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Anzac Day dawn service, Alice Springs, 2015

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An estimated 2000 people were at the dawn service on top of Anzac Hill this morning on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. Photo and report by ERWIN CHLANDA

  FULL STORY »

Anzac links by hands, hearts and hard drives

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They are a long way from Gallipoli – even from Alice Springs – but School of the Air students are remembering the diggers in their own way. PICTURED is the McKnight Family on Huckitta Station.

  FULL STORY »

Gunfire brekkie after moving ceremony

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The town was up early for the Anzac commemoration. DAVE IVES reports.

  FULL STORY »

Tourism: let the battle for the big spenders begin

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Some operators are not pulling their weight in Tourism NT’s quest to end the 10 year slump. ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with Tony Mayell, the CEO of the government promotion body, in the first of a series of reports about the industry that stands between Alice as a private enterprise centre, and a welfare town.

  FULL STORY »

Keyboard vigilantes

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Vigilante sentiments are alive and well in Alice Springs in the wake of rock throwing and vandalism last week. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Nearly all stage one blocks sold in Kilgariff

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Almost all the lots have been sold in Kilgariff Stage 1 and there have already been six pre-sales off the plan in Stage 1B, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles.

  FULL STORY »

Comic take on clash of cultures

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“Potentially everybody” will be offended by the “politically incorrect” new black comedy out of Alice Springs, 8MMM. Ahead of its free public screening this weekend KIERAN FINNANE talks to its writer / producer Trisha Morton-Thomas, who also plays one of its lead characters.

  FULL STORY »

50 years devoted to each-other, and tourism

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Norma and Pat Brennan making it as a couple, and in an industry that has seen better days. By ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Thoughts on war and peace from a cyclist in Alice

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Australia needs some more honest remembering for the wounds of war to heal.  But as Michael Leunig said: “Truth is the First Casualty of War Commemoration,” writes Laurencia Grant, of Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Westra van Holthe, Clown King

The NT now has a clown for a Deputy Chief Minister, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine. FULL STORY »

Parks authority controls people, not weeds

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The NT Parks and Wildlife Commission spends more time controlling people than introduced grasses which are choking Trephina Gorge, a jewel in out tourism crown. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

League needs to take responsibility for carnival mayhem

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The football League must to take more responsibility not only for the conduct of players in the Easter Lightning Carnival, but also for their “entourage” coming to Alice Springs for the fixture, says Paul Fitzsimons (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Banning lightning carnival won’t work as a quick fix

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Rock throwing: The problem lies deeper than once-a-year footy visitors.

  FULL STORY »

Rock throwing kids were already in care, Minister told

A number of the children who appeared in court this week in relation to the recent rock throwing and vandalism incidents were already in care of the Department of Children and Families, write Antoinette Carroll and Christa Bartjen-Westermann, of Making Justice Work.
  FULL STORY »

Popping into the cop shop

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Damage front and back to the Harts Range police station as late night visitor drives right up to the front counter.

  FULL STORY »

Minister deplores big stick but says it worked

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Threats to take children into care and fine parents curbed anti-social behaviour, says John Elferink (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Alice on track for athletics

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Alice Springs athletics will get a new, first class track at a cost of $2m, write Chief Minister Adam Giles and Minister for Sport Gary Higgins.

  FULL STORY »

Govt to put rock throwers into care as council passes buck

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Council defeats curfew motion as government may put into care rock throwers, fine parents of truant kids. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Window in ambulance smashed by vandals.

  FULL STORY »

Stop Easter footy carnival in Alice: Liddle

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The Easter Lightning Carnival should no longer be held in Alice Springs, says prominent local Aboriginal man Michael Liddle. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Man indecently assaults sleeping woman: allegation

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Police are looking for a man who unlawfully entered a residence in The Gap at around 1am yesterday and indecently assaulted a 30-year-old woman as she slept. FULL STORY »

Mayor on thin ice with fracking claims

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Damien Ryan says the fracking debate is a “hysterical rush to the waterfall” and other councils opposing the controversial process are being shut out of the debate about it. Peter Clee (pictured), the president of the Wagait Shire Council, disagrees.

  FULL STORY »

Cops, cars pelted with rocks

Large groups of youths were chased in the centre of town. The ringleader is described as a male aged in his late teens or early twenties, of Aboriginal appearance. He is of medium build and wearing a pink or red t-shirt.
  FULL STORY »

Alice Springs Town Council Fails to Act to Protect Local Water Supplies

We are extremely disappointed that Alice Springs Town Council failed to pass a motion last night that would protect the town’s water supply from the risk of hydraulic fracturing, writes Tanya Hall, Central Australian Frack Free Coordinator. FULL STORY »

Hybrid sports car doing 350 km/h north of Alice

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The change from cruising silently at city speeds of 60 km/h to a roaring race car doing 350 km/h took just 40 seconds on the open speed road north of Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Let Me See: about so much more than sight

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To gather at the door with strangers; to be led inside, directed where to sit, where to stand, when to close your eyes, when to open; moving in and through dim light, even darkness, to try receiving a space or a work with senses other than the visual: these were some of the pleasures of the art event, Let Me See: Arts & Technology. About so much more than seeing. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

  FULL STORY »

‘Inner Loop’ of West MacDonnell Ranges to be sealed

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NT Budget 2015 will provide money to seal the Mereenie Inner Loop over the next two years, the 43 kilometres of Larapinta Drive between Hermannsburg and Glen Helen, via Gosse’s Bluff (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Do we really need to seal that other loop?

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Completing the Inner Loop road seal in the magnificent West MacDonnells is an excellent call by Chief Minster Adam Giles. Now let’s drop the Mereenie Loop? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Sealing the Outback Way: The mouse that roars.

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The council of Queensland’s Boulia Shire – population about 600 – has its eye on the contract for sealing the Plenty Highway in the Northern Territory between the border and the Stuart Highway. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Cops target domestic violence offenders

Detectives arrested seven people following a two day operation targeting domestic and family violence, writes Detective Superintendent Brent Warren. FULL STORY »

The Chief Minister’s motor millions

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The source of the Alice Springs News Online report three days ago about Chief Minister Adam Giles splashing millions on motor sports wasn’t far off the mark.
  FULL STORY »

Police seek information on rock throwing

There were 11 reports of rock throwing incidents in the CBD between 9pm Thursday and 3am today (Frinday), writes Senior Sergeant Siiri Tennosaar, of the Alice Springs Police.
  FULL STORY »

Overpass: $24m white elephant

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Are there more pressing civil works on which $24m of public money could have been be spent rather than the railway overpass nearing completion on the Stuart Highway south of town? The Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Central Australia think so. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
  FULL STORY »

Spate of property offences, anti-social behaviour

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Police have received a number of reports about property offences and anti-social behaviour during the Easter Holidays, writes Superintendent Travis Wurst (pictured), of the Alice Springs Police.

  FULL STORY »

Giles handing out millions to motor sports?

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An aide to Chief Minister Adam Giles will not disclose details of NT Government grants to the drags and speedway clubs in Alice Springs but they are rumored to be sizeable. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Chamber says ‘no’ to race based tender rules

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Government’s race-based tendering requirements cannot be justified, says Kay Eade (pictured), CEO of the Alice Springs Chamber of Commerce. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

$5m health teaching facility

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The government will this year construct a $5 million training and teaching facility at the Alice Springs Hospital site, allowing staff to be trained using state-of-the art technology to replicate real emergency situations, writes John Elferink, Minister for Health (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Better WiFi, mobile signal soon south of Gap

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Alice Springs residents south of The Gap can look forward to relief for their congested WiFi and mobile phone services.

  FULL STORY »

Visitor robbed and bashed, but footy crowd behaved

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A 21-year-old visitor was robbed and bashed from behind this morning, allegedly by three males of Aboriginal appearance. On a lighter note, local police are on the beat on a novel way of transport.

  FULL STORY »

New guide to tracking down the arts of The Centre

 

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27 operators are part of a project which incorporates four separate art trails across Central Australia and the Barkly, writes Adam Giles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and Minister for Tourism.

  FULL STORY »

100 kids on the street in the middle of the night

We stayed until around 3am each morning and noted we never saw a police vehicle or night patrol or youth patrol on any day at any time we were there, writes Russell Bray jnr. FULL STORY »

Youth curfew calls ‘ill-founded and dangerous’

Calls for the introduction of youth curfews in Alice Springs are ill-founded and dangerous, writes Julie Edwards CEO, Jesuit Social Services. FULL STORY »

Race rules in NT government tenders draw fire

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Companies expecting to win tenders for Territory Government work now will need to have staff that is 30% or 40% Indigenous, reports ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Tender rules: Swap ‘Indigenous’ with ‘local’

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The NT Government’s Indigenous employment policy will cause a quantum leap in racism and division.

  FULL STORY »

First Outback Way seal may go further

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The first seal of the Outback Way, which traverses Australia east-west through Alice Springs, may be longer than the Federal Government is bartering for. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

No rape jokes for Araluen, please

Jim Jefferies, to perform at Araluen, is known for his misogynistic rants and rape jokes, writes Margaret Carew. FULL STORY »

Virgin new link to Centre for overseas tourists

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Chief Minister is betting a bottle of Grange that Virgin will bring about cheaper air travel to The Centre. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Airport firies stage a watery welcome for the Virgin inaugural flight today.

  FULL STORY »

Fest to honour late rock hero Rowley Hill

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Blacken the Globe will Rock for Rowley. RAINER CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Water for growth doubted in govt draft

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There seems to be little spare water for uses other than supplying the town, at its present rate of consumption, according to the NT Government’s Draft Alice Springs Water Allocation Plan 2013-2018. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Ali Curung watermelon plantation some 400 km north of Alice Springs – should horticulture draw water from the Amadeus basin? FULL STORY »

Water foes on same page about exploration

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Two arch foes on issues of water management say they are on the same page about the urgent need for exploration of new resources. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

How ice began to ruin my life: former addict

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A recovering ice addict in Alice Springs tells ANDREA JOHNSTON how she got hook on the drug now widely considered the most vicious drug on the illicit market. Photo courtesy police. FULL STORY »

Ice – it’s worse than any of us realise

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This is a girl before and after becoming addicted to ice.

  FULL STORY »

Town inured to Aboriginal violence: lawyer

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The public of Alice Springs is both inured to violence in Aboriginal society, because of its frequency, and afraid of speaking out about it, lest this is interpreted as being racist. So says Russell Goldflam (pictured), president of the Criminal Lawyers Association, commenting on the current debate about the alleged rape of an Aboriginal nine year old girl in an Alice Springs town camp. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Government in lockdown over water management

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The NT Government has slapped an information black-out on any details relating to the water supply of Alice Springs – and this includes answering questions about issues already on the public record. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Funding for stage one of Oz’s longest shortcut

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Funding for Stage 1 of the Northern Territory section of the Outback Way has today been approved,writes Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

  FULL STORY »

Council charges drive up housing costs: developer

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A property developer says the town council is driving up the cost of housing with unnecessary and unfair charges, including double dipping in some instances. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Olive Pink turns 30, ambitious future ahead

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Olive Pink Botanical Gardens, Alice’s “globally unique treasure,” turns 30. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Chairperson for 10 years Libby Prell, addressing guests on Thursday.

  FULL STORY »

Bequest yields first book and ‘a true message to Australia’

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A bequest from the late Alice Springs artist and children’s book illustrator Pamela Lofts to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation has borne its first fruit: The Yirara Mix Book,  launched in an event at the Town Library last week.

  FULL STORY »

Bowls, anyone, and a spot of fishing?

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Bowlers in Streaky Bay – affectionately known as the beach suburb of Alice Springs – are issuing a challenge to the sport’s aficionados in The Centre, to compete in annual Whiting Carnival in the first week of May. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
  FULL STORY »

16 years for inflicting ‘torturous’ death on J. Pollard

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The four men who pleaded guilty to the reckless manslaughter of J. Pollard on 18 February 2013 have each been sentenced to 16 years in gaol. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
UPDATED, Friday, 20 March 2015, 4.44pm. FULL STORY »

We get 10% of wellhead price for our gas

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“What’s in it for me” is a frequent question asked by people trying to get their heads around the many, many zeros in the numbers denoting the quantity and value of natural gas beneath our feet. ERWIN CHLANDA went looking for answers. Photo of gas plant at Palm Valley by STEVE STRIKE.

  FULL STORY »

Funding cuts hurt Alice: Chamber of Commerce survey

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Government funding cuts to Indigenous programs have pulled millions of dollars out of the Alice Springs community, according to a survey by the local Chamber of Commerce, CEO, Kay Eade (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Old aircraft with a big story

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The personal aircraft of a former German Chancellor and later used on hundreds of flights between Alice and Ayers Rock is the latest acquisition of the local Aviation Museum, reports ANDREA JOHNSTON.

  FULL STORY »

Wrangle over your car’s data not quite resolved

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Car makers and owners aren’t quite on the same wavelength – yet – about access to the data identifying a mechanical problem. But “consumer detriment” is likely to tip the scales. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: What does it mean when the lights don’t go out?

  FULL STORY »

Gas: It doesn’t get much bigger

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In terms of dollars it doesn’t get much bigger in the Northern Territory than onshore gas. And royalties for it go to the NT Government. Offshore royalties go to Canberra. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE from the Santos website.

  FULL STORY »

Gas the “glittering prize” but fracking worries some

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Gas and oil will make the Territory an economic powerhouse, says the Treasurer, but fears of fracking persist. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Disquiet over fracking at Town Council meeting

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The only way to protect aquifers at present is “not to drill”. So says Councillor Eli Melky, a perhaps unexpected bedfellow for anti-fracking protesters, pictured this morning outside the annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar at the Convention Centre.  KIERAN FINNANE  reports.

  FULL STORY »

Van Holthe sells out his electorate on TIO, fracking

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Willem Westra van Holthe (pictured) sold out his Katherine electorate over the TIO sale. Now he’s chairing a government committee on fracking, which Katherine opposes, writes Katherine resident Bruce Francais.

  FULL STORY »

Black and beautiful back to the runway

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Local Aboriginal models, girls and boys, women and men will again take to the runway in Alice this winter, showcasing the work of Aboriginal designers, local and national. FULL STORY »

Alice’s mountain biking ‘gold mine’

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Alice Springs is sitting on a “gold mine” in mountain biking tourism, says former Australian velodrome champion and born and bred local, John Pyper.

  FULL STORY »

The farce of Minister Chandler’s Yirara ‘assessment’

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The two-day “assessment” this week of Yirara College, embroiled in a scandal over rampant student misconduct, was a farce, according to a new source speaking to the Alice Springs News Online and currently employed by the college. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

NOTE UPDATE 5:30pm.

  FULL STORY »

Lamenting lines of life sentence and lifestyle choices

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There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the moment by people who are well employed and salaried, speaking out on behalf of those who are not. Self-help is not a favored option, it seems, despite Aboriginal shareholding in major businesses. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Tax money for bush: Don’t ask how much. Ask how.

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Costs to government to support Aboriginal people to live in the bush wouldn’t be prohibitive if the focus was appropriate technology and infrastructure that enables self–reliance and sustainability, write Dr Steve Rogers and Peter Renehan from the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) in Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Youth detention system a failure

The failings of the Territory’s youth detention system under multiple governments were made abundantly clear last week with the release of the Review of the Northern Territory Youth Detention System Report, writes Julie Edwards, CEO of the Jesuit Social Services. FULL STORY »

Land use: poor enforcement of rules

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Walk with ERWIN CHLANDA through the thicket of land planning, land use and government administration: You’ll get to places that will make you say “what the hell,” some will please you, and a few will give you a laugh. PHOTO: The new Kilgariff suburb: Almost all of stage 1A sold or under offer.
  FULL STORY »

Wearable Namatjira

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Transferring delicate visions of the desert landscape in the Namatjira tradition to limited edition silk circle skirts and scarves is the latest innovative project from Ngurratjuta Many Hands artists in partnership with Batchelor Institute. And they are using crowd funding to back the venture. FULL STORY »

IAD may close

A key Central Australian Indigenous education and training organisation may have to close its doors because of cuts to essential funding under the Federal Government’s Indigenous Advancement strategy, writes its CEO. FULL STORY »

Faces change. So does Alice’s.

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Except for Market Sundays, Bunnings can attract a bigger weekend crowd than Todd Mall. Yeperenye seems to every day.

  FULL STORY »

Sick tree Melanka concern

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Arborist Geoff Miers has been asked to report on a sacred tree on the Melanka site.

  FULL STORY »

A weapon concealed in knee replacement?

Airport security checks of people with artificial joints are “annoying, time consuming, and totally pointless nonsense,” writes Charlie Carter. FULL STORY »

Education Minister in Yirara cover-up

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Education Minister Peter Chandler has rejected an offer from two teachers to meet with him in person and give him detailed, first-hand information about problems at Yirara College. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice-designed technology helps community and tourists

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Traditional owners have used their rent income from the Finke Gorge National Park to put two mobile phone hotspots, developed by the Centre for Appropriate Technology, along the notorious Boggy Hole access track to the park.

  FULL STORY »

Highlights

POLITICS

Tourism: let the battle for the big spenders begin. First in a series by ERWIN CHLANDA.

Parks authority controls people, not weeds.

Minister deplores big stick but says it worked.

Minister deplores big stick but says it worked.

Minister deplores big stick but says it worked.

Minister deplores big stick but says it worked.

‘Inner Loop’ of West Macs to be sealed, improving access to Gosses Bluff.

The Chief Minister’s motor millions.

Chamber’s Kay Eade says ‘no’ to race based tender rules.

Race rules in NT government tenders draw fire.

Water for growth doubted in govt draft.

Water foes on same page about exploration.

Government in lockdown over water management.

 

LOCAL AFFAIRS AND ECONOMY

Anzac Day dawn service, 2015.

Anzac links by hands, hearts and hard drives.

Keyboard vigilantes.

Pat and Norma Brennan: 50 years devoted to each-other, and tourism.

Comic take on clash of cultures.

Popping into the cop shop.

League needs to take responsibility for carnival mayhem, says Paul Fitzsimons.

Stop Easter footy carnival in Alice: Liddle.

Man indecently assaults sleeping woman: allegation.

Govt to put rock throwers into care as council passes buck.

Hybrid sports car doing 350 km/h north of Alice.

Mayor on thin ice with fracking claims.

Cops, cars pelted with rocks.

100 kids on the street in the middle of the night.

Chamber’s Kay Eade says ‘no’ to race based tender rules.

Sealing the Outback Way: The mouse that roars.

Overpass: $24m white elephant.

Visitor robbed and bashed but footy crowd behaved.

Better WiFi, mobile signal soon south of Gap.

Water foes on same page about exploration.

How ice began to ruin my life: former addict.

Town inured to Aboriginal violence: lawyer.

First Outback Way seal may go further.

Virgin new link to Centre for overseas tourists.

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR & COMMENT

Thoughts on war and peace from a cyclist in Alice.

HAL DUELL: Banning lightning carnival won’t work as a quick fix.

Rock throwing kids already in care. Minister should scrutinise his own department.

Alice oval to get top athletics track.

Nearly all stage one blocks sold in Kilgariff.

Do we really need to seal that other loop? ERWIN CHLANDA

Spate of property offences, anti-social behaviour.

New guide to tracking down the arts of The Centre.

100 kids on the street in the middle of the night.

Youth curfew calls ‘ill-founded and dangerous’.

$5m health teaching facility for Alice – John Elferink.

Ice – it’s worse than any of us realise.

Funding for stage one of Oz’s longest shortcut, writes WARREN TRUSS.

Van Holthe sells out his electorate on TIO, fracking.

Youth detention system a failure.

IAD may close.

HAL DUELL: Faces change. So does Alice’s.

Cyclone John: Police Commissioner’s trail of destruction. By RUSSELL GOLDFLAM FULL STORY »