Quite apart from the obvious implications of disruption for sports, …

Comment on National Indigenous gallery process hijacked? by Alex Nelson.

Quite apart from the obvious implications of disruption for sports, Masters Games, concerts and the like at Anzac Oval, are also the heritage aspects of this area which (except for the Totem Theatre) have been completely ignored but are substantial.
I won’t go into great detail here but the whole area of Anzac Oval and associated nearby buildings might best be summed up as a youth precinct in the history of Alice Springs; for example, the Alice Springs Youth Centre and the former Anzac Hill High School are obvious, also the Senior Citizens Club which was previously the Natalie Gorey Preschool, the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the Northern Territory.
The former Anzac Hill High School began as the Alice Springs Upper Primary School built in the early 1950s which morphed into the original Alice Springs High School. One of its students, David J Tacey, was dux of the school in 1969 and studied in the first matriculation class of 1970 – he has become one of Australia’s foremost intellectuals of international stature but in Alice Springs we have no idea about that record. Ironically he could tell us a great deal about the depth psychology that lies behind all the arts.
That school also hosted annual pet shows in the 1950s – these events inspired the first Alice Springs Annual Show which was held at Anzac Oval in 1960.
That old high school building is every bit as important to the town’s history as the old Hartley Street School, which it ought to be recalled was hard fought for its preservation in the early 1980s against “visionaries” that wanted to bulldoze it in favour of redeveloping the town centre.
It might also be recalled that in the early 1980s the Alice Springs Town Council sought to have Anzac Oval repurposed as a “village green” with its associated sports codes required to look elsewhere for their bases.
Here we go again – the “visionaries” charging in with scant regard for heritage because they think their concepts will enrich our local economy, notwithstanding they have no evidence and certainly no track record of success from all their previous development disasters.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

National Indigenous gallery process hijacked?
@ David Nixon (Posted November 6, 2017 at 8:47 pm) and others: Calls for relocating the railyards out of the town centre area have a long pedigree.
In July 1973 the Member for Alice Springs, Bernie Kilgariff, was quoted: “The Commonwealth Railways seem willing to look at the idea of having the Alice Springs marshalling yards south of the Gap.”
His comment was in reaction to the news of a meeting earlier that year between the Alice Springs Town Council, Chamber of Commerce, Commonwealth Railways and the Department of the NT which “resolved that the Railways examine alternatives to the marshalling yards in their present location.”
This was followed up in November 1973 with a motion by Mayor Jock Nelson and passed by the ASTC calling for the relocation of the railway marshalling yards to south of the town; Nelson observed that in the long term there was considerable scope for the CBD and housing to expand westwards into that land.
This issue was debated at length in 1975 but ultimately Commonwealth Railways refused to budge.
The issue was revived by the Lands Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Ray Hanrahan in May 1987 when he told the NT Legislative Assembly: “Moving the railway yards would solve expansion problems in the Alice Springs central business district for the next 30 to 50 years; however, the chances of moving the yards were small because Australian National Railways was a law unto itself.” Hanrahan expressed regret about the failure to resolve this issue in the 1970s.
In December 1991 then local architect David Keeler also weighed into the issue: “The Alice Springs railway station, yards and corridor should be moved away from town to make way for priority medium-density housing” with the freed up land able to “provide accommodation for up to 10,000 people.” Keeler was critical of the then draft Alice Springs town plan, blasting the “disastrous ad-hoc style of development that had created an urban sprawl in Alice Springs.”
There have been other calls to free up the railway land in the middle of Alice Springs but the only substantial change is the development of some of that area for light industry that proceeded from the late 1990s.
Given this history, it seems unlikely that this option will be given any consideration at all.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Former Anzac Hill High School: time to take stock
@ Evelyne Roullet (Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:58 pm): I wish you good luck, Evelyne, but this town and the Territory is not what it once was, and there are very few who have the courage to stand up for their principles and convictions.
Most of us wait for someone else to do it all.


The good and the bad of spending money we don’t have
Ah yes, that lovely deep underground car park for public servants next to the NT Legislative Assembly, on which I henceforth bestow the title of “Labor’s long-drop”.
All that’s required to top off this most worthy project is a ceiling and very large fan.


Thieves ram cars out of compound
This is the same building the NT Government has vacated as its former departmental offices but (I am informed) continues to pay rent for the empty space.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of Gregory Terrace and a short distance up is the public “asset” of the former Visitors Information Centre that has been abandoned, trashed and boarded up.
It’s all symptomatic of something seriously wrong with a Labor Government that three short years ago was elected overwhelmingly on the promise of being more honest and accountable.
The whole situation stinks to high hell.


Lame duck MLA, says Katherine voter
Bruce, you are a member of a vanishingly small vanguard of defenders of democracy. Keep up the good fight, you’re the rare sort of person that makes a genuinely positive difference.
We deserve a far better standard of representative government across the board but only if there is enough of us willing to take a stand.


Pine Gap: The link Alice has to Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds
I cannot help wondering if history is turning full circle – certainly too many of us in the West seem to be forgetful of the fundamental principles that are foundational to democratic societies.
As far as the United States is concerned, the preamble of The Declaration of Independence (probably the most influential document in history) is well worth contemplating: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
These words drafted by Thomas Jefferson nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago seem to resonate powerfully for our times.


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