@ Maya. All of my many comments relating to this …

Comment on Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent by Russell Guy.

@ Maya. All of my many comments relating to this proposed gallery, going back eighteen months have been in sync with what you have written.
I am tired of it all, but if you look at the size and stature of tourist-related galleries and museums in Alice, the current proposal is way out of proportion.
The Aviation Museum, Araluen, Road Transport Hall of Fame, the way in which the old gaol celebrates the achievement of women, the Telegraph Station, Desert Park, AZRI, Pitchi Ritchi, Adelaide House, the Residency and even Hermannsburg with its renovations, all are low profile.
Building on and nurturing the essence of Alice, its history and community, would be more sympathetic to a desert town surrounded by an immense landscape than the grandiosity of what smells like a proscenium arch proposal in line with the new courthouse.
Check out the newly constructed dinosaur building at Muttaburra for appropriate desert architecture.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent
@ Hal Duell. Posted 31st August, 2018 @ 11:41.
The Old Timers Museum should be added to my list of local, low profile art gallery / museums as below. It’s an historical repository of detail and reconstruction with an emphasis on the pioneering times of early Alice Springs, including Arrernte history and brief explanation, allowing visitors to join the dots.
In fact, joining the dots with the other museums / galleries would tell a fascinating story about Alice Springs.
I’ve heard it said that Grey Nomad tourism is forecast to grow at around 17% p.a. and the kind of museum / galleries that already exist as described are the kind that they are interested in, so it would make sense to promote these as jewels of an outback town.
Fostering an industry dependent on expensive air fares should not overshadow domestic tourism and the required infrastructure, especially in suitable accommodation, catering to caravans and backpackers who, admittedly, are low-budget visitors, but significant none the less.
In respect of the Melanka site, it may make more sense to consider an Arrernte Cultural Centre – as has been written about almost ad nauseum in these pages, including pre-contact history – that is more of a commercial cafe/sales visitation, as opposed to the more scholarly Strehlow Centre, rather than an art gallery per se.
Tim Jennings had a great museum upstairs at the Mbantua Centre before the slump in Aboriginal contemporary art and the Emily Kngwarreye million dollar painting that could have been bid for if there was some foresight in the government’s proposed art gallery venture is water under the bridge.
The commercial viability of existing art galleries has to be considered, notwithstanding the Araluen exhibitions.
Such a proposal for the Melanka site, with imaginative architecture and a purpose-driven vision, including live performance space for music, theatre and art is more in keeping with modern tourist expectations of the sort described by Minister Moss elsewhere.
It has an incredible story to tell, but how it would be funded and staffed is another story.
The $50m the government has put on the table seems eminently suited to this concept and site, rather than creating a new sports complex and covering Anzac Oval with concrete.
History would, I believe, not look favourably on the Gunner Government’s proposal and the concept of tourism, a tourist culture as Minister Moss conceives it, should be town / regionally specific.
“The past is not dead, in fact, it is not even past” is specifically applicable to Central Australia.
The bones of a re-imagined tourist industry are already lying about the place.
All they need is to be brought to life and added to in sympathy with the history of a town struggling to find its way.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Alcohol floor price may breach Australian Constitution
The fact that no action is being taken by the Winemakers Federation, preferring instead to work with the NT Government; that there have been no casks larger than two litres in the NT for several years and in Alice Springs for several more, because they are banned, we should be encouraged by their example, along with other retailers who have shown similar intent.
Tourist tipple and alcohol problems in the NT are interrelated. In a recent post, I pointed out the illogic of sacrificing current levels of visible alcohol-related harm to the tourist economy, which will only cause further decline.
The Mandatory Treatment Act (2013), since repealed, highlighted how harmful and disempowering alcohol restrictions can be, particularly where Indigenous communities have not been involved in their development.
While Steve Brown appears to consider it a “do gooder” issue and appeals for ice containment, he ignores the need for alcohol supply restriction in the general community, a product, it could be argued, of laissez faire capitalism over 50 years, culminating in corner stores trading in takeaway alcohol seven days a week.
Mr Brown compounds his approach by wishing that crystal methamphetamine (ice) was not a problem, allegedly within Indigenous communities.
It would be better if he, and others of a similar opinion, evinced the same desire for alcohol management through community coalitions backed by government regulation or government‐initiated community partnerships, which according to a recent article in the Australian and New Zealand Public Health Journal, “have been successful in harnessing local knowledge and Indigenous social systems to curb the unintended impacts of alcohol regulation”.
The article revealed that improved health and social outcomes, for example, by tethering demand reduction programs to supply restrictions had been achieved.
Outrage over the disempowerment of Grey Nomads to purchase a cask of cheap wine, while the harmful use of alcohol among Territorians continues at levels in excess of the national average, ignores the possibility of a community-led solution, even when governments repeal poorly consulted legislation such as the MTA.
In the mid-1980s, Territorians died from being stabbed by glass flagons. Casks were introduced by governments working with the winemakers and less harm eventuated.
It didn’t curtail harmful levels of consumption, nor the granting of takeaway licenses, but the NT Government, acting on recommendations from Justice Riley’s Report, is facing up to the cost of those unacceptable levels and investigating ways of working with the underlying cultural problems.
Learning from history on which evidence-based legislation like soft packaging and a demand reduction floor price is based seems more appropriate than sticking one’s head in the sand.

Ice Age in Alice
Four balls coming back over the net. Policy on the run.
@ Local 1: Comparing Queensland with the NT is apples and oranges. Been crossing the border all my life, not just for a week.
@ Steve Brown: I want to see evidence for your claims, not just anecdotal. Been there.
@ John Bell: Commonsense has been missing in action and @ Paul Parker, same thing.
Tolerance, common sense and reason were the founding values of the European Enlightenment. Not going well.
Finally, to all, I speak for myself, not for PAAC, whose evidence-based campaign assisted the NT Government in micro-managing the issue of liberal alcohol supply with a floor price. The claim that it makes all alcohol more expensive is incorrect.

Ice Age in Alice
The floor price is not a “silver bullet.”
There is none. There are only a suite of measures to reduce levels of supply, including the BDR.
A floor price targets the cheapest alcohol sold, mostly cask wine, consumed by the most desperate addicts, including pregnant women.
Canada and Scotland have a floor price.
It was introduced this week in the NT after a long evidence-based campaign.
Cynicism is an easy choice, but I’ve been involved in reducing alcohol-related harm in the NT since 1986 when I produced four songs with Indigenous band, Coloured Stone for the NT Road Safety Board.
If you allow yourself to get cynical and negative about drugs, of which alcohol is one of the most prevalent, then you might as well accept the carnage as inevitable.
Take the opposition over the recent Master’s Games request by the police for light and midstrength beer.
One of your readers posted anonymously, calling those who lobby to turn the tap down a “mob” who are only interested in prohibition. That’s hysteria.
The NT Government is currently looking into the seven days a week take away grog licensing regime.
Australia has a culture of alcoholism, particularly around sport.
Changing that culture, currently costing NT taxpayers $640m p.a. is a positive step towards putting money into ice rehab.

Apex Club ‘fenced out’ of running Masters Games bars
@ “Ray”. My argument for turning the tap down (not off, as you insinuate with your anonymous post), exposes your confusion, but it clarifies one point.
It will be hypocritical for you to point to the Indigenous as being responsible for the town’s social problems again.
While you busy yourself over being “the laughing stock of the country”, the hospital and police records continue to speak for themselves and show no sign of abating, due to what is a culture of alcoholism.
It was the police who requested light and midstrength beer be served at this sporting event.
As an attendee at last Friday’s National Police Remembrance Day, the names of those officers who were killed in the line of duty was sobering, yet they who we appoint to serve and protect are fobbed off.
Justifying the capitulation on the economy and giving back to the “community” is evidence of your confusion, but as cultural tourism is the vogue, it will be interesting to see how long before you start referring to “the section of the community that has the issue” again.

Apex Club ‘fenced out’ of running Masters Games bars
Why such despondency, “Ray”?
The streets of Alice Springs are paved with gold if you have eyes to see.
They need not be awash with the consequences of alcoholism.
Turn the tap down (not off) and you will see how a great town can come back from fifty years of an uncapped flow.

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