@ Eli Melky (Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:35 am): …

Comment on Council backflip on Anzac Oval heritage by Alex Nelson.

@ Eli Melky (Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:35 am): I acknowledge Councillor Melky’s long-standing support for the preservation of Anzac Oval in its existing state as a major community asset which predates the beginning of my effort towards nominating the oval for heritage listing.
I also thank Councillor Auricht for his principled stand on this matter.
As for Councillor Satour’s querying “that the proposal for heritage listing had not come up until the Anzac precinct became the government’s preferred site for the national Aboriginal art gallery”, she ought to be aware that often happens in regard to proposed redevelopment projects.
It’s not unusual (the recent failed nomination of the old Darwin Primary School at Frog Hollow is another example) and it’s also the right of any person under the NT Heritage Act (passed by Labor in 2011) to make such nominations.
After the conclusion of the mid-September committee meeting I spoke with Councillor Satour to suggest I could make a presentation to the Town Council about the nominations for heritage listing of Anzac Oval and the old school, given that the council had not sought to discuss these matters with me.
Councillor Satour seemed responsive to that idea but there was no follow-up.
I became concerned about heritage implications after learning in late 2017 of the Government’s intention to replace the former Anzac Hill High School as its preferred site for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, and upon being informed this had not been taken into consideration I resolved at that time to nominate the old school for heritage listing.
The decision to nominate Anzac Oval came much later, after being prevailed upon by others to do so.
In December 2017 I wrote to Minister Lauren Moss explaining the historical background to the origin of heritage legislation in the Northern Territory which arose out of major controversies in Alice Springs in the late 1980s – clearly this message was lost on the Minister and her Parliamentary colleagues.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Country Liberal Party: custodians ignored on gallery
@ Jack (Posted May 29, 2020 at 2:11 pm): Whatever amount of money “we” decide to “stump up” gives us no right or authority to dictate terms to Indigenous people on how or where their art and culture may be displayed for others.
What they decide might not cost as much as $50m; indeed, it’s the NT Government, not custodians and TOs, that “stumped up” that sum of money so it’s hypocritical to blame the latter.
And, if custodians and TOs decide they don’t want to go down this path at all, then the money becomes a moot point, doesn’t it?


Country Liberal Party: custodians ignored on gallery
Basically, whether from the Labor or Country Liberals, the debate about the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, is all about cultural appropriation of Aboriginal art to suit the ambitions of politicians, bureaucrats and the business sector.
The entire process, subsequent to the steering committee report, has been (and continues to be) completely mishandled arse-about; surely it has to be resolved in the following manner:
1. Do the traditional custodians and owners of this region want or support the concept of a “national” art gallery, either on its own or as part of a cultural centre?
2. If they support this concept, where do they want it to be built?
The answers to these two basic questions would provide the guidance on whether this project is approved or not in the first place, and then (if approved) where it can be built.
It’s their art, their culture, so let’s allow the custodians and TOs to be the primary authority on this matter, and the rest of us to abide by their wishes accordingly.


CLP would build gallery at Desert Park, not Anzac precinct
@ Ray (Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm): The irony of your comment is that the Alice Springs Desert Park, when it was a concept promoted by the NT Government nearly 30 years ago, was touted as a major new attraction for Alice Springs that would attract and / or divert tourists from Uluru – yes, it was going to be the economic game-changer for Central Australia!
As was the casino at the beginning of NT self-government _ who remembers all those high-rollers from Asia it was going to attract to our fair town?
And then the Desert Knowledge Precinct, which would put Central Australia at the forefront of research and development for a billion customers in similar environments around the world! Hallelujah!
Not to mention the very original economic nirvana dreaming, the transcontinental railway from south to north that would open up access to the teeming markets of southeast Asia (that one dates from the 19th century colonial period of South Australia’s control of the Northern Territory).
And now we’ve got the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, just the latest mirage on the desert horizon that self-interested politicians and bureaucrats are urging upon us as the oasis of our economic salvation.


CLP would build gallery at Desert Park, not Anzac precinct
To me the obvious question to ask is this: Assuming the gallery is built at the Alice Springs Desert Park or south of the Gap, or even not at all, who then is going to be held to account for the unnecessary destruction of a perfectly good public asset, the former Anzac Hill High School, at a cost to taxpayers over $2m and for no good reason at all?
By rights this whole issue should be a major political scandal.


Mparntwe custodians: Lhere Artepe does not speak for us
@ Jack (Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:19 am): Change the scale of your figures (upwards, on a massive scale), widen the scope of your scenario, and you’ve got a perfect description of the Northern Territory for the entire period of “responsible” self-government.


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