Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Questions about National Trust property

Sir ­– I sent the following letter to Elizabeth Close, Director, National Trust of the Northern Territory.
I note in the February edition of the National Trust’s Newsletter that 86 Hartley Street (pictured) is “proposed” for sale.
I wish to raise my concern about the diminishing history of Alice Springs’ historic residences in the CBD. 86 Hartley Street is one of few residences that should remain intact and cared for by the National Trust.
My concerns encompass the following questions:-
• What is the reason for selling the property?
• Is the McDouall Stuart Branch in agreement with selling the property? Are they involved in the process?
• Does the National Trust have the right to sell the Alice Springs buildings without public notice or comment?
• If the National Trust no longer needs to own properties, how many Darwin buildings are up for sale?
• If it is sold, are all of the structures to be kept, including the toilet and outbuildings?
• Has the residence been put in the hands of agents to see if the property can be rented? Why may tenants not be attracted?
• What provisions are set in place in order that we do not end up with gigantic sheds built on the property, as has been done on a heritage-listed property in Railway Terrace?
• Is Les Hansen House the next residence to be sold in Alice Springs (as reported in the Alice Springs News)?
• Will the proceeds of the sale be returned to Alice Springs?
The newsletter also prompts further comment, as follows:
• There is no information as to how the National Trust makes decisions.
• Apparently there is a Board, but there is no mention of it nor is there any mention of the staff of the National Trust. Is there representation from Alice Springs or Pine Creek or Tennant Creek or Katherine on the Board?
• In the advertisement for the sale, there is a photograph of the Hartley Street School and not the residence at 86 Hartley Street.
• There is no “Branch News” from Alice Springs.
I hope that you are able to allay my concerns and I look forward to hearing from you.
Faye Alexander
Member of Heritage Alice Springs, but not writing on behalf of that group.
[ED – The Alice Springs News Online asked the Trust for permission to inspect the property. We have had no response to that request. The News reported on February 7 that Les Hansen House would not be sold.]


  1. I grew up in the Alice from the 1950s till the late seventies. On my trips back to Alice it disgusts me to see lots of heritage buildings gone. How can they? Because they are not true Territorians. Hands off Hartley Street school.


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