Anzac Oval: Minister won't rule out compulsory acquisition


2579 body worn cameras 1By 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.”
Second Go:
2579 body worn cameras 2“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.”
Third Go:
“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”.
Fourth Go:
“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.


  1. Why not use the energy of the entire town’s support for the gallery instead of dividing us?
    It makes far more sense to put more international accommodation in the mall which WOULD be a boon to CBD businesses, and the gallery in an iconic site which properly and respectfully celebrates the connection between Aboriginal art and culture in the landscape, giving tourists something worth the airfares to see.
    Compulsory acquisition of the Plaza building to repurpose as high end accommodation may be welcomed by owners? And we would still have the Melanka site for even more accommodation.
    Or are they proposing to repeat mistakes of past and put accommodation well away from the CBD?

  2. Why or why don’t the Government listen to the people who live in Alice and leave Anzac Oval alone. We will continue to fight for what we believe.

  3. Mr McCarthy: “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 …
    How can you talk of a national Aboriginal art gallery?
    You should be aware that Aborigines for cultural reasons do not want the gallery on Anzac Oval!
    The cultural centre was their idea in the first place, and you should respect their culture or YOUR gallery is plain and simple bullshit (excuse my French).
    A new international hotel? Where? Melanka site? Which deal have you already made with an international foreign company?
    Majority of us have friends and relatives overseas; some in the arts; with the help of Facebook, Twitter etc … the words will go around that Alice Springs does not respect Aboriginal culture, have contempt for the elders and custodians and this gallery is a money making exercise for SOME!

  4. Projects in Darwin go ahead, not sure and doubt if this or other projects apart from the constant talk will ever occur in the Alice. So what is the need for all this focus? Got to question.

  5. An international hotel is needed? Can’t see another hotel being built just to accommodate people coming to see the art gallery.
    The CLP dreamt about one on the spare land diagonally opposite Harvey Norman and that got nowhere.


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