The NT looks set to undertake some massive expansion in the domains of construction and development. This is a especially the case for Darwin, Palmerston and nearby areas. The words ‘boom’ and ‘booming’ spring to mind as planned expansion titillates our senses.

I recall words of wisdom addressed to school leaders at a national conference that took place in Darwin in 1992. Frederick Wirt, now the Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois (USA) spoke with delegates. His address was titled ‘Will the centre hold?’ Wirt lauded growth, development and expansion but cautioned it should never be at the expense of consolidating and reinforcing infrastructure already in place. His suggestion was that developments should always be based on a solid foundation. He urged leaders and developers to avoid recklessly frog hopping from one initiative to the next without careful planning and intuitive thought.

We would do well to keep Wirt’s advice in mind as we move from the past and present into the NT’s future.

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