1 February 2016 - Opposition Leader Michael Gunner today announced that a Territory Labor Government will develop the Northern Territory into world’s premier destination to experience Indigenous arts and culture, beginning with a commitment to creating Australia’s iconic National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
“Labor will develop Alice Springs as Australia’s inland capital,” Mr Gunner said.
“An iconic National Indigenous Art gallery is part of that plan. When people arrive in Australia they will know that to experience indigenous art and to see firsthand the skills, knowledge and culture of Australia’s indigenous people they will need to come to Alice Springs and the Northern Territory.
“Labor will engage with the Alice Springs and Central Australian community, particularly indigenous people and their representatives in the design and development of this project.
“We will also engage with other national galleries, major national companies and the Australian government to ensure we are maximizing input from across the country.
“In addition to a National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs, we will develop a significant Indigenous Arts Trail right across the Territory. Labor will work with the people of Tennant Creek, Katherine and East Arnhem Land to ensure those communities are properly linked to this trail.
“We will work with established galleries in indigenous communities to ensure that visitors to the Territory know that some of the world’s best art is on the shelves of some of the Territories remote communities. These projects will be linked and form an Indigenous Art trail across the Territory.
“We will have a grants program that will allow art galleries in communities to upgrade their facilities, their back of house production areas, put in dining areas and café and improve their displays.
“Indigenous art centers are important centers of knowledge which intrinsically link language, law, land and culture through a rich and long history of art. These centers are integral to sharing and preserving that history while providing significant economic leverage.
“These undertakings will increase tourism, create and support hundreds jobs during the construction phase and brings added attention to smaller, private or community owned galleries and galleries based in communities as part of a Territory wide promotion.
“Territory Labor’s vision will strengthen our local economy as more visitors around the country and around the world decide to choose the NT as the premier place to visit to experience one of the world’s oldest cultures.”
Michael Gunner indicated strong support from a future Labor Government for the development of a National Indigenous Cultural Centre based in Alice Springs.
“I am aware of the enormous work already put into this project by an Indigenous led group of Centralians and I am happy to back that work,” Mr Gunner said.
“In Government Labor will assist with the consultations around this National Cultural Centre, we will provide legal and financial advice where required and we will ensure that the iconic National Indigenous Art Gallery and the National Indigenous Culture Centre are linked and developed cooperatively.”
Michael Gunner said Labor would spend the first three years of its first term getting the details around the National Indigenous Art Gallery right, including site, design, contributions from across Australia and connection to other facilities.
“I expect the construction to be getting underway by 2020,” Mr Gunner said.
“Labor will commit $100 million to getting the capital works in place to develop the stage one of this National Indigenous Arts Trail.
“Those capital funds will get the National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs built, make a financial contribution to the National Indigenous Cultural Centre and get work started in regional centers.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie said today the Giles CLP Government’s failure to address crime and antisocial behaviour in Alice Springs was impacting on local business and residents.
“It is an indictment on Adam Giles and his failed CLP policies that a weekend where taxis were pulled off the streets because of rock throwing, visitors assaulted, houses and businesses vandalised and broken into and large groups of young people were roaming the streets of the CBD late at night can be described as nothing unusual,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Adam Giles has a litany of broken promises to Alice Springs and sadly it is residents and businesses who are paying the price.
“Youth after hours services were slashed by the CLP Government and the results of this ill thought out policy are obvious with young people out on the streets late at night, reports of vandalism and graffiti and businesses and residents calling for action.
“Earlier this year Adam Giles promised funding for youth services – but money has still not been released.
“He says the Town Council will be conducting youth patrols with Congress, but there are few details on how this approach will work, when it will start and where the funding is coming from.
“Even members of his own Government are saying they got it wrong, with the CLP Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley saying it was a mistake to scrap the YSOS program.
“Adam Giles refuses to even acknowledge there are issues with crime in Alice Springs, instead making claims that the town has never had it so good.
“He is arrogant and out of touch with what is going on in his own backyard and Central Australia deserves better.’
Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241211
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to refocus on his broken promises to deliver for Central Australia and start by announcing what flood mitigation measures he will be funding in Alice Springs.
“Last month Alice Springs suffered some of the biggest floods in more than 20 years and many houses and businesses were inundated,” Ms Lawrie said.
“But the Chief Minister has earmarked no money for flood mitigation for Alice Springs in the $50 million package announced for Darwin and Katherine flood works using funds from the sale of TIO.
“The January floods showed there is a need for further flood mitigation works in Alice.
“In Government, Labor funded local flood mitigation works including successful rechannelling works in the Todd River.
“But the CLP Government continues to snub Alice Springs and ignore the wishes of the community."
Ms Lawrie said that this week the Chief Minister tried to handball responsibility for escalating youth issues in the town to a Regional Coordination Committee.
“We don’t need further delays to deal with these urgent issues," Ms Lawrie said.
“He has had months of warnings from youth workers, police and the business community about what’s going on but he ignored Alice Springs.
“Workers on the front line have said continually that funding has to be restored to a co-ordinated approach to after-hours programs.
“Alice Springs has been paying the price for the CLP’s cuts to after-hours youth services in town and now Adam Giles is finally admitting they got it wrong.
“The CLP Government needs to support existing services that are grounded in the community to do their job effectively, to get kids at risk of the streets at night and improve community safety.
“Adam Giles is more concerned with punishing the Member for Araluen than delivering real economic and social benefits for Alice Springs and the wider region.
“Sadly it’s Central Australians who lose out while the CLP plays its power games.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie has called on the CLP Government to turn the water back on to Whitegate residents in Alice Springs as a matter of urgency.
“Turning off an essential service such as water to families at Whitegate is an appalling strong-arm tactic by the Giles Government,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Community Services Minister Bess Price tried late last year to force Whitegate residents to move and they told her quite clearly they were going nowhere.
“And now she is putting the health and welfare of children and women at risk by turning off the water.
“I am disgusted that Minister Price is failing to restore water to the families at Whitegate. This is a national disgrace.
“Tangentyere Council must be applauded for supplying water trucks to the camp in the short term.
“But they are not funded to supply services to Whitegate, with the CLP Government stopping the funding some time ago.
“If the Whitegate families wanted to move, which they don’t, where would they go?
“The Government is saying they would find ‘somewhere’ but with wait lists for public housing stretching to years exactly where do they propose families live?
“What is the Government’s motive in trying to strong-arm the Whitegate families off the camp where they have lived for more than 30 years?
“Longtime Whitegate resident Felicity Hayes told media: “I think they want to make a subdivision or something there.’
“Is that the real reason this Government has turned off the water?”
Media contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924