By ERWIN CHLANDA
Ideas around how to make two locations work for the proposed national Aboriginal art gallery are being presented by Town Council CEO Robert Jennings to the council members today.
One location is the Anzac Hill precinct, the NT Government’s preferred option, with an entrance where the council-owned Wills Terrace car park is now, linked by a “time passage / immersive tunnel” to the main complex on the other side of the rugby oval, which stays in place, and where the Anzac high school is currently being demolished.
The other option is the Desert Park, preferred by the government’s original steering committee, led by Hetti Perkins and Philip Watkins.
When the government proposed the Anzac location it ignited controversies: Traditional owners ultimately rejected the site, and there was vocal opposition by the public to relocating the rugby field.
In a media release embargoed till 8am today the council names as the “parties involved” the community of Alice Springs, the NT Government and the council. Traditional owners are not specifically mentioned.
The release says Mr Jennings was authorised “to work with the NT Government in forming a multilateral partnership group that can drive forward” the gallery project “in an inclusive, effective and consultative manner” for the benefit of the Alice Springs community, the Territory and the council.
Mr Jennings will table a report at the council’s ordinary meeting on Monday.
Today’s announcement says: “These early concept drawings have been developed purely to illustrate potential site solutions that address the concerns raised by the community, and aim to progress this important and iconic project for Alice Springs.
“Council is motivated by the NT Government’s vision for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery and the potential benefit that its project will bring to the community, and hence will continue to work with the NT Government in assisting to deliver this important project for Alice Springs where requested.”
The concept drawings have been made by Studio Kinship, delivering “culturally appropriate design and construction”.