CLICK here to subscribe to our free NEWS ALERT service.

Town planning farce: Lawler dodges the hard questions

2583 Eva Lawler SM

 

 

Opening a park is clearly the extent of the abilities of the NT lands minister Eva Lawler. She is pictured at the microphone. The Development Consent Authority can do what it likes? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Not enough water for Yuendumu to grow

2582 Yuendumu SM

 

 

And two drilling campaigns since 2015/16 have failed to find any, says the Power and Water Corporation. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Sleeping on the floor in over-crowded juvie

2555 youth detention facility 1

 

 

The alternative is transfer to Don Dale in Darwin, though this may also result from “behavioural or safety issues”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Visitor centre without parking is like a pub with no beer

2583 Onkaparinga 2 SM

 

 

Veteran tourism operator in The Centre, Trevor Shiell, says Alice should take a leaf from Onkaparinga’s book and move our visitor centre to the “welcome rock” near the Adelaide turn-off. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Town Council asked Anzac Oval owners who said ‘no’

p2301-Hal-Duell-SM

 

 

The question has become, is the council a responsive government, or are they just another government? Hal Duell (pictured) is asking the question. FULL STORY »

Desert Song’s fire burns bright

p2564 Desert Song Women's Choir SM

 

 

With Desert Song  Morris Stuart has created a festival that is a reflection of what it aspires to – a peaceful, just and inclusive world – offering a richly mixed cultural experience in Australia’s heartland. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Video by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Gallery vital as starting point to our tourism paradise

2581 Ormiston a cappella 1 SM

 

 

The Desert Song concert in Ormiston Gorge on the weekend was a powerful example of what an Aboriginal art gallery could do for Alice Springs, as long as it “gets people out on the road and connected to place,” says MLA for Stuart, Scott McConnell. FULL STORY »

Rain!

2583 raindrops SM2583 raindrops 3 SM

 

 

The first raindrops (at left) on our rural residential block in 161 days, at 2.35pm today. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Police want parents to stop youth crime

2581 street kids 1 SM

Know where your kids are, say police, as youth disturbances and antisocial behaviour in the CBD are on the increase.

 

UPDATE 1pm: “We have continually called for parents and carers to take responsibility,” says Opposition Leader. FULL STORY »

Crunch time in Anzac Oval standoff

p2118melkySM

 

 

The “Aye or Nay to Anzac Oval” vote on his motion on Monday will end the deadlock that has turned a desert dream into a nightmare, writes Councillor Eli Melky. FULL STORY »

Student boarding funding restored – for now

2583 Selena Uibo SM

 

NT restores Supplementary Boarding Fund for two years, allowing St Philip’s College “to continue to offer boarding so that any student in Central Australia, the NT and other rural and remote regions of the country has access to a quality education,” writes Jill Jansons, community relations director of the college, after discussions with Education Minister Selena Uibo (pictured). FULL STORY »

Breakthrough support for Alice Springs art space

p2565 WTS Priscilla Beck SM

 

After 25 years Watch This Space, Alice Springs’s ARI – Artist Run Initiative, as such spaces are called around the country – is going to be able to pay artists to show their work, instead of artists paying them. FULL STORY »

Remains of missing man found near Yambah

Remains of Danny Jones, 48, found more than a year after he went missing, police report. FULL STORY »

Government withholds NATS crowd number

p2574 NATS # 1 SM

 

 

People “through the gate” is deceptive spin. The number of tickets sold is suppressed. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

1 Territory slams Water Act recommended amendments

p2327-Braedon-Earley-SM

 

 

Recommended changes to the Water Act “betrays the trust of Territorians,” writes  Braedon Earley (pictured), of the 1 Territory Party. FULL STORY »

Will Water Act give fracking companies OK to pollute water?

p22100-Naomi-Hogan-SM

 

 

Proposed amendments would permit pollution “in the course of carrying out a mining activity or petroleum activity,” writes Naomi Hogan (pictured), of the Lock the Gate Alliance. FULL STORY »

Classroom cops back – but only in one Alice school

2456 Tabby Fudge SM

 

 

They will carry firearms and may use body worn vests: “This takes into consideration the current threat level, and also provides [police] with the ability to respond to emergencies,” say Ministers Manison and Uibo. Bringing back school-based constables, as they used to be known, was urged by Tabby Fudge (pictured), the president  of the NT Council of Government School Organisations. FULL STORY »

Booze ban sign: can they be serious?

2581 welcome sign 1 SM

 

 

This “Welcome to Alice Springs” sign on a tourist route in the town’s south-west no doubt has some people puzzled. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gas-first government dodging urgent need to act on climate

24100 Harshini Bartlett 1 SM

 

 

The NT Government’s 10 Year Infrastructure Plan is missing the boat in booming large scale renewable energy project construction occurring interstate and the jobs that come with it, writes Harshini Bartlett, from RePower Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Business group may establish ‘federal’ prison in The Centre

p2224-Dave-Batic-SM

 

The Alice Springs Major Business Group will be meeting with the Minister for Home Affairs in Canberra next week, says spokesman Dave Batic (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE 1pm: Mr Batic provides the terms of reference for the Alice Springs Major Business Group. FULL STORY »

Gallery: Council did not say boo

2579 Anzac Oval SM

 

 

The Mayor and seven of the eight elected Town Council members met with the government over the Anzac Oval issue but did not make it clear that a decisive public poll had ruled out the use of the Anzac Precinct. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from one of the government’s brochures promoting the government’s “Anzac Precinct” proposal. FULL STORY »

18 in a car with five seats

The youngest was five months old, report police. FULL STORY »

Anzac Oval: Minister won’t rule out compulsory acquisition

2579 body worn cameras 1 SM

 

 

“As the Minister for Local Government I am a member of Michael Gunner’s team and we are very much looking forward to siting, to growing and to developing a national Indigenous art gallery,” says Gerry McCarthy pictured during a “media event” in Alice Springs this afternoon. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery should be all set to go

The government should resume the Anzac Oval and get on with building the beneficial attraction that most people believe the gallery would be, writes Kevin Diflo, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

NT pipeline to make substantial contribution, says industry

2579 Northern Pipeline SM2579 Clontarf 1 SMMining: The NT pipeline to be a boon for south-east Australia; NT Government formulates gas strategy; Minerals Council to keep up support for Clontarf; but environmentalists in The Centre are concerned about the Titjikala salt mine and hazardous waste storage facility. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery at Anzac: Council has no position, says Deputy Mayor

2579 Cocking, Paterson SM

 

Is the council, having conducted a poll on the issue, obliged to act in line with its result? “We want to work with the government to make sure the gallery happens,” says Cr Paterson (at right in the photo, with Cr Jimmy Cocking). He was speaking with ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

UPDATE: Cr Eli Melky to move a motion for the Town Council to exclude the Anzac Oval site as a location for the gallery.

Desert Mob’s dazzling reminder of gallery potential

p2561 Desert Mob Kulitja SM
 
Works containing “a great deal of cultural power” created by “black-skinned proud Aboriginal people” have once again made their journey across the surrounding desert lands to the Araluen Arts Centre. The annual Desert Mob opened last night with this vivid image evoked by Rene Kulitja and translated by Linda Riv. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

UPDATED 6.38pm, 11 September 2018: More text, more images.  FULL STORY »

Strong visitation and sales for Desert Mob 

p2563 Desert Mob crowd SM
 
 

Opening night sales were up by $50,000 on last year’s, with 110 works sold over the weekend, worth $405,070. FULL STORY »

A whirlwind of stuff

– Kieran Finnane

p2563 Barraclough at claypans 2 SM
 
 
Colonising the Ilparpa claypans. Kieran Finnane visited the ephemeral artist’s installation. FULL STORY »

Design tenders called for West Macs cycle trails

2579 West Macs cycle trails SM

 

 

More than 200 kilometres of new trails for riders of all skill levels will link the Alice Springs Desert Park to Glen Helen. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Voter banned from Parliamentarian’s office

p2444 Sandra Nelson SM2543 Bruce Francais SM

 

A place for robust democratic debate? How robust? A one year trespass notice has resulted from one discussion in the electoral office of Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson (at left). Barred from her office: Constituent Bruce Francis (at right). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.

 

UPDATE September 15, 9am: This is matter for the Member for Katherine, I will not be commenting, says the Speaker, Kezia Purick. FULL STORY »

Anzac Precinct: govt declines to play ball, confusion reigns

2579 Moss, Wakefield SM

 

 

“We need to make a call on the site and move onto the next phase of the project,” say Dale Wakefield and Lauren Moss (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

National Aboriginal gallery: Town Council’s action clear as mud

2578 gallery Cole, Furber 1 SM

 

There had been no mention of Anzac Oval and the dismayed public – some 30 to 40 visitors – were told there would be no further debate on  the matter tonight. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

UPDATED 8.11PM, 10 SEPTEMBER 2018. FULL STORY »

Anzac Oval ‘change of use’: council gives constituents the brushoff

p2562 ASTC Liddle & Shields SM
 
“It’s why you come in here to a council meeting, to listen, so we’re aware of all these things that are happening. You just don’t treat people as … stupid!” Brenda Shields was among those venting their frustration over the Town Council’s high-handed actions last night. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery: Council has no choice but to accept public’s verdict

2577 gallery Advocate SM2577 gallery propaganda SMAs the Centralian Advocate turns over its front page to government propaganda, whose “engagement” stats are the inverse of the town council’s poll, the gallery options seem to be: Compulsorily acquisition of Anzac Oval and the government losing any support for Labor other than from the most trenchant zealots – or hit re-start button for the gallery which, run properly and located appropriately, has close to 100% support from the public. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Government deception clouds gallery debate

2578 Advocate poster 1 SM2578 Advocate poster 2 SMThe bitter debate about the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery has long ago crystallised into whether it should be on the Anzac Oval site or not. The council, due to debate the issues in a few minutes, had no trouble understanding that and it formulated its poll accordingly. But the government conflated opposition to the Anzac option with opposition to the gallery, which flawed its “consultation” from the beginning. IMAGES: Read the fine print. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Council poll says ‘no’ to gallery at Anzac Oval

2549 Anzac Oval OK SM

 

 

The result is the direct opposite of what Ministers Dale Wakefield and Lauren Moss announced as the outcome of their three months long “engagement” with the public. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery chicken before the egg under Labor: Opposition

p2239-Gary-Higgins-2-SM

 

 

Labor made an announcement, ignored the recommendation of its own advisory committee, botched the consultation process and then called for tenders for a business case a mere three weeks ago, after being in government for two years, writes Gary Higgins (pictured), Leader of the Territory Opposition. FULL STORY »

New gallery committee to get no say on location

2577 Crees, Moss, Wakefield SM

 

Will the figures from the Town Council’s “survey” contradict the figures from the government’s “engagement”? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FROM LEFT: Mark Crees, Lauren Moss and Dale Wakefield this morning.

 

UPDATE: Fake consultation had pre-determined outcome, says Opposition. FULL STORY »

Gallery expert: Anzac site cannot work

p2561 Desert Mob Michael Lynch SM
 
Can the Anzac precinct site be made to work? “Absolutely not in my view,” says Michael Lynch, member of the original steering committee for the National Aboriginal Art gallery and veteran arts administrator – chief executive in leading institutions, most recently the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and previously the South Bank Centre in London, and director of the Sydney Opera House among others. He speaks to KIERAN FINNANE.

Updated 10.15am, 10 September 2018, with additional reporting of this interview. FULL STORY »

More spin, not facts on gallery

5247 Dale Wakefield SMp2351 Robyn Lambley SM

 

Ministers Wakefield (left) and Moss after “consultation” are clouding the Anzac Oval issue even further. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE 8:40am: Since when does a “coffee” and a “conversation” constitute a credible scientific survey, asks Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley (at right). FULL STORY »

Nanny state: Tennant alcohol restrictions for Alice?

p2215-Robyn-Lambley-SM

 

Add these new restrictions to the BDR and the Alcohol Floor Price and you have the ultimate nanny state where the Gunner Government is telling us all what we can drink, how much we can drink and when we can drink it, writes Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

$300m NT airports expansions

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility says the investment will help create up to 1,500 jobs and support the development of the NT’s export potential, particularly in agriculture. FULL STORY »

A look across the border at our gallery rival

2574 SA gallery 1 SM“The potential flow-on from cultural tourism opportunities is more promising than ever. With worldwide tourist arrivals increasing 4% to 5% annually, the European Commission reports 40% of tourists choose destinations based on cultural offerings,” writes art commentator Cillín Perera in In Daily. Meanwhile in Alice Springs the bitter dispute about the NT Government’s preferred location is coming to the boil with the evaluation of two surveys, and the Government is stumm on whether its new gallery committee will have a say in the positioning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image: Artist’s impression of the proposed Adelaide gallery.

UDATED 10.47am 6 September 2018 FULL STORY »

Five youths arrested after armed robbery

Man injured, robbed by two young males armed with shovels. FULL STORY »

Six not at all Grey Nomads

p2577 nomads 1 SM

 

 

The wide open spaces is what blew them away in The Centre. They shared their adventures with ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Mineral exploration expenditure up 43% in the NT

p2106ken-vowles-110x150

 

 

The Resourcing the Territory initiative will further encourage exploration, including the Geophysics and Drilling Collaboration grants program, which saw a record number of applicants this year, writes Ken Vowles (pictured), Minister for Primary Industry and Resources. FULL STORY »

SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins

2575 SA Aboriginal art gallery SM

 

 

The proposal for the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is taking shape and may sound the death knell for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs, says Opposition Leader Gary Higgins. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

NATS: Petrol heads rule

p2574 NATS # 617 SM

 

The skills, the man-hours and not in the least, the cash that locals have put into their startling creations, many beginning from no more than a rusty shell decades old, is amazing. But what can’t the government come clean on stats showing the benefit to the town’s economy? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery: national reference group appointed

p2480 Philip Watkins 250p2141-Benedict-Stevens-2

 

A National Reference Group for the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery has been announced. It includes significant Indigenous and local representation, among them Phillip Watkins, co-chair of the initial steering committee, and Benedict Stevens, apmereke artweye for Mparntwe.

UPDATED, 1.26pm,  4 September 2018. FULL STORY »

Crime wave by juveniles

“Unlawful entry at a bank,” assault, stealing and a firearm offence – all in a night’s work for Tennant Creek cops. FULL STORY »

Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent

2575 Aboriginal art NAG OK

 

The government’s amateurish approach to the National Aboriginal Art Gallery is jeopardising its major project for Alice Springs, says a consultant well qualified in the area. PHOTO: World renowned Aboriginal art from Central Australia in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. FULL STORY »

Stagnant CBD; industrial land, rental shortage; houses hold

p2575 Mall empty shop 4 SMp2575 Mall empty shop 7 SMActivity in the Alice Springs CBD is basically a “moving of deckchairs”: existing tenants relocating, not a lot of new business; rents falling. This was the unsurprising but stark picture of a stagnant CBD presented to the Town Council by the Real Institute of the Northern Territory. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Anonymous donation doesn’t fix conflict of interest for council

p2558 ASTC Banks SM
 
In what looked like an extraordinary move to head off debate on the sensitive matter of the recent reception of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Town Council CEO Rex Mooney last night announced that a “concerned ratepayer” had paid in full the cost of the reception. KIERAN FINNANE reports the debate on the politicisation of council. FULL STORY »

The gallery fiasco (continued)

2530 art gallery SMThe tender 11 days ago for a business case was a false start. Mark II is not much clearer: “Nation-building project … the first of its kind in Australia … boost to local jobs, retail, and tourism”, you get the drift. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Snouts who think their rightful place is in the trough

2575 Animal Farm Orwell SM

 

 

Will Michael Gunner’s Territory trade delegation to China, which he describes as “one of the biggest ever,” bear more fruit than that of Marshall Perron nearly 30 years ago? ALEX NELSON asks the question, and he wonders if it is just a taxpayer funded junket for the ruling pigs as in George Orwell’s novella, Animal Farm. FULL STORY »

We need more police. True or false?

police numbers SM

 

 

Between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014, in NSW there was one homicide for every 51,905 people. In the NT there was one homicide for every 7424 people. FULL STORY »

Motion carried for former Prime Minister, Jacinta Price to pay for council party

2529 Turnbull, Price SM

 

KIERAN FINNANE reports: The motion by Cr Marli Banks to charge the former Prime Minister and Cr Jacinta Price for use of the town council facilities for a party was carried a short while ago at tonight’s council meeting.

 

Updated 9.28pm, 27 August 2018. FULL STORY »

The NT Government’s problem with things national

2573 Liz Martin SM

 

 

Still unresolved strife with the National Road Transport Hall of Fame means the NT Government is getting lots of practice making a mess of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. CEO Liz Martin (pictured) says Broken Hill is making a keen bid for what is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »