A follow-up to my previous comment, I’m informed that the …

Comment on A good spot for the art gallery? by Alex Nelson.

A follow-up to my previous comment, I’m informed that the asbestos has been removed from the old Anzac Hill High School complex so that is not an issue for the use of those buildings.
I’ve no doubt that old school site is of considerable historical importance to Alice Springs. Nothing should be done to remove them until that history is assessed. There should be no return to the situation that existed in our town in the 1980s, which in fact was the origin of heritage protection legislation in the Northern Territory.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

A good spot for the art gallery?
Hal, this is just the latest attempt to re-purpose Anzac Oval as a village green, first proposed by the Alice Springs Town Council in 1979 and firmly resisted by the rugby codes (and especially by John Reeves, then ALP Alice Springs branch president, rugby league president, elected as alderman on the town council, and not long afterwards elected as Member for the Northern Territory. He is now a Federal Court judge.).
The village green concept was tried again in 1994 when the ASTC attempted to relocate the rugby codes to the Ross Park Oval, enticed there by the promise of lighting to facilitate games at night; and stoutly resisted and defeated by local Eastside residents, led by the Eastside Residents’ Association of which I was then a committee member.
And now here we go again …
Quite apart from the old high school complex, Anzac Oval itself is of considerable historical value as it is the first turfed sports oval in the NT and it was established entirely as a community effort over the summer of 1951-52 – no government assistance involved.
Part of that work was done by the town’s children who were organised by the new Youth Centre into an emu parade on one weekend that cleared the whole area of rocks and sticks.
Ah yes, the bad old days of Commonwealth control.


A good spot for the art gallery?
@ Hal Duell (Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:53 am): It probably is the case there is asbestos in the buildings, Hal, but the place has been in use for a variety of roles since its construction in 1952 and I’ve never heard of anyone contracting asbestosis from that place or any other of similar age in Alice Springs.
I’m rather suspicious that asbestos is suddenly being raised now, it’s strongly reminiscent of the “concrete cancer” that became the excuse for the demolition of the legendary Hotel Darwin in 1999.
Hmm, are we witnessing history repeating – the old CLP regime overseeing the destruction of a city centre landmark in Darwin almost 20 years ago, and the current Labor government seeking to do the same for a historically valuable education landmark in Alice Springs? (Maybe it’s relevant to note the CLP government in 1999 had 18 members, as does the current Labor government. Warning! That big majority didn’t save the CLP from losing office for the first time at the next Territory elections in 2001).
The fact is the old Alice Springs Upper Primary School cum original Alice Springs High School cum Community College of Central Australia cum Anzac Hill High School complex is in remarkably good – and I note there is some use being made of it at present, too.


A good spot for the art gallery?
@ Maya (Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:00 am): I’m with you, Maya, that is precisely the right purpose for that old school complex. It’s also not far from St Philip’s College which is in the process of acquiring the defunct RSL Club so there seems to me to be great potential to integrate services and opportunities for the benefit of these children and our community.
I think everybody is fed up to the back teeth with the lack of progress in resolving these decades-long problems of intergenerational youth crime and mayhem. NT Self-Government has proven no better (and demonstrably considerably worse) than the popularly maligned Commonwealth era of control of Territory affairs in tackling these issues.
I believe most of us are not interested in grandiose, big bucks projects of dubious merit – we’ve gone down this pathway a number of times previously and the track record of fulfilling economic nirvana that governments entice us with to support these schemes invariably falls well short of ambition.
The Government’s highest priority (and I don’t care which party is in control) must focus on the children and youth, because if we can get that right everything else will follow.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Convention ignored in vote on Opposition
I’m instantly reminded of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in which the state determines what we can believe, giving the example that 2+2=5. When the Party controls all perceptions, whatever it chooses to be the rule becomes a fact.
In 2011 I wrote this limerick:
In 1948 Eric Blair wrote his finest final story
About a regime of deception, so premonitory
Better known as George Orwell
His “1984” did foretell
The contemporary history of the Northern Territory.


Gunner government to hide fiscal facts
It’s difficult to see that the Gunner Government’s behaviour will afford it any advantage when the NT election campaign is underway.


Does non-citizen travel ban apply to US personnel at Pine Gap?
Hmm – in defence of the nation, or simply in defence of Defence? Whatever fence Defence is straddling, one hopes it isn’t topped with security mesh or barbed wire.


Work on six storey accommodation complex to start in May
@ Charlie Carter (Posted March 20, 2020 at 5:27 pm): Regardless of whether due process and opportunity for public input has occurred, recent history shows such development applications are invariably a fait accompli irrespective of which political party holds office.
It’s only changing circumstances that catch government and developers out; for example, the vacant lots of Melanka, the Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre (next door to KFC), and – for a time – Lizzie Milnes’s home in Bath Street which was an empty lot for several years until the Green Well office complex was built.
This was only after the NT Government guaranteed renting the new building (leaving vacant other office space across town).
The latest example is the demolition of the former Anzac Hill High School; given current circumstances, don’t hold our collective breath over anything being developed on this site for many years (if at all) and long after the current miserable excuse posing as a Northern Territory Government has been consigned to the rubbish dump of history.


Work on six storey accommodation complex to start in May
For several years I’ve pointed out the apparent correlation between privately funded proposals or construction of high rise developments above three storeys in Alice Springs and the onset of major economic downturns.
I did so in 2015 (see my two comments), noted it again in 2017 (see my early comment), and yet again last year.
I’ve also stated my observations a number of times on local ABC radio.
Given current circumstances it appears to me that Alice Springs remains as strong a barometer for economic turmoil as it has demonstrated on several occasions for nearly half a century.
However, confirmation of the go-ahead for a major six-storey development seems to herald a far worse situation unfolding around the world.
The ABC’s business editor, Ian Verrender, has posted a stark warning of a far more worrying development that has been masked by our pre-occupation with the coronavirus emergency and sharp decline of stock markets.
If this warning holds true, we don’t just face the prospect of an economic recession; rather it is an economic depression that now looms ahead of us.
It looks to me that we are confronted with an epochal turning point of history, the like of which hasn’t been experienced since the commencement of the Great Depression 90 years ago.


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