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Inquiry into fracking: Giving it the green light?

24107 fracking report 4 SM

 

Chairperson Rachel Pepper says “it is not the role of the Inquiry to make a recommendation whether or not the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the NT should be lifted. That is a matter for Government”. But she also says “the conclusion of this Inquiry is that the challenges and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry in the NT are manageable”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE 7am December 14: Arid Lands Environment Centre and Health Care Professionals Against Fracking. FULL STORY »

Local government: A lot of action beyond the 3Rs

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People who are saying a council should do more than “rates, roads and rubbish” can point to the Rural City of Murray Bridge for a shining example. ERWIN CHLANDA talks with its Mayor. FULL STORY »

Th grass is greener on the other side of the border

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Police allege seized cannabis would have been worth $300,000 on the street. FULL STORY »

Hazardous waste facility near Alice recommended by EPA

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A temporary hazardous waste storage facility, an underground salt mine, a permanent disposal facility for hazardous waste (in the mined out, underground salt caverns), and associated infrastructure such as salt stockpiles, haul roads and access roads should be permitted, writes Dr PAUL VOGEL, NT EPA Chairman.

 

UPDATE 5:15pm Dec 12: ALEC comments.

 

UPDATE 7:00am Dec 13: “No consent from TOs.” FULL STORY »

Council to introduce kerbside recycling

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A year in the making, the initiative will reduce what goes into the landfill (pictured), writes Mayor Damien Ryan.  FULL STORY »

Ridesharing to start in February

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Government licence fees for commercial passenger vehicles to drop sharply, writes Nicole Manison (pictured), Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics. FULL STORY »

Keith Lawrie Flats – people have had enough!

24105 Keith Lawrie flats, Jan 2006 B SM

 

 

Relentless violence, drinking and rowdy conduct: The answer from the government is a lick of paint and more lighting, comments ROBYN LAMBLEY, independent MLA for Araluen. PHOTO: The flats in 2006, by ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers

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A public arts engagement project that centred on a statue of the explorer has tapped into a vein of powerful emotion and resulted in the production of a collection of thought-provoking artworks, say Dr Judy Lovell and Dr Al Strangeways. FULL STORY »

Renewable research: $5m over three years

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The Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy housed at the Desert Knowledge Precinct (pictured) in Alice Springs will  position Alice as the Solar Capital of Australia and lead the way in research, development and implementation, write DALE WAKEFIELD, Member for Braitling, and LAUREN GANLEY, CEO. FULL STORY »

What kind of world is this?

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Themes of desire, fate, transcendence and cycles that won’t be broken recur throughout Michael Giacometti’s first collection of stories and become what bind together its seemingly “unconnected impressions”, writes DANI POWELL who launched the book last week in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Alice Beat Festival no longer wanted?

p2499u Kuchenbuch, Markus SM
 
As Artist in Residence with the NT Music School choral program and leader of the Alice Beat Festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Markus Kuchenbuch bids a regretful farewell, one that he did not seek. FULL STORY »

Judge Borchers: no misconduct but inappropriate conduct

2455 Greg Borchers SM

 

Judge Greg Borchers (left) did not accuse a youth of taking advantage of the recent death of his mother in explaining his offending in the Alice Springs Youth Justice Court, but he has been found to have “engaged in inappropriate judicial conduct” and will be removed from his duties at the youth court, says Chief Judge of the Darwin Local Court, Dr John Lowndes. FULL STORY »

Standing out: art of The Centre in SA festival

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Like familiar faces in a crowd, the works of Central Australian artists jump out as I visit Tarnanthi, billed as a Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Hermannsburg historic precinct gets cash injection

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Government cash will go to Hermannsburg for restoration, development, writes Lauren Moss, Minister for Tourism and Culture. FULL STORY »

Pollution? High fliers get it easy.

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Jettisoning fuel in flight – why all the secrecy? The Federal authority says it hasn’t got the answers about an Emirates jet dumping fuel over Central Australia and the airline says it won’t give them. ERWIN CHLANDA investigates. FULL STORY »

Pay up, and you’ll make the news, inquiry is told

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Professional rules of journalism were routinely flouted by some Territory media in grubby cash-for-comment policies during the lead-up to last year’s NT election, according to 1Territory Party president, Braedon Earley (at right). He is giving evidence to Commissioner John Mansfield (at left), who is conducting the Political Donations Inquiry in the Territory. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 
UPDATE Dec 8 at 12 noon: Categorical denial by Pangaea and Tim Radburn. FULL STORY »

No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence

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Justice John Reeves has rejected the Crown’s call for custodial sentences for the six Pine Gap Peace Pilgrims, sentencing them in the Federal Court in Brisbane today.

UPDATED, 4 December 2017, 1.55PM.

UPDATED 5 December 2017, 10.41 am, with links to all our reports from the trials. FULL STORY »

Senator Nigel Scullion elected acting CLP president

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He throws down the gauntlet to the “faceless Labor powerbrokers of the Gunner Government” and the Chief Minister’s “union puppet-masters” set to tax Territorians “to oblivion”.

  FULL STORY »

Flair, imagination, vitality: Watch This Space in 2017

p2499q WTS Elliat prize SM
 
The annual award of the Lofty, to Elliat Rich for high endeavour in the arts, capped off a big year for Watch This Space as it heads towards its 25th anniversary in 2018. 25 years is long enough for a new generation to emerge and so it is at the Space. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Fit-out of megafauna display in the Mall goes to local firm

Museum of Central Australia & Strehlow Research Centre; Alcoota Station

 

 

The world’s largest bird, marsupial lions, marsupial wolves and herds of giant browsing cousins of the wombat will be invading Todd Mall, writes Lauren Moss, Minister for Tourism and Culture.

  FULL STORY »

Consultants with 40,000 years on the job

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Ted Egan, the singer, historian and former NT Administrator (at left) calls for retaining a team of skilled Aboriginal trackers to save lives and maintain incomparable skills, such as those in which Ted Egan the tracker (at right) excelled. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police looking for man after vehicle pursuit

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Police are calling for information on the whereabouts of 33-year-old Richard Henwood (pictured). FULL STORY »

Gallery: Friday is the day

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It’s the only and last chance for people to have a say on the National Indigenous Art Gallery, writes  Robyn Lambley (pictured)Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

Spread renewables, government asked

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Renters and government employees should not miss out on rooftop solar, writes Harshini Bartlett from RePower Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Bush community learning centre to close

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When the Utopia learning centre is shut down, will teenagers gravitate to Alice Springs and get into trouble? Tristan Ray, from the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service, says locals are asking this question. FULL STORY »

Meeting in CM office will be Transport Hall’s ‘make or break’

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CEO Liz Matin (pictured) says assistance from departmental officers with compliance issues of no use: “We continually get put in the too hard basket,” she says. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The ‘tough gig’ of doing things the right way

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In a unique partnership, Doris Kngwarraye Stuart and artists Dan Murphy and Lucy Stewart have been conducting tours of Mparntwe’s sacred sites for the past nine years, mainly for artists, to inform and inspire their creative endeavours in response to this country.  KIERAN FINNANE reports on the legacy, on show at Watch This Space. FULL STORY »

Breaking the violence silence: at home, around the world

24100 pilgrims guilty 1 SM24199 White Ribbon Day SMThankyou Alice Springs for breaking the silence about violence of men against women, and the five Peace Pilgrims for breaking the silence about the violence of Pine Gap, write Chris Hawke and Joy Taylor.  FULL STORY »

‘Disappointing’ $2m sale of Earth’s Creation

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The acclaimed masterpiece by Emily Kame Kngwarreye recently sold at auction for $2m, twice the sum paid for it by its former owner, Tim Jennings of Mbantua Gallery in Todd Mall, but well below the two independent valuations he had for it – one for $4m and one for $3m. FULL STORY »

Five Peace Pilgrims guilty on all counts

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The jury took just half an hour to finalise their deliberations this morning. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

 

UPDATE, 24 November 2017, 4.52pm: Sentencing of all six Peace Pilgrims has been set down for December 4. FULL STORY »

Cops with assault rifles footage six years old

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No cops in full battle gear with assault rifles to chase kids in the streets of Alice. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Masked cops with assault rifles, but where are the parents?

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Sending the Tactical Response Group to Alice is the latest idea for dealing with children getting ready for the summer crime spree. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Compromise was needed to save youth crime plan

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Is council divided? “Hopefully now, during this week, the other councillors who originally indicated they would vote against Cr Satour’s motion would gain a better understanding of it,” says Cr Cocking, pictured with Cr Satour on the campaign trail. FULL STORY »

Family violence is mostly men making a choice

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“We cannot continue to face 42 women a year dying because their husband or their partner has made a choice. Indigenous women and girls are 35 times more likely to be assaulted. That is horrendous,” said police Commander Michael White today. He is pictured leading the White Ribbon march, nearest to the camera. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Transport Hall of Fame important for town: Gunner

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Police will be providing protection from criminals and departmental officials assistance with “compliance and governance,” says Chief Minister.

  FULL STORY »

Art at Anzac oval: No new rugby fields, says Lambley

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Government will not guarantee funding for new playing field, writes Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

Even if ‘unfair, unreasonable or too harsh’, it is still the law

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It is not open to the jury – now considering verdicts in the trials of five Peace Pilgrims – to find the accused not guilty because they believe the law under which they are being judged is “unfair, unreasonable or too harsh”, said Justice John Reeves in his directions today. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Council not keen on offer of help to fight crime

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The elite of traditional owners in Alice Springs got the cold shoulder from the town council last night as social initiatives of newly elected members were watered down or delayed in a marathon sitting. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Senior Arrernte man Phil Alice got little thanks for his offer to fight the juvenile crime explosion shoulder to shoulder with local government. FULL STORY »

Minimise blackouts with community energy plan

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Survey shows that 92% of respondents would buy electricity from a green (renewable energy) provider, according to the Repower Alice Springs, writes Chris Hawke. PHOTO: Repower spokeswoman Harshini Bartlett addressing the town council on Monday. FULL STORY »

Learning from the past? Never!

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Town council and crime and Aboriginal leaders? Sounds familiar, writes Alex Nelson.  FULL STORY »

Midnight bag snatch alleged

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Alleged bag snatcher runs to Wills Terrace causeway.

  FULL STORY »

No extraordinary emergency at Pine Gap: judge rules

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The defences which the Peace Pilgrims have tried to raise in relation to entering the Pine Gap prohibited area have been ruled out by Justice John Reeves. KIERAN FINNANE reports on this and closing remarks. FULL STORY »

Did Peace Pilgrims answer an extraordinary emergency?

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If they can establish that they were and that their action was a reasonable way to respond, then that could be a legal defence of their actions. But the Crown contends that it was an ordinary day and night at Pine Gap, business as usual, even if that business does involve drone strikes. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Leaders want town council help to fight youth crime

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Aboriginal elders are seeking a new lease of life for a long idle memorandum with the council in the wake of an alleged robbery by a 14-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, and a violent clash outside the Catholic Church. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Floodlights at Anzac Hill to discourage rock throwing. FULL STORY »

Pine Gap’s role in drone warfare: former Senator, former PM

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Justice John Reeves allowed some evidence on the issue from both former senator Scott Ludlum, in the witness box, and former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, in a tendered radio interview. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Public money flowing into facility about to be closed

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Tradies are still busy refurbishing and expanding the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre which Michael Gunner says will be closed very soon. ERWIN CHLANDA. reports.

 

UPDATE Monday 9:40am

  FULL STORY »

‘Royal Commission report will live as stain on the NT’

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As Chief Minister, I accepted the responsibility of making the changes necessary so no Chief Minister needs to address this again, writes Michael Gunner. Speakers at a small rally a short while ago (at left).

  FULL STORY »

Batchelor negotiating major government contract

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One contract the institute had will be put out to tender, the other – worth $11m for the current year – is being negotiated for 2018. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Strange encounters: the Peace Pilgrim and the Police Sergeant

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“Hi, Ken.” “Good morning, Margaret.” Not many cross-examinations begin this way. KIERAN FINNANE reports on an unusual relationship arising from the long history of protest at the Pine Gap military base. FULL STORY »

Royal Commission: Children’s voices are at the centre

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Young Aboriginal people are by far the tragic majority in the horror statistics Commissioners Margaret White AO and Mick Gooda were confronted by.

 

Wide-ranging and drastic recommendations about government personnel and facilities.

 

  FULL STORY »

Cut mining royalties to land councils: elder

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“White fellers” at the CLC – lawyers, anthropologists, administration  – “think they are the bosses,” says Senior Warlpiri man Robin Granites (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Masterpiece to be lost as gallery planning plods on

2499 Earth’s Creation SM2499 Emily Kame Kngwarreye SMNo bids from government nor council at auction of Earth’s Creation (at left) by Emily Kngwarreye (at right). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Peace Pilgrims: evidence on why, not if they were at Pine Gap

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They will be presenting evidence that Raytheon, which they suggest is a large private defence contractor at the base,  is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of weapons, and that Pine Gap is involved in providing targeting information for those weapons. However, Crown witness Sgt Kenneth Napier said Raytheon is no longer a “service provider” at the base. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Peace Pilgrims fight Pine Gap charges: their actions intended to defend themselves and others from imminent disaster

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They were allegedly detected standing on rocks on a steep hill within Pine Gap military base boundaries, playing musical instruments. They face charges with a maximum penalty of seven years on gaol. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
 

UPDATE 17 November 2017, 9.00am: The trials of the Peace Pilgrims have been raised in the Senate. FULL STORY »

Guilty: unanimous jury verdict for Peace Pilgrim

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The jury took little more than half an hour to reach their unanimous verdict. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 
UPDATE, 15 November 2017, 6.15pm: Crown wants Peace Pilgrim to serve real time in gaol. FULL STORY »

Troubled kids: A year with little to show for

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In the past three months, only one out of every 41 youth detainees in the NT was not Aboriginal. And on any given day, more young Aboriginal people on remand, without convictions, fill youth detention centres than those with convictions. PATHI RAJ reports.

  FULL STORY »

Drug haul estimated at $850,000

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Police allege two men were running drugs from South Australia.

  FULL STORY »

Pine Gap’s nuclear role and the alternative

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RICHARD TANTER, an acknowledged academic expert on nuclear weapons and international relations, describes the role of Pine Gap in a possible nuclear confrontation between the United States and an enemy state such a North Korea, and argues for the alternative, a nuclear ban treaty, already signed onto by the majority of the world’s governments. FULL STORY »

MyFuel prices up instead of down

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The Government got it wrong with the MyFuel web site which requires retailers to publish retail fuel prices, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins. 

  FULL STORY »

Mystery fault may have triggered blackout

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A long-time fault in the general area of the Sienna Village is likely to have caused Thursday’s blackout, and it took the new Remote Operations Centre in Darwin (picture by Territory Generation) too long to bring power back to Alice, says the Electrical Trades Union. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Here we go again …

2499 council chambers in rain SMIMG_4106 SMThe only “electrical activity” in town didn’t come from the power station but from the sky. The black-out has forced tonight’s council meeting to be postponed. The photo of the municipal chambers without the lights on (at left) is by Councillor Eli Melky, from his office across the road – also in darkness. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. AT RIGHT: But come 6:55pm and it’s all over bar the shouting. FULL STORY »

Government breaches faith over CM appointment

2498 Cliff Weeks

 

 

Professional correspondence between the Alice Springs News Online and the Chief Minister’s department was passed on to lawyers for Cliff Weeks (pictured) whose quarter of a million dollars a year appointment to the department’s Alice Springs office is subject to defamation action against The Australian newspaper. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Call for public to monitor police at bottle shops

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Keep an eye on the cops at bottle shops, says alcohol control campaigner: A vicious cycle occurs when TBLs have gaps, booze purchases increase, causing a spike in crime that requires further withdrawals of police from points of sale, says PAAC. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »