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Take kids out of schools: Yipirinya’s new head



“Deschooling” will apparently become the objective of the Aboriginal Yipirinya School, a process that, by “the rule of thumb,” takes “one month for every year a child was in school. Some kids ‘detox’ sooner, but it’s rare,” according to Lance Box (pictured) who appears to have been appointed head of the school. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Deputy NT Administrator sacked as CEO of CAALAS



Deputy of the NT Administrator Patricia Miller (pictured) has been sacked as the CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS), according to reliable sources and the Facebook posting of a relative, Katrina Bloomfield. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Tall poppies don’t thrive in the Red Centre




As in summers past, the question now being asked is why are there teenagers running amok? Even, horror of horrors, young teenage girls!


Oz Day: New citizens, awards for achievements




This Australia Day the Alice Springs Town Council will confer 72 new citizenships and announce the winners of the 2015 Centralian Awards at a civic ceremony, writes Mayor Damien Ryan.


Yipirinya row: Will 160 kids have a school?



With just one working day left before school starts, it is still unclear what will happen next Tuesday to the 160 children, most of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, of the Yipirinya School. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Traders join forces to tackle gang of girls



Managers of shopping centres and stores have joined forces to protect their staff and businesses from a gang of girls who have threatened them, stolen merchandise, damaged cars of workers and broken into premises. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


What will it take for the government to act in Alice?



After a horrendous summer of crime the NT Government needs to show the same urgency about Central Australian youth issues as they are in the Top End town of Katherine, writes Cr Chansey Paech, of the Alice Springs Town Council.


Match our works with our wonders



Fuel retailers in Alice Springs have – belatedly – fallen in line with pricing around the nation, although service stations in the bush are maintaining much greater margins. It’s a disincentive for tourists we’re seeking to attract to our nature’s magnificence, but there is a litany of reasons for businesses on our highways charging extra, as they fill the gaps left by state and local governments. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Budgies along the South Stuart Highway, having a morning drink. FULL STORY »

Chief Minister backs McRoberts investigations




I reassure Territorians that the conduct of the former Commissioner of the Northern Territory Police would be vigorously investigated, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles.


Giles’ failure adds fuel to farce




The CLP Government immediately should at the very least conduct an independent Judicial Inquiry under the Inquiries Act into serious allegations of interference in a criminal investigation that led to the resignation of former Police Commissioner John McRoberts, writes Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie.


Time in the Gulf country




“Immediately the whole atmosphere changed as they realised that I was not just another ‘city’ whitefellow, and in fact, because he was my ‘brother’, Johnnie was obliged to tell me all I wanted to know.” PETER LATZ, author and botanist, continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners.


Yipirinya School principal locked out



The principal of the Aboriginal Yipirinya School, Ken Langford-Smith, has been locked out of its grounds in Lovegrove Drive. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: School committee chairman “Jungala” Kriss. FULL STORY »

Grief for a free spirit taken by a wild river



The river brings life to the desert and it can take it away. Rowley Hill was born in Alice Springs – a Yipirinya boy – and died in the wild waters of the rising Todd, not far south of Wigley’s Gorge, on January 8. He was 23 years old. A painting of the warm brown river pushing down its rocky course adorned his coffin as he was laid to rest in desert ground on Friday. FULL STORY »

NT gains from Japan trade deal: Scullion



Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with Japan will be a big boost for Territory cattle producers and car buyers, writes NT Senator Nigel Scullion.


Plans for $70m rebirth of Johannsen bush mine



From a tungsten mill in the bush cobbled together 40 years ago by legendary road train inventor Kurt Johannsen, to a planned $70m venture by listed company Thor, it’s jut a logical step in the world of mining. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Bush miner Lindsay Johannsen with a lead glass window he created for the Alice Springs Catholic Church.


Police Commissioner resigns



Police Minister Peter Chandler says the Government has lost confidence in Commissioner of Northern Territory Police, John McRoberts, who resigned yesterday. FILE PHOTO: Mr McRoberts (right) inspects Australian warship.



Is Chandler carrying the can for Giles?



Adam Giles must answer questions about when he became aware of the former Police Commissioner’s conflict of interest – before or after he gave the police portfolio to the Deputy Chief Minister, writes Lauren Moss, Labor Member for Casuarina (pictured). FULL STORY »

Intending Desert Knowledge investor blasts board


Local entrepreneur Alex Hatzimihail, who is promoting a massive educational and industrial development in the largely defunct Desert Knowledge precinct, says its board is blocking the project despite support for it by Chief Minister Adam Giles. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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a2201-charlie3 FULL STORY »

Changes in the air: landrights


“I suggested to the assembled council members that returning to the traditional Aboriginal practice of frequent mild fires would be a good idea. The worst thing I could have possibly said, and I regretted it for years after. How stupid of me, it was just not on to suggest that ‘ignorant blackfellows’ knew what they were doing!” PETER LATZ, author and botanist, continues his account of adventures (and learning) in the bush with traditional owners. FULL STORY »

Govt job goes to head of liquidated firm



The NT Government has awarded a contract to an Alice Springs firm whose principal, Brendan Ross Peterkin (picture from his Facebook site), is linked to a company that was wound up in 2012 with debts of $1.5m. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Income management misses mark: Report


Income Management, with the BasicsCard as its major tool, has made little difference to alcohol sales, and “rather than building capacity and independence, for many the program has acted to make people more dependent on welfare,” says a government commissioned evaluation. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Yuendumu store, where the basics card can be used.


Kilgariff flood not as bad as it looks: Govt



A government spokesman says the Kilgariff subdivision, although it looks more like Lake Kilgariff, has weathered its first major rains well. PHOTOS by Suzanne Visser.


If bogged stay with your vehicle: Police

Police are urging motorists bogged in the current treacherous road conditions not to leave their vehicles: “Walking off to get help often results in people getting lost or dehydrated which may have fatal consequences,” says Senior Sergeant Potts. FULL STORY »

4GX for some as much of Alice in mobile stoneage



Telstra is introducing its 4GX mobile service to sections of Alice Springs, while extensive areas – especially south of the range – are still on 3G with no firm commitment to an upgrade. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


The weapon police cannot find is sometimes a car

p2177-Erwin-hit&run-TennSMSloppy procedures in transferring ownership of cars are an obstacle to investigations of serious crimes, including hit and run which is endemic in the NT and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail. ERWIN CHLANDA reports – partly from his own experience as a victim. PHOTO: Police searching crime scene of fatal hit and run near Tennant Creek. (Pic courtesy NT Police.) FULL STORY »

Is there no law in The Alice?

I witnessed a lady coming out of the Alice Plaza with her lunch and she was struck down by a young lad on his pushbike on the footpath, writes Bronte Zadow, of Alice Springs.


A climate of local opportunity for 2015



2014 was the hottest year on record and 2015 is likely to trump it. Despite this, the NT government remains committed to its economic agenda but is failing to recognise the signs of the times. COMMENT by JIMMY COCKING (pictured with TV personality Tanya Ha). FULL STORY »

Inspiration from the roads of a big country



There’s one thing we’re doing exceptionally well: Having a great time with mates. Time to apply that fabulous gift to our tourism industry, in our country of sunsets and wide open spaces, recommends ERWIN CHLANDA, from a trip half way around Oz. PHOTO: Sunset on the Barkly Tableland, ahead of big storms. FULL STORY »

What’s in this issue?


LETTER from Lauren Moss: Is Chandler carrying the can for Giles?

Police Commissioner resigns..

A climate of local opportunity for 2015. COMMENT by JIMMY COCKING.

Local firms short-changed by government: councillor.

Tourism NT: Awash in money, not success.



Plans for $70m rebirth of Johannsen bush mine.

Grief for a free spirit taken by a wild river. Obituary by KIERAN FINNANE.

Yipirinya School principal locked out.

Income management misses mark: Report.

Intending Desert Knowledge investor blasts board members.

4GX for some while much of Alice in mobile stone age.

Sniffing suspected of having killed boy, 12.

What Stuart said about the rape, murder of which he was convicted.



The weapon police cannot find is sometimes a car.

Latzy’s: Learning from the hunter-gatherers.

ERWIN CHLANDA gets inspiration from the roads of a big country.

ANOTHER LATZY YARN: Dining like kings with a bushman of high degree.

Alice’s Anna Miers tops the Territory NTCET.

Give Alice a thought over the holiday season.

Being a cowboy: not all it’s made out to be. By PETER LATZ.

Sensible infrastructure for the NT? GUEST COMMENT by BOB DURNAN.

Tomcat and Turpentine Bush: adventures in the Tanami. By PETER LATZ.

Books and Arts page on our menu bar UPDATED with the latest news and reviews.



Alice: Little town with lots of brains. By STEVE MORTON.

Big projects: Done deals and wriggle room. HAL DUELL comments.



Is there no law in The Alice?

More bike, car places in the 40th Finke.

Crime again where it was when CLP came to power.

Melanka building would obscure unequalled backdrop.

Strong interest in north east gas pipeline.