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HomeIssue 11Massive makeover of showgrounds proposed

Massive makeover of showgrounds proposed

p2266-Hatzimihail-cinemaBy ERWIN CHLANDA
A letter of intent for “potential collaboration” in developing a massive technology, sport and education hub on the show grounds has been signed by the Blatherskite Park Land Trust (BPLT) and The Hatzimilhail Group Pty Ltd (THG).
The signatories are THG chairman George Hatzimihail, who lives in Brisbane but has numerous family members in Alice Springs, and BPLT chairman of the trustees, Brad Bellette.
p2266-Hatzimihail-stadiumRob Clarke, the founder and driving force behind the Redtails, has been instrumental in initiating the project.
He sees it as a potential place where the more than 200 participating men and women aged 16 to 30 can have a base for their activities that embrace Aussie Rules and other sports as a stepping stone to achievements in education and employment.
According to a presentation of the project, THG is “a major shareholder of EFL Tech NV [and as such] currently controls over 400 international patents involving emerging technologies”.
EFL’s CEO, Alex Hatzimihail, says the project is similar to the one planned for about 25 hectares of land in the Desert Knowledge precinct, which has been under discussion for two years without coming to a conclusion.
He says the new planned site is owned by the NT Government, leased to BPLT and would need the consent of Lands Minister David Tollner for the proposed use.
The letter proposes $1 as payment for a 99 year lease, but requires multi-million dollar developments to be provided by THG, or entities brought in as partners.
The arrangements would protect all current major events, activities and clubs, including the annual show (which would get to keep its gate takings), Finke and Camel Cup.
The letter says: “BPLT will require a solid financial position to be appropriately presented by THG that will demonstrate both the ability to commence The Project on a stage by stage basis and to complete The Project in its entirety as agreed between the parties.”
No time frame is given except to say there would be staged developments, some of them in the new Kilgariff suburb.
According to the presentation, planned are a technology park; an international college to cater for up to  5,000 students per year; a cultural centre / hub (including planetarium), a retail precinct (including restaurants, bars and general retail), a limited (150-200) on-campus residential sports development centre; a light monorail transport system and water catchment towers.
The development will also include refurbishment of existing facilities at Blatherskite Park, says the presentation: Main oval (with proposed sports stadium to support 15,000 spectators); camel racing track, rodeo arena, equestrian ring, BMX facility (indoor), RC car racing circuit  (also to include a world first drone racing arena).
It would get a “Redtails Grandstand” with 2500 seats, and a maximum ground seating capacity of 10,000.
The presentation says in parallel to the Blatherskite Park development, the master plan will also include at Kilgariff a 2,500 unit residential development  (2 and 3 bedroom dwellings) and a retail development to support the Kilgariff community.
A campus supporting 5000 international and local students would act as an incubator to feed selected students into the Technology Park and will be partnering with local and international universities.
It will have a foyer with planetarium presentation, climate controlled atrium and an 800 seat theatre (Araluen’s has 500 seats).
p2266-Hatzimihail-ext-bdg-2There would be an “exclusive shopping strip with internationally renowned brands, local and international chefs and brand name fine dining, after hours night life entertainment and regular street events along shopping strip, an olympic size main pool, five cinemas, casual dining and food court, leisure and games centre, a 25m side pool, a small water park and lap pool, 600 seats for local and interstate events and full competition level amenities,” says the presentation.
“Recreational amenities and grounds will reflect an oasis style living environment.”
Mr Clarke, who is Alice born and bred and owns a mechanical workshop, says his view of the Blatherskite development is to improve “what’s already there, making it bigger and better”.
Since 2009 the Redtails have been “guiding young Aboriginal people into mainstream society, encouraging then to become leaders,” says Mr Clarke.
p2266-Hatzimihail-ext-bdgFootball is a launching pad for that.
“The business community has been extremely supportive. The government needs to get behind this. It could be doing more.”
So far Redtails has put about 15 young people into jobs, including some requiring full trade qualifications.
To date, more than 180 young men and women have trained for the opportunity to represent the Redtails in the NTFL and against other South Australian sides.
Redtails NTFL side has now forged links with the SA side, Port Power.
IMAGES supplied by THG (from top): • cinema • stadium • retail area • planetarium • education campus • cultural centre •


  1. Why would 5,000 local and international students want to study university in the Alice? A private one might I think?
    Also what makes one think that “international renowned brands would want to be located in a small shopping centre in an isolated (new emerging suburb) out past the Gap, let alone come to the Alice?
    What drugs are these guys on? Am I still on Earth or is this a parallel universe?
    Am I reading this news correctly? More of just a pipe dream than reality. I doubt any of the above other than a new grandstand and club house would end up getting signed off on for construction.

  2. Can Blatherskite Park trustees do this sort of thing? Like sign this agreement considering they don’t actually own the land? Isn’t the land government owned?

  3. Two different stories in one Erwin!
    Rob Clarke and the Retails putting Indigenous people into the work place. TICK!
    Blatheskite park turning into this? You are having a laugh!
    I hope to God it does but I would put all my money on it not happening. Why don’t the Hatzimihails buy an airline and get competition into Alice Springs. There is not enough population in Alice Springs to sustain this plan.
    You can build what you like but unless either population grows or more visitors come, all of this development rubbish won’t and can’t work!
    Unless of course you close the outback communities down and cater for the Indigenous.

  4. I think it’s great. We need to change the town’s name. From Alice Springs to white elephant, for we have already got a lot.

  5. Why no ice skating rink? Gondolas on a canal system? Dinosaur park? And a link up with Steve’s chairlift up to Mt Gillen?

  6. Gondolas, Ian Sharp? (Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm). What’s wrong with you, bud? A full scale replica of both Venice and Alexandria is what we need, with their harbours and canals brimming with our freshly recycled sewerage.
    Plus a Disneyland, revamped Aussie-style as Gilestown, with a 1000 metre high Adam statue as its centrepiece. Alice Springs is worthy of nothing less.
    Surrounded by the Great Wall of China, with a Grand Prix track on top. Bring it on.

  7. Hal, the day is here (Hal Duell, Posted August 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm), and Damien announced he is on board this morning, so at least we’ll get the light rail, but may have to wait for the chairlift and gondolas. I am shattered that nobody has picked up my Gilestown suggestion.


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