… but solution may be in sight
By KIERAN FINNANE
The Town Council has come under new pressure over the grease trap issue with the Alice Plaza and it seems that there may be some progress.
CEO Rex Mooney told councillors last night that Minister for Central Australia Matt Conlan raised the matter with Mayor Damien Ryan at the NRL match last Saturday. In consequence Mayor Ryan had requested that councillors be given a briefing.
Mr Mooney was anxious for councillors to know that his administration is not being obstructive. He sent the Plaza’s property manager, Tony Bowes, an email last Monday at 2.30pm, had a reply back at 2.42pm and was in conversation by phone one hour later.
The explanation now being given for council’s resistance to having the grease trap on its land is a little more complicated. Director of Technical Services, Greg Buxton, told councillors that his concern is with what is already underneath the new paving – a sewer, water mains, fibre optic cable and a major stormwater drain – more than the surface issues he described previously to the Alice Springs News Online
Mr Bowes told the Alice News: “The conversation we had with Council last week was the first I (personally) had heard of this scenario, and it is quite an understandable one, once explained.”
But more importantly, there is now a possible solution on the table. Mr Buxton has suggested to Mr Bowes that the Plaza’s own land at the entrance to the shopping centre (the white tiled area in our photo) would be a suitable location for the grease trap.
Mr Bowes has confirmed that the Plaza’s plumbing contractors are now looking at options and that he will continue to work closely with council on the matter.
Mr Buxton also told councillors that the prospective business for the vacant corner tenancy may no longer be a coffee shop, but rather a Mexican restaurant, which would likely require a larger grease trap than a coffee shop’s.
However, Mr Bowes says a Mexican restaurant has only been mentioned “off-the-cuff”: “It is not even a thought in our minds. We just want to get something happening in that vacant shop, and some kind of food retailer is something that we believe would do well in that space.”