Ellery Big Hole? Nah, Litchfield, in the Top End. – Alice Springs News


While Top Enders are allowed to frolic in national parks including Litchfield this long weekend (ABC TV News image), the people of Alice Springs continue to be locked out of their West MacDonnells without any explanation from the Gunner Government.

That is notwithstanding that the Iwupataka Land Trust, known as the Golden Mile, west of Alice Springs, has now been excluded from the biosecurity area which also includes the West Macs.

There are no living areas between the turn-off towards Glen Helen a bit further on, from Larapinta Drive into Namatjira Drive, all the way to the park’s western end.

Exclusions from a biosecurity area, declared under Federal law but presumably managed jointly with the NT Government, can clearly be obtained.

This was demonstrated by the Central Land Council, acting for its members.

MacDonnell Regional Council CEO Jeff MacLeod says these include the Golden Mile residents, apparently between the town and Jay Creek, who shop, work and go to school in Alice Springs.

We asked Mr Gunner whether he had made a similar representation to the Federal Government on behalf of his constituents in Alice Springs, who want to spend their long weekend at the Ellery Bighole, Ormiston Gorge, Redbank and a dozen other locations in the magnificent West Macs.

We received no reply from Mr Gunner.

Neither did we get any response to emails about the West Macs issues we sent to the NT Government’s Covidmedia on April 6 (two messages) and April 27. Nor were there replies to several reports and readers’ comments we published about West Macs issues.

It’s not as if we are able to put questions to Mr Gunner and NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles during their daily chest thumping live COVID broadcasts.

Through a minder they have declined participation by Alice Springs News via phone link in these “press events” in Darwin: We would need to be there to ask questions, we were told.

This comes from a government that was elected on a platform including honesty and transparency. It’s an impertinence at the best of times, let alone the current ones.

Labor will have opportunity to explain this conduct in the lead-up to the election scheduled for August.

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