The planning authorities under whatever name you wish for them …

Comment on Gunner’s land management on back burner by Trevor Shiell.

The planning authorities under whatever name you wish for them have consistently ignored the geographic realities of the town.
They are that the town is north of the gap by reason of its history, not planning and that at some time in the future, hopefully soon, it will hit home that development will have to occur well south of the Gap.
This is because that is where future industrialization will have to occur, and that is where the infrastructure is.
The shortsightedness of future planning has been breathtaking. Having spent the last three weeks dissecting the draft land use plan it is obvious that it has been prepared by outsiders.
The $15m proposed for the Gap overpass is ridiculous when a similar facility just south of Adelaide without the complications of water, sewerage and electricity has so far cost over $140m and the figure in the draft is is 2009 dollars.
For that money we really need a brand new commercial centre near Brewer, not Kilgariff. There are, I understand, over 150 people employed at the jail alone. The latest traffic flow figures through the Gap are dated 2009 and well out of date.
There is an urgent need for an integrated transport hub at Brewer, rail, road and air, and there are numerous successful models around the country to copy.
A new industrial estate along the lines of Cameron St, where industrial businesses and residential premises are on the same land, has been so obvious a need for years and a bit of imaginative foresight could have prevented the current situation in the RL zone.
That would never have been allowed to happen on Stevens Road.
An integrated transport hub would solve the ludicrous situation which has developed in the RL zone with infiltration by industry.
The true opportunity cost of Kilgarif is yet to be felt in lost chances to advertise what is possible here to attract investment, and subsequent jobs, and this is so evident in food production.
Look at the Sundrop facility at Port Augusta. Imagine the traffic flows through the Gap as the outback way takes shape and Queensland to WA transport flows through the town and the Gap overpass or not.
Again the obvious thing is to bring it in via Gemtree and Ross River to a new commercial hub at Brewer, leaving the current CBD to do what it does so well – tourism – and not a poor replica of anywhere else in the country.
While the Onkaparinga council is planning a system of eco trails in the area around Willunga in SA and the Waroonga Council in Sydney, having done its market research, is planning the same, we are planning to turn Arumbera into an industrial estate? They must be kidding.
Now add to that the mines at Jervois, Titjikala and others and the Brewer proposition is so obvious.
Now we also have the possibility of the 1970s Rex Connor vision of a national gas grid to supply the Eastern States with gas. The shortest possible route between the gas fields off shore in WA and the eastern states is via Alice Springs – a distance of 1776 km from Brewer.
Why are we not out there thumping the table and telling people out there where we are? Macquarie Bank saw this some time ago and bought into Central Petroleum. Where were we?

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? (
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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