Statement on National Aboriginal Art Gallery

The Alice Springs Town Councilhas formally declined the Territory Governments offer of $20 million tofacilitate building the National Aboriginal Art Gallery on the Alice SpringsCBD civic centre site.

The financial proposal would contributeto:

  • A new civic centre/multipurpose development forthe Council to move from the current location to a new location and transferringthe ownership of the land
  • A new town library that is an innovative andtechnologically advanced education hub
  • A new town hall that provides a central space toengage all community members in discussion and debate over civic issues and tocelebrate civic events and ceremonies
  • Co-contribution towards the Alice Springs CBDPlanning Framework
  • Leasing costs for an interim location(s) for theAlice Springs Town Council administration and town library

The financial proposal is inaddition to the $50 million currently on the table for the National AboriginalArt Gallery.

Statement from Minister Lauren Moss & Minister Dale Wakefield

The National Aboriginal Art Gallery is one of the biggestinvestments into Alice Springs in decades, and is a defining project for thefuture of the town and an important project for revitalising the CBD.

We have continued to make every effort to work with the AliceSprings Town Council to identify a site within the CBD that will pave the wayfor 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 politicalinterests above the interests of the people of Alice Springs.

The Council has rejected the land swap proposal but has notprovided any information behind their decision as to why the amount was notsufficient, nor have they come back to us with a scope of works, costings andalso what they are prepared to put on the table. There has been no realsolutions from Council after two years of intense negotiations.

We note that the new Council CEO is prepared to meet with theTerritory Government to discuss the next steps and we welcome this.

The Gallery is a project that we will continue to fight for and wecall on the Alice Springs Town Council to put the people of Alice Springs thatthey serve first. And to come to the table with real solutions.

Negotiations need to progress as quickly as possible, so that theprojects potential for Central Australia can be realised.

This project is too important for the future of Alice Springs intothe 21st century for it to fall by the wayside. Alice Springsdeserves its place in the world and for the opportunity to showcase the significantstories of art and culture from the voices of the First People, led by the Arrerntenation.

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