Push for Sealed Road from Amata to Uluru

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 26, 2015 at 11:13
ThreadID: 131201 Views:1746 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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This news item is interesting.

I have driven this road 5 years ago. It was as good as any other 'Community' roads regularly used by 2WD vehicles but would not be passable when wet of course. I would have thought that upgrading and regular maintenance would be adequate.
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Allan

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Reply By: Zippo - Saturday, Dec 26, 2015 at 15:22

Saturday, Dec 26, 2015 at 15:22
[Seems the gremlins that stole Stephen L's status also lost my reply to Allan B, so here's a recap]

It's very much a case of "local priorities" (aka local politics). Their situation is no different to just about every other community. Even Roper Bar (and the nearby Tomato Creek/Lagoon? community) need a good 40km/50km of sealed road by the same criteria. If only money were no object. I wonder how much difference in reality the sealing of these community roads would make other than to some people's local standing and to budget bottom lines.

Take Warburton (the WA one) for another example. Connected to the "world outside" by a decent road that is also not passable at times when wet. If sealed, no real difference except to tourism.

Just my 2c worth.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Dec 26, 2015 at 18:38

Saturday, Dec 26, 2015 at 18:38
I was on this road about 3 months ago. I as comfortably doing 90 -95 kmph. I was the slow one. Many local people were doing at least 100 - 110. I camped on the side of the road and was surprised how much traffic there was all night.

People must be in a real hurry to get to work if they need a sealed road. Obviously lots of shift work too. Wonder if there are other reasons to frequent Uluru?









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Follow Up By: Life Member - Fred B (ex-NT) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 08:58

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 08:58
The " I've just run out of Grog run"....!...?
Fred B
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 09:58

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 09:58
Boobook, I am surprised that you were able to get a permit for this area. I understood that Transit Permits were not granted and even permits for specific visits to Amata were difficult.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 10:27

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 10:27
Allan, even a local cop was very surprised we got a permit, and said we were one of only about 8 genuine tourists he had seen in the area in over a year. When he saw my 11 YO son he said he thought he was seeing a ghost!

It was a tortuous process getting the permit and took about 4 months of back and forth to get it. You are correct, our permit wasn't a transit permit. It was a specific permit for purchasing art. To get it I had to arrange with each community studio, and then send the details to the community permit officer who checked that I had arranged visits.

Unfortunatey we could not arrange accommodation or camping int he APY lands so ducked into the NT for the night, that is where we experienced the overnight traffic.

A ton of work, but absolutely beautiful lands, it really should be opened up for tourists. I was told that the problems in the community mean that is unlikely to happen in the near future though. Having said that we were made to feel most welcome.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 10:36

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 10:36
Allan, I forgot to mention we did get a permit for Amata, and it didn't seem to be any more difficult to get than any other community in the APY lands.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 10:44

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 10:44
Yes Boobook, as you say, beautiful lands.
My entry was in the company of someone able to obtain permits, but requires to remain anonymous.
Maybe our permits were for art purchasing, which we certainly did.
Those in the Art Centre (whites managing) were welcoming but as usual, other indigenous folk would not even make eye contact. Such a shame.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 22:56

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 22:56
Hi Allan

Because I know a number of Aboriginal people from that area, I had no problems at all and we had to get approval from every community that we intended to travel through.

The permits came back as "Family Visit", even though I was visiting Aboriginal people.

As Boobook said and you would know, the locals that we came across were very helpful and never had any issues with us being out there. In fact one of the guys that he had arranged to see was at a sorry camp for a death in one of the Communities. When we arrived at Umuwa we were told that Uncle Harry would not be home, but we were welcome to go to the sorry camp to see him there.

Out of respect for the person that had died, we did not go to the sorry camp, and we were also invited to the local APY Community Footy Grand Finals.



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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 01:15

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 01:15
Allan, as an obviously well-travelled and knowledgable gent, I thought you would have known that making direct eye contact is a big no-no, amongst most Aboriginal tribes - of the Interior, in particular.
It's not a shameful habit, it is just one of the major differences between European and Aboriginal culture.

Unlike Europeans, where making direct eye contact is seen as being polite and honest - many Aboriginal people view making direct eye contact as hostility, as asserting power over, or reprimanding someone.

As a result, do not expect many Aboriginals, particularly those with minimal European contact, to make direct eye contact, even when carrying out a face-to-face conversation, or transactions.

They avoid direct eye contact as a means of being respectful - even though this behaviour can appear to be deceitful, sly, or devious behaviour, to Europeans.

Aboriginals with European blood in them, or with extensive European contact history and living amongst Europeans, will engage in direct eye contact, unlike their more tribal relations.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:37

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:37
Yes Ron, I have come to understand that eye contact thing, but it still un-nerves me. Particularly as they do not hesitate to use strong eye contact if making demands of you.
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Allan

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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 09:22

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 09:22
Allan,

It would certainly make for an easy and quick run up to the shops and airport. I doubt jobs for the youth has anything to do with it. Has extending the seal to Yuendumu helped that community?

The cost of bitumenising a few hundred kms of already pretty good road is eye-wateringly high. I'm sure this money could be better spent on a regional college or hospital.

But thinking laterally, perhaps if the people of the APY lands are starting to acknowledge the importance of connecting to the rest of Australia, they could start by allowing tourists to visit. At the moment, you can enter if you are a miner, an evangelist, or a store proprietor. If you are well-intentioned tourist with dollars to spend on art etc just forget it.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 12:01

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 12:01
Bob,

as a frequent traveller in these regions (including at times the APY Lands), I whole-heartedly endorse your comments.

I am going to open up this conversation in a new thread. It would appear to be an item of widespread interest.

Regards,

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Reply By: TomH - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 16:58

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 16:58
Perhaps as entry is restricted and the road would be for their use only they could pay for it. Why should the rest being non users have to pay for something they are unable to use.

The sooner everything is opened up for "Australians" in general to use the better.
AnswerID: 594194

Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 01:32

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 01:32
There is direct conflict as regards what the elders want here - with regard to roads - and with what they want, by way of special treatment and exclusivity for being Aboriginal.

On the one hand, they want Europeans excluded from their Lands, with access by permit only - and on the other hand, they want full employment and engagement of their tribal members, with the major European part of Australia, by expecting the Europeans to seal their access road for them.

They can't have it both ways. Roads are improved to facilitate movement of goods and people, and to improve trade on a bi-lateral basis.
Someone has to pay steadily over a long period of time for vastly improved sealed roads.

We are talking at least around $500,000 a km, for the total cost of a fully-sealed two-lane road of a standard 8 metres pavement width.
A road like this has to have properly-constructed floodways for minor creeks, and large culverts and bridges for major creeks - even if they only run once every 2 years.

Unfortunately, the elders in this community apparently fail to grasp even basic social and economic principles - so they still have a long way to go, before they can fully engage with the European section of Australia, on an even, two-way basis.

Their thinking is still all one-way - in the constant direction of themselves, and their tribal benefits.

Cheers, Ron.
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