23 Aug 2018
Dale Wakefield, Member for Braitling
Local tourism businesses have come forward to show their support for the Territory Labor Government to build the National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs at the Anzac Hill Precinct.
The precinct combines Anzac Oval and the old school site, with the oval providing open green space for community use and events.
The local project team has engaged with over 40 local tourism businesses and individuals to date, in addition to receiving several messages of support from business leaders in Alice Springs.
Quotes from Member for Braitling, Dale Wakefield
“Central Australia is the birthplace of the contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art movement, and yet we do not have an iconic or significant drawcard for visitors to Alice Springs.
“Central to the feedback from the tourism industry is that the National Aboriginal Art Gallery will give Alice Springs its own national and international icon that will be the major hook needed to increase visitation to Alice Springs.
“This project will create hundreds of local jobs and it will achieve maximum social and economic benefits to the town through a boost to tourism visitation and local jobs.”
Quotes from the Acting Minister for Tourism and Culture, Natasha Fyles
“Tourism is a critical industry for the NT and the Territory Labor Government will continue to invest in attracting more visitors to all regions of the Territory, supporting local businesses and creating jobs.
“We already have an initial $50 million on the table for this important project, as part of a $100 million investment into building a unique and culturally significant Arts Trail the length and breadth of the Territory.
“The National Aboriginal Art Gallery will be an important tourism and cultural asset, transforming and revitalising the town, showcasing the spectacular art of the region and this nation, acting as a major drawcard for national and international tourists.”
Quotes from Justine Petrick, Owner of Outback Cycling and Manager of Alice Springs Telegraph Station
“The National Aboriginal Art Gallery will give Alice Springs an icon that we can market at an international level, very similar to Uluru. Having an attraction like this in town makes sense as the proposed infrastructure around the site being so close to the mall means that there are bars, cafes, restaurants and shops for people to visit. This will boost the economy and increase spend in Alice Springs.
“I live close to the Anzac Hill Precinct and it is locked most of the time. We talked about it as a green space for the public but it’s actually not a space we can access at this point in time. I have a family with young children so we will be looking forward to using it more, with the proposed use of Anzac Oval as an open green space for community use and events.”
Quotes from Steve Shearer, Honorary Life Member of Tourism Central Australia
“I came to Alice Springs 33 years ago and have been involved with the tourism industry for all of that time. Alice Springs is an awesome place, great people, and great attractions.
“The proposed location of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery below Anzac Hill is a great place. It would enhance the CBD, attract more people, create employment and not just in the construction phases, but ongoing employment.
“Tourism is an extremely important industry, in fact every dollar spent in town is then spent six times around town. So tourism is really everybody’s business.
“Sometimes change is hard, but I’ve lived here for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of changes and enhancements that have definitely benefitted the whole town and I think that this is what this project will deliver.”
Quotes from Brendan Heenan, Owner of Big 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park
“The National Aboriginal Art Gallery will deliver great benefits to Alice Springs and may encourage more accommodation to be built in and around Alice Springs and the CBD.
“We need an iconic place for people from all around Australia, and from all around the world, to come and visit. Having it in the CBD area will deliver the most benefit to the town’s people.
“The other great benefit for the Anzac Hill area is the enhancement of the whole green area for iconic events like the Masters Games and Carols by Candlelight.”
Watch their testimonials
Justine Petrick, Owner of Outback Cycling and Manager of the Alice Springs Telegraph Station https://youtu.be/2sqMoL9TOAQ
Steve Shearer, Honorary Life Member of Tourism Central Australia https://youtu.be/erVTW8JFzBU
Brendan Heenan, Owner of the BIG 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park https://youtu.be/bFgX6-Z_-bc
Media Contact: Paige Nguyen 0428 727 244