The reality is that the CBD is where it is …

Comment on A bridge too far? A tunnel may be the answer. by Trevor Shiell.

The reality is that the CBD is where it is because it was built to service the telegraph station several decades ago and this is no longer a major item in development of the town.
Its future is well south of The Gap around Brewer because this is where future industrialisation will have to be – preferably in the form of an integrated transport hub of road, rail and air, as has happened interstate.
If this were not the preferred option, the jail would still be at the Women’s Hall of Fame, the airport would still be be to the old cemetery the power station would still be next to the golf course.
Now also the TOs would like the Art Centre South of the gap, as probably medical facilities will be, etc etc etc.
How many times has the Mall been re invented? Make it a dedicated tourism precinct as has happened at Harndorf, in the Adelaide Hills, and re direct residential development to Brewer where the future action will have to be, thus reducing the pressure on The Gap.
Other commercial facilities will follow the employment.
The opportunity cost of the Kilgarrif nonsense will become obvious in future years as that was the obvious place to sell what is possible here and induce people to invest here, with employment to follow.
This was the very epitome of short term thinking and pork barrelling.
Re route the heavy traffic will take from Queensland via the Outback Way to WA direct to Brewer via Arltunga, opening up the East Macs to further tourism development.
Start anew based on relevant circumstances, not obsolete history.
Are we going to retrofit the current area North of The Gap with an electric network to suit the thousands of electric vehicles, including electric trucks, heading our way, or should we direct them to where their refuelling capacity is, (or will be further developed), as the solar initiatives develop?
Maybe with a bit of futuristic thinking The Gap may not need to be developed at all and become an iconic part of a visitors unique experience here, as it always has been.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Land planning favours developers, says residents group
While we don’t think twice about plundering more of our history to be replaced by dollar yields per square metre thinking just as in the Sydney CBD, Ballarat, with a heritage history like ours, and vital to their tourist industry, is going to great lengths to re-construct and replicate their heritage complete with buildings and recreating new fixtures and frontages to replicate what used to be and what tourists come expecting to see.
Their industry is doing very well.
On the other hand we expect tourists to travel long distances to see exactly the same as they have at home.
We refuse to learn and think only of short term dollars, not long term communal good.
We lost the plot and continue to do so.
The latest classic is the planning proposal for high rise Sydney style apartments at Kilgariff, and the opportunity costs of that stupid development continue to rise with the space to demonstrate what is possible here in food production, shrinking and blowing away in the wind.


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I am hopeful that some commercial sense might emerge, and Lend Lease is adding a voice.
They have been running a stand alone subdivision north of Perth for several years, while we have lived in the dark ages.
The costs of Kilgariff have been enormous with more to come. WA is also installing flow batteries in remote communities in preference to diesel, and another Australian company is busy installing post meter stand alone power systems on shopping complexes.
The governance body at DKA was driven by ideology: Ninti 1 was a farce as the Senate estimates hearings showed (ex Senator Sean Edwards) under the guidance of Peter Garret.
I suspect its origin (DKA) was in the need to do something with the Airport land in the days of Infratril. A German research institute (Frauhoffer) was looking for venues to do solar research but no-one thought to invite them here. It has happened again with hydrogen.
A first step would be to scout the world for research institutes to come here to do their research, so we do not keep trying to re-invent the wheel, starting with hydrogen, and licence the results. This is what should have happened 30 years ago.
One day Govt will realise that the future of this town is South of The Gap.


Wakefield, Ryan star in the Phantom of the Art Gallery
I might have to remove my shoes to count the number of “revitalise the CBD” initiatives were put forward over the last few years, none of which seem to have worked.
We have no histories left to demonstrate apart from Adelaide house, Flynn Church and Todd Tavern for visitors wanting to see the history and outback romantics that once were here.
However we have shopping malls and shopping facilities just like they have at home-often at inflated prices.
In the meantime, the missed opportunities have been enormous outside the current CBD and South of The Gap but unrecognised through shortsighted planning and lack of a proactive approach.
We could have had a major solar research facility here 40 years ago from Germany. We have just had a visit from a group of southern agriculturalists looking for food production investment (and employment) opportunities here.
We could have had a hydrogen production facility here but no one bothered to approach them, and now we have an Indigenous food research and commercialisation facility being promoted in Queensland with bush tucker from here.
Add to that development of acacias and other local plants for both food and animal fodder being developed overseas or interstate.
All we can show potential investors is an outer metropolitan type housing development where there should have been a vibrant display of what the current government calls boundless possibilities. They omitted the word “missed”.
A national transport hub at Brewer, with associated industrial estate facilities, with the convergence of three cross national highways, a train facility and an internationally recognised airport have been obvious for years but ignored.
They missed the opportunity to keep the town unique and looks like they will continue to do so.
The need for a visitors centre on the main approach to town as has happened elsewhere, is so obvious, but never considered or numbers researched and the obvious place is the Transport Hall of Fame in conjunction with the welcome rock, the old Ghan engine and cultural centre involving both our Indigenous and Afghan heritages, but ignored as has become usual.
To join all these into one complex would involve around a kilometre of sealed road. Very sad considering what is happening with our competition elsewhere.


Government grant for Todd Tavern, Alice Plaza development
As with the accomodation proposal for hospital staff, this is all accountancy talk – dollar yield per squ metre rather than communal good.
On this basis beware Adelaide House and Flynn Church because you are next, and you don’t pay your way. Definitely uneconomic in accountancy terms, and the same applies to the Alice Plaza.
I still hear talk of the old Bull Bar in the Stuart arms which was an Alice institution.
I have the remains of that institution in the form of a load of bricks re invented as a toilet wall in my back yard and a sign inviting tourists to come in and inspect what’s left of our history – a great lure, and the only sign left.
Hospital staff facilities?
The bus which brings in sick people from communities has to drop them off at the Ross Hostel and they have to walk to the hospital because the bus cannot negotiate the emergency entry. Which comes first?
Dollar returns per square metre vs community good?
That’s the way it has been for years (but others call it greed), or self interest.
Now we have a group of potential food investors coming here to look at rural investments in a time of approaching food scarcity but no research to show them because what could have been a first class facility in arid zone research is now covered with houses (and a bare piece of earth calling itself a drain) and the research is being done elsewhere.
There could have been a world class German solar research facility on the airport land 30 years ago but once more no one bothered to chase it up.
So the quick dollar mentality goes on and will no doubt continue to do so.


Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more
What to do in three days at Yulara, except spend money in the resort or join the endless row of buses drinking cheap champers at inflated prices, amidst the fumes from the tour buses?
Go around The Rock three times between meals?
Keep them there so the rest of us can enjoy what is left of the NT.
It is a sad fact that this type of tourism destroys the very thing that the visitors come to see, and creates an artificial scarcity so they can increase prices.
Shortly there will be traffic lights and a four million $ roundabout at the Purnie bore intersection in the Simpson and parking meters at Dalhousie, or toll roads just like home in Melbourne to make our visitors feel comfortable. Boundlessly possible!


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