Can I suggest again that planners recognize the limitations placed …

Comment on The West MacDonnell Ranges start at the council dump by Trevor Shiell.

Can I suggest again that planners recognize the limitations placed on the town by The Gap.
If we want the town to be a tourism hub let’s do it and follow the Hahndorf model. Like many things of German origin, they do it so well.
But we continue to try to make the town a replica of the worst of city outskirts and base it around motor transport and high rise apartment.
If traffic is such an issue help the Show Society and make that park a daily car park to ferry consumers via shuttle buses into the CBD where the business is, at say 15 min intervals.
But that’s probably pie in the sky when train passengers have to walk in to the CBD, or to their lodgings with bags, because no one offers them a ride.
I don’t think we really want them or their custom here or we would be offering better than that.
The still obvious solution is to dedicate the strip of road from the Adelaide turn off to The Gap as a tourism precinct just as Hahndorf has done, shift the refuse facility and sewerage well to the south where the infrastructure is already in place, and create a series or foot based recreational facilities west and south of The Gap, with a new commercial entity near Brewer.
I did a very basic traffic survey in that area late last year and estimate around 400 vehicles take people to employment in the area south of The Gap each day.
Can I ask the council or government to conduct a more thorough survey? There was one done several years ago, and the results of that are still available.
I also counted over 100 people stopping to have their photos taken at the rock in a single morning in May 2015. The implications of this are so obvious to everyone but the planners.
Either we are a tourism town or we are not. And of the comments I hear from visitors from Anzac Hill on the courthouse would make the hairs on your neck curl, if only they could see the sunset through the vegetation so conveniently planted in front of the viewing area!
On the positive side, it is good to hear of plans to develop horticultural enterprises at what is left of AZRI. It has been frequently pointed out that the opportunity cost of Kilfgarif will be extremely high in the loss of promotional opportunities to attract investment to create employment here.
That whole strip should have been a blatant advertisement for what is possible here in the way particularly of food production to attract investment and consequent jobs.
We import around 50,000 tonnes of carob into Australia per year. Yet they grow like weeds in Gillen. Pomegranates are yet another example. The possibility of recycling waste water as Israel has been doing for years in a desert – there should be no such thing as waste water.
This should be something to advertise, as should the Indigenous medical production hidden at the rear. This housing development was a major blunder in the wrong direction for the wrong reasons, but something may yet be salvaged.
I well remember a Frank Sinatra film of a long time ago which started with this little poem:
He who whispers down the well
About the thing he has to sell
Will never make as many dollars
As he who climbs the tree and hollers.
This is the mantra of the real estate and developers, and there are lessons here for the rest of us.
We have unique tourism and lifestyle things here. We don’t need to hide them behind high rise and car parks.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse
China now has a ship laying out solar panels on an abandoned and flooded coal mine in Anhui province in Eastern China. It will be producing power for 35,000 homes as apart of supplying up to 11% of today’s energy requirements.
Yakindndra in Victoria is completely off grid and brought their own servo from the proceeds, while the Alkinos sub division in WA is completely independent of the grid.
It should have happened at Kilgariff, and the big green shed on the North Road is generating over half of its energy requirements every day.
No one seems to notice the row of inverters and batteries on the exit, nor do they seem to care. Where were we when all this was happening? Finke or the footy?
And what of our gas? The same company that has spent so much money in Darwin (Inplex) on their gas facility is now planning to build a much larger one in Indonesia!
Have we been taken advantage of yet again? And to rub further salt into the wound, Tesla claims a 2.1 year payback period on its newest electric truck and a 21% to 54% per km savings over diesel. What are we going to do when that arrives here? (Renew.org.Au)
And Denmark runs its entire train system on wind power from the North Atlantic. What another huge win for Tennant Creek (potentially). What have we been doing?


NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse
So obvious, yet once more ignored.
The old Chrysler factory on South Road in Adelaide is now a potential producer of hydrogen claiming that their comparative advantage is the quality of the sunlight for electrolysis of water, while Toyota is marketing hydrogen powered cars.
In the mid 1980s the Frauhoffer Institute in Germany was looking to re locate their solar research facilities, but no one thought to invite them here.
Where were we when this happened?
Under a previous Labor administration here there was a document issued called Towards 2030.
In it I put a proposition that the north south rail be electrified using solar and wind and used as a conduit to export electricity interstate and provide a unique tourist experience of travelling across the continent on a solar powered train.
It got two lines of attention in the back of the document while the rest was social platitudes. There is an Australian company retrofitting shopping complexes with solar power right across Australia but was never invited here.
As nice as this place is to live we are still 20 years behind, and feel good social philosophies do not fill bellies or pay power bills.


Mating odour to catch feral cats
Last year I lost 16 prize chooks to wild dogs, and then the feral cats got in and took the replacement chickens.
Using the same cat trap and chook pellets I have caught 10 rabbits so far and fed them to the crocodile as dessert.
The ears from most of those cats have gone to genetic research interstate to trace their origin and hopefully to eventually research into reducing their numbers.
And with all the ferals we have here, I still don’t understand why the CRC for research into feral animal control appears to be based in Tasmania.
It obviously should be here, but we are further away by far, than the deer, goats etc which are right under the public and political eye.


Ted Egan: Forget splitting hairs, counting drops of blood.
Again we have looked around and ignored what we don’t want to see.
Having lived in a rural part of Fiji for many years, the efforts of the British there go largely unnoticed, and often criticised, as they do here.
The Brits stepped in in Fiji as requested by the chiefs and the first thing they did was to sit the chiefs who were at war down around a bowl of Kava and determined who owned which pieces of land traditionally.
This land ownership was then assigned to a common ancestor, (a “matangali”) and carefully recorded so everyone knew which family group they belonged to, and which piece of traditional land was theirs.
Now every child born with a common Fijian ancestor is recorded in a register as belonging to that piece of land and is recorded as “kai viti”.
My children were all born in that lovely country to my wife and I and are all “Kai loma” I am “Kai valangi” meaning to have come from another country and my wife is “Kai viti” having come from Fiji.
Kai loma (loma means inside) means between, or inside both and is a lovely way to describe people who are between as so many of us are.
Is that all too simple?
As a footnote my children are all eligible to claim ownership of their traditional land in Fiji but have chosen not to do so as land is scarce.
However, whenever we return their Fijian heritage makes them very comfortable.
There is a middle path, but for some reason it is sometimes ignored.


Four weeks to comment on fracking chaos
It is unfortunate that there has not been a delving into history and current short term politics has taken over.
In the seventies under Labor and Rex Connor there was a plan for a national gas grid linking the West and East.
It was scoffed at the time but it made so much common sense to link the Eastern demand with the Western resource. It still does.
There is no need for fracking at all here but the debate has been dominated by short term self interest, and now a large scale investment bank is on the track realising that the shortest way to link the two is via Brewer Estate and the existing pipe network. Hence their investment.
This is still 400 or 500 km shorter than through Moomba – a fact well recognised by the commercial interests.
There are already two possible sites for such a pipeline pencilled in.
We don’t need fracking at all, and the potential for a central industrial estate based at Brewer stands out but conveniently ignored for reasons unknown.


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