Alice Springs news
Alice Springs news; NewspaperNT
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This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.
Community newspspers; Australia, Central; Alice Springs (N.T.); Newspapers
v. 17 issue 34
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
The Westpoint building on the corner of Stott Terrace and Railway Terrace is currently being renovated several windows and doors have been sealed and rendered over. There are two stretches of blank wall facing Stott Terrace and Billygoat Hill that are around 10 metres long. An artists impression of the Bath Street building shows large expanses of blank wall, and the reported intention to accommodate cars at ground level is in direct conflict with the recommendations of the report. Antecedent to the reports, an Urban Design Audit (prepared by the same interstate company and released in August last year and reported on by the Alice News, www.alicespringsnews.com.au/1630.html) described roundabouts as quite inappropriate for use in the town centre: theyre efficient for traffic flow but reduce crossing safety for pedestrians and cyclists. The current reports emphasise that walking should be the main mode of travel for the town centre, yet earlier this year the Town Council put new roundabouts into the area. The reports make the usual recommendations about street trees that appear to fall endlessly on deaf ears, and also mention plantings on median strips while the council has allowed concrete median strips to proliferate. The Coles Complex seem to have taken their cue from councils concreting fervour, concreting over the garden beds surrounding their allotment, fronting Gregory Terrace and Bath Street, increasing the ugliness, harshness and heat retention of this end of town. Questions Minister McCarthy is not answering The thrust of the Built Form Guidelines and the Residential Capacity Report is to provide a context for relaxing the height limits in Alice Springs. They dont provide any discussion of the merit or rationale for going to a maximum five storeys other than the request of landowners to consider it. Future redevelopment, especially of residential capacity in the CAD, in both reports is predicated upon going to five storeys at most of the identified sites. The benefits, such as getting rid of carparks along the river, are presented as a trade-off. These reports are dated November 2009 and January 2010 respectively. In light of this, was the Ministers decision to grant a conditional exceptional development permit to the owners of the Melankas site prejudiced by a policy direction that the government had already committed to as there is no exploration of the alternative in the reports it commissioned? The former Planning Minister, Delia Lawrie, said the wishes of the community will be respected in relation to going to five storeys. (www.alicespringsnews.com.au/1608.html) To what extent did the Minister take into account the wishes of the community in granting the exceptional development permit? How exactly will the wishes of the community be respected in relation to the responses to these two reports? Can the community expect that the request to comment is made in good faith when, by government directive to the consultants, there has been no exploration of the alternatives? If the invitation to comment is made in good faith, how come the Melanka decision was made before the release of the reports and before the invitation was issued? When did the Alice Springs steering committee get the reports? I note that a member of the real estate industry is on that committee. This could give rise to speculation that the real estate industry has had advance warning of the recommendations. Is that proper? What are the formal restrictions and sanctions in relation to what members of the committee can communicate to people outside the committee? The process seems to short-change the public which has been paying around $300,000 for a vacant house block, unaware of the potentially cheaper housing that could come in some high rise buildings. Please comment. Hargrave murder accused say they cant get fair trial. By KIERAN FINNANE. The trial of the men accused of the murder in April 2009 of Ed Hargrave, which was to have started on September 14, has been delayed. Lawyers for the accused contend that their clients cannot receive a fair trial given the way juries are selected in Alice Springs. The two, Graham Woods and Julian Williams, are Aboriginal, while the deceased was non-Aboriginal.