Hi Hal, many thanks for your comment. What the town …

Comment on LETTER: Should we dam the Todd? by Erwin Chlanda.

Hi Hal, many thanks for your comment.
What the town needs to decide is whether or not it wants protection from a so-called one-in-100-year flood (Q100). It would cause major loss of life and catastrophic damage to the town. A flood of such magnitude may now occur more often because of climate change.
There is a solution readily available that is well short of moving the town or blasting the Gap, and that has been exhaustively documented in the Alice News (please google this site).
That solution is a dam at Welatja Therre (Junction Waterhole), upstream from the Telegraph Station.
There are a number of other flood mitigation measures but none are adequate protection from a Q100. These are also discussed in government documents referred to in reports on this site.
I covered 20 years ago the inept handling of the dam issue by Minister Ortmann in Darwin, the decision made in Canberra by Minister Tickner, and a raft of opinions and arguments about the project.
The principal options were a “dry” dam (no permanent lake), which would save the town and was not opposed by some Aboriginal custodians.
The second one was a lake, more broadly opposed by custodians, and not necessary for the town’s safety. Many locals regarded a lake as a desirable amenity.
While the likelihood of lives and property being lost is apparently increasing, discussion about damming the Todd will of course continue.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

Recent Comments by Erwin Chlanda

Fracking pipe ‘deformation’ row: The sequel
@ Mark Fraser: Thank you for your kind words at the beginning of your comment but I reject that our initial article was “misinformed”.
Please note:-
• We accurately quoted the Lock the Gate Alliance which is a major player in the debate. It describes itself as “a national grassroots organisation made up of over 120,000 supporters and more than 450 local groups [including] farmers, traditional custodians, conservationists and urban residents.”
• Concurrent with posting the initial report we sought comment from the NT Government (which replied on the same day), from the Inquiry and from Origin. We still don’t have a reply from the Inquiry. See my reply to reader Bob Beadman.
• Origin gave us comprehensive information, but only when we made a second approach to them, leading to the report above.
• Your point [1] is a bit of a stretch for people with no geological training such as me and – I guess – the vast majority of our readers.
• Our initial report stated Origin provided information about the deformation to the NT department (in February 2017) and the Inquiry (in May 2017).
• Our question to the Inquiry is why it published, in its “Draft Final Report” in December 2017, a diagram not showing the deformation while one that shows it had been available to the Inquiry since May 2017.
ERWIN CHLANDA, Editor


Jacinta Price reneges on council undertaking
@ “Elle” and “Brett”: A definitive statement about whether or not, in the NT, someone can be a councillor and a member of a parliament is not available. The requirements are different in every state.
So far as I can find out, it’s never happened in Alice Springs where local government started in 1971.
When former councillor Chansey Paech stood for the Legislative Assembly he was told – as are all others in a similar position – obtain his own legal advice.
This is what the NT Local Government Act – Section 39(6) – says:
If (a) a member resigns in order to stand as a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly or the Commonwealth House of Representatives or the Senate; and
(b) the resignation takes effect not more than 28 days before the close of nominations for the relevant election; and
(c) the former member is not elected, and applies to the CEO to be reinstated as a member of the council within 7 days after the result of the election is known; the former member is reinstated as a member of the council.
The position seems to be this: A council member resigns to contest a parliamentary election. The resignation can be reversed if he or she does not win the parliamentary seat.
But if he or she does win that seat, it seems clear that the resignation from council stands.
In any case the intentions of Cr Price last year were perfectly clear. This is how we reported them: “In response to a question from the Alice Springs News Online, Cr Price quashed rumours that she has political ambitions other than the town council, and may resign before the end of the term.
“She said: ‘I am absolutely committed to serving Alice Springs on Council for at least the next four years. There is much work to be done and I look forward to it.’”
Erwin Chlanda, Editor


Fracking forum with surprising rules
@ Bob Beadman: Hi Bob, I requested a comment from the inquiry at the time of posting the report. I spent about an hour with its media manager during the forum on Thursday, discussing the inquiry’s response, point for point. He said he would email me the response once he had checked it with Judge Pepper that evening. I am still waiting for that email.
Kind regards, Erwin Chlanda , Editor.


Fracking failure: Now you see it, now you don’t
@ Patsy Hickey: I’ve asked Origin to comment but haven’t heard from them. I will rattle their cage. All the best, Erwin.


Sweet Country, a voice demanding to be heard
Alex Nelson’s anecdote reminds me of a friend who had strong connections to people in the APY lands south of the border.
He was on his way over back roads to The Rock with a car load of young fellows who maintained a chatter in Pitjantjatjara until they spotted a kangaroo.
They asked my friend to stop, one got out of the car with a rifle, aimed, and with the words “hasta la vista, baby,” put a bullet into the ‘roo.


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