12 Sep 2019
Minister for Tourism and Culture
Dale Wakefield, Member for Braitling
The Alice Springs Town Council has formally declined the Territory Government’s offer of $20 million to facilitate building the National Aboriginal Art Gallery on the Alice Springs CBD civic centre site.
The financial proposal would contribute to:
The financial proposal is in addition to the $50 million currently on the table for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery.
Statement from Minister Lauren Moss & Minister Dale Wakefield
The National Aboriginal Art Gallery is one of the biggest investments into Alice Springs in decades, and is a defining project for the future of the town and an important project for revitalising the CBD.
We have continued to make every effort to work with the Alice Springs Town Council to identify a site within the CBD that will pave the way for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery.
Unfortunately what we have seen is a Council that is divided, lacks leadership and where individual Councillors have put their own political interests above the interests of the people of Alice Springs.
The Council has rejected the land swap proposal but has not provided any information behind their decision as to why the amount was not sufficient, nor have they come back to us with a scope of works, costings and also what they are prepared to put on the table. There has been no real solutions from Council after two years of intense negotiations.
We note that the new Council CEO is prepared to meet with the Territory Government to discuss the next steps and we welcome this.
The Gallery is a project that we will continue to fight for and we call on the Alice Springs Town Council to put the people of Alice Springs that they serve – first. And to come to the table with real solutions.
Negotiations need to progress as quickly as possible, so that the project’s potential for Central Australia can be realised.
This project is too important for the future of Alice Springs into the 21st century for it to fall by the wayside. Alice Springs deserves its place in the world and for the opportunity to showcase the significant stories of art and culture from the voices of the First People, led by the Arrernte nation.