By ERWIN CHLANDA
Lands Minister Dave Tollner gave an ‘it’s all too hard’ answer when challenged by Independent Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, about the rampant use of rural residential land in Alice Springs for industrial purposes.
Mr Tollner replied: “I am informed that it is very difficult to prosecute those people and in some regards it may well cause a lot of community anxiety to start prosecuting those people.
“It is something that we have to work through, making available more industrial land and that sort of stuff I think is part of the solution and encouraging people in residential areas to maintain peace and quiet.
“Maybe we should put up the price of rural blocks in the rural area.”
Ms Lambley, who chairs the Estimates Committee, put this to Mr Tollner: “I wrote to you on April 27. I have not yet received a response to the letter.
“Over the last six to 12 months there has been a proliferation of complaints coming to me about business activity going on in the rural area of Alice Springs.
“At the moment it is a permissive system. You can do what you like until you get caught. It is pitting neighbours against neighbours.
“It is creating a lot of conflict and a lot of unhappiness when you have people with big trucks living next door to people that live very peacefully and quietly. There are a lot of people that feel very offended about what is going on.”
Ms Lambley (at right) also asked Mr Tollner about Kilgariff not being connected to the NBN.
“Apparently, it was up to the developers to apply for that when it was being developed. Was that your responsibility to do that?” she said.
LAMBLEY: Are you the developers?
TOLLNER: No, the Land Development Corporation is the developer.
The Land Development Corporation is an arm of the NT Government.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Adam Giles was questioned about the proposed Indigenous cultural centre, and said negotiations are under way both in Darwin and in Alice Springs. He had said earlier that $20m is “on the table” for the project.
Mr Giles said in part: “There is consultation going on with some of the arts and museums officials in Alice Springs and Darwin. The Darwin one has just started. It was a new initiative in the budget this year.
“Just to take it back a couple of steps. As part of the railway line between Alice Springs and Darwin there was an agreement that there would be a cultural centre for want of better terminology, built in Darwin. It was identified that a block of land at Bullocky Point would probably be the site, but nothing progressed on that.
“In 2003 it was put on hold. There was also a loose conversation that there would be some sort of agreement as the result of the INPEX deal. Nothing was forthcoming in that regard.
“I am a big supporter in seeing a cultural centre built in the Top End and I will get to the bottom end of the question to support the Larrakeyah,” said Mr Giles.
“Those conversations have been going on quite slowly.
“The Darwin one is more about a Larrakeyah Cultural Centre or a Darwin Cultural Centre for Larrakeyah people. So the Darwin one should be about consultation with Larrakeyah, the one in Central Australia is about a national cultural centre.
“I think this will take 10 years to get up and running because it is not just about a cultural centre for the Central Arrernte people … it might be in regards to Indigenous people around Australia.
“There are about 300 nations in Australia of Aboriginal population. If we are going to have a national cultural centre it needs to work with the Commonwealth government,” said Mr Giles.
“We have announced it but what we are doing is starting the conversation with Lhere Artepe and with native title holders before we go further.”
“We have also spoken about philanthropists about how this should occur. I think the facility will be at least a $300m facility.
“If we can get it over the line I think it is going to need a bipartisan approach and it is going to need a lot of time. There is a lot of healing that needs to go with Aboriginal people around the country but we have to start at home.
“I think the Darwin one will certainly come off a lot sooner if Larrakeyah agrees, but the Central Australian one first is getting a Central owner.
“The wider Central Australia is bringing the Federal counterparts along, bringing on board the Federal Minister for the Arts and the Federal Shadow Minister, whatever parties they may be in. I think it is long-term, but $1m is in there for the consultation this year alone, so it is happening.”
PLEASE NOTE: These quotes are from an uncorrected proof of the daily Hansard report.
PHOTO at top: Photo used by residents in a campaign against industrial use of a rural residential land. Their submissions were rejected by the Development Consent Authority.
According to a media release from NBN, the first 1900 premises in Alice Springs are now able to connect to the network, in the Braitling, Ciccone, Stuart and parts of the Alice Springs town centre.
The remaining 9000 premises in three other fixed line rollout service areas are expected to switch on in coming weeks and months.
Today’s announcement begins the 18 month countdown for these homes and businesses to make the switch before most existing landline phone and internet services are replaced by services over the NBN network.
By ERWIN CHLANDA