SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins


2575 SA Aboriginal art gelleryBy ERWIN CHLANDA
A $60m allocation, claimed by the Advertiser newspaper to be in tomorrow’s South Australian budget for a “world-leading Aboriginal art gallery,” is likely to turn a similar project in Alice Springs into a missed opportunity, says NT Opposition Leader Gary Higgins.
SA Premier Steven Marshall is reported to also be setting aside “$200,000 for a study to define the project’s scope and overall vision in consultation with communities, the SA Museum and Art Gallery.
“Before the election, Mr Marshall indicated the gallery could start construction before 2022.”
Says Mr Higgins: “This debacle begs the question what Labor has actually achieved since coming to government given they only recently went to tender for a business case. [Although it would also seem that the SA Government has not undertaken a business case ahead of its budget allocation.]
“The National Indigenous Art Gallery should be Alice Springs, not in South Australia.
2575 SA RAH site hotel“It is becoming abundantly clear that the Northern Territory will not be home to the National Indigenous Art Gallery and Labor will not deliver the finished product in this term.
“The Territory Opposition has always maintained support for the proposed Gallery, however notes that the government has failed to consult with the community in relation to the site on which the gallery will be built,” says Mr Higgins.
The Advertiser reports Mr Martin is expected to release further money in future Budgets, given the gallery’s completion would likely occur after the four years covered in Tuesday’s books.
A high-end hotel is also proposed for the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site (drawing above right).
IMAGES from the Adelaide Advertiser.


  1. If you’re so worried about this Garry why don’t you pick up the phone, call Jamie DeBrenni, call Mayor Damien Ryan and call Jacinta Price to vote for authorising it the next time it comes up before council?
    8/10ths of the people standing in the way of the project going ahead are CLP oldie whinge voters who can’t accept the fact that things are changing and that Alice Springs isn’t going to stay in statis from the days they remember in the 70s and 80s or before forever.
    Yet barely between breaths those same people in public meetings for locals will whinge that the town is in decay and that we need to reinvigorate the CBD. What do you think this is?
    Better yet, we get a new footy ground out of it as well, which is also good for local contractors too!
    The government and the builders and contracts want to start now, not in five years time after all those people have left for retirement or died.
    I’m not the greatest Labor fan in the world but this gridlock are from the people I described earlier and you can actually do something about it.
    So do it.

  2. @ “Local Centralian”: As one of the two tenths of proposed Art Gallery dissidents, I respectfully suggest that you’d do better debating Alex Nelson’s post at the Stagnant CBD story.

  3. Russell Guy: Local Centralian has a point.
    The proposed Art Gallery is not going to save Alice Springs from the high cost of living.
    In my view, Alice Springs needs to grow with a permanent stable economy, which will certaintly help the CBD and the local people.
    The Alice Springs Council and NT goverment have slowed the growth for Central Australia. It’s time that the Federal Government steps in and takes control of Alice Springs.

  4. @ Albert Diano: Thanks for your engagement, Albert.
    I encouraged “Local Centralian” to engage with Alex Nelson’s post because Alex is making a similar point to yours.
    I have made the point that nurturing and encouraging (financially) the jewels of community museums and other galleries in Alice is part of establishing a stable tourist economy, with benefits for the CBD and visitation accommodation alternatives for the growing Baby Boomer domestic market, versus the high end air fares on which the government’s proposal is based.
    I suggest that more cross-engagement with thematic posting would be useful in debating the points made, with thanks to the Editor for his patronage.

  5. The way to reinvigorate the CBD is not through investing in an art gallery or a cultural centre, but by investing in people.
    Build attractive modern flats and populate the area. I understand there are no zoning impediments to doing that.
    A skate park at the river end of Parson’s Street would breathe life into many who just hang around, and they hang around because it still is our CBD. We’ve just made a mess of it is all.

  6. @ Hal Duell: You are right about investing in people and residential accommodation in the CBD, but the property owners will need to invest some of those profits they have made over the years or sell their properties onto someone who will invest in residential developments.
    Interestingly the recent national growth figure is 3.4% and “PRIVATE capital investment grew at 12% last financial year in Tasmania.” (Today’s Mercury). Meanwhile the NT’s figures are negative.
    @ Albert Diano: Fortunately I can’t see the Federal government of either persuasion investing in the CBD. What the CBD needs is more successful commercial businesses, preferably businesses that employ numerous and permanent employees, which should in turn with the above residential accommodation attract people and other businesses.

  7. Why for just the Aboriginals – people get bored with this. An art gallery instead of homes, recreation, job prospects and only for the few remaining Aboriginals with only 1% of the blood being Aboriginal.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here