Confusion over gallery leadership: government’s fault

p2459 Lauren Moss (2411 ) presser 400By ERWIN CHLANDA and KIERAN FINNANE


Tourism and Culture Minister Lauren Moss is still in charge of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery project for Alice Springs. Who would have known?


Left: Minister Moss announces the Steering Committee for this important project in February 2017. Her role since then seems to have steadily diminished. 


In our article yesterday about questions and answers on local issues in Estimates we apparently left the impression that Braitling MLA Dale Wakefield is in charge. We were supposed to have divined Ms Moss’ authority from two recent media releases about the “pop-up coffee chats” consultation which do not mention her name. The name all over them is Ms Wakefield’s.


The confusion about who is in charge started when Ms Wakefield had published in the Centralian Advocate, the government’s favoured propaganda organ, an editorial in which she canvassed the critical issues facing the gallery process. She then followed with this announcement:


“I have spoken to the Chief Minister and have asked to take the lead on finding solutions to these issues so that we can progress this important project for our community. He has agreed.”


Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley understandably took this to be a change at the helm and asked Chief Minister Michael Gunner in the Assembly about it.


He helpfully answered: “I have no idea what the Member for Araluen is talking about, except to say that the Member for Braitling is a brilliant Alice Springs member. She fights hard for Alice Springs and she makes sure Alice Springs gets more than its fair share. I thank her for her advocacy of Alice Springs.”


This went along with his misrepresentation of the results of the Steering Committee’s deliberations, reported here.


Since the government’s announcement of Anzac Oval as its preferred location for the gallery, has Minister Moss made any public announcements in relation to the project?


As the Minister in charge, who presumably initiated the woeful first round of consultations and presided over the slap in the face to the Steering Committee, might she not have been expected to speak to the significant public opposition to the government’s site selection?


Might she not also have been expected to advance the invitation to the council to enter into an MOU with her department on the process? This came from the Chief Minister and was rejected by a majority on the council.


If Minister Moss is in charge, she needs to show her hand.




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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Yvonne Driscoll
    Posted June 20, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Leave our oval alone and listen to the people in Alice Springs and the Indigenous people.

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  2. Hal Duell
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    “I have no idea what the Member for Araluen is talking about …”
    And that comment is true.

    View Comment
  3. James T Smerk
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:57 am

    I’m over this. I was against it (like most people), but you know what, the investment in the town would be good, so just do it already. Rugby mob just think about the new flash facilities you will get!

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