Funding may be available to the “National Indigenous Cultural Centre …

Comment on Work started on national Indigenous art gallery for Alice by Jones.

Funding may be available to the “National Indigenous Cultural Centre in Alice Springs” ($20m) to 2020/21?
Any proposal that has funding in five years’ time is not a priority and probably won’t go ahead.
The NT Government don’t want the negative politics of rejecting it so they delay the funding, perhaps for another government to make the final decision on.
Far too early to be crowing about this, Chansey, and wasting everyone’s time discussing where it could be located.

Jones Also Commented

Work started on national Indigenous art gallery for Alice
The gallery will cost an estimated $50m, so figure $60m with cost overruns.
The Desert Park loss each year is $3-5m and the gallery will also run at a substantial loss.
NT revenues are in dire straits and the hard heads in Darwin will be saying that a gallery is unaffordable and will not pay its way by increasing tourist numbers sufficiently.
Whether the Desert Park has been a success in achieving the increased tourist numbers to justify its cost and operation is debatable.
A heap of NT money is spent manning every alcohol outlet in Alice Springs and now this?
The town is awash with galleries of Aboriginal art, just call into Papunya Tula to see a fine representation of Western Desert Art.
The Cultural Centre is underused, has space and is also losing money.
No wonder no dollars have been allocated to the gallery.
In all likelihood it won’t go ahead and if it does it will be at the Cultural Centre.
Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect more than that.

Recent Comments by Jones

Country Liberal Party: custodians ignored on gallery
@ Alex Nelson. It’s their art, their culture, so if the custodians and TOs stump up the $50m I agree they should be the primary authority on this matter.

Locally owned supermarkets buck crisis with $1m facelift
Paid for by a taxpayer funded enterprise grant to Lhere Artepe?

Way forward for nation-building projects – south of the Gap
@ Trevor Shiell. The Desert Knowledge Precinct is very high maintenance.
$3.3m in government grants in the 2018/19 financial year.
$1.6m staff costs.
The DKP says it does the following:
DKA facilitates collaborations and opportunities that support new technologies, resolve policy issues around open data and Aboriginal data sovereignty, and support the growth of a new digital economic base and workforce.
It would be interesting to know what the DKP has achieved?
The research arm Ninti One appears inactive.
The precinct itself is a ghost town with many empty buildings.
It seems that the DKP board has failed in the important task of living within its (substantial) means i.e. rent and payments for solar energy.
Under DKP auspices, would the gallery become a further drain on government requiring endless grants?
Councillor Jimmy Cocking is a (paid) board member and it would be useful for him to throw light on the concerns raised here.

Mayor, Deputy let council flounder
Mayor Ryan just announced that the CLP would build the gallery at the Desert Park and he gave the timeline.
He can’t participate in the Town Council process on the gallery because he was conflicted but is happy to talk for the CLP.

CLP would build gallery at Desert Park, not Anzac precinct
This is financially risky in an era when the gallery must be profitable.
Visitor numbers at the Desert Park have been in decline since 2015 and the park has only maintained its bottom line by sharply increasing entry fees.
One of the main reasons is that our hot summers make it too unpleasant to walk around the park.
Our high value overseas visitors are especially sensitive to the Central Australian heat.
So this location is out of town, charges a fee and isn’t connected to the landscape because visitors won’t be slugging around it in the heat.
It will be less profitable than the Anzac Oval location, if indeed it makes any profit at all.
Perhaps the Gunner Government hasn’t communicated well but they got the business case right.

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