Thanks Steve, I really value your opinion. It’s a pity …

Comment on Have a look at what’s being demolished by Mike Gillam.

Thanks Steve, I really value your opinion.
It’s a pity our Government is not seeking advice from professionals of your calibre.
I wish you could walk through the complex, then again you’d probably cry.
It ticks all the boxes for repurposing with a community focus and room for complementary tourism elements.
I’m ashamed to admit that an expansive “village / creative hub” with a focus on young people is a low priority.
We prefer to push this demographic into tiny, highly internalised parcels. I suspect the combined size of our several youth centres is less than a few thousand square metres.
Moreover, to my knowledge there are no suburban centres apart from the gap (GYC) and that further exacerbates accessibility.
How serious are we? Alex Nelson’s experience as the nominator for heritage protection of the site has certainly lifted the lid on a process that’s not serving the public interest.
His persistence and discovery of dodgy procedures gives me cause to reflect on other planning and heritage decisions taken over the past decade or more.
Fortunately for us Alex is undeterred, taking his complaints to both the ICAC and NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
If he had very deep pockets I have no doubt the site would already have the protection of a legal injunction.
Alas, justice favours the wealthy and the well connected.
In this case our own Government.
A further directions hearing before NTCAT is scheduled for 2pm tomorrow (Friday).
I’m hopeful that a review of the process might save this government from itself.
Anzac High could be a win win.

Mike Gillam Also Commented

Have a look at what’s being demolished
Craig raises accountability in government, surely a hallmark or is it merely an aspiration of a functioning democracy?
Based on exhaustive research from the US its an established fact that communities do better economically when they preserve heritage sites.
Alas, stupidity and ignorance is not a crime and I doubt very much that any politician since Territory self government has read this research.
Why do we expect so little from our elected leaders? I think we all know intuitively at least, that our democracy is being stolen from us, chipped away and degraded slowly over time.
On those rare occasions when community and third party interests exercise their limited rights and prevail, when the excesses of governments are actually thwarted, our political leaders have been known to respond by further weakening legislation.
Truth and justice provide succour to the wealthy and powerful, in this case the government.
In no way is this a level playing field. A big business entity would hire the best lawyers, seek an immediate injunction and claim all expenses as a tax deduction.
In a practical sense these options are not available to the common person no matter how compelling their cause.
Whatever the stated intent of the Heritage Act, the devil is in the detail. This legislation serves the Minister of the day, their whim trumps all. Where will this trajectory take us?
Before long politicians will stack every board, tribunal and advisory body with compliant friends. Unelected appointees who can be trusted to serve the party. Individuals who won’t rock the boat even when its on the bottom of the lake with a hole in the hull.
Oversight, checks and balances are already very fragile and sparse. Members of the public who do care are sucked into a disingenuous process where compelling submissions made by third party interests are routinely ignored.
No-one likes having their time wasted and I only wish we could gaol a few politicians along with the bankers and corporates that set such an odious example for society.
But our legal processes are skewed to protect them while the youngsters who attract so much media attention are much more likely to get caught and do time.

Have a look at what’s being demolished

I photographed several plaques, one celebrating the opening of the secondary wing by Minister for Territories Paul Hasluck in 1954. Further to Rod’s comment, an architect friend estimated that a $5m spend on upgrades and refurbishment would yield a $20m asset for the town. Talk about backsliding.

Recent Comments by Mike Gillam

Council resignations and surprising alliances
A backlash was predictable but I’m surprised by the use of “economic sanctions” on our region!
In the affairs of human relations and community bridge building this is a very, very small action. Clearly some of those skeletons in family cupboards must be rattling.
I’d be surprised if there were any serious threat to Stuart’s statue or his marble form in Adelaide. Mind you, when I think of Stuart it’s not a Daniel Boone frontiersman lookalike that springs to mind but the almost blind and half starved invalid supported on an improvised stretcher between a couple of skeletal horses.
Amazing subject matter for any sculptor.
Stuart is described in Wikipedia as “… a slight, delicately built young man, standing 5’6” tall (168 cm) …” This indefatigable Scotsman and brilliant explorer died in London at the age of 50, destitute and forgotten.
I agree with Hal’s comment that our community has stepped onto a slippery slope but I reckon we’re mature and brave enough to navigate through.
There are other street names that acknowledge historical figures with a chequered past and in some cases it’s their later acts of redemption that are truly inspirational.
Our history would be a blank book if all the flawed characters were expunged so those naive enough to believe in good and evil stereotypes should be careful what they wish for.
The lessons of Willshire include some very brave and honourable Europeans and some murderous native constables with their own agendas.

Council resignations and surprising alliances
A welcome decision, especially given its unanimous support in an often divided chamber.
Can we consider placing beneath the bold new street name, some reference to “formerly Willshire St.” in fine print with a link / QR code etc directing all to Council’s website with a summary of Willshire’s nefarious role in the history of Centralia and the processes that culminated in re-naming the street.

Stuart statue should have King Charley as opposite
A wonderful contribution!

Curfew a child protection measure: Territory Alliance
Thank you Michelle and Elle. All three levels of government (a perfect Alice scenario for blame shifting and buck passing) need to coordinate and invest in our young people. I expected better policy than this from Territory Alliance.

Mparntwe custodians: Lhere Artepe does not speak for us
Agree completely with Arunta Man, Perrule and Alex Hope.

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