Sunday, July 21, 2024

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HomeIssue 8Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen

Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen

p2239-Burton-Habib-BandieraBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Uranium mining near Alice Springs, for which exploration was stopped by the Labor government before the 2012 election, needs to be back on the table.
This is the view of Tony Bandiera, Samih Habib-Bitar and Darren Burton (pictured from left), speaking for about 40 business operators, who are putting up a mix of ideas to drag the town out of its current slump.
They say opposition to a nuclear industry could be expected “from the usual quarters” but the group would be seeking assistance from the Charles Darwin University with opinion surveys to find out what the majority of the town thinks.
The group would then accept the verdict of the majority.
Other issues about which the group, which says it has no political affiliations, is seeking public feedback:–
• As the Ayers Rock Resort is not a town – you can’t go there and start a business without the resort’s consent, for example – the cost of providing all government services should be recouped in full from the resort’s interstate based owners, including power, water, sewerage, police, school, clinic, promotion and airport.
• Limiting the increase of Alice Springs Town Council rates for commercial land to the national Cost Price Index (CPI). Mr Burton says the Darwin CPI should not be applied because unlike Alice, that city is in boom conditions.
• There are reports that the NT Health Department is bartering for lower accommodation rents.
• Private caravan park operators are being undercut by Blatherskite Park (the show grounds) and the National Road Transport Hall of Fame – both operating from government owned land and hence enjoying unfair advantages. (The Alice Springs News Online has ask both for comment.)
• The “safe house” replacing Aranda House is not working. Delinquent kids are no longer confined – in fact if they misbehave further they are “kicked out”. Whilst there is a need for providing care for these children, and offering them recreation, they need to be able to be confined.
• Football carnivals, the annual show and other fixtures likely to strand bush visitors in town need to require non-cancellable return tickets paid in advance.
• In view of global warming causing violent storms and rainfall, the town needs a flood mitigation dam.
• Town parks should be put to better use. A park at Stirling Heights, for example, is grossly neglected.
• Mining approvals should be linked to requirements benefiting the town. Fly-in, fly-out arrangements to the mine sites should be curtailed. The Granites Mine, for example, provides little benefits for Alice – the FiFo bases are mostly interstate or in Darwin.
• Red Tape is being cut incrementally but there is still a long way to go.
• Linking the first home buyer’s grant to new dwellings does not serve well the town’s young people. It fails to keep them here. Other measures to stem the flight of the youngsters are also needed, such as better university education.
• Tourist promotion for the region is still failing to hit the mark.
The group is happy to name its members.
Mr Bandiera, Mr Habib-Bitar and Mr Burton say the group will be holding a public meeting soon.
FOOTNOTE: During the interview the Alice Springs News Online put to the three members that cheap electricity from a nuclear plant here could be fueling Central Australia based manufacturing of solar energy hardware. That could, in time, produce power from the abundant sunshine of the region. Also, new low-loss direct current (DC) transmission equipment could put major cities within such a plant’s service area. The News gathered from the ensuing discussion that the three were supporting such a proposal. They have now explained that they favour discussion of putting mining uranium back on the agenda, but not nuclear power generation.


  1. Businessmen?
    Perhaps a better description would be a self-interested bunch motivated only by the desire to further feather their own nests.

  2. National Road Transport Hall of Fame … UNFAIR ADVANTAGES????? If I was on Facebook I would say LOL LOL WTF LOL!
    I hereby formally request a meeting with this “GROUP” because if they have this fact wrong then what else have they got wrong.
    We have volunteers stay on site and we charge them “HOURS OF WORK” not money.
    They are NOT tourists they are retired road transport industry people who do not come to town as tourists but to work at the museum and help build the tourism industry.
    They actually contribute quite significantly to the town while they are here. This is the most successful community based museum in Australia, it costs the tax payer and the ratepayer NIL, ZERO, ZILCH, NOTHING – except the land we occupy.
    We have put $10m worth of assets onto it that we paid for OURSELVES.
    Even though we also qualify, as a community based museum for council rates exemption, we choose to pay them.
    This place GIVES to the town not TAKES. We’ll be putting at least another $10m into the town for tourism with our reunion this year with 1000 trucks and 10,000 people coming.
    So, Samih, Tony and Paul – our museum is not in a slump but its not because we have “unfair advantages,” its because we get off our arses, don’t whinge about how tough times are, and we sell our product – ourselves – to our niche markets. AND WE DONT RUN A CARAVAN PARK OR HAVE UNFAIR ADVANTAGES.
    If you ask me, it’s a pretty good legacy the trucking industry has put in Alice Springs – $1.3m upgrade from Kenworth just this year alone!
    And you whinge about a retired truckie getting an “unfair advantage” because he stays here and cleans Kenworth trucks for free all day, because he loves the trucks and the museum! He wouldn’t be here if the museum wasn’t!
    Come out for a coffee one day and I’ll show you how its done! You have my number.

  3. A bit unfair, Liz Martin, as there are some reasonable suggestions in the mix.
    I think they are wasting their time with analysis of nuclear energy and uranium mining but discussing ways the town can improve is always good.
    The flood mitigation dam is a very interesting one because it seems inevitable that one day this town will go under water. I understand the cultural issues but there are dams and dams.
    A bank that disperses water slowly may be useful. Would be good to see the calculations.

  4. Blatherskite Park is a community space that is used by many equestrian groups, canine training, BMX practicing, and the remote controlled car groups not to mention community member utilising the community space to walk their dogs.
    It’s also used for the Alice Springs Show and at time other major events which come to town, sadly Blatherskite Park has been left to deteriorate because it owners, the Northern Territory Government, won’t allocate and funding for the upkeep of such an important community asset.
    Can you blame the park for trying to raise a little funds by allowing people with pets or oversized vans to use the site? NO, you can’t!
    What a hilarious sight it is to see these oversized, over interested men sit on their backsides and be so negative towards the town. Rather than being so negative why don’t they come up with some productive ideas?
    As my grandchildren would say: LMAO.

  5. Totally agree with Melanie Ross: “Businessmen?
    Perhaps a better description would be a self-interested bunch motivated only by the desire to further feather their own nests.”
    What a load of rubbish! And then pretending to be community minding. Random and badly researched “solutions” for a random set of “problems”.
    Back to the drawing table, gentlemen, please.

  6. It should indeed be on the dinner table.
    Uranium oxide is at a low and the mining industry in general is likely in the process of an interim decline.
    This means that key personnel and soon, mining logistics, should be purchased relatively cheaply.
    It’s a little early and more of a reconnoitre, a toe in the water.

  7. What is unfair to them about them telling lies about my place, Richard Bentley? I would assume they can validate their opinions, objectives and anticipated outcomes without messing all over two community based organisations, immediately alienating a sector of the community they are proposing to assist!
    That’s a failure in 101 Community Inclusion! I have an opinion on water mitigation and nuclear power and uranium mining but I didn’t even mention those! I mentioned the lies about the Hall of Fame, and they are lies – come see for yourself if you don’t want to take my word for it.
    We are proud of our achievements out here. In case you didn’t know part of the uranium (Pamela Angela) site is (was) actually on our land, so we are well across the issues.

  8. Nice to see you ugly buggas have the balls to put your ideas on the front page, but bejeeezuz … don’t upset Liz. She even frightens the crap outa me.
    When the one eyed leftards hit NT uranium mining on the head Andamooka was a ghost town and now the leftard undemocratically elected South Australian Government has finally admitted it is broke.
    The soon to be constructed Labor promoted Southern Hemisphere’s safest and largest self fueled uranium powered electricity generator will soon solve 50% of Alice’s financial woes … and provide cheap security lighting in your empty dim lit CBD streets. Kind regards as always, Bass.

  9. One good suggestion for the town three for personal issues of the men involved.
    Unfortunately this group will only express and asked to which they benefit the most with the answers.
    Hope I’m wrong but I’ve yet to see an example of anything they have done for community that they haven’t gained from in years gone by.

  10. I like the idea of billing the Ayers Rock Resort for all services provided by the NT Government.
    We are subsidising a private corporation out there, but unfortunately there’s nothing new in that. And if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement goes ahead, this subsidising will bloom into a full rort.
    Non-refundable return tickets paid up front by bush visitors coming to town for specific events is an idea worth pursuing. We all know what happens when they and their children get stranded in Alice after the event is over.
    For those who question this, review the aftermath of this year’s Easter Lightning Carnival.
    A flood mitigation dam is one of those really good ideas that will probably only get serious consideration after the next big flood.
    Didn’t Blatherskite Park get a much needed infrastructure boost in this year’s NT budget? I thought I read something to that effect. Hope so. It’s an important community asset.
    And why, why bag Liz’s Transport Museum? She has created something out there that gets national (international?) recognition. Transport is central to our region. First the camel trains, then the trucks. Shot yourselves in the foot with that one, boys.
    Uranium mining and fracking for gas and tourism? I can see the billboards now:
    Come Visit the Red Centre
    (don’t forget to bring your own water)

  11. I think what Liz Martin said needed to be said. I am not a truckie and have visited it several times. I think it is a credit to the people who run it and an asset to the town. These three stooges need to stop winging and to get on with it and not to worry so much about lining their own pockets and do something for the community.

  12. Oh dear. It seems being a businessman is as bad as being a developer. Melanie, crawl back under your rock or go back to were you come from.
    Alice needs debate, not negativity. Seems you blokes stuck your heads up to be cut off.
    All people who just complain – where are your ideas to improve Alice? No, that’s right, it’s easier to sit on your arse and point your finger.

  13. Angela Pamela is not commercially viable. This was suspected at the time of discovery and confirmed in the most recent drilling.

  14. If these blokes want to change the world then they should get into politics.

  15. How is this: On my way home from work I called into the show grounds and counted 73 caravans. This would be a bit of a stretch on amenities, one would think.

  16. I like the Ayers Rock idea, but the uranium mining is OK? What do you say about the dumping of it boys? It goes hand in hand and seeing that there is such controversy about water and the need for water and lots of it for a nuclear power plant, there seem more questions than answers there.

  17. The uranium industry has been firmly rejected by this town fellas and your other ideas are mostly no-brainers or mediocre.
    Haven’t you heard? The future is in solar battery technology:
    I really can’t see what motivated you to name the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in this way. Anyone who has been there knows that the place would never be able to offer what it does without its fantastic volunteers.
    What a joke! Come on everybody let’s get back to the main game!

  18. The solar potential of this place is huge! Let’s put money into solar technlogy as a testing ground. But as for uranium … What a joke! Leave it in the ground fellas. Dangerous and EXPENSIVE!

  19. Wow, a group of businessmen, with a proven track record of success, gets together to discuss some ideas about how to lift our town out of the dumps, and anybody with a keyboard pays out on them.
    Pretty soon nobody will be prepared to try anything for fear of backlash and criticism on social media by people who will criticise anything with an alternative for nothing.
    At least they are trying, seems like the governments and councils have lost any interest in doing it.
    Imagine what would happen and the criticism that would come in if somebody tried to set up friendly little vigilante group in town?

  20. Good on you blokes for some intestinal fortitude and speaking out. I don’t have to agree with your thoughts.
    Too much PC garbage and cries of racist for most to say anything.
    Those who do not agree have the choice to come out with some rational alternatives rather than just jump up and down and talk garbage. Lets hear them!
    Well said Liz, pointing out where they are mistaken in this case.

  21. Nothing wrong with a bit of self interest, just so long as they aren’t the sole beneficiaries.
    A suggestion for the group’s agenda: Alice Springs Town Council to examine the possibility of year-on-year rates increase of (say) 20% on vacant retail outlets in the town centre. Increase to commence if property has been vacant for 12 months and standard rates apply when property leased. Something needs to be done about Todd Mall before it turns into a ghetto.
    By the way, what organisations own those vacant outlets? They must have very deep pockets to be foregoing rental income.

  22. Well seems caring about Alice wanting to see change and trying to generate conversation is taboo on this site.
    Trolls and people who wish to hide behind their keyboards have nothing better to do than tear you apart online, push their own agendas and be nasty.
    For these reasons I avoid the internet and prefer to talk face to face. We were trying to get a group of Alice Springs residents together to discuss how we can all help to move this great town forward.
    This was not aimed at businessmen as the heading stated but to all people of Alice Springs and all topics.
    For too long the voice of the minority has howled down the wishes of the majority, and that needs to change.
    I do own businesses, play sport and live in Alice.
    I was born here and will probably die here but while I’m living in Alice I would like to see Alice prosper and grow.
    I apologise to Liz.
    I personally never spoke of the Transport Hall of Fame only the Blatherskite Park competing with local businesses. I believe money should be committed by the NT Government to prevent this happening.
    Yesterday I went out to see Liz and was told she was unavailable to speak to me and I left my card. I hoped that more people would be interested in a lobby group to push local, state and federal governments to find solutions to problems in our town.
    There will be an open letter to the press from the group to gauge interest before moving forward.
    Ps.: Lou Hayes – is there a need for you to insult people? I hope to see you at the meeting.

  23. @ Darren Burton: Nothing is taboo on this site.
    The Road Transport Hall of Fame was mentioned at the meeting and we reported this correctly. Mr Burton was shown a draft of the report ahead of publication and he raised no objection to the way the Hall of Fame was mentioned.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

  24. Erwin get your facts right. I did not bring up the Transport Hall of Fame personally is that true?

  25. @ Darren Burton: My memory is that you did.
    The facts are that there is no doubt, and my notes show it, that the Transport Hall of Fame was raised at the meeting; that the story attributed all the suggestions made to all three businessmen attending Including you, of course); that I gave you the privilege of reading the story draft ahead of publication; that the published article referred to the Transport Hall of Fame precisely as it was in the draft; that you had called the meeting and that you raised no objections to the way the Hall item was reported, having read the draft.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

  26. Hey Jim: I am right where I am thanks, which is “where I am from”.
    And as for ideas, how about building on our strengths, such as –
    • Looking at ways to leverage off the success of visitation to Uluru, instead of wanting to punish a successful tourist operation bringing visitors to the Centre.
    • Supporting success stories such as the Transport Hall of Fame and the many other grass roots organisations and events we already have.
    • Support our valuable community spaces and facilities like Blatherskite Park. This has been underfunded for years and, as well as the site for events such as the Show, Finke scrutineering and other motor sports, and a host of others. It is the only safe horse sport area we have in town, is home to dog clubs and others as Lou points out. If you don’t like the park having to raise its own money, then how about lobbying your mate Adam Giles to properly support our community facilities. Or come up with ways they can supplement their costs without pricing our community space out of the reach of the small clubs and organisations that use it.
    • Support refunding of youth services
    • Look at ways of your local community supporting your local park if you don’t want higher rates.
    • Involve Aboriginal people in the ideas and decision making.
    • Invest in making Alice a real Solar Centre.
    • Take a look at the proposal by a group of business people and other stakeholders about a National Indigenous Cultural Centre for Alice – could be a real winner for the town.
    The above ideas aren’t mine – they are ones I’ve heard many people raise before. This town has heaps of good ideas, if only decision makers would listen. And it’s not motivated by a few people making a buck at the expense of everyone else.

  27. I think these boys should finance this project them selves. Ranger mine has been closed for a couple of years. Olympic dam has just shelved 1200 jobs and Prominent Hill is finding it hard. Has an environment study been done and who is to say miners will not be fly in and out? Some people are negative but town planing would help. Just look at the new Mall. Not much there to attract tourism. Very little parking.

  28. Some comments here about businessmen wanting development for the town to benefit themselves.
    That may not be wholly the case, they may also have a genuine desire to see their home town prosper, who doesn’t? (Although I’m sure we have different ideas about the type of development we prefer.)
    But even if it were true, that they only want to benefit themselves, we should celebrate that. We live in a mixed economy, a free market private enterprise system with a strong government component to address the failings of the market economy.
    Best of both worlds we have discovered.
    The dynamism of the free market depends on harnessing the self-interest of entrepreneurs. Brush up on your Adam Smith, the Wealth Of Nations is created by self-interest seeking profits, creates social and economic benefits for us all.
    Mightn’t be a popular idea with some but it injects hugely into the circular flow of income, creating production, employment, consumption expenditure – which we all benefit from – and tax revenues to governments, which enables us to have all those things the private sector doesn’t create.
    We should celebrate legitimate business success in our community, more power to entrepreneurs. Feel free to debate their various suggestions, but don’t knock them for alleged self-interest. We need it.

  29. This may sound stupid, but just think about it. To stimulate this town, what we need is a brewery.
    It will require to be built, it will need builders, plumbers, electricians, continuance of workers to run it and the list goes on.
    It would be an industry that would stay.
    We have the water, transport, airport to support such and industry. The ongoing possibilities would be endless.
    It may even solve the work for the dole issue and teach some people how it is made and may even take some pride in it.
    The byproduct could then be given to the station owners for cattle feed, which would solve some of the drought issues.
    It would mean profit for the town, giving it the much needed funding it requires for upgrades.
    It is a perfect industry for Alice Springs. It does not have to be an enormous brewery. It could be run by share holders of the town. It would be a massive asset for the town.

  30. My reference was to Melanie Ross not Liz. Me not smart enough to understand your system Erwin. Sorry Liz.
    And again Melanie this article has generated valued debate and for that these “self interested” business people should be congratulated. They have taken a bit of heat for their effort.

  31. Well said Mel, I read in the story that the boys were wanting to improve Alice and that everyone had a say in it.
    I like you have a government job and was born in the Alice Springs hospital and I once ran my own show, too hard in this town.
    Alice as you want it, Mel! LOL, we all have a dream.

  32. There are several problems with this “group” and their ideas, however they seem positively brilliant when compared with this harebrained gem;
    “During the interview the Alice Springs News Online put to the three members that cheap electricity from a nuclear plant here could be fueling Central Australia based manufacturing of solar energy hardware.”
    To start with, the Alice Springs Town Council and/or the NT Govt or the private sector cannot just “build a nuclear plant”.
    It would require a complete change of policy at the Federal level, something that is inconceivable at present.
    Even if the “nuclear fairy” waved her wand and changed the policy, the most optimistic forecast for a nuke plant from conception to producing power would be 15-20 years.
    The last time I looked nuke plants require vast quantities of water for cooling (hence the Fukishimas being built on the coast). Nuke promoters talk excitedly about “Gen 4” plants that are cheaper, smaller, safer, don’t need as much water etc. However it turns out that these things don’t actually exist. They are still at the “design” or “prototype stage”.
    We could utilise “shovel ready” solar power for any future industrial development in the Centre, if we could figure out why any industrialist in his right mind would locate such a thing so far from suppliers, markets, and skilled workforce.
    This was pretty bloody obvious when the obviously shonky “proposal” to assemble Tesla cars was mooted. There happen to be 2 or 3 empty, or soon to be empty, car assembly plants in SA and Vic with unemployed workforce standing by.
    We need to confront the reality that Alice is a town with inherent limitations, the “tyranny of distance” being a major one.
    Let us forget about “entrepreneurial development” (AKA making a quick buck) and think about sustainable high quality tourism, art, culture, lifestyle and niche activities and industries. The sadly bowdlerised NBN could have brought “distance neutral” business to the Centre. We should continue to fight for it.

  33. Richard Bentley (Posted May 20, 2015): The calculations about all conceivable options for flood mitigation (dams and otherwise) were done in the early nineties, and are available in reports in the CLC, AAPA and government libraries and archives. Some of these are available online (I put links to some such a few months ago in some comments in the Alice Springs News Online).
    One certainty is that there is no feasible option to prevent the biggest floods that will continue to occur at unpredictable times on the local flood plain.
    This is because the town has been built at the worst possible place on the drainage funnel through which the huge volumes of water from major rain events over a vast area to the north of town must flow.
    This will continue to occur, as it has many times in the past, regardless of flood mitigation measures, the best of which will only diminish the impacts of the small to medium flood events.

  34. Of course Ian Sharp (Posted May 22, 2015) is correct as usual: “We live in a mixed economy, a free market private enterprise system with a strong government component to address the failings of the market economy”, and we need the “dynamism of the free market” which flows from “harnessing the self-interest of entrepreneurs” as an essential element of a successful local economy.
    However Melanie Ross (Posted May 22, 2015) is right too, in asserting that we in Alice Springs need to concentrate on “building on our strengths”, and not just gamble on possible short term bonanzas for a few businesses that would flow from this or that time-limited mining enterprise or other flash in the pan economic activity.
    It should hardly bear mentioning that our principle unique assets (Uluru, the Macdonnell Ranges, strong Aboriginal culture) and our home grown community events and institutions (the Finke Desert Race, the Desert Mob, Transport Hall of Fame, Araluen, Olive Pink, Blatherskite Park events, Henley on Todd, The Beanie Festival etc), together with the private and government services that are required to service and support the population, will continue to be the mainstays of whatever array of sound economic structure we may be able to generate.

  35. Unfortunately, this new group of business interests seems to want it both ways: they want more competition at Yulara, just when it is showing strong results as an Aboriginal-owned training enterprise, after years of it having been a key component of the CLP’s government-funded Silver Circle political kickbacks rort; but they want to be protected from competition in the Alice accommodation and caravan space rental markets. They want less red tape restrictions on themselves, but more on community organisations and mining companies’ employees.
    As for their suggestion that “Football carnivals, the annual show and other fixtures likely to strand bush visitors in town need to require non-cancellable return tickets paid in advance”, I might be inclined to support that if they were also to advocate that entrepreneurs who get various forms of government support should guarantee to reimburse the public purse for these contributions before they leave town, or when they sell off or otherwise dispose of their assets.

  36. Hi Bob Durnan and Richard Bentley: Thank you very much for your valuable thoughts on the flood mitigation dam issues.
    We have extensive coverage of these – google this site.
    For example, we published an update on February 10, 2011, referring to the principal government report, by Power and Water, “Alice Flood Mitigation Dam, October 1990.”
    It concludes that only a dam (not such measures as levee banks) can be effective in big floods, up to those likely to occur every 100 years.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

  37. Re the flood mitigation dam, I think most of us would agree we need that.
    The headworks begun at Junction Waterhole over twenty years ago are still there.
    That project was designed to mitigate a 1 in a 100 year flood, the one shown on the various editions of the Flood map produced over the years.
    Well worth doing, but only if done properly this time: proper consultations with the TOs, no attempt to pass a recreation lake project off as flood mitigation, put the drainage outlet down the bottom, not halfway up the dam wall.
    I can remember asking the PAWA engineer about this at the big public forum at the old Sadadeen High School organized by ALEC … he said the outlet was where it was for “technical reasons”, but would elaborate no further.
    A loyal public servant under instructions from his political masters. It was a con job, and when the TOs realized this, that many of the sacred sites would be more or less permanently flooded, not just briefly inundated, they backed off.
    Much to the annoyance of the CLP ministers, all sorts of ugly comments from them. Then the Feds stepped in, Robert Tickner withdrew the funds and that was the end of it. This time we would need to get it right. Such a dam would be a boon to the town during most flood episodes, the ones experienced since European settlement.
    But as paleo-geologists have pointed out, the huge flood-out sand sheets on the Todd “delta” past the airport indicate that much bigger floods have occurred. But we can’t build a dam for the 1 in 1000 flood, let alone the 1 in 10,000.
    The risk of floods bigger than the 1 in 100 flood is real, especially as the changing climate is likely to be more volatile than what we have experienced in the last 150 years.
    Not much we can do about that, but we can mitigate against smaller floods which are likely to become more frequent.

  38. @ Ian Sharp, re Todd dam: Many thanks for the comment, Ian. Robert Tickner, Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister at the time, imposed a 20 years ban. This moratorium expired in 2012.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

  39. I think a good start would be to clean the river out and remove dead trees and some of the saplings so the water can flow.
    If we had better town planning this would be a lot better and not have people building in flood prone areas.
    Better town planning would be the go if you need to restrict the water. Let council do something for they have millions in the bank.

  40. Thanks Erwin (Posted May 24, 2015 at 11:14 am), I agree with your observations, and appreciate the access to information on this subject via your archive.
    In my comment about flood risks and mitigation options, I was of course referring to those events alluded to by Ian Sharp (Posted May 24, 2015); i.e. floods that are larger than those which on average occur once in a hundred years.
    There has not been an occurrence of such a flood for close to 200 years, according to estimates in the literature.
    Of course, we could have a once in 150 years event any time, just as we could have a once in 10,000 years flood, or any other flood event.
    Nobody will know until it happens, as scientists are unable to predict the precise details of local weather events very far into the future. You only have to look at recent rain events in NSW and Queensland to see good illustrations of this conundrum.
    Therefore, we do not only have to “figure out why any industrialist in his right mind would locate [a capital intensive industrial development like a nuclear energy facility or vehicle manufacturing plant] so far from suppliers, markets, and skilled workforce,” as my mate Charlie Carter queries (Posted May 23, 2015).
    We also have to add the real risk of a catastrophic flood to the list of Alice Springs’ inherent limitations, along with the “tyranny of distance”, the very high construction costs, a local climate that is heading towards much higher average temperatures, and limited reliable water supplies.

  41. Charlie Carter’s comment (May 23.2:11pm) “We need to confront the reality that Alice is a town with inherent limitations” is probably one of the most sane observations ever.

  42. Que … Adam Giles? Anything to say on the topic/s? “Your” party also ruled against uranium leading to 2012 election. And now, that you’re the “big chief” same answer, or another back flip?
    It’s not only the Top End you’ve made a mess of, it’s right here too in our own Alice!
    For God’s sake, get things moving and this sort of chaos, and turning on each other, evaporates!

  43. As Bob Durnan and Charlie Carter have pointed out, a flood mitigation dam would be of benefit to Alice, is doable provided negotiations with the TOs are entered into in good faith and any mitigation dam is not used to try to sneak in a recreation dam.
    Of course nothing will save Alice in the event of a flood of biblical proportions.
    However, I fear the likelihood of any dam actually being built are faint, at least in the near term. The money available today for major infrastructure is limited, and national infrastructure seems to be the focus.
    With this in mind, I read with some interest the plans to now build the proposed connector pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa instead of from Alice to Moomba. This makes sense as the existing Barkly Highway could be used for access during construction instead of laying a pipe thru the Simpson Desert. It also increases the chance of a rail link between Queensland and the NT, a link that would benefit the Top End and the eastern states.
    Unfortunately for us in Alice, this would further cement our status as an out-of-the-way backwater in the national scheme of things. However, if well marketed that could benefit our struggling tourist industry.

  44. So there are roughly a dozen ideas put forward here.
    Be good to hear from other Alice identities of different economic sectors, different political affiliations etc re their top 10 or so priorities for a better Alice.
    Erwin, perhaps it could be a new series for the Alice Springs News Online? There might even be some ideas that emerge as agreeable for everyone?
    Yes, this is actually a serious idea. But if it does get too out of hand, you could file it under a new AS NEWS entertainment section?

  45. Hi Edan Baxter: As you suggest, EVERYBODY is welcome here.
    We’re proud to be the town’s ideas forum, without the sometimes grubby stuff appearing elsewhere on the web.
    The number of comments from the public on this story alone (47 so far) are a great sign our editorial policy is working for the community we’ve been serving for 21 years – so far.

  46. Hi Erwin, I wasn’t critiquing your comments policy in this instance. Ultimately you are free to manage it as you choose as it is your business.
    I was suggesting that it would be a good idea to regularly invite an Alice identity or organisation to contribute a list of 10 things that they think will make an improvement to the Alice and the NT.
    I know this is done in the form of interviews by AS News Online from time to time, but having a regular contribution in a simple list format could be an accessible way for particular ideas to gather momentum … or be put to bed once and for all.
    I mention that “if it didn’t work you could file it under entertainment” as too often (good) ideas fail to survive the debate due to distractions by the clearly divisive ideas. I think this is a shame and it’d be great to see if the intelligent contributors to ASNEWS Online could get a better strike-rate re discussion to positive outcomes.
    For example, will any of the (good) ideas here get momentum and go somewhere? Which politicians have put their hand up to help develop the (good) ideas further?
    Divisive issues to one side, if these guys have 40 politically unaffiliated business operators as backers, I’m keen to hear more of their position to manage the influx of visitors during large town events like the football carnival et al.
    It would be a great time to try and get an intelligent town position on this, especially given that there is a dedicated taskforce on the case and resources in the mix.

  47. Forget the dam. This would be easily solved by just cleaning out the river by grabbing out the saplings in the river as they are of significant value.
    This would then make the river flow easier and alleviate the flooding. What I have seen of the latest river flows, the rubbish is holding the water back.
    There is no need to spend $ for a flood that may happen every 150 years.
    Modifications such as tree grubbing and getting rid of the tin and rubbish is the cheapest and better angle. Poor infrastructure is also a problem. Parts of town the road is lower than the ground.

  48. Edan Baxter: Nice of you to try and turn their thought-puddle of ideas into a positive but I think your being a little too generous. Call a spade a spade mate.
    It might help the town dig itself out of the hole its in. 40 business operators with no political affiliations. Let’s see the names. This is the same quasi-CLP stink that we’ve all smelled before.
    Let’s talk about something interesting like Kamitsis or how fracking is going to help Aboriginal people.

  49. Well, seen the news out of China? They’re back in full swing with building nuclear stations as of March.
    Their target is 200 by 2020. I wonder which country, and states / territories have a lot of uranium. Watch this space for the next big Adam-and-Dave side show. We’ll get sold out Alice, just like the fracking so called “debate”.
    Whilst not keen on Labor at all, at least they had the balls to so no in 2012 to uranium. Yet, Adam and “his party” are still very quiet.


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