Cart before the horse


Sir – That the Outback Way is not attracting funding and support from the NT government is a prime example of the Darwin-centric mindset of the present and past NT governments.
Build the highway, and traffic and trade will follow.
We recently went through a protracted effort to get a national art gallery built here, and this when we have only one vertical road in and out, no horizontal road to speak of and the airlines are cutting services.
Pretty dumb.
It looks like the gallery is gone, and probably to a better location. But the idea of a national cultural centre is viable. It would be immensely important to the telling of the past and present Indigenous story, and it would attract visitors. Think big. It could be huge.
There is an ancient trail snaking north from Port Augusta along the western side of the Simpson Desert and passing right by Alice.
That may be how some stories get here, but that’s not how either participants and contributors, nor how visitors, will travel. They will come along the highways.
So, Canberra and Darwin, please take some of your next tranche of weighted GST money and build the Outback Way.
Hal Duell (pictured)
Alice Springs


  1. We can thank our esteemed Federal Member for the lack of funding.
    The Northern Australia Counil which he chairs negotiated with the Federal Government to match dollar for dollar what the state or territory puts in.
    He complained in question time shortly after that about the deal that he did, without once mentioning that his mate Gunner needed to pony up the other half.
    He basically tried to score points by highlighting how abysmal his own performance is. Luckily he will be out of the job in May.

  2. I am again pointing to the extreme short sighted planning, money shortage or no money shortage.
    We are at the centre of a unique set of infrastructure but fail to either realise or capitalise on it or both.
    We are at the centre of at least three major cross country highways. North South, East West, with the advent of the Outback Way, and now North West (Tanami from the growing food bowl in the Ord to the markets in the South East).
    The Brisbane to Perth route via the Outback Way is very competitive with the conventional route so we have a major interstate traffic hub right on our doorstep.
    Then add in the rail link and an international airport and no where else in the country can match that.
    Bring in the Outback Way as alternative entry into Alice via Altunga and you have an alternative for heavy transport going to Perth rather than through the current CBD and a new tourist province from the east.
    Then add in the fast approaching avalanche of electric vehicles including trucks (Tesla has now on the market electric transport vehicles with a range of up to 800 km and cost savings of around 30 cents per km).
    We will once again be caught flat footed, money or no money, and this makes the development of Brewer where the electricity is sourced so obvious as the base for a new commercial hub.
    Several major infrastructure projects including interstate airports have been funded by overseas superannuation funds, but not here when we have billions secreted away but out of touch, as our planning is all too frequently.


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