ALICE SPRINGS NEWS
December 16, 2010. This page contains all
reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
To our home page.
News and views: Our Christmas message.
This is our last issue for 2010, our 17th year in publication in what
is one of the most interesting and challenging news patches in
Australia. 2010 has been rich in stories, from the tragic to the
triumphant, and particularly unforgettable for the beauty of the
country as it responded to recurring drenching rains.
We’ll be back on Thursday, February 3, looking forward to once again
bringing you our unique mix of news and views about life in Alice
Springs and Central Australia – independently researched,
fearlessly reported, written with attention to detail and language but,
above all, out of a deep interest in this place we call home.
We go into 2011 also facing a defamation suit, brought by David
Forrest, a principal of Framptons First National real estate, against
Alice Springs News founding editor, Erwin Chlanda, and the company
publishing it. We will be vigorously defending this action.
To all our readers, contributors and advertisers – we wouldn’t be here
without your interest and support. Thank you and warmest best wishes
for the festive season and new year – may it bring us all health,
happiness and prosperity. Erwin
Chlanda & Kieran Finnane
Town Council's great bash.
The place felt brimful of happiness, perhaps because little kids were
at its heart. Christmas is always about them first and foremost, and
the Town Council, together with the Red HOT Arts crew, turned on a
treat of a carnival for them. Their delight was infectious and
everywhere you looked, people, the full Alice mix, were smiling.
Whatever we do in the ‘revitalisation’ of the centre of town next year,
it has to be about bringing people, all the people, into its public
places to do enjoyable things together.
Junior Meaney was the star of the best Christmas costume competition
and with Mayor Damien Ryan set ablaze the Christmas tree on the council
lawns, and simultaneously, one on top of West Gap.
Centre’s rep is
at the top in national health debate. By KIERAN FINNANE.
She came as a remote area nurse 27 years ago; she leaves having
represented her profession and the interests of rural and remote people
at the very highest level in the national health debate.
Sabina Knight was the sole nurse on the 10-member National Health and
Hospitals Reform Commission as well as the sole commissioner out of
rural and remote Australia.
For the last 10 years she has been based at the Centre for Remote
Health, a federally-established university department of rural health
of Flinders and Charles Darwin universities, which has counterparts in
She started there as a senior lecturer and leaves as an associate
She’s moving across the desert to head up, as professor, the Mt Isa
Centre for Rural and Remote Health, a sister department of James Cook
The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission concluded late last
year and handed its report to government.
The first legislative changes in response to it are starting to be seen
Prof Knight says it was hard to be the sole representative of her areas
of interest, but she and her fellow commissioners were willing to
change their views when the evidence was persuasive and were genuinely
seeking solutions to the big issues of health care in this country.
Out of the process she says rural and remote Australians will benefit
from the federal government’s taking responsibility for all primary
health care policy and funding, a recommendation of the commission.
This will see “better planning on the ground and more innovative
responses to community needs, even though it’s hard to see it now in
the early day confusion”.
For example, many medical services at present can only revenue raise
through Medicare if a doctor is part of the service delivery.
Under the new model, which will transition over the next couple of
years, the Commonwealth will provide a pool of money for health service
delivery across a region or community of interest.
This will be much more flexible, says Prof Knight, broadening the
Commonwealth focus from care delivered by doctors to a community model
that includes care delivered by allied health professionals and
community health programs, bringing together things like immunisation,
maternal and child health, school health, health promotion, the frail
aged, and people with a disability.
In other words, health care will be not only for people who are sick.
It will focus on keeping people well, or doing the restorative,
rehabilitative work to get them back to health.
The lack of proper resourcing in these areas is one reason why we get
“bed block”, says Prof Knight.
And in remote areas, where community health is left to often extremely
busy clinics, the results to date have been “pretty patchy at best”.
The federal government has also legislated to create the National
Prevention and Promotion Agency, another of the commission’s
recommendations, as well as to allow the Medicare reimbursement of
services provided by nurse practitioners and eligible midwives.
Health Workforce Australia has been established to plan and resource
clinical training and training placements and to maintain a watching
brief on workforce needs and trends nationally.
On the downside the government has backed away from coordinated care
for chronically sick people, which has “stunned” Prof Knight.
She says the evidence in favour of coordinated care is “very strong”.
The recommendation was to provide grants to medical and health services
for the delivery of care across a whole year for chronic patients,
instead of each visit to the doctor being billed.
Some of the care, for example for a person with diabetes, would be
provided by podiatrists and dieticians, not only GPs – a plan many had
However the move has been opposed by the Australian Medical
Association. To her surprise, her experience on the commission showed
Prof Knight how well the NT does relative to the other states.
She says there is an “unhealthy belief” that the bureaucracy is too
large in the NT, when in fact it is “very small” relative to the
“We don’t have enough administrators, not enough who are qualified as
managers and not enough in the field, and given this, we do remarkably
well in challenging circumstances.
“Regionally based Aboriginal community-controlled health services have
set the benchmark for the rest of the nation, something they can be
“We are facing the reality of chronic disease epidemic – unfortunately
something the rest of the nation has coming.
“Systems of care, best practice, targeted specialist care, tele health
and a multidisciplinary approach are how we do things well.”
In Mt Isa she’ll spend the first three months just getting to know the
people there and what they understand to be the issues.
“I have to be careful to not presume that I know because it might look
similar to Alice Springs and Central Australia.”
She’s looking forward to the challenge but is sad to be leaving Alice.
“It’s been such a big part of my life, not just work, but the landscape
and the people.
“I’ve never been bored in Central Australia.
“I’ve been able to be involved in the cutting edge of my profession and
discipline from here.
“And the town has all the benefits of a small regional town while also
having good cafes and restaurants, films and art and theatre, which all
afford us a lovely lifestyle.
“I’ll miss the familiarity I’ve developed with the country over 27
“I love being able to throw my swag in the car and get out to my
favourite haunts out bush.
“I’ll have to find those places anew in Mt Isa.
“I’ll miss looking up at that big beautiful range that grabs hold of my
heart every time I look at it, reminding me of where I am.
“Central Australia faces some tremendous challenges but these
challenges foster innovation and commitment.”
An under-recognised achievement, by the general community at least, is
that the “clinical best practice movement” came out of here with the
development of the Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association
standard treatment manual.
This was designed to counteract high staff turn over in many remote
health services by providing a comprehensive clinic handbook for the
“The rest of the country is trying to follow us now when we’ve been
doing this for 20 years.
“You don’t see too many ‘passengers’ in health care in the remote areas.
“People know they have to roll their sleeves up and be part of a
broader set of activities.”
Prof Knight expects to find something of this spirit in Mt Isa and
north-west Queensland more broadly and there’ll be plenty of room for
collaboration between Alice’s Centre for Remote Health and its
counterpart across the border.
There are lots of “one of” in both centres – one pharmacy academic, one
mental health specialist and so on.
“They are outstanding and we’ll find strength in getting together to do
collaborative research across institutions and services,” she says.
Dump firm out.
Landfill operator Subloo will officially withdraw from the landfill at
5pm on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, following a Settlement
Agreement reached with the Town Council.
The Alice News understands that this is two years ahead of the original
end of the contract term.
We reported on November 11 that Subloo had initiated legal proceedings
against the council.
Council was defending and had issued a counter claim.
At the time CEO Rex Mooney said: “Based on legal advice Council does
not believe it owes Subloo any outstanding monies.”
Legal action by both parties has ceased pending Subloo’s vacating the
The detail of interim arrangements of how council will run the landfill
beyond January 11 and council’s financial liability were discussed
behind closed doors on Monday night.
In the open section of the meeting Alderman Murray Stewart suggested
that the public was entitled to know about council’s “capacity to take
on the immense job” of running the landfill.
Director of Technical Services Greg Buxton preferred to leave the
matter for confidential discussion first and Ald Stewart did not press
Afterwards Mr Mooney declined to answer the News’ specific questions
about the cost to council arising from the whole situation, saying only
that they will be “accounted for from Council’s budget”.
– Kieran Finnane
Christmas dinner: bush flavours fused with classic recipes.
Even with the sun burning “hotly thro’ the gums”, a Bush Christmas meal
can be more than C.J. Dennis’ suggestion of “a bit of cold corned beef
The Alice News asked innovative local cook ANGE VINCENT, a several times winner
in the Alice Desert Festival’s bushfoods/wildfoods competitions, to
suggest a Christmas menu.
What she’s come up with sounds mouth-wateringly good yet, she assures
us, these recipes are easy to make.
Some of the bushfoods ingredients are available from Afghan Traders,
but some require harvesting. An easy one, in plentiful supply, is old
man saltbush leaves. Drying them is as easy as sitting the leaves on a
tray out in the sun for a few days, then put them in a blender. They
have a lovely savoury, slightly salty flavour.
Ange has suggested alternative ingredients so that you can still make
the recipes even if you can’t put your hands on the ingredients.
800 g salmon fillet with skin on in one piece
4 tablespoons good quality salt
4 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons desert limes minced (in syrup or use juice and zest of
2 tablespoons good quality vodka
1 teaspoon ground dried saltbush leaf (optional)
Bunch of dill (optional)
1 Large zip-lock plastic bag that will fit the salmon fillet (cut in
half if necessary)
2 tablespoons vodka
2 tablespoons desert lime syrup (2 tablespoons lime juice with 1
tablespoon of sugar dissolved)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground, dried saltbush leaf (optional)
Wild Caper Berries
½ teaspoon ground dried saltbush leaf
Open the zip-lock bag and roll the top back so it stays open.
Mix the salt, sugar, desert lime, saltbush and vodka into a paste in a
Lay the salmon fillet into the plastic bag, skin side down.
Spread the paste mixture over the flesh, covering well.
The fish should fit snugly against the end and one side of the bag,
with the bag in contact with the fish.
Turn the bag so that the fish is flesh side down; remove as much air as
possible and seal, folding over the unused bits of the bag.
Place in a container in which it fits snugly, weigh down with a plate
or similar and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
Check daily that the bag has not leaked too much, you need as much of
the liquid in contact with the fish as possible – the paste will draw a
lot of moisture from the fillet and will turn into a liquid.
Undo the bag and lift the fillet out. Wipe/rinse off the liquid.
Lay the fish on a carving board flesh side up. Slice very thin diagonal
slivers across the grain of the flesh (starting at the tail end) with a
long, very sharp knife. Don’t include the skin. (If it is not all to be
served at once, re-wrap tightly and store in the steeping liquid in the
fridge, for up to one week.)
Serve sliced Gravlax rolled into small ‘roses’ and dressed with a small
squirt of the dressing and a sprinkle of dried, ground saltbush leaves.
Traditionally served with dark rye bread, sour cream and cornichons,
caper berries or capers.
Lobster with three sauces
2 - 3 small cooked lobster tails, halved length-ways and cleaned
1 cup real mayonnaise
3-4 tablespoons of bush tomato chutney or bush tomato jam (or 3
tablespoons tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brandy or Cognac
2 tablespoons thick cream
6 drops Tabasco sauce (or less to taste)
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Push the chutney or jam through a sieve, discard solids and mix the
sieved chutney and all other ingredients into the mayonnaise with a
whisk. Season to taste. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.
¼ cup breadcrumbs made from day old bread
½ cup parsley leaves
½ cup fresh young saltbush leaves (or extra ½ cup of
¼ cup fresh river mint (or basil)
½ cup macadamia nuts, roughly crushed
½ cup pistachio nuts
1/3 – 1/2 cup macadamia or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup verjuice
Pulse the breadcrumbs, herbs and nuts in a processor until a course
purée forms. While the motor is running, add the oil and process
until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, cover tightly. Just before
serving, stir through the verjuice until well combined and serve
Warm Vermouth and finger lime butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
60 ml Vermouth
½ teaspoon of Spanish saffron, dry roasted and crumbled
¼ cup cream
250 gm very cold, unsalted butter in small cubes
The ‘caviar’ from 1-2 finger limes (or grated zest of ½ lime)
Put shallot, vinegar, vermouth and ½ the saffron into a small
heavy-based saucepan and simmer over low to medium heat until reduced
to 2 tablespoons. Strain, discard solids and return liquid to the
saucepan. Add cream and remaining saffron and simmer for 2 minutes
until slightly thickened. Whisk in very cold butter, piece by piece (do
not put too much in at once) until melted and well combined. Do not
boil. Remove from heat, stir in the finger lime caviar, season to taste
and serve immediately.
Serve the three sauces in individual bowls, with the lobster tails, a
fresh salad and crusty bread.
Bush Passionfruit Crème Brulee
500 ml good quality thick cream
½ vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
300 ml strained bush passionfruit pulp (alternatives: 200-300 ml
Bailey’s Irish Cream or 300 ml lime juice and the grated zest of a lime)
100 g caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
Pre-heat the oven to 140 C. Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan.
Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream,
chop the pod in to small pieces and add. Bring the cream to boiling
point, then lower the heat and add the bush passionfruit pulp, simmer
gently for 5 minutes. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a large
bowl until pale and creamy.
Bring the cream mixture back to boiling point and pour it over the egg
mixture, whisking all the time until it has thickened. Strain through a
fine sieve into a jug and fill six heat-proof glasses or ramekins.
Put them into a roasting tray lined with a couple of paper towels and
pour in enough hot water to reach half-way up the glasses. Put the
roasting pan on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for about 30
minutes, or until the custards are just set.
A bit wobbly in the centre is OK. Remove from the water and cool to
Just before serving, sprinkle one and a half teaspoons of caster sugar
evenly over the surface of each custard, then carefully caramelise the
sugar with a cook’s blowtorch or put under the grill for a few minutes
until golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then serve.
Alice is mostly
great: 2011 is time to tackle what’s not. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Oh what a night! The Mall full of people, laughter, chatting, color,
food from many corners of the world.
Kids vying for the BIG dress-up prize. The town band. Local and
interstate entertainers hamming it up. Stopping and yarning with mates.
Alice Town Council, take a bow for rekindling that great big small town
feeling with your annual Christmas party!
Let’s face it, life in The Centre is mostly great.
But there’s the downside that we need to get a handle on – the
persistent incapacity to manage real estate for the good of the town,
and the narrowing of economic focus on supporting a disadvantaged
minority with lots of public money.
The year 2010 saw the accelerated “Aboriginalisation” of Alice Springs
and the other big town in The Centre, the Ayers Rock Resort.
This happened through massive financial investment, mostly from the
Feds – a good thing while it lasts – and migration to The Alice from
the relentlessly dysfunctional black towns in the region – not so good.
With the notable exception of practising artists, some of them
outstanding in their achievements, we’re mostly gaining people who make
little positive contribution to the town’s life, except to spend their
welfare cheques, and some do quite a lot of damage to it.
We could welcome the significant expansion of Aboriginal business
interests but to date it has done little for expanding employment
opportunities for Aboriginal people.
Major and minor crime remain at unacceptable levels and anti-social
behaviour repels tourists, the only major non-government provider of
While around $200m for Aboriginal housing and other infrastructure is
providing a temporary boon for the builders and tradies – there are a
lot of new utes in the industrial area – what’s being built will be an
even greater magnet drawing bush folk to the bright lights, with little
demanded from them in return.
It seems despite the massive opportunities in remote areas – cattle,
camels, horticulture, tourism – we appear to have given up on the
notion that you can make a decent and productive life for yourself on
Aboriginal land. That’s tragic.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel with respect to affordable
AZRI is on its way – up to a point.
The $10m NT Government allocation in 2010-11 will take power, water and
sewage to the edge of the 1000 plus block complex by mid next year –
yep, just six months away – providing materials and contractors are
We understand some ambitious solutions to storm water are contemplated,
getting away from the massive, ugly drains so common in the older parts
of the town.
“Harvesting” the water is an option keenly considered.
The experts looking at traffic, clean air, demographics (how many
schools and ovals will we need and when? when does a town bus need to
run hourly instead of every two hours?) have either handed in their
homework or it is well under way, and a town plan is expected some time
A team of soil testers have found no evidence of rumored contamination.
But now the hard part starts: are the politicians up to making the hard
decisions? Not when one judges them on their dismal performance this
Try and get some sense out of Karl Hampton, grandiosely known as a
Minister for Central Australia, and you’ll get an idea of the lack of
How much will the AZRI blocks be sold for?
Why is “infill” the new catchcry jamming people into smaller and
smaller blocks in the middle of one the world’s most underpopulated
Why are we paying 50% of freehold value in other subdivisions to native
And just think about the Yuendumu exodus to Adelaide; Vatskalis’
failure to prevent marine oil pollution; the SIHIP fiasco; the hapless
tinkering with alcohol abuse; the backflip on Angela Pamela – is this a
way to do business?
The next AZRI act is how to develop the land itself so that the
community gets the greatest benefit. Remember, it is government land
and that means it is land is owned by the public.
There is a great opportunity and a burning need for our pollies to do
For example, introduce some real competition into the process by
inviting competitive tenders for the development, with affordability
the bottom line.
If there are no acceptable bidders then perhaps the government
officials could roll up their sleeves and manage the project themselves.
Or be adventurous and sell the blocks for $75,000, as is the Mount Isa
Do something resolute and smart, at long last.
And don’t fool people by telling them you’ll set aside 15% of the land
for first home buyers – this has been too little, too late for too many
And then the government could start to look at the big picture – 2011
will be a good time to put on the thinking cap.
drops in on speedway. By
Racing, Santa, fireworks and the Demolition Derby wrapped up the year
at Arunga Park Speedway on Saturday.
In motor sports as in everything, our kids are our future, so the
Division 1 Peewees were invited to ride around a slightly modified
circuit of two laps each. Although cousins Jet and Jack Thompson had
raced the circuit previously, they were keen as mustard to get going
with newcomers Ashleigh Laverty, Mitchell Sanders and Wayne
As the sidecars are only permitted to run four across the line, there
were four heats to accommodate the eight competitors. A complete
re-start occurred after Arlen Carragher and passenger Matt Sexton spun
their machine and flipped in turn one of the first heat. They both
walked away unhurt and the race was re-run with Kevin and Matt Wooding
coming first ahead of Brian and Niara Metcalfe.
In the second heat Garth Thompson and Phil Anderson grabbed an
excellent start and held the lead until just after turn two, but were
then passed by Chris Dess and passenger Ryan Wark.
The two machines met once again in heat three, with the reverse
results, followed home by Carragher/Sexton and the combination of
Stevie Sanders and Scott Doody.
The final heat saw Marcus Seidel and Kyle Laverty win ahead of Dave
Totani and stand-in passenger Dave Pirie.
For something a little different, the Formula 500s ran two sets of
match races instead of heats, with Shorty Maclean breaking the track
record three times. The original record of 32.30 seconds set on March
31 2002 by Barry McCullock of Queensland was dropped by Maclean
to 31.76 in the sixth and final match. Joe Orr won two out of the six
races with Rowan Clark taking third place each time.
A special visit from the jolly, fat man had been requested and for the
occasion he rode in a hotrod decked out with tinsel and Christmas
lights. As they made their way around the track, they threw sweets to
kids young and old – I couldn’t tell who was having the most fun, the
kids or Santa and his helpers!
Racing continued with speedcar competitors Les (Twiggy) Robertson and
his son Cameron a welcome addition for the first time this season.
They displayed good, tight racing although Twiggy won both heats over
Junior Sedans were out in full force before six of them head south for
the Aussie titles. The first heat was taken out by Jack Thomsen ahead
of Brock Napier and Rowan Prudham, while the second heat was won by
Jason Wegert ahead of Talia Harre and Brock Napier.
There was plenty of slipping, sliding and crashing entertainment for
the crowd when the Bombers came out to play.
The end result was a win to Adam McDonald, followed by Dave Sanders and
Quentin Siddans/Bryan Jones.
The second heat saw Macca take the chequered flag again in front of
Shawn O’Toole and Lincoln Via.
Streetstocks went hard and fast with Grant Harris winning both heats
and Adam Quin and Rod Berry holding a second and third place each.
Central Pyrotechnics’ David and Karen Riedy set off a spectacular
display of fireworks before it was time for the Outback Vehicle
Recovery Demolition Derby with 15 entrants. Standout vehicles included
Rene Taylor’s spotty station wagon with a surfboard on the roof.
Although she didn’t cause too much damage, her efforts bagged the prize
for the best presented car.
The carnage continued for about 20 minutes with cars bashing, crashing
and destroying each other.
The last car moving went to Sam Davis-Swingler in her yellow Ford
The fire crew had some added excitement when a car, which had been
stopped for some time in the southern corner, caught on fire.
The driver, Gene Gilby, got himself out quickly and was rewarded with
the prize for the car receiving the most damage.
Dave Totani’s Volvo was deemed the car which caused the most damage,
even though the vehicle had remained in a reasonably decent state.
without going solo.
Alice Springs residents will have an opportunity to purchase
“GreenPower”, with the construction of a new 1MW solar power station,
the largest tracking solar power station in Australia.
The project was announced yesterday at its future location on the
southern outskirts of Alice Springs (in the vicinity of the Road
Transport Hall of Fame).
The ‘Uterne’ solar power station is facilitated by Power and
Water Corporation who are contracting to
purchase the output for 20 years.
Developed in partnership with Alice Solar City and Sunpower
Corporation, the Uterne Power Station will cost $6.6m, with $3.3m
provided by the Australian Government.
Mall is for tourists, not skaters.
Sir – A park in the mall already exists but please don’t turn it into a
sporting complex as envisioned by Matty Day (Alice News, December 2).
Comparing Cairns Esplanade to the Alice Springs Mall is ludicrous.
If you’re familiar with Cairns and what the Esplanade was like before,
you’d know why.
Tourists don’t come to Alice to watch skateboarders in the Mall or
listen to headbanging music on ipods.
All tourists want in a Mall is very simple.
• Shops open on weekends and after they return from day tours;
• Access to the Mall via an uninterrupted overhead shaded walkway from
the Ghan station.
I’ve been calling for tourism statistics for Alice Springs from TCA for
years – there aren’t any. TCA and its members have no idea how
many tourists visit or where they come from and how.
Apart from irrelevant and anecdotal survey figures, Tourism NT can’t
help but one simple source of statistics that is the best guide isn’t
tapped – the airport.
Most progressive regional airports publish the actual number of
passengers on their websites, but not Alice Springs, yet these figures
are supplied to it by the airlines.
From airport traffic, tourist numbers can be easily determined.
It should be mandatory for the Alice Springs (and Uluru) airport to
provide these figures to ASTC / TCA every month. Even more tangible and
enlightening would be figures from Territory Discoveries that most
travel agents book holiday packages through.
No wonder we’ve had no new investment in tourism infrastructure because
the figures are either non-existant or too depressing.
Over the years, the obsession with sealing the Red Centre Way has
distracted TCA from pursuing less esoteric and more urgent realistic
tourism infrastructure needs such as:
· Sealing the Inner Mereenie Loop and fixing the floodways
on the sections that are sealed;
· Improving access roads to existing attractions such as
Ellery Creek Big Hole, Palm Valley, Redbank Gorge, Gosse Bluff,
· Upgrading existing iconic attractions such as an archway
entrance to the West MacDonnells;
· Providing picnic spots for Campervans on sections of the
old Highway such as at Charles Creek;
· Concentrate marketing and promotion on existing and new
iconic attractions including Gosse Bluff that draw tourists to Central
Australia and are the main reason why they choose to come to see
Central Australia, instead of focusing on cottage industries and
cultural experiences that are an added attraction yet still part of the
· Fixing the drunkenness, violence and vandalism that
tourists see every day and night in The Mall and in the suburbs for the
last 50 years.
Mr Huyben may not have had complaints because tourists wait till they
return home before venting their disgust amongst their friends and
spread it by word of mouth. Nothing has changed since I first visited
here as a tourist almost 50 years ago.
At best tourism has stagnated and now with The Rock closing and major
resorts under new ownership Central Australian tourism is about to
enter a new era which is challenging to say the least and needs a big
shakeup and major change of direction and emphasis to reverse a
long-term underlying downward trend.
Mr Huyben is going to have his work cut out!
Camel tours happy
Sir – [Regarding last week’s report on Tourism NT’s “Get Centred in the
Red Centre with AFL Legend Russell Robertson” and our listing under
“Russell’s Top 5”], we are unable to supply specific figures in regards
to the campaign, however, many clients mentioned the campaign during
We would participate again.
Pyndan Camel Tracks
Sir – [The multiple dwelling block in Ridges Estate I referred to in my
letter last week as advertised at $460,000 is now being advertised] at
$506,000: howzat! $46K inflation for one week.
Sir – I support Judy Barker in her letter when she writes about the new
Kilgariff development, or AZRI as it used to be known. She asks, “Will
anyone have the vision to make it what it could be?”
The answer is, hopefully, yes. In April the public consultation as
outlined by Wendy Morris at the Public Forum on Planning Issues held
last month is due to begin.
Her participatory workshop process known as Enquiry-by-Design has been
aiding communities across Australia design their new developments to
become the best they can be.
The Top End’s new town of Weddell is benefiting from her expertise, and
we in Alice would be mad not to grasp this chance.
The key to success is having all those who see the potential for
something good show up. There are some loud voices in town who seem
determined to talk Kilgariff down.
If allowed, their negativity will dominate, as it did in the public
question time at last month’s forum.
Kilgariff will go ahead, but it will not reach its potential if the
nay-sayers are allowed to dominate the floor. So show up prepared to be
creative, supportive and positive.
Sir – Did you know that the NT Education Department can deem any
Territory teacher unfit, without informing them and without written
evidence? That’s what happened to my wife and I when we taught in
They can also expose NT schoolchildren to asbestos and not have to
answer questions about it. My wife and I were blacklisted after
raising health issues in our school.
DET will not deny that when we asked if our school was safe from
asbestos, they refused to tell us; that we were deemed unfit remote
teachers without our knowledge (even after we asked and with no written
evidence); DET even lied to us about why we were losing
When we found out and challenged this designation and asked to see our
file (which they have to do under their new policy), without
explanation they suddenly said we were fit teachers and no further
discussion would be entered into.
Thank God for Alison Anderson who has raised our case before the NT
Parliament and Education Minister Dr Chris Burns and other DET
officials who are refusing to answer her questions raised on our
DET will not deny these allegations and simply says that it falls
under “employment issues”: that’s Department double-speak for
Territorians have no right to criticise DET, if they do not
speak out on this issue. If you can expose NT children to
asbestos and not have to answer for it, and you can purge teachers with
no justification and lie to them as to why they are losing out on jobs
(that’s EXACTLY what happened to us), you have no hope of getting
a better system. Our children will be the losers.
Dr Robert E. Bartholomew
ED – The Alice News offered right of reply to the Department of
Education. The offer was declined.
Wikileaks controversy shows global
meltdown may be just a mouseclick away
Sir – I know that WikiLeaks does not seem to be a local matter.
However, a global financial meltdown affects us all, and therefore I
would hope that the following concerns will filter through the
purported “6 degrees of separation” to those who need to do something
At first glance many of us would probably feel that those WikiLeaks
supporters who closed down Master Card, Pay Pal, and Visa (all be it
for a limited time) should be jailed, and this is not without
However, if we look at the deeper problem highlighted by their actions
we might consider giving them medals for what they have revealed to us.
Kevin Rudd has been criticized by some for suggesting that the blame
for WikiLeaks rests with the USA and its inability to protect its
electronic communication network.
He could have included the rest of the western world in his
The main point, however, is not the initial gathering of information by
WikiLeaks, but that, subsequently, a loosely organized group of people
on computers have been able to cause a financial disruption to some
major world wide business organizations, with impunity.
These were not people who wanted to bring the world’s financial
institutions to their knees, but their actions have shown us the
possibility of doing just that.
The wakeup call initiated by the WikiLeaks group has shown us where we
are vulnerable, and has given us a window of opportunity to properly
prepare our cyber defenses.
It would be naive of us to think that governments and businesses world
wide are not aware of this threat and are not actively trying to
protect themselves. However, the recent WikiLeaks episode has
pointed out that whatever they are doing is not working, and their
seeming inability to protect themselves is of great concern to average
citizens like me who worry about losing their investments, their homes
or their jobs.
Whether we thank WikiLeaks or not is an arguable point, but whatever we
do with the messenger is far less important than what we do with the