ALICE SPRINGS NEWS
March 15, 2007. This page contains all major
reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
POLICE FAIL TO INVESTIGATE VIOLENT
ROBBERY IN CBD . By ERWIN CHLANDA.
By mid Tuesday this week police had still not interviewed the victim of
a robbery with violence, 11 days after she was attacked by four or five
teenagers, suffering injuries to her neck and losing jewellery and cash
worth about $3500.
This is despite assurances by the police that "priority one" cases
would be dealt with in under 10 minutes.
The victim, Pattie Buschman, says after they snatched her bag and tore
her blouse and bra, the attackers, all of them Aboriginal, ran off into
the Todd River near the Stott Terrace bridge.
She ran to the police station.
She says she was given a blue card by the counter staff and told that
no officers were available to deal with her complaint because they were
all busy looking for a woman who had her throat cut.
And anyway, purse snatching was very common these days, she quotes the
officer on the counter as saying.
Ms Buschman, a senior employee of a national building maintenance
company, was left to walk to her hotel in the dark.
It was about 10.30 pm.
She was traumatised by her experience.
"I was shaking when I got back to the hotel," she says.
But her ordeal wasn't over.
The attackers came to the hotel later in the night and either entered
her room as Ms Buschman was asleep, or attempted to.
The intruders damaged the fan mounted in her bathroom window.
The owners of the hotel, the Desert Rose Inn, who live in the hotel
complex near the room Ms Buschman occupied, told her they had observed
"Aboriginal youths everywhere" around the hotel in the early hours of
The room key, which had been in Ms Buschman's bag taken by the robbers,
was found in a rubbish bin outside Big Al's, a nearby cafe.
The key did not have the hotel's name on it, only its PO Box, but it
did have the room number.
Having lost all her cash, cards and driver's licence, Ms Buschman had
to fend for herself over the weekend as best she could, borrowing food
from the supermarket where she is overseeing a maintenance contract.
Scared that she may be attacked again, she asked the hotel owners to
give her a new room, and she stayed there for most of the weekend.
The hotel owners also helped her arrange an air ticket to Darwin where
Ms Buschman returned to Alice Springs late last week by car, with her
partner accompanying her.
"I didn't want to go back to Alice Springs alone," she says.
The attack began when Ms Buschman stepped onto the lawn south of the
civic centre, to get away from the traffic noise in Todd Street, making
a call on her mobile phone.
The robbers ripped her bag out of her hand and made off towards the
Ms Buschman says she was furious and ran after them: "I was not scared
then. I wanted to catch at least one of them," she says.
Several people in cars and on foot witnessed her plight, but "nobody
When Ms Buschman caught up with the robbers they turned on her, ripping
her shirt and bra, and injuring her neck, which she is now unable to
turn one way. In the melee the robbers tore a diamond necklace from
Ms Buschman says she's been to Alice Springs many times, always feeling
"Aborigines might ask you for a bit of money or smokes", but she would
have never expected to fall victim to a vicious attack.
"That's Alice Springs for you now," she quotes a local as saying to her
The four or five robbers clearly remain at large.
By Monday evening this week, when the Alice News spoke with Ms
Buschman, 10 days after the attack, she had still not been interviewed
"I don't feel protected," she says.
An interview with new police chief Sean Parnell was published in the
Alice Springs News of February 22, eight days before the attack on Ms
Discussing public concern about long delays in responding to reports of
offences, we asked him what would be the response time if the police
were called to a crime within two kilometres of the CBD.
Superintendent Parnell said: "I would say, if it's in the city, the
response time would certainly be under 10 minutes.
"If it's a priority one, for example, and there is no-one available on
the road, we can send someone from the station."
Supt Parnell last week declined a request for an interview about large
scale disturbances by teenagers on the weekend Ms Buschman was
HOUSING IS THE KEY . By ERWIN
To gain control over rampaging young people, many of them Aborigines,
"we don't need more services, we need more supported accommodation.
"What's the point of having an additional 50 youth workers holding
their hand during the day when at night the only places kids can go are
overcrowded houses full of drunks, domestic violence, idleness and too
often, sexual abuse.
My conversation partner is a long-time community worker in Alice
Springs. I've known him for about 20 years. He doesn't want his name
mentioned. Let's call him Frank.
"There are no services at night.
"The Drop In Centre is little more than a taxi service home Ð and
more often than not, that home is not a safe place.
"Youth Night Patrol no longer exists.
"We can't work with these young people if we can't house them."
With hundreds of teenagers in strife or at risk, as Alice Springs has
experienced the weekend before last, the existing "programs" are
"They are overwhelmed," says Frank.
Safe Families has few houses and carers, with a combined capacity of
housing perhaps seven to eight kids.
ASYASS can accommodate a further seven. That's 15 all up. St Mary's
Group Homes offers care for another six or so kids under the care of
The NT Government's Family and Children's Services (FACS) has a staff
of about 25 in Alice Springs.
Only around 12 of them are doing case work and much of that is dealing
with "revolving door" style court intervention and foster placements
(see story this page).
Over 150 renal dialysis patients and their families are booking out
hostels, not counting those admitted to the hospital for other
illnesses. They remain in hospital because they have nowhere else to
The hospital can't even discharge people to Tennant Creek Hospital at
the moment because it is not seen as being able to provide a sufficient
level of care. How can they discharge people who are homeless.
Some motels have turned to accommodating the few Aborigines but few
families can afford $500 a week.
Frank says in the early 90s, the waiting time for a three bedroom
government house was under one year Ð now it's over three.
Emergency accommodation used to be available in a matter of days Ð
The sell-off of public housing from the mid-nineties has led to the
To buy furniture the Commonwealth used to provide a credit facility for
people with medical support needs to be in town Ð no more.
Aranda House used to provide beds for around 15 kids not safe to be at
home. It now operates only as a remand purposes for kids waiting to go
There are 30 or so kids facing serious charges before the local
juvenile court each week. If convicted they are likely to be shipped to
Darwin's Don Dale Centre.
There has been some talk about opening the former Giles House as
Frank has no illusion that supplying extra houses with no strings
attached would do much to reduce the disaster.
It's clear many Aborigines will cram into houses well beyond the
Many Aborigines have no way of saying no to family members visiting
town and who have nowhere else to go.
They can be obliged under family obligation, or Christian belief
systems, or visitors can be too powerful or bloody minded to accept
that they can't stay.
Houses are filled well beyond their capacity, neighbors complain,
families get evicted, the cycle continues.
Just a few new homes becoming avilable, it would be no match for the
increasing stream of people from bush communities visiting their town
rellies, or joining the urban drift.
Frank says public accommodation needs to be carefully managed, and the
number of people in dwellings needs to be controlled. Hostel
accommodation with caretaker and staff support can help vulnerable
families staying in town.
If that could be done, many Aboriginal people could embark on a normal,
productive life, with adults having full time jobs and kids attending
Frank says the public would be surprised how many Indigenous people
would join the workforce, if at the end of the day, they could go back
to a safe, adequate and private accommodation.
Frank doesn't make excuses for the mayhem. But he can understand it.
"It's no wonder parenting fails in chaotic houses, full of drunks where
parents feel they can't control their own or their children's
"Kids feel abandoned, they want to pay back and attack society. There
are many triggers into anger," says Frank.
"In 2000 a large group of kids were running amok. Youth services were
working intensely to contain them, and had some significant successes."
Now its eems a losing battle: "Today we cannot get people into long
term sustainable options.
"We move them around a little bit, but without housing, we can't win."
Why are the kids rioting?
"They're not in employment nor education.
"Some come in with bush visitors and stay in town after business or
"The families go back but kids stay behind.
"The kids have little mentoring or guidance.
"They have a lot of time on their hands and are inclined to party.
"Like lots of kids they have very little social conscience. They don't
feel other people's pain.
"Other kids join in, brothers, cousins, they don't care a shit.
"If they jump on someone's car, so what, they don't have one of their
"They have not much investment in the society.
"They don't have any property of their own.
"Parents, grandparents and elders would like the capacity to look after
"But you're sharing with 20 visitors, it's not your house.
"You have nowhere else to go, no safety cordon, no way to impose
"You get overwhelmed, fall apart, start drinking, become hopeless.
"You can't sell the Australian dream to kids from such a background.
"They've seen what has happened to their fathers, mothers, aunties and
"They don't believe it."
Frank says the collaboration of government departments and non
government organizations is "not too bad, but it all operates under
The patchwork of services is simply far too small.
The relationship between FACS, Tangentyere, Congress, Reconnect,
hospital, Department of Education, police, Correctional Service and so
on is "fairly functional and would not get any better for more
Sending kids to boarding schools is an option sometimes supported by
Placements at the sniffers' outstation of Mt Theo near Yuendumu, or at
Barry Abbott's bush camp, "works for some" says Frank.
"It's better than going backwards and forwards from Don Dale.
"Institutions are not seen to be acceptable.
"Even kids from OK families don't go to school.
"Many missed out on the early curriculum, and get teased as idiots if
they try to go hack to school.
"Parents are not engaged because schools didn't work for them and they
think schools are alienating kids from their families.
"There is an underlying feeling of being outsiders.
"Teenage pregnancies are rampant.
"Some girls have four or five kids by the time they're in their early
"Meanwhile, there are no pathways to meaningful lives in the bush
communities back home."
DELIA, OH DELIA .. . By ERWIN
Delia Lawrie is driving the Berrimah Line (wall?) to new heights. As
Minister for Planning she gave the green light to the "dongas" this
week, flying in the
face of the overwhelming opposition by the town (something like 120 to
1), and contrary to the Development Consent Authority's recommendation.
Recently she gave the
thumbs down to the White Gums residential development, apparently also
against the DCA recommendation, and then kept secret its report. She
blocked the introduction of a
youth curfew sought by the town council. We asked her as the Minister
for Family Services for an interview on what she's doing about kids
running riot - she
STOP ALICE PROMOTION? By ERWIN
Senior members of the tourist industry lobby CATIA discussed asking
Tourism NT to hold off on a $2.3m promotion of Alice Springs until the
town's escalating crime is brought under control.
The reason was that people returning from Alice Springs would pass on
negative impressions to friends and relatives, and with every visitor
there would be multiple adverse publicity.
However, CATIA chairman Steve Rattray says the idea was not considered
because the town needs the income, and advertising contracts had
already been locked into place last year.
"We still need people coming here," he says.
Besides, only few people, "one or two percent," would pass on
negative impressions, whereas the majority of tourists are enjoying
their stay in The Centre.
"But there is no doubt we have to fix the law and order problem,
and do it urgently," he says.
Meanwhile CATIA has not yet acted on a recommendation from some senior
members to give the alcohol card the green light.
Mr Rattray says a general meeting will make a decision this month,
following the release of a discussion paper by the Licensing
Commission. That paper has been in preparation for several months.
Mr Rattray says there are mixed views about the card, especially the
cost of about $8000 per terminal.
"I can't see our members wearing that," says Mr Rattray.
Current thinking of members seems to be that if the card is introduced,
the government should pay for it.
In addition, any restrictions on quantity and type of alcohol should
possibly be lifted.
This appears to be an absurd proposition because the card is meant to
be, principally, a device for monitoring and enforcing restrictions.
Mr Rattray also says members have reservations about non-sniffable Opal
fuel, suspecting that it may be bad for cars well under 10 years old.
BP claims the fuel is safe on cars built after 1986 (apart from high
performance cars). Mr Rattray says the backpackers get around in old
LAW & ORDER: "NO CONFIDENCE" IN
GOVERNMENT. By KIERAN FINNANE.
The town council on Monday night unanimously expressed its lack of
confidence in the Territory Government's handling of the town's
security issues and demanded of the government the immediate
implementation of the council's nighttime youth strategy.
At the heart of that strategy is a youth curfew.
Absent from the committee meeting were Mayor Fran Kilgariff, and Alds
David Koch and Geoff Bell.
Aldermen were responding to a motion put by Ald Murray Stewart.
The motion, once formally passed, will involve council in the writing
Ald Stewart said council needed to make clear to the community that
"policing lies firmly in the court of the Northern Territory
He said council had "done themselves proud" with their record on
security issues, pointing to the nighttime youth strategy, the dry town
initiative, CCTV cameras in the CBD, and cleaning up broken glass.
It is the Territory Government who is "failing to come up to the
mark", said Ald Stewart.
Aldermen also supported Ald Melanie van Haaren's additions to the
motion that they meet with Minister for Central Australia Elliot McAdam
and Leader of the Opposition Jodeen Carney on the same issues, and with
Federal Ministers to make them aware of the "unique problems
facing our community as a result of Federal policies".
Ald van Haaren does think, however, that council can do more
themselves, calling on her fellows to reconsider endorsing the local
alcohol management plan, which in the past it has declined to do. (The
dry town initiative forms only one part of the plan.)
Ald van Haaren sits on the National Local Government Drugs and Alcohol
Committee, which, she reported, has now amalgamated with a committee of
She said it is now accepted that the rule of thumb for a healthy
community is no more than 22 liquor outlets Ð whether bottleshops,
pubs or licensed restaurants Ð per 10,000 population.
This would mean no more than 66 for Alice (assuming a population of
30,000) and we have over 90.
"Any more than 22 per 10,000 and a community can anticipate
having alcohol-related problems," said Ald van Haaren.
She also said that, while fewer than 10% of drinkers are habitual
drunks, 60% of all alcohol is consumed "unwisely".
She said low to moderate drinkers experience most of the negative
consequences of drinking and that policy needs to cater for them.
She said she began to feel panicky when the committee heard that a pure
alcohol consumption of eight litres per capita per annum represents a
"point of no return" in terms of problems for its community.
"Our community has double that."
She said the committee heard of councils with a per capita consumption
of seven litres moving on action plans to reduce it.
"I acknowledge that a lot of work has been done but my concern
is that it is very piecemeal, which is why we can't get far."
Ald van Haaren will present council with a more detailed report and
take her call for more comprehensive action from there.
Meanwhile, aldermen supported the recommendation of its community
development officer that a so-called Youth Crew, rather than a youth
advisory group, be established.
The crew, engaged through existing youth services in town, would help
organise a mixed music, BMX and skateboarding event at the town pool as
part of Youth Week in April, and then go onto organise a similar event
Apart from its possible social benefits, the move has the distinct
advantage of being funded through existing resources, while a youth
advisory group, requiring the employment of a .75 dedicated youth
officer, would cost an estimated $47,342.
COUNCIL OFFICERS WANT SECRECY . By
Council considered its latest tender fiasco behind closed doors on
Alderman Melanie van Haaren, supported by Ald Murray Stewart,
unsuccessfully called for open discussion of the purchase of a $50,000
Council bought the sweper from an interstate supplier, not seeking a
quote from a local supplier of the same product, despite its
Procurement Policy which gives a 10% preference in favour of local
business. (See last week's issue).
Ald van Haaren argued that, as the purchase had been completed, the
matter did not seem to meet the requirement of being in confidential
session: "There should be a transparent discussion."
CEO Rex Mooney expressed disappointment in her comments.
He said tenders are always "commercial in confidence".
The report from technical services director Eric Peterson contained
comments expressing personal views which should also be treated in
confidence, he said.
LETTERS: Advance Alice not extreme .
Sir,- Your article "Guardian Angels street patrols as youths run amok"
of last Thursday has led some readers to consider Advance Alice as a
somewhat extreme group.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Advance Alice's intentions are to tackle the issues of law and order in
The intention of Advance Alice in putting people on the street is to
head off any forms of retaliation.
After many phone calls and considerable disscussion over the weekend,
we have decided to widen our intention of putting people on the street,
to appeal to all the citizens of Alice to take back their streets!
You can do this in two ways, by simply patrolling the streets in your
vehicle and calling in to the police desk any trouble spots you see.
Or you can walk the streets in groups as Advance Alice intends, the
objective being simply to be a presence on our streets and interacting
in a friendly fashion, with all who we meet - especially the
younger members of our town.
Discouraging gang activity simply by being there!
Show that you care, just give and hour or two here and there whenever
it suits you.
We are asking youth groups, sporting groups, service organisations,
Aboriginal organisations - church and community groups of any kind to
If you don't feel up to patrolling the streets - Advance Alice is
also putting its support into assisting with activites such as the
mooted street soccer.
Perhaps your organisation can come up with a similar activity.
Bring the kids a bit of street culture.
Make them feel less isolated.
Roll out that community spirit, the kind that started major community
events such as Henley on Todd and the Camel Cup.
Chairman, Advance Alice
Native title rip off?
Sir,- My name is Nicole Laughton and I am one of the many
traditional owners/native title holders for the Alice Springs region. I
am descended from the three boss dreamings for Alice Springs which are:
Ntjalka, Iritja and Alere.
Mbantua in the Aranda language means "meeting place", and all
settlements and ceremonial meeting places are mbantua.
Alice Springs' true name is Mbupa, which means the centre of the Aranda
Many dreamings pass through Mbupa, and before white settlement Mbupa
(Alice Springs) was the main ceremonial meeting place for many clan
groups to perform ceremonies.
From when Alice Springs was first settled to 1967 when Aboriginal
people were given the right to vote, no Aboriginal person was allowed
inside the town boundary except for the selected few half-castes who
After 1967 due to drought or for other reasons Tangentyere Council sent
out buses into the bush and picked up a lot of people and placed them
at a place call Amengkuna (Amoonguna) which was to become (for lack of
a better word) a refugee camp for all the Aboriginal peoples from the
Central Desert region.
During this period due to alcohol and / or other reasons, many things
were done wrong to the Antulya families, and there was not much they
could do because they were outnumbered by other tribal people who were
themselves suffering from similar injustices.
Everyone was just living to survive and many were drowning their
sorrows in alcohol.
The Antulya boundary covers the whole of the Alice Springs region, as
far north as Bond Springs, as far west as Simpsons Gap, as far south as
Ooramina Range and as far east as this side of Santa Teresa Mission and
swinging back past Mount Undoolya back up to Bond Springs.
The point that I am trying to make is that Mbupa (Alice Springs) is
well and truly inside the Antulya clan boundary.
It's true I am a woman, but who else is going to speak for Antulya Mob?
Both Mbantua Mob and Irlpme Mob have their own country and they should
stop trying to rip Antulya Mob off.
The organisation of Lhere Artepe is, in my opinion, a very sick joke as
they are committing the same injustices to the Antulya Mob as have been
committed in the past.
For example, you have Lhere Artepe as the Prescribed Body Corporate for
only three clan groups, one group being traditional owners of Alice
Springs(Antulya) and the other two groups being Kwertangulus.
They keep outvoting the Antulya Mob at an executive level to achieve
outcomes which demonstrate their own greedy intentions, which is why
they are receiving a third cut of all of what should be Antulya
As well, Antulya mob are paying the administration cost to Lhere Artepe
for the three groups. Lhere Artepe would not be able to exist without
When the railway was put through Irlpme country, they did not offer nor
were they asked to give Antulya Mob a cut of their profits. So why are
Mbantua and Irlmpe mobs receiving a third cut each of all profits from
Antulya Country that is being sold off to the government?
At the 2007 Lhere Artepe AGM I asked why Antulya Mob aren't being given
family blocks prior to Antulya country being sold off. The response was
that if they gave Antulya Mob family blocks that the government would
just take it away from us.
What is the point in having native title when we can't occupy the land.
The Native Title Act states that Native Title Holders have the right to
possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the land and waters of the
A major injustice is happening to Antulya Mob.
Many dreamings pass through Alice Springs, one of them being the Two
Sisters Dreaming. Seventeen years ago, Aboriginal people fought hard
against the proposal to build a dam at Welatja Therre. They succeeded
in putting a hold on the development for 17 years.
Well, seventeen years are up... and here's Antulya mob still fighting
for their own land, not against the government this time, but against
our own Kwertangulus, who are too self aborbed in their own greed to do
the right thing and back off.
This is Antulya Country. Always was, always will be.
Kevin Pick's family will fight on
Sir,- I refer to the recent reply by the Central Land Council Director
(March 8) to your excellent article about the plight of Kevin Pick at
Todd River Downs (March 1).
What they have written is wrong.
The following fundamental facts and issues remain to be properly
resolved in this most unsatisfactory situation, which was caused by
Kevin Pick was the holder of a grazing licence at Todd River Downs,
which was later cancelled upon the success of a land claim by the
traditional Aboriginal owners.
Unfortunately Kevin has to this day never been properly compensated for
this, although other grazing licence holders in Central Australia have
And he has been looking after the Todd River Downs country and his
cattle very well since, with the full permission of the traditional
He has not been personally responsible for any land degradation around
Todd River Downs, as wrongly alleged by the CLC administration, and
where is the CLC proof of the alleged "mismanagement".
We have colour photographs which show and prove that Todd River Downs
country and cattle are looking good and being well looked after despite
the drought conditions.
The CLC administration, not the CLC Executive and not the traditional
owners, have been harassing, intimidating and bullying poor Kevin for
too long now over all kinds of silly little things to do with Todd
River Downs country, in a cruel campaign to force Kevin out of the Todd
River Downs Lands Trust country eventually.
The CLC administration is also discriminating against Kevin, who does
not deserve such terrible treatment from the CLC bureaucrats.
This is also being done by a cruel CLC administration, against the
expressed wishes of the traditional owners of land trust country and
contrary to any concept of natural justice or fairness.
The CLC administration are not even takingÊnotice of or acting on
the wishes and instructions of the traditional owners of the land trust
who have always supported Kevin. Surely, it is the role and
responsibility of CLC to act on the instructions of the traditional
owners in accordance with the provisions of the Aboriginal Land Rights
(NT) Act 1976, instead of ignoring and insulting the traditional
The continuing intransigence and inappropriate actions of the CLC
administration towards Kevin at Todd River Downs cannot be condoned by
anyone and must be challenged by all those who are concerned for
justice and a fair go for the Aussie battler, whether the battler is
black, white or brindle.
This terrible situation with the CLC administration and Kevin is now
such that it surely requires the intervention of the Federal Minister
for Indigenous Affairs and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission, to see that Kevin is fairly or justly treated, that Kevin
is compensated, that the CLC administration is stopped from
discriminating against an Aboriginal man, and that the CLC
administration is directed to do its job properly in accordance with
the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act.
After many years of headaches and heartaches for Kevin Pick, the CLC
administration have left Kevin, his family, his friends and his
supporters no alternative but to pursue this unacceptable terrible
situation directly with the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs and
the Human Rights Commission for a fair go and justice.
APPEAL TO MAKE STREETS OF ALICE SAFE
AND FUN! By KIERAN FINNANE.
More police and citizens' patrols might make our public spaces safer
but will they make them pleasant places to be in?
Maybe having more people coming together to use our public spaces in
enjoyable ways can offer not only safety but a building block for a
better, shared future.
Last Thursday the Story Wall in Todd Mall got its third workout since
the idea took root last year.
It was a warm evening, perfect to be outdoors.
Diners were enjoying the al fresco restaurants.
Aboriginal artists were sitting at the edge of the Flynn Church lawns,
with paintings for sale spread on the grass and a few of their children
playing around them.
The beginnings of an audience for the Story Wall gathered further
along, some seated on benches in front of Adelaide House, others on the
Senator Nigel Scullion saw the activity and came over for a look Ð
Story Wall organisers Tracy Spencer, a minister with the church, and
film-maker David Nixon, jumped at the chance to introduce him to the
project, which is all about people of the Centre telling their own
stories, rather than only having stories being told about them.
They screened first the Lhere Artepe welcome to country DVD, projected
onto the wall that forms the northern boundary of the church grounds.
The DVD uses excellent footage of the Todd River coming down, one event
in a public space in our town that is guaranteed to bring people
together, and usually for joyful reasons. The 10 minute Story Wall
doco, made by Nixon, followed.
It shows local people, black and white, many of them artists, writers
and performers, talking about the inspiration they gain from living in
this "big country" and imagining a future where this inspiration is
shared, is allowed to unite people, where all the preconceptions,
restrictions and anger have dropped away.
The audience began to build. The Aboriginal children who'd been playing
on the lawns earlier drifted in, then little by little other
passers-by, some hesitating on the edge of the crowd, some settling in.
The welcome to country and Story Wall doco ran again, then came the
drawcard of the program, a short doco from CAAMA , directed by Warwick
Thornton, called Rosalie's Journey.
It's about Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, who earlier in the evening had been
honoured at the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame, as the first
Australian Aboriginal actor in her leading role in Jedda.
Jedda was also the first Australian film to use Aboriginal actors, as
well as the first Australian film made in colour.
Rosalie was present to introduce the film. She came to the front with
her grand-daughter, Amelia, with whom she lives.
She spoke of how well Amelia cares for her. As she always does, she
emphasised her identity as first and foremost a mother and grandmother.
She looked around her, to Adelaide House where she had been trained as
a young girl, to lay tables, polish silver, to learn how to live in a
She looked over at the church Ð she remembered the dress she had
worn when she was taken to do a photo shoot there when it was still
She was very moved by the Story Wall doco, by the experience of so many
different people expressing their commitment to the land and to the
human relationships within it.
She has a lovely voice, cadenced, measured.
It was interesting to hear that same voice narrate Rosalie's Journey
entirely in Anmatjerre, her first language.
It was quite confronting to learn from the film what a difficult
experience shooting Jedda was for her Ð how isolated she felt, how
little care was taken to ensure her welfare, by, for example, providing
her with some companionship from her own world. Apart from anything,
while her English is impeccable now, then she didn't readily understand
all that was going on around her.
But especially difficult was the way her Aboriginal law, that she'd
learnt from her grandmother, was broken (her words translated as
ÔThey broke my law to get me to act') as she was pressured into
performing in certain ways for the camera, in particular in scenes with
men. The film includes out-takes where you can hear a woman's voice,
presumably Elsa Chauvel's, harrying her off camera.
Rosalie concedes in the film that the end result was not bad; her
daughter has a copy of the film but she, Rosalie, never looks at it,
never even thinks about it. She does not think of her identity in
relation to it, but rather in relation to her Anmatjerre language and
culture, and her personal roles as mother and grandmother.
It's a great example of a "contested history" Ð the way in which we
continue to admire and honour her for that achievement, and her own far
more nuanced and painful relationship with it.
Something to think about, which is what Story Wall wants us to do Ð
in the words of Tracy Spencer, "to have a conversation" about who we
are, all of us here in the Centre, and what we think and feel.
The Northern Territory Government has given the go ahead to the "donga
solution" although its Development Consent Authority did not support
NT Minister for Lands and Planning Delia Lawrie announced the approval
on Monday of the Commonwealth's application to put short term
accommodation facilities using the ex-Woomera dongas at both sites, Len
Kittle Drive and Dalgety Road.
Said Ms Lawrie: "The DCA acknowledged the need for such facilities in
Alice Springs, but in its recommendation to government, did not support
"They recommended that should the government approve the applications
conditions should apply. "The government very carefully considered the
advice from the DCA.
"However the establishment of temporary visitor accommodation is an
important aspect of the government's commitment to address social
issues in Alice Springs. "A strong management plan will be put in place
to ensure nearby residents and businesses are not adversely affected by
these temporary visitor sites," said Ms Lawrie.
A bitterly disappointed resident of the Dixon Road area, Marty
Azzopardi, said her family will be building a higher fence around their
home and will ask the town council to close the laneway they live next
Her concern is not with the internal management of the facility but
with what will happen in the coming and going from it.
She said houses in Braitling have always sold easily, but now they are
She said she has never voted anything but Labor but won't be doing so
in the next election.
"I will do all in my power to bring the government down," said Ms
Loraine Braham, Independent Member for Braitling, described the
approval as "a slap in the face for democracy".
"This decision ignores the 123 submissions (98% of all submissions) to
the Development Consent Authority objecting to the proposal. "It
ignores scores of people voicing concerns at public meetings, and it
ignores hundreds of signatures on a petition."
Mrs Braham asked, "What is the point of having development proposal
processes for the public to provide comment, if the government just
turns around and signs off on it?
"It makes a farce of the entire process."
Opposition leader Jodeen Carney called Ms Lawrie's decision "an act of
"Minister Lawrie should release the DCA report for public scrutiny,"
"The two sites were overwhelmingly opposed, yet the Minister has
arrogantly ignored the DCA's advice.
"What makes it worse, is that she has ignored the views of Alice
"If the Minister was faced with the same recommendations for the same
project in Darwin, she would not have ignored them.
"I have had a gutful of government Ministers calling into Alice Springs
on a 'fly-in, fly-out basis', and showing nothing but contempt for
local residents on the important decisions."
Mayor Fran Kilgariff said: "If the Australian Government remains
committed to ensuring the short-term accommodation is well run and
managed appropriately within the community, the benefits will be
long-term for the whole of Central Australia.
"Although the council did object to the Dalgety Road site for
short-term accommodation, the decision has now been made and we need to
get on with it."
Ms Kilgariff said the town welcomed the Commonwealth's commitment of
further funds, up to $70 million, towards meeting short term
accommodation needs and normalising Alice's town camps."
She said there is no other community in Australia facing issues like
ours on this scale, and Canberra has proven today that we are not out
of sight, out of mind, she said.
KEEP SCREAMING TURBINES AWAY, SAY
RURAL RESIDENTS .
A proposal to relocate Power Water's noisy turbine generators near the
sewage ponds or near the airport has been condemned by the Alice
Springs Rural Area Association.
Its chairman, Rod Cramer, says the third suggested location, Brewer
Estate, may be acceptable provided the "amenity of rural area residents
is not compromised by noise: "Itcan travel far. They've got to get it
Mr Cramer says Essential Services Minister Kon Vatskalis recently
proposed the three sites without consulting the residents.
The turbines are being moved from the power station because of
sustained protests from nearby residents.
"Why should it be good enough for rural residents," asks Mr Cramer.
He says Sunday's meeting also took issue with the lack of regulations
in the Northern Territory for new buildings to be in any way energy
He says 100 reverse cycle air conditioners are being installed in Alice
Springs every week.
He says the association is proud that amongst its members are one
family completely independent from Power and Water electricity, not
even connected to it, and another one running its entire home,
including pool, on rainwater.
Meanwhile MLA for MacDonnell Alison Anderson, who attended the meeting,
says the moving of the turbines is "great news for Golf Course
"I'm going to make sure it is good news for Rural Residents too.
"I believe Power Water has learned from their experience with noise at
the Ron Goodin Power Station Ð they will not place generators in a
site they believe will adversely affect residents."
FUZZ IS GREAT FUN BUT NOT FOR
FAINT-HEARTED! FILM REVIEW by ADELE SAINT and MARCUS HANSEN.
After the hilarious splatter-fest Shaun of the Dead, British
writing/directing/acting team Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright return with a
new kind of cop-film: Hot Fuzz.
Simon Pegg plays Sgt. Nicholas Angel, a hard-ass, by-the-book London
copper, being transferred against his will to the idyllic, uneventful
country town of Sandford with his new witless, inexperienced partner
Danny (Nick Frost, also of Shaun of the Dead). When the local
peace-and-quiet is shattered by a mysterious spate of deaths, Angel is
the only one who suspects foul play.
MARCUS: In Shaun of the Dead, Pegg and Wright managed a successfully
violent and witty piss-take of the zombie genre. They've been equally
successful in Hot Fuzz, this time with the action/buddy-cop genre.
Although the humour is similar, it is far from predictable, with a mix
of laugh-out loud visual gags and subtle English banter.
From the first couple of minutes, Hot Fuzz is a veritable who's-who of
British comedy, with appearances from Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Jim
Broadbent and a surprise performance from ex-James Bond Timothy Dalton,
as the suspiciously evil supermarket manager.
As well as presenting the comedy with panache, Wright deftly handles
pacing and editing, mixing dead-pan humour with dizzying fast-edits and
fusing comedic tranquility with moments of well-choreographed action
and often gruesome violence!
Hot Fuzz is a clever spoof of not only the action movie but also the
thriller and the whodunnit. This is outrageous fun, not for the
faint-hearted, but definitely a good laugh!
ADELE: If The Bill and Shaun of the Dead had a child, the result would
be Hot Fuzz.
One thing that makes this movie really excel over other comedies is the
combination of visual and dialogue gags. The classic one-liners you get
in action movies are still there but are made funnier by them popping
up in conversation throughout the movie.
For me, it was the subtleties of the movie which made it really
Whilst the gory gags are there and are funny, there are also a few
stabs at political correctness and small town politics which set the
movie aside from anything else.
Notable cameos were PC Doris Thatcher, with her completely obvious
sexual innuendoes, and the (almost) identical desk officers played by
the always hilarious Bill Bailey.
If you like cop dramas but find them a little drab, this is the movie
ADAM CONNELLY: Finding the "angle" of
A sensational story made its way into the public conscience a couple of
weeks ago involving a famous Hollywood actor and a flight attendant.
Whether you like to admit it to friends or not, many of you would have
read or watched or listened to the reports with some sort of guilty
interest. The trash quotient was high and for whatever reason, we the
people lap it up like slightly naughty mother's milk.
As the story unfolded we were treated to a 'he said, she said' of
shame. Who was the aggressor? Who seduced whom? And why is that
Well, it isn't important. Our lives would be no different had we not
heard the salacious story.
What interests me is the way some Territory media ate up the story.
Splashing it on front pages and leading bulletins with the saucy
In a time of great global malady, a time of significant global
political change, what justification was there for the major story of a
good couple of days being dedicated to a drunken tryst on a plane?
Perhaps a flight attendant otherwise occupied might pose some sort of
air security breech.
They might have gone the terror angle. It would have been a stretch but
in the news anything is possible. In some coverage of the event, we
were treated to the "innocent poor woman jilted by the rich famous man"
angle Ð particularly trashy when the poor woman has made quite a
tidy sum from selling her story to the British tabloids.
But the Territory media didn't have to conjure up any such premise. You
see the event happened on a trip from Darwin to Mumbai. Therefore it's
a Territory story. Simple.
If you can find a way of putting in a Territory reference then it's
ours and we own it. We are particularly parochial in that sense.
Neither the actor nor the flight attendant was from Darwin.
We don't even know how long they spent in the Territory but the plane
left from Darwin airport.
I'm not exactly sure why we need to find the Territory angle anywhere
Did Australian cricketer Damien Martyn actually learn any of his
batting skills here in the Territory? I don't now. He might have but it
doesn't really matter.
He spent some time as a kid here and therefore he's ours. Sure he
played for WA and lives in WA and identifies as someone from WA but
that doesn't matter, he's known as "the Territory's Damien Martyn".
The same can be said for so many people who have spent time here in the
Territory. I remember an interview with Socceroo captain Mark Viduka.
There was one question about the World Cup. One question about his
career in the English Premier League and about fourteen questions about
the three week holiday he once had in Kakadu.
Oh my lord! Did you hear that? The captain of the Australian soccer
team once did the same thing as thousands of others and spent time in
Why do we do this? Of course people want to come to the Territory and
all of us know why the thousands upon thousands of tourists from all
over the globe converge on this place.
It's because of all the famous people who come here.
Back to front page of the the Alice Springs News.