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Town council denies blocking new servos

2489 United SM

 

 

A fuel company alleges the Town Council is blocking the construction of three service stations in Alice Springs. The council is due to issue a response shortly. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE from council at 4:10pm FULL STORY »

We’ve got the sunshine, they’ve got the people

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Add this one to the assets of your home in Alice: Lots of cheap electricity, independent from the big end of town.  ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Solar centre breathes new life into Desert Knowledge

2489 DKA solar centre SMThe precinct’s 39 sun-powered electricity generators illustrate much of the industry’s short history and is a research facility used the world over. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

When NT was officially ‘a country for the White Man’

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The White Australia Policy was the official line for development of the north when the Territory’s first Administrator, John Anderson Gilruth, took up his post. Ted Egan AO tells the story his latest book. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Passing of the Namatjira matriarch

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Just six short days after the Namatjira copyright victory, one of the principal figures in the fight for its return to her family has passed away. FULL STORY »

Cattlemen support Pastoral Land Act amendments

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The Northern Land Council needs to stop running interference on every single improvement that both governments and industry make for the good of all Territorians, writes Tom Stockwell (pictured), President Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association. FULL STORY »

Booze report: What the government is likely to do.

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Bring back an independent liquor commission, lobby the Feds for a volumetric tax, law for 400 square meter floor limit to go, and a floor price on alcohol products to prevent alcohol related harms, writes Natasha Fyles, Attorney-General and Minister for Health. FULL STORY »

Namatjira copyright breakthrough: family, galleries celebrate

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After years of campaigning by descendants and Big hArt, 100% of the renowned artist’s copyright has been transferred to the Namatjira Legacy Trust, with entrepreneur and philanthropist Dick Smith helping clinch the deal. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores

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The role of our spy base under Trump who wants to increase the US nuclear arsenal tenfold. Local peace activist RUSSELL GOLDFLAM comments.

  FULL STORY »

Warrant for police search of construction firm office

Police say they have a warrant to search the premises of MPH Constructions in Alice Springs but will give no further details. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE October 13, 2:39pm. FULL STORY »

Most youth crime down to locals, not bush visitors

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And youth crime is not necessarily Alice’s biggest worry: “We do have a large percentage of adult crime,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Danny Bacon told the Town Council in his last address to them before leaving Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

CBD planning: The vibrants are at it again

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Another town plan in the making: The public is invited to have its say but it appears much is already set in concrete. It seems the government is hoping it will get leave to squeeze the town’s future into a template already cast. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Police search for man

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Police seek information about a man (pictured) and warn the public not to approach him. FULL STORY »

Massive downturn of home starts in NT

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Territory dwellings nearly a third down in the June quarter, figures show. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Painting and dancing pictures of their worlds

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It was called Alice Can Dance but dancing doesn’t happen without ideas and so it was also Alice Can Think, Alice Can Speak, Alice Can Tell a Story. And Alice, in this case, was a big group of school children and a team of artists and choreographers. KIERAN FINNANE went along to the show. FULL STORY »

Why solar racing is a brain sport

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Weather boffins take over as solar race team leaders, says founder of the race, Hans Tholstrup (pictured), who is in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Master plan for town, reconciliation plan for Australia Day

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New councillors Jimmy Cocking and Catherine Satour had wins on their first motions in the new Town Council. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

How 50% solar in the NT by 2030 can mean 100% in Alice

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With an eye on Port Augusta where solar power dreams have become spectacular reality, RePower Alice Springs is starting to focus on how and when to make practical use of The Centre’s abundant resource, sunshine. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Batchelor Institute dodges performance comparisons

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The data exist but the VET provider is blocking their release. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Batchelor staff at the recent presentation of certificates in Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Clouds for Solar Challenge – but they have a silver lining

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Rain and clouds but the cars in the 2017 Solar Challenge – arguably the most efficient electric vehicles in the world – are pushing ahead nevertheless. The Australian Clenergy Team Arrow (pictured) will spend the night in Alice Springs but the leader is between Alice and Kulgera on Day Three.

  FULL STORY »

Gap Centre is the centre of The Gap

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Thousands of kids have gone through the Gap Youth and Community Centre in its four decades. It still has its work cut out. ERWIN CHLANDA went to the party on Saturday. PHOTO: Di Sandford with Lanai Thackeray as she cuts the cake for Chelsea, Lakarsha Connie, Zara, Ollie,  Angus and others.

  FULL STORY »

Youth justice, detention goes to Territory Families

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Children are different to adults and much more likely to respond to therapeutic interventions, education and re-engagement in the community. It gets better results and helps get kids on the right path, writes Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Hundreds of empty plastic wine bottles in Todd

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Hundreds of plastic wine bottles are strewn across the dry bed of the Todd River, just south of The Gap causeway. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Saving, reopening Pitchi Richi: another step forward

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Critical to reopening the Centre’s first man-made tourist attraction is the conservation of its surviving ceramic sculptures created by William Ricketts, a frequent visitor to Central Australia in the mid- 20th century.  A locally-based conservator has been funded to assess what is required. Reopening is the ultimate goal of caretaker community group, Heritage Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

‘More red tape after dual occupancy move’

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Now we have 300 square metre blocks of residential land but the government is making it hard to build a second home on a 1000 square metre block, says housing industry. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Google Earth image of the Old Eastside, ideally suited for dual occupancy because its blocks are generally big.

  FULL STORY »

Tourism, cattle, mining, oil, gas: The world’s your oyster, Stuart.

2482 Aboriginal stockman SM2483 Scott McConnell SM“It is an asset that Indigenous people, predominantly men, still aspire to work in the pastoral industry,” says Scott McConnell (at right). He decidedly takes a glass-half-full view of economic developments in his sprawling electorate of Stuart during a conversation with editor ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Long term: Houses flat, units down, but current vacancies low

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The vacancy rate has dropped to 2% and the Housing for Real Growth Scheme was a winner, says prominent real estate figure Doug Fraser (pictured). But more government funds are needed to satisfy the increased demand for subsidised rentals.   ERWIN CHLANDA reports. 

  FULL STORY »

On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries

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Police violence and arrests, particularly of Dylan Voller and his mother Joanne, at last week’s Shut Youth Prisons protest have overshadowed the group’s broader messages. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

UPDATE, 6 October 2017, 4pm.

  FULL STORY »

Rock climb mostly closed

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If you see someone in a T-schirt emblazoned with “I climbed the Rock” it’s probably a fib. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Conflicting stories for Parrtjima’s lights on the hill

p2495 Parrtjima wide 660p2495 Parrtjima lights on hill 660At Parrtjima four Arrernte custodians gave a big thumbs up to the festival for respecting their culture, and thanked organisers for speaking to all the right people. But keeping well away, apmereke-artweye Doris Stuart said the lights on the range disrespect it as a sacred site. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

UPDATE Oct 4: Elders speak about the payment they received. FULL STORY »

The APY saga: Evidence suggests dysfunction

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Records from a special general meeting and an executive meeting note motions to terminate the appointment of the general manager but he’s still there. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Watarru community about 200 km south west of Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the APY Lands of South Australia.

  FULL STORY »

Helping offenders on probation and parole stay out of gaol

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Although the NT Government is putting the emphasis on “tough” sanctions for breaches, its new parole program is as much about supporting prisoners released on parole to stay out of gaol. It is based on a program already being trialled for offenders on probation, which after a year is showing “very promising” results. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Police clash with protestors

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Protesters allege police kicked a photographer to the ground during a demonstration in Alice Springs today. See video. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE 5:13pm

  FULL STORY »

NT cost of living $1700 a week

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Gas development is a must, writes Gary Higgins (pictured), Leader of the Opposition.

  FULL STORY »

The hidden costs in the switch to solar

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Going solar seems to be a no brainer, but the devil may be in the measures the government will take when it faces massive losses of earnings from its power generation and distribution assets. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Alice Springs power Station in Sadadeen Valley, 1944.

  FULL STORY »

Rock gets big spenders, does it need taxpayer’s help?

p1844ayersrockresortSMp2228-Macs-Serpentine-2SMUluru and King’s Canyon generate the same earnings from visitors as do Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges, but from half the number of visitors. International visitors to The Rock spend three times as much a day compared to those who visit Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 
UPDATE October 4. FULL STORY »

NATS benefit to economy open to question

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As NT debt snowballs the government continues to spend millions on “bread and circuses” events: Claims that they are a shot in the arm for the town’s economy are based on attendance figures provided by Major Events chief Andrew Hopper (pictured) which are open to question. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Same sex marriage campaign in the bush takes to YouTube

p2495 SSM Vaughan Hargraves SMp2495 YES Chansey 430SSM will “destroy our culture” and “we do not want it”, says Vaughan Hargraves, a senior Warlpiri man from Yuendumu, speaking in a video clip on YouTube, where there are several NO clips by other Aboriginal people. These views are put to bush MLA Chansey Paech, who is openly gay and pro YES. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

SA Government mum on cattle deals in APY Lands

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Cattle are being agisted on Aboriginal lands in the top end of South Australia, but the SA government will give no information about any involvement of an organisation which it funds. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Dust cloud rolls in over Umawa, the Canberra of the Pit Lands.

  FULL STORY »

Dreamtime stories in the palm of your hand

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A tour guide from the horse’s mouth: Custodians produce App to tell the stories of their sacred site, its animals and plants. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. 

  FULL STORY »

You can vote No with love: Alice priest

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To vote Yes is to deny the inherent procreative nature of marriage and therefore changes its definition. It also voids it, writes Alice Springs Catholic parish priest, Father Asaeli Raass SVD (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Song injects life into lights on the hill

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The outstanding artistic achievement of Parrtjima 2017 is the song “Apmere Ahelhe Itethe”, which means “All Country Is Alive”.  It brings heart, meaning and life to this light festival, moving it more towards a celebration of Arrernte culture on Arrernte country, even if it remains something of a fairyland version. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Partition off Darwin to fix NT’s urban bias: Professor

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“We could establish Darwin as a city-territory in a fashion similar to Canberra and the ACT. With greater access to politicians and ministers, people in Darwin are much more readily able to influence decisions than the people in a place like Yuendumu, for example, who rarely see a politician,” says Professor Rolf Gerritsen (pictured). Report contributed by Patrick Nelson, Charles Darwin University.

  FULL STORY »

Is it dust? Is it smoke?

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It’s a bit of both, says the Met Bureau as strong north-westerly winds are pushed ahead of a trough in WA. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Celebrating sunshine with a 3000 km race

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The birthplace of solar cars, or at least where they began to be taken seriously: Hans Tholstrup’s Solar Challenge turns 30 in a couple of weeks, and the famous Alice Springs sunshine will again be centre stage. Photo: GM’s Sunraycer, which took out the first event with a two-day margin. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality

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They may lament the waste of public funds on the Australian Government’s non-binding same sex marriage postal survey, but nonetheless the local LGBTQI+ community are throwing themselves into campaigning for YES, confident of success as long as people make sure to complete and post their form. KIERAN FINNANE speaks with two campaign supporters. FULL STORY »

Another river giant goes up in flames

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Our photos were taken yesterday at midday as the call was being made to 000. Passers-by had stopped when they saw smoke coming out of the hollows of this river giant. This follows the an unprecedented loss of mature trees  to apparent arson attacks over recent months.

UPDATE, Friday 22 September, 12.55pm: A prompt phone call to 000 and effective action by the fire brigade looks to have saved this tree. FULL STORY »

Grass fire close to rural suburb

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Fire threatened rural blocks in the south-eastern part of the town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

The magic Certificate III: How does Batchelor stack up?

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Biggest enrolment in a course providing the most basic level of education, but students come “from the some of most disadvantaged and disempowered communities and regions in Australia, possibly even the world,” says Acting CEO Kim Jenkinson. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Looking for her granddaughter

I may have a granddaughter in The Alice and I would like to see her, writes Shirley Symons. FULL STORY »

New youth justice regime gets busy

2479 juvenile detention 2 SMNew youth outreach workers, refurbishment of the detention centre at a cost of $1.3m, NGOs helping with bail accommodation – the new broom is sweeping to ensure facilities are “as appropriate as possible” even before the Royal Commission hands down its findings. When that happens on November 17 planning will start for a purpose-built facility. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Voices call, Nature responds: Desert Song in the gorge

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What better place could Desert Song’s assembled choirs have sung their songs of blessing, for peace, and of the strength found through acting together for change. KIERAN FINNANE and ERWIN CHLANDA were at Ormiston Gorge for Sunday’s concert. 

 

WATCH THE VIDEO FULL STORY »

Have Minister, Tourism Central Australia acted on tragedy?

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Taxpayer funded TCA ignores questions, and Lauren Moss will not comment on how to avoid a horrendous event such as  the deaths of German Tourists Wilfred and Gisela Thor, who perished Trephina Gorge (pictured) in February. The Minister says her hands are tied until the coronial which is not due to start until January next year.

  FULL STORY »

Namatjira Project: a story of triumphs and false hopes

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In this film of the project the “remarkable triumph”of Albert Namatjira’s friendship with Rex Battarbee and what they achieved together takes second place to the story of the artist’s financial legacy, which also seems to have raised false hopes amongst the descendants.

KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

  FULL STORY »

CLC wants say about Indigenous voice to Parliament

2480 CLC council 1 SMCLC delegates want to be part of designing an Aboriginal body advising the Parliament to ensure it represents remote communities and acts against racially discriminatory laws. FULL STORY »

Getting kids off the streets and onto a better path

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Government and NGOs combine to create holiday activities, writes Dale Wakefield (pictured)Minister for Territory Families. 

  FULL STORY »

Lambley: Asbestos just one problem in hospital

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Lambley says asbestos removal would cost $500m and renews her calls for a new building by 2030.

  FULL STORY »

Burst of desert art and life in Sydney CBD

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As commuters move through the underground corridors of Sydney CBD’s busy Wynyard Station this month, a burst of life and colour from Central Australia greets them: on a huge wide-format screen (23m x 3m), a video-installation by Yarrenyty Arltere Artists and Leonardo Ortega. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

From the executive suite into the saddle

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Swapping laptops for pushbikes: 4000 klicks for a good cause as the latest continent crossers arrive in The Alice. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Huge fence around Parliament is OK: Scullion

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Is an underground bunker such as Churchill had in WWII next, asks commentator. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

‘Territory Labor fails to enact its own fracking policy’

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When is Resources Minister Ken Vowles (pictured) going to implement a decision from the 2017 Territory Labor Conference that no fracked gas is to be carried by the Northern Gas Pipeline, asks Pauline Cass, of the Territory Frack-Free Alliance.

  FULL STORY »

Desert Mob: next generation always on their minds

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As an emblem of the driving force behind desert Aboriginal art, the photograph by Ikuntji Artists’ Roseranna Larry, winner of the 2017 Desart Photography Prize, is eloquent. In whatever medium they are working, artists are making their art primarily for their children, “for our next generations”: this is the most repeated statement about what motivates them, as simple as it is profound. KIERAN FINNANE reports on the annual Desert Mob. FULL STORY »

Journalists as prostitutes

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Advertising in exchange for a good story: Corrupt journalism is OK with the Gruen panel on ABC TV (Dee Madigan and Russel Howcroft are pictured). Comment by ERWIN CHLANDA.

 

UPDATE September 15, 12:47pm

  FULL STORY »

Bush Bands Bash: music, language, country, fun!

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For the best of Indigenous music in Central Australia, in front of stage and back, RONJA HONEY MOSS and DEON M. SORTINO were at the annual Bush Bands Bash. FULL STORY »

Top scorer knocks back Deputy Mayor job

2476 councillors 1 SMCouncillor Jacinta Price says she is too busy to take incumbent Jamie de Brenni’s job but makes a firm commitment to serve a four year term. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO The 13th council. FRONT ROW: Marli Banks, Jacinta Price, Mayor Damien Ryan, Catherine Satour, Matt Paterson. BACK ROW: CEO Rex Mooney, Jamie de Brenni, Jimmy Cocking, Eli Melky and Glen Auricht.

  FULL STORY »

CLP pushes for oil & gas, including fracking

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The industry should be “governed by world’s best practice and science-based regulations to protect agricultural, water and biodiversity values of the land,” writes party president Shane Stone.

  FULL STORY »

‘CLP rehashes fracking policy that caused its wipe-out’

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Shale gas produced in the NT would be some of the world’s most expensive, and would do nothing to bring down domestic prices which have trebled in recent years, putting jobs and households under pressure, writes Lauren Mellor of the Territory Frack-Free Alliance. PHOTO from the Alice Springs News Online archive.

  FULL STORY »

Ancient stories meet government silence in the Lands

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Keeping the traditional law alive while moving his people out of welfare dependency, that’s what Frank Young – lawman, artist and administrative leader – sees as his mission in the sprawling APY lands. He spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA.  FULL STORY »

Alice wants substantial increase in solar: survey

2476 RePower Alice Springs SMLocals want 70% to 100% of electricity to come from renewable resources, finds RePower Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Trouble in the Lands: Chairman, CEO clash

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Fear that an amendment in the SA Parliament will destroy Anangu property rights in the “Lands” brings toxic relationships between APY board chairman and celebrated artist, and his CEO, in the state’s top end to the boil. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Batchelor probe into just two of 65 qualifications

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Recognition of prior learning under Federal scrutiny as interim CEO takes charge. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Deputy CEO Dorothy Morrison with Defence Indigenous Development Program graduate Private Breana Miller. 

  FULL STORY »

Raising the bar: the art of keeping your shop safe

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Grilles on shop windows that are things of beauty in themselves, from inside and out; gates at the shop entrance that are a work of art: instead of deadening the street with blank roller doors, they enliven it, while delivering the same security or better. It’s happening here in Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Is the Stuart statue next?

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History denial may be on a return trip to Alice Springs, fears Hal Duell.

  FULL STORY »

MLA MIA: The drover’s dog for Katherine?

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Government members show distain for Katherine, writes Bruce Francais. PICTURED: Sandra Nelson MLA

 

Ms Nelson replies.

  FULL STORY »

No plans to stop NATS: Gunner

2473 Nats Gunner & officers OK

Work Safe will be investigation yesterday’s “mass casualty incident”. Flames penetrating mesh fences and the crowd being close to the competition will be among the among the issues examined. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Mr Gunner with hospital superintendent Dr Sam Goodwin, Police Superintendent Bradley Currie and Andrew Everingham, heading up the St John Ambulance, this morning in Alice Springs.
 

UPDATE September 9:
All four patients who were transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital are now in a stable condition, according to the Senior Media Adviser of South Australian Health.

  FULL STORY »

Eyewitness of NATS blaze praises helpers

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Eleven people injured, four flown to Adelaide as burnout car sprays burning fuel into crowd during Red Centre NATS. Photo courtesy ABC TV Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Home from the fire front

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Alice Springs fire chief helped fighting the worst blaze in the history of Canada’s British Columbia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Cranking up the economy while having a ball

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Volunteering is a great part of the social life in Alice Springs while pumping millions of dollars into the town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: The sea battle of the Henley on Todd is the climax of an annual event that attracts a crowd of 4000.

  FULL STORY »

Harts Range garnet mine in trouble

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The project, which employs about 20 staff on-site, has been put on care and maintenance, reports The West Australian.

  FULL STORY »

CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering

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The Community Development Program is a product of inadequate consultation, has bureaucratic processes many don’t even understand, is punitive without benefits and ignores private enterprise as an alternative: That’s what academics and politicians, including Chansey Paech (pictured), are telling the Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Committee. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

How will you keep me out of the camps, Walter?

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Town councillor Jacinta Price elect hits back at Tangentyere boss Walter Shaw.

  FULL STORY »

Let the gas flow, says Nigel Scullion

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Even Michael Gunner’s Federal leader says so, writes the NT’s CLP Senator.

  FULL STORY »

Four more years of same-same

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Council elections: So much for the need of fresh blood to make the town tick: Headed up by re-elected Mayor Damien Ryan the conservatives seem to have it in the bag, what’s more, with a succession plan in place. ERWIN CHLANDA comments.

  FULL STORY »