Giant sport and education project for Showgrounds?


p2306-Blatherskite-Park-2By ERWIN CHLANDA
Pssst! This is the latest from a well-informed person speaking to us on the condition of not being named. OK?
Big things are happening at the Showgrounds aka Blatherskite Park.
It’s nothing to do with Alex Hatzimihail but it’s going to be just as big as what he had in mind, and is cunningly similar.
It will be all about sport – playing it, training for it and learning all around it, in an academy that will have up to 1000 students, including many from overseas.
They will be living on site in a big residential complex.
The well-informed person says the climate and elevation of Alice Springs make it a good location for high altitude training.
One of the promoters of the project are the Redtails, and overseas interests are discussing becoming partners.
The grounds, owned by the NT Government, are currently home for several sports, mostly equestrian.
The park is currently managed by a trust consisting of volunteers.
It was recently engaged in a wrangle with caravan park owners for providing sites at rates about half of what others are charging, a practice that has now been discontinued, at least temporarily.
The land would come under different management is this proposal goes ahead.
And that’s not all. Clearly, no-one would be prepared to move into a place exposed to the stench emanating from the sewage ponds next-door, every time there’s a westerly or north-westerly breeze.
So the sewage ponds would need to go. And be replaced by a recycling plant – not a bad idea considering we’re in the driest part of the driest continent and are using water regarded as a non-renewing resource whilst evaporating billions of liters a year.
And what about the dump?
There is a protracted discussion in the town council about it running out of space, an absurd proposition to extend it further into the Desert Park, and more logically, moving it to a new site but leaving the new, well-designed transfer station in place for public use.
All will be revealed next month, says the well-informed person.
However, bear in mind that “blatherskite” is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a person who talks at great length without making much sense”.
IMAGE: Google Earth.


  1. Last time I checked, Alice was 583m above sea level.
    Around 2400m (8000ft) asl is usually viewed as optimum for altitude training although anything over 1500m is desirable.
    It must be an election year, a lot of things are Gunner happen (was that a Freudian slip? You be the judge).

  2. “Ain’t no mountain high enough” sang Diana Ross.
    And she was spot on with regard to altitude training in Alice Springs.
    A not so very well-informed idea? Where do you meet these big ideas men, Erwin?

  3. It’s all very well to be sarcastic in the face of these brilliant visions, Edan (Posted January 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm), but what alarms me is that my excellent proposal for the world’s biggest Gilestown theme park, surrounded by the new multi-billion dollar Great Wall of China (Diana Ross would have her own intimate venue in one of the turrets, Ian), and a scale replica of the ancient Mediterranean sea, filled with our town’s great effluent, has been overlooked in this reworking of our dream. What a waste!
    Where are Hatzimihal and Brown when we need them?

  4. At last, a vision to carry us forward.
    Could a found-metal artist be commissioned to work a matinee jacket into the front gates?

  5. @ Bob: Your truly visionary plan for a Gilestown theme park would probably be more warmly embraced by the Great Unwashed if the scale replica of the Med were to be filled with your town’s affluent rather than effluent.
    Our flash new swimming pool up here is filled with the latter (“blind barra” in Territory parlance although none of them appear to be tagged) and it’s not pleasant.

  6. “Well designed transfer station”?! What a joke. I can’t think of one single thing about it that comes anywhere near “well-designed”. $4m of taxpayers money wasted. Whoever designed it should be forced to use it every day for the rest of their life, preferably carting broken bricks in a 6×4 trailer.
    Unlike her spineless Mayor, Robyn Lambley at least had the integrity to say her biggest regret about her time on Council was the decision to shaft Bower Bird (which was already happening before Robyn was elected).

  7. There is a Water Recycle plant already on site. It already provides recycled water for the horses to eat at Blatherskite Park!

  8. Looks like your dream is about to be fulfilled, Edan Baxter (Posted January 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm). But will it take precedence over the commencement of the Adam Giles Grand Central Railway Station and Twin Towers on Whittaker Street, (, the turning of the first sod for the Osbornes’ Famous Fiasco Towers at the Melanka site, the Steve Hatzimihail Hot Rod Factory and International University down at the Desert Knowledge Precinct, or the opening of Steve Brown’s revolving restaurant (with cable-car access) on top of Mt Gillen? The tension is mounting. Which one will commence first?


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