By ERWIN CHLANDA
Local Government Minister Gerry McCarthy today would not rule out that the NT Government will move to compulsory acquisition of the Town Council-owned Anzac Oval as green space for the National Indigenous Art Gallery.
He was asked the question four times by the Alice Springs News Online during a “media event” this afternoon.
These were the answers Mr McCarthy gave.
“People should be reminded that this is a national gallery, this is a national Indigenous art gallery, with national and international significance …” a new international hotel will be needed for the people flocking from “across the globe” to see the gallery … working through issues … “I feel very confident it will be resolved.”
“It’s not a question for me because I believe a government that consults well, a government that is open and transparent, and a government that has a plan for Alice Springs that will change the nature of this town, into the future, in a positive way, forever, will be negotiated through.”
As the Minister for Local Government would he not have to be on the side of the council rather than on the side of his Cabinet?
“As the Minister for Local Government I am a member of Michael Gunner’s team and we are very much looking forward to siting, to growing and to developing a national Indigenous art gallery.”
“I think I have answered that. I am part of Michael Gunner’s government and I am supporting a national Indigenous art gallery for Alice Springs and I think it should be sited in the Anzac precinct and I think Alice Springs will be behind that. We will land this and it will be a great story for Alice Springs.”
Philippe Perez, from CAAMA, pointed out Labor MLA for Stuart Scott McConnell had reservations about the gallery being at the Anzac precinct. Mr McCarthy replied that the big question is now where we are going to “house the thousands and thousands of tourists a year”.
“It’s not an issue. Michael Gunner’s government is going to land it, Erwin, and you are going to be very proud of it.”
Mr McCarthy was in town partly to introduce body-worn cameras as standard for public housing safety officers.
He said they were useful in “de-escalating conflict incidents” and could be used as court evidence and in police investigations.
They can be turned off and on at the officer’s discretion and the archive of recordings is “managed essentially by NT police”. The recordings can be subpoenaed.
Mr McCarthy is pictured with safety officers Rosina Ross and Leon Spurling (a well-known local musician), and Mary Pritchard, a resident of public housing in Albrecht Drive.
By ERWIN CHLANDA