The debate about Small Council vs Big Council is taking on a new urgency as the NT Government has run up record debts while doing little for The Alice. Council CEO Rex Mooney, retiring after more than 16 years on the job, sees no obstacles to local government broadening its brief. He spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA. Mr Mooney is pictured at the Todd Mall building site and at the opening of the town pool following a $16m funding coup (at right in each photo).
The town centre is turned into a place where locals mingle and visitors are welcomed. Concerts are held for 3000 people. Beautiful spaces take the place of ugly car parks. The Mall no longer turns into a sinister ghost town when the sun sets, and where tourists are warned not to go.
Anti-social behaviour no longer flourishes in this void.
The place is buzzing with people living right there, in 60 or 70 apartments in the heart of The Alice, marketed through pre-sales and built to order, from one to three bedrooms. Pie in the sky? It's closer than you think. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.PHOTO: Flynn Church during a night market and with "video architecture" projection during last year's Alice Desert Festival.
"They should be working 24/7. They could have finished the job in a third of the time."
It's an understandable reaction by Todd Mall traders who are doing it tough – some of them very much so.
But the manager of yet another refurbishment of the town's main drag says even if it had been decided to incur extra costs for labour, little would have been gained in terms of an earlier finish from working around the clock: constraints of keeping down construction noise at night in the vicinity of three tourist accommodation houses, preferred trading times of certain shops, the weather and trouble with documentation of existing underground services left little slack. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTOS: Above – Where the Sails used to be. At left – Lynn Treis in her shop mostly empty of customers.
The CDL saga goes on, a hike in fines is dropped, feral shopping trolleys are brought partly under control, and the statue of the explorer John McDouall Stuart (pictured during its unveiling followed by immediate removal) finally has a home. These were some of the issues discussed at last night's meeting of the Town Council committees. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.