A City like Darwin, or a Town like Alice?


Sir – I can’t believe it! Only 18 days to go and planning has only received TWO submissions!
This decision to go to 34metres or eight storeys is not reversible once the minister makes it. The current limit is 14 metres. 3 storeys.
And no, the four storey supreme court has not changed the planning scheme. It will be the tallest building in town forever, if we stop this madness.
Send your submissions in to Das.DLPE@nt.gov.au  The exhibit is online at the bottom of this page:
The impact of tall buildings isn’t from the CBD looking out, it is from the outside looking in.
Views from 360 other angles will be affected, from numerous vantage points.
From every hill and road into our Alice you will be able to point out the eight storey high “developments”.
“That’s town, over there”, people will say.
The tall buildings will become iconic representations of our town.
I believe our identity will be changed forever.
I think we identify as survivors, confident in ourselves.
We do not need the overt erections so typical of cities.
Tall buildings smack of rulers. Superiors, in control, surveying their dominion.
Eight storey buildings looking down on us? I don’t think so.
Permanent tumours blighting our views.
Our views of the hills are brilliant and they include the town and suburbia.
With the current rules, buildings are nestled amongst the trees, mostly out of view.
Already, the light masts and Telstra towers compromise our views of the town area a bit, but at least the community benefits from them, and they are not as permanent.
The communication masts may become unnecessary if technology changes. We can take the light poles down if we want to, they belong to council.
A City like Darwin, or a Town like Alice?
Darwin moved its police station from the CBD to Berrimah, to make room for multi-storey developments.
Darwin aspires to be visible as a big city, to attract investment.
We don’t need a big city here. Go develop the North.
We can have more modest growth, and survive just fine in a town with 2 storey buildings.
Eugene Blom
Alice Springs
IMAGE: Drawing of the proposed Melanka high-rise.


  1. Alice Springs will never be a city like Darwin. It will always be a town like Alice, and a high-rise will not change that. It will merely be another feature.
    Our perennial debate over the merits or otherwise of going to more than three storeys makes me think of what the original residents of this area might have thought as they saw the Old Telegraph Station going up.
    I can just imagine a group coming in from wherever and seeing this modern intrusion into the skyline. They would probably have been shocked. SHOCKED!
    And their mutterings might have included: “Things aren’t what they used to be.”

  2. I keep thinking about the parking situation, if they do this, good luck!
    Tying to get a park in the CBD on a week day is near impossible already!
    Since the old backpackers has gone it’s become a bit of a park there.

  3. I just had to express my horror as to the proposed development of high rises in Alice Springs.
    I spent a wonderful year living and working in Alice. I am front England and have traveled all over the world. Alice is a unique and remote place, please do not spoil it by putting high rises there.


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