Construction of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery will begin next year at the Anzac Oval in Alice Springs

The Northern Territory Government is in the final stages of acquiring the Anzac Oval in Alice Springs as the site of a National Aboriginal Art Gallery, five years after the project was announced.

A spokesperson said the government could not yet disclose how much money Alice Springs City Council would receive for the site.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the government would spend $50 million to build the gallery and work with the federal government and the opposition to secure the remaining $100 million needed for the project.

Mr. Gunner said the territory would fund the entire project if the federal government and the opposition did not provide financial support.

Construction of the gallery is expected to begin in late 2023 and be completed in 2025.

Years of negotiations with traditional owners

The project was first announced in 2017 and has since been marred by failed negotiations with traditional owners over the location of construction, culminating in a dispute between the NT Government and Alice Town Council Springs in NT Civil and Administrative Court last year.

Earlier this year Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson said the council would end its legal battle, clearing the way for the government to acquire Anzac Oval.

The Chief Minister said on Friday that he and the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler, had held discussions with the traditional owners of Alice Springs about the gallery.

“Even more work is going to happen now, especially around the design.”.

Chansey Paech says traditional owners will be included in the gallery’s design process.(ABC Alice Springs: Samantha Jonscher)

Ms Lawler said she had held meetings with Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation and that “her door [was] open” to traditional owners, custodians and elders who wished to discuss the project.

“It will be an incredible facility, an incredible asset to this city,” she said.

Central Australia’s Reconstruction Minister, Chansey Paech, hopes the design of the project will be tendered in the coming weeks.

“This design tender ensures that there are appropriate buffer zones between Anzac Hill and the compound so that we commemorate and commemorate the significance of this place,” Mr Paech said.

“[The design tender] will highlight the cultural considerations and aesthetics of how this building can be constructed according to First Peoples principles. »

Financing of a water park, a housing estate, a new sports complex

Aerial view of the oval.
Anzac Oval will be part of a new neighborhood that includes the gallery, Kwatye water play park and a visitor information centre. (ABC News: Dylan Anderson)

The Chief Minister has also committed $5 million for a water play park to be built within the grounds of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, with construction expected to begin in early 2023.

Alice Springs City Council previously committed an additional $2 million to the Kwatye Play project.

A new visitor information center will be built next to the gallery, with caravan parking available on the edge of the CBD.

Rugby codes in Alice Springs will be given a new sports precinct in the Kilgariff estate to the south of the city, and a further 350 blocks of residential land in the suburbs will be freed up for development.

The NT government has also announced that it will invite an expression of interest for the development of 60 housing units for Alice Springs government employees by May.

Christopher S. Washington