Thursday, May 30, 2024

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HomeIssue 4Fossils display will be in former Westpac building

Fossils display will be in former Westpac building

Westpac Fossils 1
The former Westpac building in Todd Mall will be the venue of the permanent fossils display announced by the government as part of its $20m “revitalisation” of the CBD.
Marcus Schutenko, Director of Museum and Art Gallery NT, said today the government will be spending $1.5m on the fit-out, after some changes which the landlord will be making.
The spacious building with a big window into the Mall was used during the recent film festival (pictured), for a cafe, outdoor seating, a small stage and screening movies in a generously sized rear room.
Mr Schutenko says the venue will be ready to be opened in the middle of next year.


  1. It cost the taxpayer $1m to relocate the former Spencer and Gillen Museum from Alice Plaza to the Strehlow Research Centre in August 1999, which at least was in a publicly owned and funded asset.
    Almost 20 years later the taxpayer is going to fund the relocation of the fossil display into the old Westpac Building for $1.5m, where once again we shall enjoy paying rent for the privilege.
    Interesting to compare the political persuasions of the governments responsible for these decisions – in 1999 the relocation of the museum to a publicly owned asset was by a CLP government whereas this new move for the museum into a privately owned asset is being arranged by an ALP government.
    A very interesting role reversal for anyone who is familiar with the history of contemporary NT politics!

  2. Where is the story and pics of Harley Davidsons? The newspaper should show ALL tourist related stories to boost Alice Springs profile.

  3. I know people are talking about the money involved, but personally, I like it.
    I like the fact that there will be a new exhibit / attraction in the CBD which will potentially get more people in to the centre of town.
    I can’t wait to go see it myself.

  4. Alex: Thank you for that very interesting insight into contemporary politics.
    As a historian you will no doubt be aware that the move to the former Spencer and Gillen Museum was an unmitigated disaster.
    With no preparation or conservation room the palaeontology department is currently spread across the Museum of Central Australia, the Araluen Art Gallery and the Bellman Hangar of the Aviation Museum.
    This has caused immeasurable difficulties for all three facilities.
    Once the proposed move is complete, the Araluen Art Gallery may then make plans for a long wished for rehearsal space.
    Of course, the ALP Government could’ve committed $50 plusof public money for a new facility to right the near-sightedness of the CLP. At least it would’ve been a publicly owned asset, right?

  5. Although I can understand (but not sympathize) with promoting that end of the Mall, the reality is that there is little attraction in that end of town.
    There are many better places to show our geological history. Georgetown in Northern Queensland shows theirs in a wonderful display of paleontology as a Panorama Guth type display on the walls of their visitors centre where the display is at the height of a 10 year old child and traces the development of various species of the district, as well as the local geological history.
    At the ASRI site on the South road there is a great display of the local mining industry, and local geology / minerals and who is doing what and where. Problem is that it is not on display to the public.
    This is but one of many potential tourism attractions between the town and the airport which are never acknowledged for their potential to make this town unique as it once was.
    It should start with an interpretation cum visitors centre for the whole of the NT where the welcome rock is, and directing visitors to where we want the economic activity to be.
    In May last year I sat at the rock for day and counted 102 people having their photo taken there in one morning!
    Where the stagnant housing development is now could have been a vibrant display of everything that can be done here to make it the unique place it once was.
    Who knows we grow onions, grapes and sweet potato here? And what of the Indigenous food / medicine developments behind ASRI?
    Who might like to invest in those industries here and where do they go to see them? What about camel milk?
    Some of your readers may have see the portrayal of a multi million dollar international industry in Dubai on SBS recently, and now in Victoria.
    There have been at lease three attempts to do that here but their efforts have all gone unrecognized or unseen. Myopia or dazzled by the display of yellow rabbits?


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