed
The repurposed building displaying its current very distinctive architecture was officially opened by NT Federal member Nick Dondas on February 6, 1998 as the new you beaut Visitor Centre and headquarters of the Central Australian Tourism Industry Association (CATIA).
The major modification of the former “Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Welfare Centre” (more commonly known as the Infant Welfare Clinic or Baby Clinic) as a visitor centre cost $260,000 of Federal funding.
Now this public asset is abandoned, trashed and boarded up.
Your taxes at work, yes?


Old visitors centre trashed
@ James T Smerk (Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:04 pm): Yes, it’s been vacant since 2013 – see my story.


Government electricity firm in trouble as solar booms
The rise of renewables supplanting the old fossil-fuelled energy technologies echoes the period almost a century ago when camel trains and droving on horseback gave way to rail and motor transport.
The mind boggles, all the same, at the prospect of feral gas generators roaming the outback with mobs of camels, horses and donkeys.


Council backflip on Anzac Oval heritage
@ Eli Melky (Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:35 am): I acknowledge Councillor Melky’s long-standing support for the preservation of Anzac Oval in its existing state as a major community asset which predates the beginning of my effort towards nominating the oval for heritage listing.
I also thank Councillor Auricht for his principled stand on this matter.
As for Councillor Satour’s querying “that the proposal for heritage listing had not come up until the Anzac precinct became the government’s preferred site for the national Aboriginal art gallery”, she ought to be aware that often happens in regard to proposed redevelopment projects.
It’s not unusual (the recent failed nomination of the old Darwin Primary School at Frog Hollow is another example) and it’s also the right of any person under the NT Heritage Act (passed by Labor in 2011) to make such nominations.
After the conclusion of the mid-September committee meeting I spoke with Councillor Satour to suggest I could make a presentation to the Town Council about the nominations for heritage listing of Anzac Oval and the old school, given that the council had not sought to discuss these matters with me.
Councillor Satour seemed responsive to that idea but there was no follow-up.
I became concerned about heritage implications after learning in late 2017 of the Government’s intention to replace the former Anzac Hill High School as its preferred site for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, and upon being informed this had not been taken into consideration I resolved at that time to nominate the old school for heritage listing.
The decision to nominate Anzac Oval came much later, after being prevailed upon by others to do so.
In December 2017 I wrote to Minister Lauren Moss explaining the historical background to the origin of heritage legislation in the Northern Territory which arose out of major controversies in Alice Springs in the late 1980s – clearly this message was lost on the Minister and her Parliamentary colleagues.


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