ALICE SPRINGS NEWS
October 28, 2010. This page contains all
reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
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Town planning: promises, promises.
Labor would open up the town planning process, shrink the powers of the
Minister to override the Development Authority, make it fully
representative, give it a much greater autonomy from the Minister, and
“link it much more closely to local government”: Member for Stuart
Peter Toyne (ALP).
He was quoted in the Alice News of August 22, 2001, after the election
which installed the first Labor government in the NT.
Dr Toyne was re-elected and became a Minister.
“We have always said that local government is best placed to look at
planning needs of the town”: Former Mayor Fran Erlich (later Kilgariff)
and unsuccessful ALP candidate for Greatorex in 2005, commenting in
No comment: Karl Hampton (ALP, pictured at left), Member for Stuart and
Minister for Central Australia, October 2010, after the Minister, Gerry
McCarthy, approved an application for 10 units in an area previously
reserved for single dwellings blocks.
Mr Hampton would not contact objectors to the re-zoning who, according
to nearby resident Liza Dubois, outnumbered supporters by at least 10
The Darwin-based Minister still has absolute power over zoning in Alice
He did not respond to calls from the Alice Springs News this week, and
neither did Mr Hampton.
The Development Authority is now called the Development Consent
Authority (DCA) except it doesn’t give consent when it comes to zoning:
the Minister does.
Did the authority make a recommendation?
So thoroughly have the Labor election promises been broken that the DCA
chairman, Peter McQueen, is not even allowed to say whether they did or
Can we have a look at the submissions?
That would be up to the Minister to decide, says the boss of the “fully
And local government is still being blissfully ignored by the Minister.
The council expressed reservations about issues including stormwater,
access and traffic, new residents dependent on using cars, and the need
for additional footpaths, says CEO Rex Mooney.
None of that stopped the Minister from giving rezoning approval.
There will be 10 units on the 8000 square meter block of land, formerly
occupied by a house owned by architect Gary Hunt, whose brainchild it
was to develop residences on the golf course land.
Probuild’s Phil Danby, who will be a half owner of the block together
with entrepreneur and developer Steve Brouwer, says the lifestyle units
“won’t be cheap” and will have a pool, gym and tennis court as part of
This seems to remove the argument that the development provides a
remedy for the acute shortage of affordable accommodation.
Mr Danby would make no further comment and Mr Brouwer did not return a
call from the Alice Springs News.
The fact that Mr Hunt’s former home was demolished before the Minister
announced the rezoning suggests a great deal of confidence that the
permission would be granted.
Many neighbours are incensed.
Craig Catchlove says he bought a block in Range Crescent to live in a
single-dwelling environment; with construction of the units complex
traffic would triple; the concept of selling only to “seniors” is
“absolutely unenforceable”; the sloping block is unsuitable for
seniors; and sewage would require an easement across the golf course.
(See letter to the editor, page 2.)
Mr Catchlove built his dream home about 100 metres from the land now
re-zoned against his wishes and those of many other residents in Range
He bought his block in 1995 for $68,000 – a lot of money at the time
for a guy in a “lowish” level of the NT public service, he says.
He spent the next seven years designing and planning his home, a strong
manifestation of his “belief in this town”.
Construction work started in 2002, with Mr Catchlove the owner builder
and doing as much work as he could himself. He spent a lot of money
with local tradies and subbies, and being very nice to his bank
Mr Catchlove says before he’s even had time to finish the work, hard as
it is, his enjoyment of it has now been diminished through changing the
character of the area.
Ms Dubois says more than 30 people signed her letter to the DCA, urging
a rejection of the application because:-
• It will be to the “detriment of one of the last existing pristine,
tranquil and secure neighbourhoods, one that we have chosen to buy into
and live in”.
• Up to at least 28 extra vehicles – more if there are more than two
adults in a unit.
• Increased run-off that will further complicate the drainage.
• Active retirees, the apparent market for the units, will be tempted
to run businesses from home, further increasing traffic.
• Access roads are narrow, dead-end, have no footpaths and with
retirees living there, a bus service seems inevitable.
• “Despite the sales spin [the site will] ultimately be a common rental
complex” for anyone who can afford it; and,
• “With the influx of such a large number of people in the area the
security of the neighbourhood becomes an issue as there will be
transient people (to an extent) walking the streets, climbing the hills
and as many residents do not have fences (due to encumbrances or
covenants on their properties) this complex will open up the
neighbourhood to a higher security risk dangerous for road users.”
The government’s sincerity in terms of planning reform can further be
gauged by the following.
“Only the organiser of the petition will be eligible for third party
appeal rights, where appropriate, and not the signatories,” Mrs Dubois
was told by a planning official.
This means if the 30 or so people who signed her letter had submitted
the text on a separate piece of paper and signed it, maybe with a
change or two, they all would now have third party appeal rights “where
Now only Mr and Mrs Dubois have it – maybe.
The Alice News published this story on October 12, 2005, under the
heading “What a way to ‘keep’ an election promise”.
When the NT Government says it’s allowing “limited” third party appeals
to town planning decisions, it sure as hell means limited.
It’s another example of the wide gulf between what the government
promises and what promises it keeps.
The “third party” is basically you: someone wants to build or subdivide
something near your patch, the Development Consent Authority gives its
green light, and you don’t like it.
In the bad old days – that’s under the CLP governments – only
the applicant had the right of appeal.
You didn’t. Well, by and large, you still don’t.
In all the big recent and current town planning controversies the
Martin Government’s amendments are perfectly useless: you’re not
allowed to appeal against subdivisions.
Schemes such as the notorious Hornsby subdivision (I declare an
interest in that as an objector, quite a few years ago), Ron Sterry’s
Emily Hills, recently approved, and the current Emily Valley project
are inexplicably shielded from third party appeals. So is every single
dwelling, attached or detached, unless it is more than two storeys.
Provided you’ve lodged an objection during the “exhibition period” you
can appeal against non-residential use of land provided you live next
to it, not down the road, or “directly opposite” and the road is 18
meters wide or less.
And then you might still not get a say:-
• Third party appeals cannot be made for reasons of commercial
• Non-residential uses such as bed and breakfast accommodation, home
occupation, childcare centre, medical consulting rooms and caretaker’s
residence within a residential zone are excluded from third party
appeal rights “if the use complies with the provisions of the Planning
Scheme and the consent authority has not varied or waived any
requirements of the provisions,” as a handout declares.
Are you better off than under the developer-friendly CLP governments
against which Labor when in Opposition liked to rail? Not a lot.
Making the most
of climate change but the problems can’t be ignored. By KIERAN FINNANE.
The largest contribution to carbon emissions in the Territory – 33% –
comes from savanna (grasslands) burning; controlling it thus presents
the NT’s greatest opportunity for reducing emissions.
The Top End is best poised to take advantage of this opportunity, given
its more predictable seasons, but the drier south also has savannas and
in seasons like the current one their fuel load is comparable to the
Problem is, even a well established project, like the West Arnhem Land
Fire Abatement (WALFA) project, which has been underway for 13 years,
has yet to engage with the market and won’t until there is a price on
carbon in Australia, ushering in carbon trading.
The opportunities represented by climate change was the focus on Monday
of the Inaugural Northern Territory Climate Change Forum, hosted by
Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA).
Such a gathering, every 12 months, is stipulated by the NT Government’s
climate change policy, released in December last year.
Despite excitement over the potential of WALFA and possible similar
projects, there is a risk that such an easy target might deflect
attention from other areas for action.
The forum heard from both panelists and people attending about the need
to do something about the NT’s next largest source of emissions, which
is “stationary energy” or electricity generation, contributing 25%.
Projects like Alice Solar City and COOLmob obviously get ticks here but
the forum heard that their efforts could be undermined by poor planning
decisions, such as the development of the supposed “eco-suburb” of
Kilgariff, on AZRI land south of the Gap.
Panelist Ruth Apelt, convener of the Arid Lands Environment Centre’s
Climate Action Group, challenged the government to put climate change
at the front of everything it does, including planning decisions which
should be assessed against climate change criteria.
That has not happened for Kilgariff, chosen on the basis of relatively
low infra-structure costs.
“Show us the evidence” that this development is “meeting climate change
targets,” Ms Apelt demanded, to applause from the small gathering.
Unfortunately Minister for Climate Change Karl Hampton was not there to
hear her, having made his speech to open the forum, listened to the
keynote address and departed.
Ms Apelt is a member of the recently formed Coalition FAB (For A
Better) Alice, which has announced its intention to develop an
“aspirational town plan”.
Fellow member of the coalition, architect Domenico Pecorari, resident
in Alice for 26 years, told the forum about some quick calculations
Allowing two car movements per day per household in Kilgariff, just
transport alone would create emissions cancelling out those saved if
2kW photovoltaic panels were on every rooftop of the 1000 dwellings in
He said two daily car movements per household was conservative, as the
average for Alice households is five car movements.
Travelling in and out of town would also add $1200 to $1400 to each
Kilgariff household’s fuel costs, said Mr Pecorari, expressing concern
that no analysis of social, cultural and economic impacts had been done
for the proposed subdivision.
The forum also heard from Rohan Foley, conservation economy project
manager for Centrefarm, a company originally set up to drive
horticulture development on Aboriginal land, with strong links to the
Central Land Council and Centrecorp.
Mr Foley spoke about the recent creation of the Aboriginal Carbon Fund
Ltd, a not-for-profit company looking to develop carbon sequestration
projects on Aboriginal land, initially in the NT, but ultimately on the
20% of the Australian landmass that is Aboriginal owned or controlled.
Mr Foley believes the future carbon market – “a matter of when, not if”
– will respond positively to Aboriginal branded carbon, paying a
premium for its products which will meet “triple bottom line”
(economic, environmental and social benefit) criteria.
The carbon market has great potential for landowners who do not have
other natural resources present on their land, he said.
However, it is not clear that native title holders have carbon property
rights, said Mr Foley.
“We are fearful that the government will take carbon rights from native
The forum’s keynote speaker was Joe Ross, a Bunuba man from the
Kimberley, and chair of the Indigenous Water Policy Group within the
North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance.
He spoke passionately about his country in and around Fitzroy Crossing,
rejecting the “deficit thinking” that characterises regions like the
Kimberley and the NT as “failed states”.
Such thinking does not recognise the strengths in Aboriginal
communities, and undermines confidence in Aboriginal people living on
their country, enjoying the wealth of their land and culture.
Mr Ross preferred thinking that is focussed on taking advantage of
Governments have to get beyond the “mind-numbing” discussion around
Indigenous disadvantage, beyond thinking that the future of Indigenous
people is “the remit of FaHCSIA” (the federal Department of Indigenous
Affairs), he argued.
Carbon emissions offset opportunities will be very significant for
Aboriginal people in remote communities, who lack other mainstream
economy opportunities; partnerships to take advantage of them can be
formed outside of government – hundreds of corporations and people
throughout Australia will participate.
He asked DKA to support him in organising a two day forum where
leading Indigenous people from around the country could talk about
climate change and its opportunities for Indigenous communities.
Council seeks to
avoid $65,000 by-election.
By KIERAN FINNANE.
The Town Council has requested a dispensation from local government
Minister Malarndirri McCarthy from holding a by-election following the
resignation of Alderman Melanie van Haaren.
Mayor Damien Ryan put a motion to this effect at Monday’s night’s
council meeting and was supported by all aldermen bar Murray Stewart
(Ms van Haaren and Ald Samih Habib Bitar were not present).
Mr Ryan says a ballpark figure of $65,000 for holding a by-election
would be a huge impost on ratepayers.
“We feel as a group we can do the job going forward without holding a
by-election and spending this massive amount of money,” says Mr Ryan.
If the Minister decides an election must be held, the next available
date offered by the NT Electoral Commission is in February.
The next full council election is due in March 2012.
No by-election is required if a resignation occurs within 12 months of
that date, but Ms van Haaren’s resignation has come some four and half
months earlier than that.
She lashed out on Tuesday, saying that she had been pressured to resign
earlier than she intended.
She had taken four weeks’ leave for October to resettle her parents in
Queensland, to where she and her husband will move in the new year.
She says she was going to resign in February, expressly to save council
the expense of a by-election and to give herself time to bring to
fruition projects she’d been working on.
She says the imperative to resign now was in order for a by-election to
be held before Christmas.
She feels “deceived” by council’s decision on Monday, seeing it as
having robbed her of “a dignified exit” and as preventing residents
from exercising “their right to stand for a vacant aldermanic seat”.
Mr Ryan says Ms van Haaren never discussed her decision with him,
though “lots of people told me she was resigning”.
Ms van Haaren says CEO Rex Mooney told her he had kept Mr Ryan apprised
of their discussions about her future on council.
She says she felt under pressure from Mr Mooney.
Mr Mooney denies that he pressured her “in any way, shape or form”.
He says he was pleased to offer her professional advice, but in order
for a by-election to be held before Christmas, she had to resign
effective Monday to allow the due electoral processes (call for
nominations etc) to take place.
He says he is not in a position to comment on the course of action
being taken now by aldermen.
“Further decisions will be based on the Minister’s response.”
Ms van Haaren (pictured at right) is reluctant to say who among the
aldermen pressured her, but some had sent her emails: “I hope they will
declare their hand.”
She says a by-election is affordable from a council perspective: “The
cost is no justification for not declaring the seat vacant.”
She also says arrangements in terms of payment could have been made.
This is supported by Ald Stewart: “We could have requested a stay on
the charge until 2011-12, or applied for a grant.”
Ald Stewart says Ms van Haaren did the “100% right thing” in resigning
“to allow democracy to take place”.
But should she not have stayed to the end of her four year term, is
this not the commitment candidates make when they stand for election?
Ald Stewart says personal circumstances can change.
Is he confident council can do a good job without eight aldermen?
“That’s not really the point,” says Ald Stewart.
The law says council is made up of eight aldermen and a mayor, and so
there should be a by-election, he says, noting that at times next year
council will be down to just six aldermen when various members take
Ald Jane Clark declined to comment.
Ald Brendan Heenan says he is unaware of pressure placed on Ms van
He is confident council can manage without a by-election: many councils
in Australia have only six aldermen and most boards work with seven
However he acknowledges the potential difficulty of an eight member
council split four:four on motions.
Ald Sandy Taylor says she was shocked to hear of Ms van Haaren’s
resignation, but “it was her choice”.
She says she valued Ms van Haaren’s input “when she was there” but did
not value the number of meetings which Ms van Haaren did not attend or
attended by phone-hookup.
She says when people put their hand up for election they should be
prepared “for the long haul”.
Ald Taylor says council often operates with reduced numbers, when
someone is away for whatever reason.
She says it would be hard to justify a $65,000 expenditure for just 15
or so months of service from a new alderman.
Coordinator General recommendations:
‘Take ‘em or leave ‘em’, says Minister.
Amongst the flood of recent reports on the state of the Territory came
that of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services,
covering the period December 2009 to August 2010.
The Coordinator General, Brian Gleeson, reports to Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin on government service delivery in 29 priority
communities across the country.
In this, his second report, Mr Gleeson gave focus to education, “which
in my view deserves special attention given its centrality to Closing
the Gap in remote Australia”.
He pointed to “structural impediments” to remote area education that
governments “must address”.
“Urgent consideration should be given to funding schools in the
priority communities on the basis of the eligible population, not
attendance or enrolment, enabling resources to help close enrolment and
“The current funding formulae do not provide any local capacity for
additional effort to effectively start to improve educational
The Alice News asked Minister for Education and Training, Chris Burns,
to comment on his government’s position in relation to this
He replied, via a spokesperson: “DET in conjunction with the Australian
Government ensures that all schools are staffed for teachers on the
basis of enrolment, as is the case with other jurisdictions.”
In other words, not interested.
Mr Gleeson also urged that “where English is a second or third language
for students, attention needs to be given to ensuring that all staff
are trained in Indigenous English as a Second Language methods”.
Dr Burns’ response: “Extensive ESL training and professional
development is being undertaken for NT teachers and support staff,
including a Graduate Certificate in ESL which has over 100 teachers
enrolled, as well as ESL professional development associated with
Indigenous student literacy programs such as Indigenous Language
Speaking Students, and Strong Literacy and Numeracy in Communities.”
Interested, but not going to get too precise about it.
Desert flows with water. Part Two.
In Part Two of DICK KIMBER’s
account of his recent trip into the Simpson Desert, we rejoin the party
in the eastern Simpson, having crested the sandhill known as Big Red,
beyond which was an immense lake.
See Part One in last week’s issue.
Leafy crests of distant coolabahs were like the heads of people wading
through up to their necks. It was a 10 kilometre detour about
this normally dry lake, then shortly afterwards we struck the denser
stands of coolabah trees in and about Eyre Creek.
For the first time since leaving the Mount Dare and Dalhousie country
we saw native hens, galahs, corellas, crested pigeons, magpies and a
host of other smaller birds, together with the continuing
green-and-gold flashes of small flocks of budgerigars, and flocks of
Zebra Finches and Cockatiels.
Two of our three vehicles almost came to grief at the Eyre Creek
crossing, where the water was flowing fast and deep, but then in no
time we were in Birdsville, where the pelicans fished and egrets stood
still, regal and poised, and the first seagulls made their
appearance. We all greatly appreciated the pies in the bakery, a
hot shower at the camp-ground and, for Joc Schmeichen and me, a
catch-up with Don and Lyn Rowlands. Don is a local Wangkanguru elder
and well-known ranger, and he and Lyn are as generous hearted as anyone
We left the next day, just as the Birdsville race crowd (as you would
know from media reports soon to be thwarted by further heavy rains)
began to gather in numbers. The gibber country of the Birdsville track
was scattered with milky sheets of water which became turquoise-like
gilgais and shallow turquoise swamps when they reflected the blue sky,
and was flushed bright green in patches, contrasting with the vivid red
of the sections of bare soil and gibbers.
We had to slow down for, or take detours about, numerous flooded
creek-lines, but the travel did not require 4WD, and we saw a 1920s
Ford or similar chugging easily along to Birdsville. After
travelling in a convoy of three we reached the flooded Cooper Creek
crossing, where seagulls squawked, pelicans paddled. The small punt
only manages one vehicle at a time and people with trailers have to
await the intermittently available small light truck to transport a
trailer at a time. We eventually all crossed.
It was such an immense contrast to last year, when all was grey-clay
Joc and I said our farewells to his brother Tom and our friendly
companions here, as Joc, who has been a contributor to the Lake Eyre
Basin studies for years, wanted to check on certain tourist aspects
there and along the way down to the Flinders Ranges.
After yarning to the little cruise boat tourist operator there (Joc
knew him from his earlier years at Innamincka) and a locally born
station-hand called Bill Wilson, we made camp overnight by an old
coolabah tree. Bill is a nice-natured bloke who was the child
receiving the mail from legendary Tom Kruse in that fabulous old
mid-1950s black-and-white film, “Back o’ Beyond”, and later worked as
Tom’s mailman driver as well as doing station work.
Early next morning we went on a half hour helicopter flight over the
spectacular nearby flooded country. As Joc had done his Masters
thesis on the old Lutheran and Moravian Missions he was keen to take
photographs of Killallpaninna and Kopperamanna from the air.
I had been long interested in the same aspects, and my wife Marg and I
had visited them back in 1978 along with friend Bruce
Both locations are inaccessible except by helicopter at present, but we
briefly landed at Kopperamanna, where I was surprised to find that the
old post-and-bough building frames were still standing more or less as
they were in 1978, though it is nearly 100 years since they were
There is an interesting sadness in examining these old timbers, and the
rusted iron or broken glass relics, a bit like walking about in a
cemetery. Those old missionaries went out into the wilderness
full of certainty about their vocation, and at Kopperamanna they
unwittingly established their church where, for aeons past, had been
one of the greatest Aboriginal trading centres in Australia.
Their hopes were mostly dashed and the missions abandoned during the
droughts of the 1890s and 1914-1915, and only a limited number of
descendants of the Dieri, Wangakanguru and other original Aboriginal
groups remain at places such as Birdsville and Marree.
Joc and I dropped in on two cattle station properties, the owners
well-known to Joc, for friendly brief stops, then took it easy into
Parachilna, where we stayed in a very comfortable old railway building
for the night.
Jane, the proprietor of the Prairie Hotel, is a very busy but excellent
host, and the quandong pies are worth travelling 1000 kms to have a
bite. Even something as normally mundane as the breakfast muesli is
something that is almost worth dying for – except that to die for it
wouldn’t allow you another meal there!
The final day of our tootle was via Rawnsley Bluff homestead and more
generally the Flinders Ranges, which are also a green picture at
present, with occasional emus – Joc took photographs of an adult with
two stripe-backed chicks – and euros.
After a very comfortable overnight at Joc’s and Robbie’s place I caught
the plane home.
Getting on board the Soultrain. By KIERAN FINNANE.
From director to set designer, band leader to stage manager, actor to
acrobat, for every role in the forthcoming Cat’s Meow Cabaret there’s
an experienced mentor.
This goes well beyond lip service to skills development: it’s a
carefully structured long-term plan to expand the pool of high-calibre
performing artists in Alice, who can create locally devised live
performance at a professional level, get paid for their work, and pass
on their skills to others.
Thus assistant director of this year’s show, Melissa Kerl, is being
tutored by creative director Christa Hughes, who started stage life as
a singer of jazz and blues. She went on to make a name for herself as
an ‘out there’ performer in many genres, including stints with Machine
Gun Fellatio, Circus Oz and her own cabaret shows, touring
Hughes is also doubling up as voice tutor for the Cat’s Meow ensemble.
The theme of this year’s show is being kept under wraps for the moment,
but its title, Soultrain, and the eclectic graphics of its poster
promise another theatrical journey into cabaret and vaudeville
traditions, no doubt tweaked if not re-shaped by the sensibilities of
21st century fun-loving desert-dwellers.
This year for the first time there’s an entirely original music score,
being developed by musical director Neil Duncan, working with and
mentoring local band leader Stephanie Harrison.
They’re responding to the mood-setting demands of 10 separate scene
leaders, a mix of familiar names of the local stage – Mei Lei Swan,
Miriam Bond, Katelnd Griffin, Elspeth Blunt, Tammy Brennan, Adeline
Peyer and Trish Hay – and visiting artists, Gabrielle Miller, Frankie
Jaiyeola and Bianca Gonos.
As in the past, the cabaret has a broad storyline with a main character
providing a unifying thread, but each scene is in the creative hands of
its own scene leader. They’re working variously with mentors in a range
of performance skills.
For dance and movement, there’s Jason Lam, an intern at the Alice
Springs Hospital who in a past life was a dancer with the Australian
Ballet and the Sydney Dance Company – “He’s got the most beautiful
technique ever,” says Kerl, “how lucky can we get!”
For performance and acting skills they can turn to Kerzlake (ex Red
“We asked everyone involved in last year’s show what they most wanted
to learn more about,” says Kerl.
“Acting, dance and voice were the three main areas and we’ve tried to
deliver on that.”
For those ready to extend into circus and physical theatre, Sarah Mason
and Andrew “Cookie” Cook of Circosis fame will share their know-how.
For aerial work – a highlight of last year’s show – the small band of
dedicated local performers, including Adelaide Church, Jasmine Ahwah
and Matthew Leyland, have been coached by aerialist Tami Dawson,
Brisbane-based and with eight years of national and international
performances behind her.
“Normally you’d have to travel interstate and spend a lot of money to
get this kind of tuition,” says Kerl.
Grants from Arts NT and the Community Benefit Fund has made it possible
to engage professionals and pay, even at nominal amounts, the leading
Equal attention has been paid to building the skills of those working
behind the scenes.
Vanessa Hutchins, Artback NT’s music touring manager with an 18-year
background in the Australian entertainment industry, is mentoring Kim
Hopper in stage management and Mijkl Blue in lighting design, before
the latter works with Araluen’s Greg Thomson in the final week of
“We’re investing in people who’ve already shown an interest,” says Kerl.
“This will be Mijkl’s fourth show with us, and Kim’s second.”
Michael Watts (ex Red Dust Theatre, builder and playwright) is sharing
his set design skills with Simah Koether.
And finally, Sarah Hill, whose work we have seen in Sustainable Couture
shows and who coordinated the 2009 Wearable Arts Awards, is overseeing
costume design and construction.
Outside of Araluen there’s no trained production crew in Alice;
creating one will be an important legacy of the cabaret this year, says
The vision of the cabaret committee – Franca Barraclough, Tammy
Brennan, Milyka Scales and Kerl – is to further build on the
foundations of the amateur as well as professional performance industry
“There’s no reason why scenes developed for the cabaret cannot be
reproduced later in other contexts,” says Kerl.
“We’re very committed to finding opportunities for this to happen.”
But in the meantime, Kerl is anxious to pay homage to the huge
volunteer input into the cabaret – from the committee who meet every
Sunday throughout the year, to the volunteer sewers and scene painters.
“The show simply would not go on without people giving freely and
generously an enormous amount of time, effort and creative energy,”
Soultrain shows at Araluen on November 12 and 13.
Speedway: Shooting for double points. By CHRIS WALSH.
Arunga Park Speedway’s opening night last Saturday offered double
points for all competitors.
It was also Round 1 of the Alice Industrial Supplies Junior Sedan
Series and the TDC Refrigeration Formula 500 Series. Numbers were
down slightly in a couple of divisions but the majority compensated for
Track conditions play a major role in speedway racing and credit must
go to Steve Anderson for preparing an excellent surface for all
divisions. Prior to racing, all divisions paraded around the track for
the spectators – an excellent opportunity to see the new paint jobs for
the season before they got covered in dirt or damaged!
Ben Lennon was the only solo rider on the night and gave his all in his
heats – a three lap, a flying lap and two single lap dashes. Ben rode a
little high on the home run of his flying lap, which brought him down
and slid his bike into the wall. Although the bike was slightly bent,
Ben was on his feet immediately, the crowd cheering their
Sidecar action was fast and plenty with nine bikes competing over 12
heats for the night. The combination of Chris Dess and Samantha Fidler
were a hard team to beat with four wins overall.
Although their peers gave them a good run for their money, they rode
well and earned every point. Other heat winners were Dave Totani
and Darren Hyman with two, Kris Laverty and Dave Pirie with one, and
Steve Sanders and Scott Doody with one.
The Carragher family were once again in fine form with husband and wife
team Brian and Janelle taking two wins and two seconds.
Meanwhile, son Arlen and his new passenger Matt Sexton were a perfect
match for the older couple taking out the exact same results.
The two remaining sidecars of Marcus Seidel / Kyle Laverty and Kevin
Wooding / Mitch Wooding suffered engine problems halfway through the
night, forcing them out of contention.
In the Formula 500 division, Shorty Maclean broke his own five lap
track record which he’d originally set in 1990 at a time of 1:24:37. On
Saturday night he wiped 1.08 seconds off the time before Matt Phillips
broke the record again with a time of 1:19:59.
Shorty said he hadn’t been very enthusiastic but after he’d completed
his first race, he was back into the swing of things. Although Shorty’s
track record hadn’t been announced, he said he knew he must be doing
things right when somebody told him he was “driving like an 18 year
Making their debut on Saturday night were three of the new Wingless
Sprintcars driven by Mike Thompson, Sam Butler and Steven Howell.
Sam Butler did himself proud with a second and a third before retiring
for the night with car trouble.
Both Mike and Steven have driven other divisions of speedway sedans,
whereas Sam (a junior driver) has stepped straight out of a Go Kart and
into this division with relative ease.
The Junior Sedans were ready, willing and able to get some laps in
before their NT Title next weekend. Major points scorers were Talia
Harre, Rowan Prudham and Jack Thomsen. After two third places, Jason
Wegert retired for the night due to engine troubles, leaving Brock
Napier with a healthy second in the final heat.
Bombers and Streetstocks endured plenty of action with Dave Sanders
winning the majority of heats for the Bombers, and Grant Harris and Rod
Berry sharing the points in the Streetstock division.
Thanks must be given to the competitors and pit crews who volunteered
their time in the canteens in between races.
At times it’s quite challenging to come off the track after a race and
go straight into the canteen but they managed to do it and do it well.
A number of Arunga Park’s new committee members are also competitors in
various divisions, whilst those who are not competitors, hold official
Like most clubs and associations, the speedway is always looking for
volunteers, so if you’d like to have a go, give them a call.
BUCKLEY: Kelly in Alice before too long.
The bell rings when Paul Kelly arrives in town.
Over the past three and a half years he has played here twice. They
have both been full house events, with the great un-genred drawcard
pulling a crowd from many age groups.
The singer-songwriter’s career has spanned over 30 years, and he’s
given birth to 17 studio albums.
His influence resonates through the vast cross section of performers –
including Megan Washington, John Butler, Missy Higgins and Ozi Batla –
on his recently released tribute album, Before too long.
He is also credited with hauntingly cool soundtracks for the critically
acclaimed films, Jindabyne and Lantana.
The newly-released eight CD box set titled The A-Z Recordings is a
collection of live songs recorded between 2004 and 2010, and has Kelly
playing from the very bones of each number.
On a first listen many verses take on a different meaning to their
original studio releases as more attention is paid to the storyline of
Kelly’s voice has the subtle impacting sound of an idling chainsaw
wrapped in a quilt. When you hear it, you sometimes have to wonder
where it comes from – a voice alone or set apart from a simple musical
With a song list that covers everything from the lonely heart to social
and political issues, this collection is more than a fiercely
insightful look into the heart, mind and soul of one of our unique
And three decades on, the artist still has something intelligent to
It would be a feat beyond the difficult to find any Australian
Generation Xer that didn’t have some kind of a connection with one of
his songs, Dumb things, Before too long, From little things big things
grow, To her door, to name a handful.
But it’s a Sunshine sound that I hope finds its way onto the set list
when the musician touches down in the centre. This song holds
significance in abundance, when comparing verse to life out here.
With that sort of depth and diversity in a body of work, a long echoing
career is the result.
And with the release of The A – Z Recordings, a national tour is set to
follow. And we in The Centre (a place were Kelly has family ties) are
included in the latter leg.
The A-Z tour has a real quirk of originality. It has him performing 100
songs in alphabetical order in a 96 hour stretch spread over four days.
Something straight out of the difference machine.
Kelly has also stripped down each song to the bare roots of its
creation, many sounding like how the original versions must have whilst
they were being written, before having the injection of back up
musicians or taken to the studio.
This concert will offer the audience a more intimate experience,
something more malleable for the listener.
The tour begins late November and will reach The Centre mid-April 2011.
ARROW: I like to see bands play their
I was looking forward to a good night out, readers, went and saw THE
CONCERT at Anzac Oval (thanks Amy for the kind wedding anniversary gift
of a ticket).
A quick flick through the bill got me excited. I like the Sneaky Sound
System stuff (particularly Kansas City) and Empire of the Sun had some
I wasn’t entirely sure about the bloke with the hat thingy and make up
but had heard the stage show and lighting was full on so I thought they
might be a modern day KISS, without the blood-spitting or
fire-breathing. Err, no.
Timed my entrance perfectly, just as the Sneakies hit the stage. No
disrespect to the opening bands but I wasn’t prepared to pay $9 a drink
for several hours when they didn’t even have what I wanted and I timed
my run from the Todd Tavern via Uncles perfectly.
I walked in grinning at the prospect of a night of live music from some
of Australia’s grooviest up and coming acts and looked at the stage to
see the players.
One of my favourite things about seeing live bands is the interaction
between the musicians, the ebb and flow of energy and emotions as they
It’s why my fave place to watch a gig is from the side of stage. You
get the best view in the house without having to endure the crush at
the front of the stage, usually free drinks and a toilet that
(hopefully) is fit for use.
You gotta remember that I did a lot of these shows when I first started
out in the music biz and I got used to being behind the scenes.
Anyway, I look up and see a curly haired chicky bouncing back and
forward, singing her heart out and a bloke standing behind his mum’s
kitchen table with a bad taste silver sparkle table cloth hiding the
red linoleum that you just know must be under there.
(Wonder what his mum does when he says he’s going on tour, probably
gets the folding table out of the spare room with the wobbly leg and
grumbles while he is bigging it up in Europe). No band in sight.
There is a name for this pastime, when a dodgy DJ plays songs without
lyrics while some pop tart gives her best rock star impersonation –
it’s called Karaoke. The only reason they have Mr Table up there
is to give the whole thing some credibility, he waves his hands around
and makes out he pushes some Very Important Buttons that make the whole
My arse. I’ve seen some great DJs mix tracks flawlessly, creating new
sounds out of existing ones with great skill and creativity.
This one finds the right track and pushes go. Karaoke.
Still enjoyed the songs, the girlie can sing and the crowd got into it,
it was fun but a bit of a let down. Bring on the modern day KISS.
There was definitely makeup but that was about where the similarities
These guys held instruments and banged away in a vigorous fashion but
what they were playing wasn’t what was coming out the front.
This time we had Karaoke with dress ups and miming too.
The man with the big hat strode back and forward and the dancers
writhed dynamically which was all very good, the lights effective and
the screen at the back helped create a buzz, tying in with the songs
I enjoyed the spectacle, I just expect to see bands play music; call me
old fashioned, if you like.
If someone like Pink Floyd can recreate some of the most complex
recordings ever live on stage (with some sampling, granted) the excuse
of the music being too hard to perform live goes out the window.
I messed up, I should have got there early and watched people play
Zonings increasingly no guarantee.
Sir – I sent the following submission to the Development Consent
Authority, objecting – unsuccessfully – to the Range Crescent
multiple units project.
The residents of this street purchased, built, or are building very
expensive homes on the natural presumption that the amenity would be
protected by the SD zoning of the blocks.
In the majority, the owners of the homes on Range Crescent are not the
super rich, but people who decided that Alice Springs is their town and
were willing to invest in their properties to facilitate the lifestyle
they sought in their long term home.
The homes are, on the whole, architecturally interesting and have
obviously been created and extended by people not looking to “turn them
over” for a quick profit, unlike most of the recent development in this
town spurred on by the accommodation shortage.
Range Crs is a narrow cul de sac.
A tripling the traffic on that street (which is what this development
would do) would not only spoil the amenity of the street, but be
This whole scheme is not “altruistic” for the benefit of seniors, but
appears a cynical ploy by a developer to either get planning permission
and then sell (as per two other recent redevelopments that have been
passed by the DCA), or build as many units as is possible and flog them
off to anyone.
The concept of only selling to “seniors” is absolutely unenforceable.
The application is full of “possible” developments and a fancy sketch.
The concept of a senior’s lifestyle village (which is what exactly?) is
a marketing ploy giving a “motherhood and apple pie” [image to the]
proposal that makes it seem almost evil to not support it.
The site is a steeply sloping block obviously not suitable for real
The proposed multilevel townhouses are again patently not suitable for
There are no footpaths on either Range Crs or The Fairway (the street
that leads to Range Crs) – again it is absurd to say this is suitable
for real seniors.
There is no public bus service within coo-ee.
The vague assurance that the pool and tennis courts would be added
later is, of course, the same “staged development” ploy put forward by
a number of developers to avoid having to develop the non-commercial
aspects of the proposal.
Sewerage requires an easement across the Golf Course.
I’m sure the Golf Club would not agree to having their course ripped up
and effective control over the land handed to others.
Have they been asked?
Why should they have to – to benefit a developer?
The Planning Notice, installed uphill at the end of a cul de sac, would
have been unknown to most concerned residents or the club, so the
argument that they have had the opportunity to comment is a situation
lifted directly from the pages of “A Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy”.
The new development at Mt John would be a perfect place for a real
Or the previously mooted site of the current YMCA (with this facility
relocated to the Alice Springs Pool site).
The NT and Federal Government could (and should) then assist in the
development as per the Masonic development in Darwin.
Range Crs No 17 was developed as the premier single home block in Alice
The original home should be replaced by a single dwelling sympathetic
to the nature of the street, not by slapped-up flats to make a buck on
the back of the current residents of the street who have made the
property so desirable by their sweat and long term investment.
If the developer does not have the passion for, and long term
dedication to, Alice Springs to do this, then he may sell it under the
same SD zoning as he bought it, not trash the amenity of the current
Tighter controls needed
Sir – I have just recently finished working in a job with close contact
to the real estate industry and I am writing to vent my frustration
with the seemingly unregulated manner in which business is conducted in
In my time in my job I witnessed firsthand, blatant bullying,
questionable conduct, representatives of many of the agencies giving
advice outside of their field of expertise and the use of incorrectly
qualified trades people.
Many of the people I dealt with buying houses said that while they were
frustrated with the service and treatment by the industry, the current
market dictated if they did not buy these properties someone else would
and they chose not to pursue further action.
Many felt the governing body (REINT) would take no action and it would
just be a waste of their time.
While crime and anti-social behaviour are big issues in Alice I
personally believe there should be tighter control of this industry and
I can honestly say I am glad not to be a part of it anymore.
ED – The Alice News offered REINT right of reply. CEO Quentin Kilian
We find the comments made by this writer quite disturbing, albeit that
they are quite broad ranging and somewhat ubiquitous in their
The REINT isn’t the “governing body,” the Agents Licensing Board
The REINT is the peak representative organisation for the real estate
profession and its members but if a person has a substantiated
complaint we may be able to assist with mediation or by directing their
complaint to the appropriate authority, including the REINT’s Board of
We would like to dispel the inference of a lack of regulation in our
profession. Every agent must not only undergo extensive education
and training to obtain their qualifications and licensing, but must
continually comply with a very strictly enforced code of conduct and
Sir – In Japanese court ritual two of the most iconic images are those
of a flower and a bird.
The chrysanthemum has been revered for centuries in Japan to the point
that the Japanese throne is popularly known as the Chrysanthemum
In the same vein the throne itself is sometimes said to be situated
behind the Chrysanthemum Curtain.
The Siberian crane is revered because, as it flies high over the land,
it is thought to see all that happens in the realm below.
When formal announcements are made from the throne, the Emperor is
sometimes said to be speaking with the Voice of the Crane behind the
I sometimes wonder if the NT Government is channeling all this.
Listening to Chief Minister Paul Henderson talk about the social
ills that plague Central Australia, his could be heard as the Voice of
the Magpie Goose speaking behind the Berrimah Line.
Sir – We the Anangu Elders, Leaders and Artists fully support the
call by the Arunta Elders and Traditional Owners of Mbantua Country for
the NT and Federal Governments to support an ongoing Central Australian
Aboriginal Cultural Festival.
Along with the Warlpiri Traditional Owners and leaders, we also feel
that there is a great need for an appropriate Aboriginal Cultural
Festival to be held in Central Australia to properly promote,
celebrate, preserve and record our culture, languages and performing
Central Australian Aboriginal communities have been looking forward to
another festival after the big success of the 2001 Yeperenye Dreaming
A regular cultural festival managed and hosted by the Arunta Elders and
Leaders, involving other Central Australian tribes to participate,
would more broadly assist to alleviate the disadvantage and despair of
Aboriginal peoples in Central Australia.
This cultural initiative would also promote harmony and reconciliation
in Alice Springs, where there is much racial prejudice, crime, violence
and social disharmony.
This kind of Aboriginal Cultural Festival would boost the local
economy, create employment, community and capacity development, boost
tourism and help sharing of knowledge and culture between Aborigines
and the wider community.
Rene Kulitja, Judy Trigger, Tommy David, Jane Inyika of Mutitjulu, NT
Jim Nyukuti, Yvonne Yibardi of Docker River NT
Alison Hunt, Alice Springs
Billy Cooley, Lulu Colley of Anyilalya SA