The Alice Springs Town Council site is not only the …

Comment on Gallery: no deal yet on land swap by Domenico Pecorari.

The Alice Springs Town Council site is not only the best block in town, Hal, but it is crowned by one of the most significant architectural designs by one-time Alice Springs architect, Andrew McPhee, namely, the original Council buildings.
Andy practised in Alice between 1966 and 1984 and his body of work contributes not only to the built heritage of our town, but towards the development of a local culture, if it is not demolished first.
The tent-like design, with its wide eaves, acknowledges the Afghan connection with the site and represents an appropriate design response to our desert climate.
Only the most un-cultured amongst us could contemplate its loss.
Andy’s design achievements in Central Australia are many and include the Anglican Church in Bath Street, the extensions to OLSH School, his own Pyramid House in Andrews Court, and the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Hartley Street, for which he was awarded the NT Architecture Award for Enduring Architecture in 2017.
Being practical as well as creative, he also developed the Aputula House design for Aboriginal communities (Finke, 1974), designed to be put together by community members using a mechanic’s toolkit, and which allowed for an open fire at its centre.
In a town that has already lost many of its older historic places, we need to begin recognising the importance of our more recent built heritage and not knock everything down on the whim of unqualified politicians and so-called “civic leaders”.

Recent Comments by Domenico Pecorari

Big drops in grog crime, break-ins on way down: police
I’m sorry for James T Smirk, Jack and David, who have to grab at straws such as alleged under-reporting, maligning do-gooders and rejecting the figures in favour of a tougher stance on offenders.
It would seem the statistics are stacked against you, based as they are upon the actual numbers of offenders being taken into protective custody and presentations at the hospital’s emergency department. Cold, hard facts, I’d have thought.
Is it possible that some in our community cannot accept the link between anti-social behaviour / domestic violence and unbridled access to take-away alcohol?
I agree with Watching and Maya.
Let us be glad for the progress made to date and look to how the situation may be improved for the future. Nay-sayers need not apply.

Blackout: Managers must go, says union source
What a monumental mess indeed.
Ten new gas-fired generators that cannot be relied upon to deal with fluctuations in demand; the former Ron Goodin generator not maintained to provide back-up if needed; what seems to be an undersized back-up battery system and remote management of the power system from Darwin …
The Electrical Trades Union is correct in calling for heads to roll.
An opportunity also for the Minister, Dale Wakefield, to either show courage or to reward incompetence.
Alice Springs deserves better.

Old visitors centre trashed
@ Evelyn: All around Australia, councils are taking up the challenges that our so-called “leaders” in Canberra (and at state and territory level) are either unable or unwilling to deal with. Climate change, to name but one.
Whilst it would seem that our local council has had its internal divisions and a lack of coherent leadership, I believe things are about to change.
Over the last year, AS Town Council has approved the development of a Town Plan for Alice and it has recently appointed a new CEO with the qualifications and experience to turn it into reality.
I do not have a problem with councillors having their own dreams, so long as these are incorporated into a broader vision that will improve our town’s ability to face an uncertain future.

How do NT Labor and the CLP rate on heritage?
That’s very true, Alex. There are countless articles on the contribution that heritage makes towards thriving tourist destinations.
The Alice had this in the mid-1980s, when I first came to town, with a distinctive character that I used to tell my city friends you could “carve with a knife”.
Decades of pro-business re-development and poor civic leadership has seen the town’s unique character reduced to where we are today: Little more than a service town for a much diminished local tourism industry and a declining permanent population.
Sadly, the notion of “A Town Like Alice” has been well and truly killed off.
I have come to believe that the only hope for the town’s revival is for it to re-invent itself as a centre that is successfully meeting the many and varied challenges of an uncertain future.
Such a new “identity” would not only pay homage to the the hard work and hopes of central Australia’s earliest pioneers, but has the potential to make Alice a place that people would once again want to visit and make their home.

Election 2020 salvos fired with Alice the first battleground
@ Trevor Shiell. Whilst it is true that we have many plans, what our town lacks is a comprehensive plan, the overall vision, that these more detailed plans ought to be developed from.
These individual plans often pull in opposing directions, are too narrowly focused and do not take into account a big picture of the town we want The Alice to develop into, a vision drawn up not only from an economic point of view, but also from an environmental, social and cultural perspective.
Until we do that, we will continue to chase our tail and waste time, dwindling resources and funding, as so well illustrated by the latest fiasco over the Aboriginal Art Gallery.

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