ATSIC VOTES BUYING CLAIM. Report by KIERAN FINNANE.
Offers of beer, food and cash were used to influence voters in the
recent ATSIC elections, according to allegations under investigation by
the Australian Electoral Commission.
Regional Returning Officer, Jim Stuart, confirmed that his office had received a letter alleging vote buying and other irregularities from five candidates who sought election - two of them successfully - to ATSIC's Alice Springs Regional Council.
Mr Stuart confirmed that there were statutory declarations attached to the letter.
He told the Alice Springs News that the information had been forwarded to the AEC in Canberra where it would be determined if there were substance to the allegations and if action would be taken.
Copies of the letter and accompanying documents were leaked to the News.
¥ offers by a candidate to buy food in return for votes;
¥ offers by a candidate of cash and cartons of beer in return for votes;
¥ distribution by a candidate of fruit and soft drinks together with their how to vote papers;
¥ campaign posters covering public road signs;
¥ harassment and intimidation of voters by an AEC Aboriginal Electoral Assistant;
¥ campaign assistants wearing campaign t-shirts "within the restricted six metres zone" between voters and AEC officials conducting the poll.
The complaints concern four candidates, three of whom were successful in the elections.
The statutory declarations are specific with respect to names, dates, times, places as well as actions.
They read in part:
"[The candidate] sat with me on the 10th 10th 02 before ATSIC elections and promised food if I voted for her in the ATSIC elections. The time about 4.30pm."
"[The candidate] arrived and sat with my sister and myself. She promised she would support us if the community wanted anything.
"[She] promised my sister food if we voted for her. She asked everyone to vote for her not anyone else."
"At Charles Creek Aboriginal Community mobile polling place I heard [the candidate] offer $40.00 and cartons beer to some Aboriginal voters if they would vote for him."
"A candidate for the Alice ward was supplying fresh fruit to voters while handing out pamphlets on how to vote, and after the voter came back out."
"Éon Monday 14 October 2002 between 1-2pm at the Hetty Perkins Home for the Aged Mobile Polling Place I noticed and saw É an assistant [to a candidate] Éintimidating a number of aged Aboriginal voters to vote for [the candidate]; and harassing É an AEC Aboriginal Electoral Assistant about how voters should vote."
GREEN LIGHT FOR CONTAINER DEPOSITS? Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Independent MLA for Braitling, Loraine Braham, says she is quietly
confident that the NT government will support her Private Member's Bill
for container deposit legislation (CDL).
"I'll have to lobby hard to get the numbers but I'm encouraged by statements from Minister Kon Vatskalis.
"He hasn't said outright that he is in favour of CDL but he intimates that he is."
Meanwhile Mrs Braham describes as a "backflip" the Country Liberal Party's decision on the weekend to get behind CDL.
She says she had unsuccessfully sought support for it in Cabinet when she was a CLP Minister, before becoming an independent in the last election.
"And when I raised CDL as a matter of public importance in Parliament during the October sittings, the only speaker from the CLP was Richard Lim and he was very cautious about it, and did not give it outright support", says Mrs Braham.
She says she has letters of support from associations including the Scouts, welcoming the fundraising opportunities resulting from the scheme.
She also says a string of Aboriginal community leaders are supporting CDL, countering claims that black bush communities are against the idea.
In fact, some communities have introduced their own CDL scheme.
The passage of Mrs Braham's Bill would also render obsolete a plan by the container industry lobby, the Beverage Industry Environment Council (BIEC), for a "rubbish summit" early next year.
The BIEC is determined to scuttle container deposit proposals (Alice News, Oct 23).
Meanwhile the National General Assembly of Local Government, whose 900 delegates from throughout Australia met in Alice Springs two weeks ago, has called for a commitment to CDL from Commonwealth and all state governments.
CDL is currently in use only in South Australia.
BIEC has recently withdrawn $250,000 in annual funding for Keep Australia Beautiful NT because, claims the council, KABNT had not provided reports about the way it has spent the money.
However, KABNT's director Lorna Woods has sent to the Alice Springs News a 100 page report detailing KABNT activities up to December 2001, when the subsidy was still in force.
Mrs Woods says a copy of the report has also been sent to BIEC, and besides, she has been making regular reports to the Territory Anti Litter Committee, through which funding for KABNT is being channelled.
Mrs Woods says the industry is cutting off its money because KABNT Ð the organiser of the popular Tidy Towns competition Ð is promoting container deposit legislation.
Mrs Braham says a draft of her Bill is now being checked to ensure it contains "nothing that is against the Australian Constitution".
A first opinion from the NT Justice Department had been "fairly encouraging".
The NT tourist levy was ruled out by the High Court because it was regarded a tax but Mrs Braham says her Bill would deal with CDL as a deposit, not a tax.
She says it is her understanding that the NT Government will use her draft rather than formulating its own legislation.
"The Bill I have had drafted is based on the model that all community groups would like, but obviously it is one the industry doesn't like."
Mrs Braham, the Speaker and a former CLP politician, says her Bill provides for a "central materials coordinator" linking up a string of collection agents in the NT.
"The industry would be paying up from for every container they are selling in the Territory."
The deposit would be "in the vicinity of" 10 cents a container.
When the container is redeemed Ð that is, when someone returns it to a collection agency Ð that person would get five cents, and the remainder would go to the central materials coordinator and its network.
If the container is not redeemed, the network would get to keep all of the deposit.
This model is an improvement on the scheme in South Australia, says Mrs Braham, where the industry charges the deposit to the consumer but pockets it if the container is not redeemed.
"The industry is making a profit on that scheme," says Mrs Braham.
The revenue from a Territory CDL scheme, estimated at several million dollars a year, would be used for anti-litter programs.
According to a release from the local government convention, a report about proposed CDL in New South Wales estimates a benefit of $70m to $100m a year and the creation of 1000 to 1500 full time jobs.
Mrs Braham says it is not yet decided which containers would be covered by the NT scheme but alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage containers are likely to be included, as well as milk bottles.
"The biggest litter problem are the alcohol containers," says Mrs Braham.
AVIATION GURU TO TAKLE FLIGHTS FIASCO. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Why is Virgin still not flying to Alice Springs?
Why is the service of Qantas, currently the only major airline flying into The Centre, so inadequate and often exorbitantly expensive?
These are some of the questions for Peter Roberts, appointed last week for three years as the NT Aviation Development Director, a position jointly funded Ð $125,000 each a year Ð by the Territory Government and NT Airports.
Another question may well be, should the government get into the air charter business, as its CLP predecessor did surprisingly successfully during the notorious 1989 pilots dispute?
After all, in the wake of September 11, there are lots of big aeroplanes sitting on the ground all over the world, doing absolutely nothing.
Mr Roberts is a light aircraft pilot, has been in the aviation game for 34 years and is a former CEO for Jet Airways in India, Air Nauru, Norfolk Jet Express, Air Niugini and Air Vanuatu.
How will he get Virgin to Alice Springs?
"By making a good business case for them," he says.
Another task may be to attract elements within the Qantas "family" Ð including recently relaunched Australian Airlines Ð which may be operating with cost structures, industrial relations arrangements, lower crew wages and aircraft types better suited to the route.
Airlines have been complaining that flying Central Australia isn't good business despite the high seat occupancy.
"Profits depend very significantly on the volumes of business travel and freight.
"One of the comments I've heard from people like Singapore Airlines in the past, is Ôwe've pulled out of Cairns or Darwin because of insufficient business traffic'.
"In other words, they're saying the mix of high, medium and low yield is not as strong as it might well be on, for example, Singapore to Sydney flights."
On the domestic front that may mean that the NT Tourist Commission and operators must come up with special deals attracting visitors in the quiet parts of the year.
Mr Roberts says part of his role will be to establish hourly operating costs of aircraft as part of a business case to airlines.
"I've got a background that lets me do that," he says. "Part of the job I've accepted is to establish such costing parameters."
Mr Roberts says the NT has all it takes to have a growing tourism industry Ð unique attractions and a well developed infrastructure: "Because the product is there it puts more importance back on this question of air services.
"The two need to be synchronised for everyone to win. That's the purpose of the role that's been created for me."
CONVENTION A BOOMER.
More than1000 participants in the National General Assembly of Local
Government departed Alice Springs last week, leaving behind an
estimated $1.6 million for the local economy, according to Mayor Fran
But while the town had received this immediate economic boost, the real benefits will be felt by tourism and local business over the longer term, she says.
"We've demonstrated that Alice Springs is a thriving regional community, with the resources and infrastructure to handle major events, and this exposure will certainly boost our profile as a tourism and convention destination in the years to come.
"The $1.6 million total was calculated using daily expenditure figures supplied by the Northern Territory Tourism Commission.
"NT Chamber of Commerce Central Australian Regional Manager, Beth Mildred said $1.6 million was a conservative estimate, with most delegates indulging themselves in the local cuisine, shopping and entertainment," says Mayor Kilgariff.
"Ms Mildred congratulated me and the former CEO for our Ôtremendous effort in making it all happen'.
"Until this year, the Australian Local Government Association had never held their National General Assembly outside Canberra.
"Former council CEO Nick Scarvelis and I travelled to Canberra last year with a proposal for Alice Springs to host the event.
"We continued to lobby ALGA executive members until the Town Council was notified in September 2001 that Alice Springs had been successful in their bid.
"We were able to overcome the initial reluctance of some members of the ALGA executive only through sheer persistence, and I applaud the ALGA for making such a bold move."
Ms Kilgariff says feedback received by the general manager of the Alice Springs Convention Centre, Ms Caroline Angel, was that this year's event had in fact, "exceeded expectations" and had been the "largest" they'd ever hosted.
While the location of the convention may have forced many delegates to travel further this year, registrations still reached an all-time high, with more than 860 people signed up for the main program and another 164 participating in the partners program, says Ms Kilgariff.
"The overwhelming number of registrations for this year suggest that Alice Springs is emerging as a popular tourist destination for our fellow Australians, who are curious and starting to take a greater interest in outback desert communities.
"I was very pleased that the organisers incorporated a number of additional activities to celebrate the unique location of the convention and promote a better understanding of the lifestyle in Central Australian communities.
"It's not everyday that Alice Springs has the chance to host an event of such political importance, and I think it was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the beauty of the rugged landscape that characterises Central Australia," says Ms Kilgariff.
"Over the past week, I have spoken with hundreds of Mayors, and they have all promised to return to their own communities with rave reviews on what there is to see and do in Alice Springs."
Nobody can hear you scream. COLUMN by STEVE FISHER.
There's an idea that has been around for some 40 years. Or is it
400? Anyway, the notion is that all technology is good.
Propagators of this idea are those people who have to rummage through all kinds of plastic-coated electronic devices before they can find a pencil at the bottom of their bag. When they find it, the pencil is broken.
I know nothing about language, but I think the correct word for this is hegemony. It's when one philosophy becomes dominant and unchallenged. In this case, the philosophy is that gadgets are cool and a positive sign of the onward march of civilization.
Look, I'm not advocating a return to wind-up cameras and actually having to talk to people when you can send them an email. Heaven forbid. But am I the only one who is getting a bit weary with technologies being lauded just because they happen to be new?
If I want to study the racing form, I am not going to peer, blinded by the Alice sunlight, into the screen of a tiny mobile device to where the internet is being downloaded by some modern miracle of nerd power. I'll buy a paper and spread it out, preferably next to a beer.
I went to La Paz once. It's a huge city built in a vast crater and visiting it was a genuine life-changing experience. By chance, I came across an American man who ran a one-person workshop in a sloping suburb.
His house was full of electronic gadgetry designed to bring the world's English-speaking media to his door. He was faintly embarrassed by this and explained that living in a remote place demanded extraordinary measures if he was to keep up with the baseball. I can sympathise with that. Living in Alice Springs is one excuse that I use for the same behaviour.But my point is that seemingly useful technology can be far from it.
As I said before, if you are lucky enough to have email, then life is better. Except that over time the incoming mail grows in volume to the point where one message arrives every 30 minutes and so every day is an electronic Day of the Triffids. The faster you fight the weed, the more it seems to advance.
There are some jobs now where 50 per cent of the time is spent managing emails. And I thought that the internet was supposed to improve productivity.
Email forums are the ideal place to chat about important issues of the day. Except that there are scores of these forums with only one correspondent, talking to himself. In an email forum, nobody can hear you scream.
I cannot bring myself to use a mobile phone because I have spent too much time sitting on public transport listening to other people's inane conversations.
Call me old-fashioned, but the best telephone calls are surely those that are private and prearranged. The rest are either inconvenient, bring bad news or share the details of your life with a supermarket full of people you don't know.
I was once on a stationary train when an announcement was made over the loudspeaker that the departure would be three minutes late. All around me, passengers reached for their mobiles, rang their loved ones and told them that they would be three minutes late.
This was Britain so you might expect some eccentric behaviour, but it was like an evening class in synchronised public speaking. Anyway, does three minutes matter, for heaven's sake? What is the matter with people? I sat there fuming, for no good reason.
Some weeks later, although I still hadn't calmed down, a marketing woman who got my name out of the phone book called me at home. Why is it that they always call when you are spooning the first forkful of dinnertime macaroni into your mouth? She wanted me to buy a mobile phone.
I told her the story about the late train whilst spraying pasta through gritted teeth over the mouthpiece of the phone. Maybe she had heard this one before, because her riposte was swift. "Don't blame the technology," she said.
"The problem is the way that people use it. Now are you sure you don't want to buy a mobile to use responsibly?"
This is how I learned that technology irritations are due to technology abuse and so it all comes back to behaviour in the end.
Time for a confession. I am writing this on a laptop computer in a public place. I haven't dared look, but behind me there is probably someone writing a column about how tragic it is to see grown men buried in electronic toys in cafes in Alice Springs. And why can't they get a life or at least a proper conversation with another member of the human race?For once, there's no answer to that.
Trans Tasman relationships. COLUMN by ANN CLOKE.
It was a Melbourne Cup celebration with a difference last week as
David and I joined family and friends in New Zealand Ð a super race
and, as usual, full of surprises especially when Irish trained Media
Puzzle took out the much coveted trophy.
I'd backed Kiwi horse Distinctly Secret. A good day all around and friends in the Alice tell me that race day at Pioneer Park was also a winner.
David and I flew into Auckland a fortnight ago, and the City of Sails is hyping. In the midst of America's Cup trials the harbour precinct is alive. It was great to be able to stroll around the Viaduct wearing sweat-shirts featuring Alice Springs Yacht Club logos and to know we were doing a little to promote our favourite place.
David and I seem to have a lot of luck when it comes to ships and arrivals. We witnessed the Endeavour sail into Whitby, England in July, and we watched the breathtaking tall ship, the Italian Americo Vespucci, proudly flying the red, white and green flag and impeccably finished in timber and intricate gold detail, anchor at the Auckland wharf.
She absolutely dwarfed the tug Waka Kume, the Hilton Hotel and everything else in Blake's Harbour, named in memory of New Zealand yachtsman Sir Peter Blake who was killed by Amazonian pirates last year.
Kiwi challenger Black Magic took out the America's Cup in 1995 and defended it successfully in 1999 Ð what will happen in 2003?
Security has always been at the top of the agenda. However since the Bali bombings it has been stepped up as internationals, locals, contestants, viewers and visitors gravitate to Auckland to join in the action around the harbour.
New Zealand is experiencing positive growth. The population has hit four million and it would seem that our neighbours are doing a few things right. Helen Clark (PM) and her government's policy on immigration has certainly assisted the population spurt. There is no reason now for those comedians to say things like: "Would the last one to leave please put out the lights", or even worse, "Do you know Fred Smith? He owns the pub in Wellington." É Ha ha.
With the continuing threats of terrorism globally, Australia and in particular the Northern Territory Tourist Commission should focus on local markets.
Our trans-Tasman neighbour New Zealand would seem to be a logical and possibly almost untapped market.
Kiwis travel to Australia but most only manage to get as far as Sydney and Brisbane coastal destinations. Seven and 10 day packages offered are in-budget and tempting especially when it's only seven degrees outside, and the local travel agent's window is full of posters, promises and glossy photographs showing sand, sun, surf, sea and, did I mention, sun?
New Zealand has superb beaches, beautiful bays and harbours, majestic mountains, rivers and gorges and offers wonderful playgrounds to those with a passion for winter and water sports including skiing, trout fishing, jet boating or yachting, but one has to be pretty hardy to partake in those sports for much of the year!
Everyone has heard about the Alice and the Outback but many don't know how to get there or what's on offer once they arrive. Tourism organisations should be actively promoting and encouraging trans-Tasman travel.
We should all be ambassadors for the Red Centre whenever we travel Ð David and I are certainly enjoying our ambassadorial duties at the moment!
32ND ALICE SPRINGS PRIZE: ART JUDGE AND PUBLIC ARE STILL ON A DIFFERENT WAVELENGTH. Report by KIERAN FINNANE.
There could hardly be a greater contrast between the Alice Prize
judge's choice of a winning work and the people's choice.
Whatever reservations I may have expressed last week about the "charge" and "politics" of Deborah Paauwe's Crimson Autograph, it does fit the bill of "contemporary art", which is what the Alice Prize is all about.
In the context of the collection developed by the prize's three decade history Ð one of the longest in Australia Ð Crimson Autograph will tell a story of its times.
It's working in a medium, the Type C photographic process, that is being widely explored at present; and it's working with imagery that is in relationship to mass consumption imagery as well as in relationship to decades of work, particularly feminist work, on representation of the body.
The collection to date has not been strong in any of these areas.
It is particularly enhanced now by the acquisition of two examples of Type C photographs, Paauwe's and Mark Kimber's At the speed of sound.
As judge Tony Ellwood, Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, said: "It's quite instructive to have these two examples as an educative comparison, and it's important to have photography in a contemporary art collection, it's the right moment to have it."The people's choice of Rose Barry's Homage (Western Desert) reflects a number of things, including locals' love of the landscape it represents and their support for local talent. It's interesting though that, despite the prize's history and ambitions, it doesn't reflect a taste for the contemporary. Homage (Western Desert) is a deftly executed, very traditional landscape, in scale, format, colour, vision. (Contrast it to, for example, the pointedness of Mandy Martin's They have faith to move the mountains: tailings dam, which pushes the language of landscape painting, including the most romantic, to render a contaminated place.)
Mr Ellwood, commending the Alice Prize as "brave and visionary", commented:
"There is a perception of anywhere outside of the east coast being slightly conservative or retrograde when it comes to embracing contemporary culture, yet here is an award that is whole-heartedly endorsing contemporary culture.
"It has sustained an approach Ð through a pre-selection process as well Ð with informed people coming in and saying let's go with these more difficult works."
There remains a significant gap between the Art Foundation's work and their primary audience's majority inclinations.
Prize-winning works however shouldn't overshadow discussion of other works. Although this year's show as a whole doesn't seem to have the depth of previous shows Ð why this would be so, given the challenges of the times in which we live, is worth thinking about Ð there are, of course, works that are artistically interesting and among them some that tap deep veins of meaning. The latter are the ones I'm inclined to discuss.
First up is Iain Campbell's Waiting in the studio. This is much more than a detailed recording of the artist's working environment. I find it a moving reflection on mortality, the heaviness of the passing of time, and of the primary question that that throws up: why are we here?
It is a carefully constructed intimate view that leads us into this kind of emotional and philosophical territory, with the viewer just on the other side of the coffee table (bearing several keys to the artist's thinking) in the very foreground of the picture plane. (Another painting in the show invites intimacy with a similar device: the back of a couch in the foreground of Ronald Neal's Nighttime takes the viewer right into this lonely kitchen.)
Mr Ellwood visited Campbell's studio while he was in Alice:
"He is a very interesting artist and a great asset to the community, in terms of his own commitment to the arts and teaching in the arts but also his portraiture.
"It's really quite hypnotic, beautiful compositions, beautifully articulated through the painting medium."
Campbell's work happens to be followed in the gallery by two other strong works.
Janny Landre's Pepsi Blue is a hyper-real statement on the contemporary global political economy.
The Concorde may be a marvel of engineering but its huge consumption of fuel puts it beyond the reach of all but the ultra-rich. In Landra's work I read it as a symbol of the excesses of Western capitalism that have taken us now to the brink of international conflict.
But the jet also appears to be something of a toy, less potent than the anonymous figures in Arabic garb who dominate the foreground. Landra is working here with the ways we recognise others, how, with the flimsiest of signs, we construct identity and meaning. It's interesting to ask yourself who or what is powerful in this scene. (Once again, the viewer is "implicated' in the picture frame by a foregrounded element, the top of a fence, which, significantly, seems more like a backyard fence than one that belongs on an airfield.)
Mr Ellwood responded to this work: "In so many ways it seems to embrace where we are at in 2002 for many people.
"On those grounds it's a very successful communicator of ideas and issues."
Belonging to the group, which is inseparable from economies, is the theme of the next work in this rewarding threesome, an elegant construction by Glen Clarke, with a rather cumbersome title: Enigma and Melancholy #7 Part 2, Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
In three separate frames there are "mountains" of Chinese ceremonial money shirts (read, the masses in a society), creating an overall homogeneity where differences are subtle, but they are there. Are we going to make the effort to recognise them? And then there are the small breakaway groups or ones that don't easily fit in Ð how are they to be accommodated? (Related themes, even more coolly addressed, could be at play in Jacky Redgate's Straight Cut #12, an austere but intriguing work, especially with regards to its composition.)
Mr Ellwood commented that many contemporary artists are working with patterning and repetition, some to the point of obsessiveness.
"The fact that you have all of these folded shorts in such a profound quantity says to me this is somebody who has got very passionate ideas about their way of communicating and their working process.
"This work is also very layered, talking about factions within a community, É looking at commodification, the commercial realities of a society, talking about cultural identities.
"It is conveying multiple messages in quite a unique and interesting manner."
Space will only allow me discussion of one final piece, Sebastian Di Mauro's Closes over without a scar, a title, as Mr Ellwood suggested, that indicates "quite a complicated and sad or distressed message trying to be conveyed".
I find the abandoned baggage in the tree very resonant at this time: it prompts me to think of people from around the world, forced to leave behind all they know and own in the hope of preserving just their lives.
The golden glow drenches the view with yearning for the past, but across this is the disrupting blue line: the harsh and uncertain present.
MIXED CONDITIONS AT ALBRECHT. Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.
Changing weather gave cricketers in Alice a mixed experience over
On Saturday, Rovers and Federal took to the Albrecht pitch in fine conditions and produced an evenly poised game at the half way mark.
On the other hand the West and RSL teams took to the same venue on Sunday in conditions which halted play for over an hour and left the batting side facing a deteriorating light late in the day.
On Saturday, Rovers had first use of the bat and put together a useful 202. Openers Matt Pyle and Justin Dowsett set the scene with a sound opening stand Ð Pyle knocking up 39 and Dowsett, 28.
The middle order found the going tough but the experience of Nick Clapp, scoring 25, Peter "Stats" Kleinig, making 25, and the talented Adrian McAdam with 43, kept the ball rolling.
Federals were vulnerable with the ball as Jarrod Wapper was unavailable due to work commitments and three other regulars were not able to play. However, Allan Rowe showed his commitment, taking 5/62, backed by a blast from the past in the form of Trevor "Bluey " Filmer, an exclusive B grader these days, who returned 3/43.
Late in the day Federal took advantage of the demise of Rovers and were able to tally 0/63 by stumps. Tommy Clements and Brendan Martin, two juniors in Alice Springs cricket, are poised on 35 and 26 respectively and ready to continue the fight this Saturday.
On Sunday RSL were given the chance to set the scene with first use of the bat. Graham Schmidt and Rod Dunbar got a start for the Works side with Schmidt clawing his way to 20 before being given lbw to Kenny Vowles. Shane Trenbath later snared Dunbar for 46 thanks to a Jeremy Biggs catch.
Jamie Smith didn't last, as rookie Dash Hewett celebrated A Grade selection by running the folk hero out for two.
Skipper Jeff Whitmore then took centre stage and compiled a solid 43 before being claimed by Ryan Thomson. He was partnered in the main part by Scott Robertson who made a come-back to A Grade with an unbeaten 56.
Tom Scollay, who has had the ball on a string in recent times, fell, trapped in the gully by Adam Stockwell and bowled by Thomson. Luke Southam also fell to a gully trap off Thommo.
It was on a sentimentally sad note that RSL lost their last wicket of the day to the veteran Bernie Nethery, who, on his return to A Grade, was given lbw for a duck.
For Westies the performer of the day was Thomson who finished with 3/59 off 16 overs.
Play continues on Saturday and Sunday.
KIWIS SHOW THEY ARE STILL IN TOWN! Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.
Cracker football was the name of the game at Anzac Oval on Saturday
The Kiwis, who have been rebuilding in recent times, came out and showed Alice Springs that they are back in town for this year's Premiership.
They lined up against the Cubs and prevailed, albeit in controversial circumstances, with a win by a solitary point.
The game was launched with Kiwis having a bench fully warmed, while Joe Dixon's Cubs had replacements to make up the bare minimum.
The absence of a few young blokes like Levi Calesso and Peter Russell is sad for them but a part of life.
The fact is the game went on and it was a game to remember.
In recent years the Cubs and Kiwis have fought many a battle and this game was a case of deja vu.
Tries for the Cubs came from Ray Walters with two and Karl Gunderson, Wiley Steele and Paul Veitch with a try each. Veitch also recorded two conversions.
For the Kiwis Timm Gibbons scored a hat trick, Russell Satour crossed with a try in the corner, and then Chris Blacker claimed victory with a last minute score.
The try seemingly came after Cubs had advantage paid after a knock on, the result being Blacker's triumph.
Regardless of the controversy, Kiwis won the game 32 to 31, and that is how history will read it.
The Federal game against Eagles ended in a 15 to nil game to the reigning premiers.
Federal ran on rather short on staff with the respective numbers nine and 10.
Simon Moldrich and Jim Niland were unavailable and several other players were either late or last minute arrivals.
Eagles recruit, Lincoln Peckham, again blitzed his opposition, and tries came from Paul Strahan, Garth Law and Jonno Swalger.
For the Devils the line was not crossed but good games came from Lee Volker, Dylan Kirschner and Tim Blacker.
ALICE YOUNGSTERS TOP WRITING COMPETITION.
Two Alice Springs primary school children have won the Territory
section of the Nestle Write Around Australia competition.
They are Sianne Van Abkoude, in year six at Braitling, and Isaak Hartley Richards, in year five at the Steiner School.Isaak's story, "The Lunar Phantom", and Sianne's, "The Ice Queen", were selected from 230 NT entries. Nationwide, 36,000 senior primary school children entered the competition.
Isaak and Sianne, who received their prizes today at Parliament House in Darwin, will go on to represent the Territory in the national finals next month.
Here is Isaak's story (Sianne's will follow next week):-
"The Lunar Phantom"
Ah, it was bliss to float around on the Moon in the year 3010, diving and swooping. But suddenly, Bzzzz!! I was spinning faster than a moonwasp's wings beat! The hidden force whirled me around in a vortex of dizziness. Then it dumped me. Huh? Before I could get up, it pushed my nose flat!
I decided to seek Gridwilf's advice. He lived in a moon brick hut near the Sea of Tranquility. Gridwilf knew about such things. He had blue hair, a green beard, purple eyes and was as tall as two Moonflakes packets (seventy centimetres).
When I arrived on my anti-grav board, he was gluing pot plants to the ground to stop them from drifting away.
"Hello Peter, why is your nose flat?" Gridwilf asked.
"I thought you could tell me!" I said.
He peered at my nose. "For the twenty years I've lived in this colony I've heard stories of the Lunar Phantom tormenting people. However, there are ways to banish it. Take this Stone and throw it in the Moon Pool, while chanting this verse:"Spirit wind go away
You aren't wanted here today
Come again another year
When you will be welcome here
You must take heed of what I say
Lest you are kept from play."
I took The Stone and thanked him. With a light heart I stepped on my anti-grav board and zoomed towards the Moon Pool, clutching the radiant red stone to my heart. When I arrived, I found that the Lunar Phantom had been following me.
I hastily parked my anti-grav board near a tourist hoverbus. Suddenly the Lunar Phantom let forth a mighty gale which launched me into the air above the Moon Pool. The Stone slipped from my hand and floated down, like a feather on Earth. I soared after it, like a hawk after her chick.
I reached out and grasped The Stone as the Lunar Phantom let forth another gargantuan gust. I went head first into the soft mud surrounding the Moon Pool. When my breath wouldn't last any longer I felt a tug and my head emerged from the sludge.
"Thanks, mister," I gasped at the guide who pulled me out. Mud falling from my face, I noticed tourists clicking cameras excitedly at me.
"I'm not a tourist attraction!" I mumbled indignantly.
I washed my head in the Moon Pool. BIG MISTAKE! As the silvery water drained from my ears I heard kids' voices. "Silver face," they teased. I snorted contemptuously, then chanted the words and hurled The Stone into the water.
It spun through the air and started to change. Instead of a glowing red stone it became Mum's best flower vase. With a cry of fear I jumped after it.
Suddenly I was coming back to Earth in a whirl of colours and bewilderment, leaning over the sink nauseously.
"Peter Jack Brown! What are you doing with your face in the washing up!?" shrieked Mum.
"And why is your nose flat?" demanded Dad.
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