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

Massive military spending: Election distraction?
We have been blindsided by China and will be forced to take crash courses in Mandarin.
China is after our resources – rare earths in particular and both China and USA are fighting for the same thing for both consumer electronics and defence.
Without rare earths no missile or fighter works and China has control of around 80% of the world supply.
Their methods of mining them are an environmental disaster, and the USA has been caught with their pants down. (Look at Mountain Pass in the USA and the American strategic metals policy.)
Both China and the US have lasers that can bring an aircraft down 50 km away. They have set up “naval bases” posing as tourist resorts in Cambodia New Hebrides, Sri Lanka and Mongolia and an airfield in WA supposedly to train civilian pilots.
Now they are heading for conflict with Russia over Vladivostok.
They will collar the box market for beef in Queensland with their proposed abattoir in North Queensland (Huenden) and put trade restrictions on the Australian meat producers just as they have done with barley.
We were recently accused by the Chinese ambassador of being “non compliant”.
I thought it was all hype until last year in Fiji there was a Chinese surveillance ship with several hi tech dishes from bow to stern and was told that Chinese have lent $300m to Fiji for infrastructure, and removed a lot of bauxite.
The “loan” has to be repaid in US$. Fishing agreements? One sided! We are naive in the extreme.
When the Government closed own the HF radio recently they also closed much of the Radio Australia network in the Pacific and guess who took up the bandwidth.
Look at what is happening on the China Indian border to see what may well come here.


Stuart statue should have King Charley as opposite
Great idea. It should be South of the town at the welcome rock and a part of a brand new tourism precinct based around the cultural /art center at or near Yirara with the student involvement, and a brand new up to speed visitors center at the Transport Hall of Fame as has happened at Winton and elsewhere.
The “Big” feature should also recognise the contribution made by the Afghan cameleers, making it a three way thing. We need to recognise the past but not live in it to the neglect of what lies ahead.
I note that buried under the sand in coastal Victoria, appears to be the wreck of an ancient Chinese vessel.
Perhaps we had a near miss well before the arrival of the Europeans and even be grateful for small mercies.


A touch of light: Willy wagtail, the gardeners’ friend
As a child growing up in the SA Riverland we had a very dear and good old Indigenous man named Fred who took me out frequently onto the river flats and showed me the ways of the Indigenous people of the area.
He could communicate with what he called the messenger birds. They nested in my fathers workshop.
History is repeating itself here and I have the same thing happening in my shed.
They had a problem with the feral cats just as I had with my canaries in my youth. I solved that with my single shot Lithgow .22.
The cats lived in the Berri Hotel wood heap. The birds here now build in my shed on a metal beam which is immune to cat attack, but to assist them I now have 23 notches on my rifle butt.
They love sardines also I have some wonderful conversations with the black cockies that rest on the back fence after filling their guts with calthrop seeds – much more sensible than some of the politicians I hear.


Independent Kim Hopper has succinct policies for Braitling
Well done Kim. We need a new view on things happening here.
We have lost so many opportunities to develop a unique place in the country but have been so inwardly looking over the years in favouring the interests that are so deeply ingrained here.
The Japanese have been using crushed glass from a mountain of wine bottles for many years mainly for road base. Here we are happy to dig into a pristine and ancient hillside.
I once changed some tyres in Adelaide and was PAID for them. They went to China where the rubber was removed by immersing them in liquid nitrogen and sent pack probably.
Unfortunately that has stopped and we do not have the scale or wage structure to do it here.
Both SA and Queensland have hydrogen production facilities developing, claiming the comparative advantage of their sunlight!
No one asked them to investigate here.
There are several towns that have gone completely off grid with significant savings to all.
Why did it not happen at Kilgariff?
One town in NSW has its solar panels over its sewerage ponds! Israel is producing potable water from waste water at under 60c. Singapore produces 60% of its drinking water from waste and they have a separate university department devoted to water recycling.
Here we treat fossil water as a waste product.
The sewerage ponds contain a veritable mountain of nutrients but no one has put a commercial value on them as fertiliser as has happened with the Adelaide plains market gardens.
Why are we not doing this on the communities?
Should I want to build my own eco friendly house here as in the Eco village at Aldinga in SA or the Christies Close development in the Adelaide CBD, where is the provision?
Where can I do it and make it representative of our conditions here? $5K for certification fees should I attempt that, thank you very much, let alone getting permissions in the face of am all powerful building industry.
The WA Government is installing vanadium flow batteries on some Indigenous communities in WA in preference to diesel but never a mention here.
Has any thought been given to the impending influx of electric vehicles? Queensland has developed its own solar highway. Where is our planning?
The development of new industries and the associated infrastructure has been guided by bodies that are protecting their own backsides and professional reputations rather than the communal good, and Darwin centred.
Go Kim!


New COVID initiative rehashes old projects
Get to the real cost of building here. It cost me $315 just to get a local tradie 15 km out of town to give me a quote. When queried I was told “that”s what we charge the Government”.
Brought an online switch from an electrical retailer here. Cost $23. Same switch at the green shed $6.50. A friend landed a four BR house here from Adelaide by truck.
Dropped on block ready to occupy: $280K, thank you very much!
Who is having whom on?


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