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Alice Springs will get only half as much as its Town Council asked for, and much later than expected.
This is the response by Mayor Damien Ryan to the campaign promises made by Chief Minister Paul Henderson last Friday.
Mayor Ryan says the council asked for $5m in 2012/13 to continue the town centre re-development, but will only get $2.5m, deferred and over two years, 2014 to 2016.
"It's pretty disappointing that the CBD doesn't rate before 2014-15 which is a long way away," says Mayor Ryan.
"You wouldn't be able to start stage two with that small a commitment. We need to have the money in place." ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Market last Sunday in Todd Mall. Funding as announced by the Chief Minister would curtail further progress on the long planned town centre upgrade.
Central Australia is getting $40m in new capital works spending in the Territory's 2012-13 Budget.
This is not counting re-votes from previous Budgets.
The Centre's slice is just 3% of what Treasurer Delia Lawrie describes as "a huge $1.3 billion infrastructure investment across the emergency services, education, health, roads, corrections and housing sectors".
A quarter – $10m – of Central Australia's new allocations will be spent on the Alice Springs Correctional Centre (at left, Google Earth), $5m on the Alice hospital and $5m on the Mereenie road, the Red Centre Way.
Meanwhile the Opposition says Territorians will pay in excess of $1b in interest repayments "as a result of the Labor Government’s failure to reign in debt".
Peter Solly, General Manager Tourism Central Australia, says the Budget "recognised the importance of providing additional funding to the tourism sector to stimulate demand and support the industry in response to the Global Financial Crisis [but] the real value of base funding to the tourism sector has not kept up with inflation".
The town council will get $3.5m from the Federal Government towards a $5m project to upgrade the landfill on its present site.
This will include a new waste transfer station, retail reycling shop, weigbridge, security gates and improved road network.
Mayor Damien Ryan says this will help the council achieve its goal to reduce the litter stream to the landfill by 50% over 30 years.
Mr Ryan says he's had a "win win" with the grant which comes from the Regional Development Australia Fund on which he is the Territory's representative.
Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, says this is "a great project that will not only benefit the local community, but the surrounding regional areas as well.
“The project will create growth opportunities for business to use recycled materials, particularly glass, focus the attention of business, industry and government in the region on waste management practices and increase current staffing levels by approximately 50 per cent.
“Currently, businesses outside Alice Springs municipal boundaries are required to take hazardous waste like asbestos across state borders.”
Mr Snowdon says four local government areas will benefit from the project, including the MacDonnell Shire, Central Desert Shire, Barkly Shire Council and Alice Springs Municipality.
Meanwhile Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Adam Giles says while Alice Springs rubbish management needs are now secured for the future, it is unfortunate that funding was not made available for delivering real jobs and real economic development in the region.
Photo: Muddy tracks at the landfill soon to be a thing of the past.