If this is a serious discussion, which is hard to …

Comment on A bridge too far? A tunnel may be the answer. by Rod Cramer.

If this is a serious discussion, which is hard to accept given some of the comments, let’s stick to facts.
Firstly, while I vigorously agree both the the rail and road embankment should be removed, that won’t “double” the river bed – they currently only occupy no more than about 30% of the original bed of the Todd.
Secondly, when are people going to realise that in the event of a major flow in the Todd (and from time to time, some not so major ones), you have Buckley’s of getting to Honeymoon Gap from the north, let alone driving through it!
Not withstanding, a tunnel option should be on the table, the flyover, which several presenters in 2006? lied to us about, should not.

Recent Comments by Rod Cramer

Councillor passes buck to staff
A delegation from the Alice Springs Rural Area Association Inc spent quite a few afternoons some years ago with senior Council staff, including a Director, a Works Supervisor and a Leading Hand, developing a Rural Road Verge Policy for Council, which I understood Council to have adopted.
This was in response to an earlier disaster on probably the exact same stretch of road verge.
If anything, this approach will silt up culverts as the ground cover slows the water and holds the soil together. Any culverts containing silt can still be vacuumed.
Throughout the Rural Road network we often see culverts actually blocked by Council activity, as jobs are left half finished.


IMAGE Alice Springs News Online



End of search for Monika Billen
Not finding her sooner is certainly disappointing and frustrating, but hardly a disgrace given she had most likely succumbed to her situation well before the alarm was raised.
One of the (many) limitations of operating drones is high temperature: I’ve had the iPad shut down on me mid flight due to overheating! The drone was fine, held it’s position until it received further instructions, luckily before it would have tried to land itself in thick mulga scrub!
The secret to success of any search is to be searching in the right place, proved in this case by the use of mobile phone triangulation.
No doubt this “tool” will be used again and often.
But one “tool” the authorities have long foolishly discounted is experienced trackers, and they can “come in any colour”.
Given the information they had on the 11th or 12th, she would have been located very quickly, and at far less cost and personal. It is indeed a disgrace that they once again have been left “in the shed”.

Defence to close Stuart Highway for up to 12 hours
It would be interesting to hear how someone like Gilberts Transport are affected, who can have dozens of refrigerated trucks on the Stuart Highway between Adelaide and Darwin at any one time.
That the rail is not affected is bizarre.
It would be reasonable to interpret that perhaps Defense have agreed not to do what ever they’re doing in line with the train timetable.
I did see on FaceBook (second hand!) that they have agreed not to close the road before 12.30, which would suggest if you leave first thing in the morning from Coober Pedy for example, you would be right. I’m not sure if thats official – it would be helpful if Trevor Seebohm could divulge the name of that site.
This situation makes it very difficult for anyone who needs to book accommodation on route or in Alice or Adelaide for starters. Many road users are also going down for specialist appointments etc.
Does the fact that Trevor Seebohm has not posted an update for today mean there isn’t a road closure today?
We are all well acquainted with the Berrimah Line, and I would suggest there is a Pt Augusta Line as well (considering were still being told that the “whole State” was blacked out recently, when the grid doesn’t go to many communities north of Pt Augusta!).
Apparently the Defence Force also have the two lines marked on their maps!
All round very unsatisfactory so far.

Thumbs down for dongas depot at Ilparpa
Unfortunately most folk in our community are not familiar with enough of the facts about our Planning Scheme. One in particular (that may well apply in some other zonings), is the legislated minimum lot size for the three Rural Zones.
Rural Residential, the least common in Alice Springs, is 0.4 ha (1 acre);
Rural Living, the most common in Alice Springs, is 2 ha (5 acres);
Rural (which applies to the lot in question) is 40 ha (100 acres) in Alice Springs and Tennant Ck, and 8 ha (20 acres) in the Top End, presumably to recognise the better rainfall and vegetation densities in that climate.
Most of the lots in the Ilparpa Subdivision were allowed to be created at half size (around 1 ha, 2.5 acres) and most of the lots in the Wanngardi Subdivision at White Gums were allowed to be created at 8 ha – this lot in question 12 ha.
In any zoning, if you have lots well undersize from that legislated by the Planning Scheme, and still carrying the same suite of permitted and discretionary uses as legislated for the legislated size, there will be problems. Overstocking is often fairly obvious, and in this instance, so is the proposed and actual activity.
The NT Government has to take some responsibility for this situation, and while it would be impractical to change pre existing undersize lots, it can help reduce the issues from arising with the help of the DCA and/or the Planning Minister, depending on the application.
This is what the DCA has done in this instance.

Panel of just two for controversial Ilparpa decision
I’ve just in the last few minutes completed reading both the “Directions Paper” and the “Planning Reform Phase 1 Priority Reforms”, which I would encourage everyone to do who values the amenity of their address in any zoning in the NT.
While the first six pages are a bit on the heavy side, the next nine are pleasantly good reading, and perhaps cover all of the issues raised in this article.
It is perhaps the most promising review of Planning in the NT ever, remembering at this stage it is only the recommendations of the consultants.
It is of no use to just read the Planning Reform paper, so I would encourage every one to make a submission, even if it is only the online survey. You could reinforce your view by writing to your local Member and the Planning Minister.
You should be able to access it at;
Give it a crack! Don’y leave it to someone else, they don’t live here anymore!

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