The town has already fallen! When will it be realised …

Comment on National Aboriginal art gallery in the wide open spaces? by Trevor Shiell.

The town has already fallen! When will it be realised that it (CBD) is where it is through factors that were relevant over 80 years ago – vis the telegraph station and gold at Arltunga, neither of which is relevant today.
The future activity will have to be south of the gap. Caravans cannot park in the CBD, cars have difficulty, busses are impossible.
The cultural / art centre should be an integral and vital part of the new thinking and should be incorporated into Yirrara college demonstrating the best in Indigenous education and cultural values.
It should be partly run by the students themselves as a training exercise, and interpretive guides in their own cultures.
It should also incorporate the modernisation of traditional bush tucker and medicine.
The precinct should also incorporate a new visitors centre at the welcome to Alice Rock for the whole of the NT, as in Katherine, and an interpretation of the geology along with the very informative but never seen mineralogy at the ASRI geology building.
And of course the Transport Hall of Fame, and the Ghan history. The long term planning and thought has been abysmal.
That whole area should have been a vibrant display of what is possible here, including a nationwide transport hub at Brewer where we have the unique combination of three cross nation roads, a rail hub and an internationally rated airport all within coo-ee of one another.
No other locality in the country has that, but we resolutely refuse to utilise it.
Food production is going to be a major concern over the next 50 years but the research station at Old Man Plains is not even signposted as a means of attracting investment (and jobs).
In fact the previous minister told me that he thought it was near Arltunga!
The Rocky Hill developments should be on public display and the efforts to establish vines next to the radio station should be applauded – particularly when compared to the carnage on the other side of the road. Visitors don’t come here to see our housing.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
It is inevitable that the commercial centre will move south of The Gap and in spite of all the vested interests in the current CBD, how many re invigorations of the mall, and how many plans and initiatives have resulted in not much?
The dinosuar museum is a case in point, with many people not even knowing it is there and a cultural centre as proposed will go the same way.
No one seems to have noticed that we have a unique set of facilities grossly under recognised and unutilised with the convergence of three cross country highways, Outback Way, Stuart Highway and now the Tanami with an international standard airport and cross country rail.
This is where the long term economic activity will have to be. The obvious place for a cultural centre is in conjunction with Yirara College, where students can proudly display their cultures and as a learning exercise in management skills, and show the positive side of Indigenous education.
Add to that a brand new visitors centre where the Transport Hall of Fame is along the lines of Katherine, Winton and other places, to intercept visitors rather than the reactive approach where they arrive in town and then are targeted.
Such a centre should serve the whole of the NT. The numbers of visitors stopping at the welcome rock makes this an obvious action but never explored by planners. The cultural centre and the hall of fame should be the centre piece of a visitors experience, as it is in Winton.


NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse
China now has a ship laying out solar panels on an abandoned and flooded coal mine in Anhui province in Eastern China. It will be producing power for 35,000 homes as apart of supplying up to 11% of today’s energy requirements.
Yakindndra in Victoria is completely off grid and brought their own servo from the proceeds, while the Alkinos sub division in WA is completely independent of the grid.
It should have happened at Kilgariff, and the big green shed on the North Road is generating over half of its energy requirements every day.
No one seems to notice the row of inverters and batteries on the exit, nor do they seem to care. Where were we when all this was happening? Finke or the footy?
And what of our gas? The same company that has spent so much money in Darwin (Inplex) on their gas facility is now planning to build a much larger one in Indonesia!
Have we been taken advantage of yet again? And to rub further salt into the wound, Tesla claims a 2.1 year payback period on its newest electric truck and a 21% to 54% per km savings over diesel. What are we going to do when that arrives here? (Renew.org.Au)
And Denmark runs its entire train system on wind power from the North Atlantic. What another huge win for Tennant Creek (potentially). What have we been doing?


NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse
So obvious, yet once more ignored.
The old Chrysler factory on South Road in Adelaide is now a potential producer of hydrogen claiming that their comparative advantage is the quality of the sunlight for electrolysis of water, while Toyota is marketing hydrogen powered cars.
In the mid 1980s the Frauhoffer Institute in Germany was looking to re locate their solar research facilities, but no one thought to invite them here.
Where were we when this happened?
Under a previous Labor administration here there was a document issued called Towards 2030.
In it I put a proposition that the north south rail be electrified using solar and wind and used as a conduit to export electricity interstate and provide a unique tourist experience of travelling across the continent on a solar powered train.
It got two lines of attention in the back of the document while the rest was social platitudes. There is an Australian company retrofitting shopping complexes with solar power right across Australia but was never invited here.
As nice as this place is to live we are still 20 years behind, and feel good social philosophies do not fill bellies or pay power bills.


Mating odour to catch feral cats
Last year I lost 16 prize chooks to wild dogs, and then the feral cats got in and took the replacement chickens.
Using the same cat trap and chook pellets I have caught 10 rabbits so far and fed them to the crocodile as dessert.
The ears from most of those cats have gone to genetic research interstate to trace their origin and hopefully to eventually research into reducing their numbers.
And with all the ferals we have here, I still don’t understand why the CRC for research into feral animal control appears to be based in Tasmania.
It obviously should be here, but we are further away by far, than the deer, goats etc which are right under the public and political eye.


Ted Egan: Forget splitting hairs, counting drops of blood.
Again we have looked around and ignored what we don’t want to see.
Having lived in a rural part of Fiji for many years, the efforts of the British there go largely unnoticed, and often criticised, as they do here.
The Brits stepped in in Fiji as requested by the chiefs and the first thing they did was to sit the chiefs who were at war down around a bowl of Kava and determined who owned which pieces of land traditionally.
This land ownership was then assigned to a common ancestor, (a “matangali”) and carefully recorded so everyone knew which family group they belonged to, and which piece of traditional land was theirs.
Now every child born with a common Fijian ancestor is recorded in a register as belonging to that piece of land and is recorded as “kai viti”.
My children were all born in that lovely country to my wife and I and are all “Kai loma” I am “Kai valangi” meaning to have come from another country and my wife is “Kai viti” having come from Fiji.
Kai loma (loma means inside) means between, or inside both and is a lovely way to describe people who are between as so many of us are.
Is that all too simple?
As a footnote my children are all eligible to claim ownership of their traditional land in Fiji but have chosen not to do so as land is scarce.
However, whenever we return their Fijian heritage makes them very comfortable.
There is a middle path, but for some reason it is sometimes ignored.


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