Story Archive » Volume 19 » Issue 50 »

December 18, 2012

Police presence cuts turnover of pub by 40%

The owners of the Gapview Hotel say their turnover has dropped around 40% since there has been a highly visible police presence – as there is at all takeaway liquor outlets. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Sister’s government to turf out brother’s council?

 

NT Health is planning a super clinic for Papunya and has told the MacDonnell Shire to move out of the the building the two organisations are currently sharing in the remote community.

The issue is delicate because the the shire President, Sid Anderson, is the brother of Alison Anderson, a front-bencher in the government that is turfing him out. (Both are pictured at right.) ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

River management: the struggle to get long-term action (re-published with Maxine Cook’s comment)

 

The popular misconception about sand being taken out of the Todd River is that this is done as a flood mitigation measure, deepening the channel to allow a greater volume of water to flow within the banks. In truth, it would take major works  to achieve this, including the removal of causeways and the re-location or re-laying of services that are under the river.

The works that are undertaken are better described as “channel improvement” to prevent channel migration and bank scouring.

The Town Council’s Director of Technical Services, Greg Buxton explains that this is done “to ensure the river doesn’t change course and endanger the properties close to the existing river banks.”

However, works at Heavitree Gap are seen as a priority and would contribute to reducing the threat of flooding. “Silt, fines and sand” deposited at the gap by flows have “grassed up” with couch and kikuya, matted into a solid mound (pictured) that now stands well above the Bloomfield drainage line.  These conditions could lead to the river breaking its banks in a Q20, let alone a Q100.

Extensive works removing sand and weeds were done to address this very same problem at the start of the decade, so why hasn’t there been regular maintenance? KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Sticking our heads in the sands of the Todd (re-published with Maxine Cook’s comment)

It is remarkable how little comment there has been to mark the recent expiry of the 20 year moratorium that had prevented the construction of a flood mitigation dam on the Todd River north of Alice Springs, says letter-writer ALEX NELSON. He summarises what is known about the town’s susceptibility to flooding and notes that the Imparja headquarters (pictured above) would be inundated by more than a metre of water above ground level in a 100 year flood. The Civic Centre and the Alice Springs Public Library are equally at risk. FULL STORY »

Sands in Todd more stable than you think (re-published with Maxine Cook’s comment)

 

The river bed of the Todd is more stable than many assume. I have two photos taken from exactly the same vantage point on Meyers Hill (originally called Nannygoat Hill). The first was by John Flynn in 1926. I took the second this year. In my photo there is a prominent “island” covered in buffel grass on the eastern side of the riverbed. This island is also observable in Flynn’s photograph, although it was devoid of vegetation at the time. ALEX NELSON comments.

 

At left: John Flynn’s photograph, held by the National Library of Australia. FULL STORY »

Season’s Greetings to all our readers and friends of the Alice Springs News Online!

Until the beginning of February we’ll be in Summer Mode, publishing mostly the comments from you and our invited panel in our Rest and Reflection series, as well as major breaking news. We’ll draw your attention to these through our email alert (if you are not already a subscriber, please click on the NEWS ALERT line above – it’s free).

It was a pleasure serving you in 2012, our 19th year of publication, with web traffic having increased threefold since we went online exclusively in March last year. And now we’re looking forward to our 20th year: it will be a boomer, as we hope it will be for our region and all of you!

From ERWIN CHLANDA and KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Alcohol restrictions ‘down south’: A sober slide into 2013 on Bondi Beach.

If you’re inclined to scream “Why Me” every time you hear the word alcohol restrictions, take some comfort from how Australia’s most famous beach and former venue for wild New Year’s Eve boogies is dealing with the issues. Not only is alcohol completely banned from Bondi Beach at all times, but so is smoking. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. ABOVE: Signs prohibiting smoking and drinking alcohol on world famous Bondi Beach, bans brought in by local government after “riots”.
FULL STORY »

Sentenced to a job and a future – Elferink’s visionary initiative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE DEC 19: The scheme as it is intended by Minister Elferink is “a good concept” for employers and Aboriginal employees, but many obstacles will need to be dealt with, says Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Kay Eade.

 

“If you are sentenced in the NT you are sentenced to a job and a future.”
This is the motto for ground breaking prison reform being introduced by NT Attorney General John Elferink (pictured above left) who is also responsible for correctional services.
It will give inmates the opportunity of taking on paid work “inside the prison system or beyond its boundary,” says Mr Elferink. ERWIN CHLANDA reports and in a comment piece says that this is a visionary move that deserves public and bi-partisan support. PHOTO: Mainstream work paid at award rates to replace mindless tasks now performed by prisoners. FULL STORY »

Steve Brown survives fall, escapes council censure

 

Councillor Steve Brown (pictured), who is an electrician, fell seven metres while working on a power pole on Saturday.
He suffered extensive bruising and a broken bone in his foot, but comprehensive tests in the Alice Springs hospital revealed no serious injuries.
Cr Brown also says he was last week exonerated by the council, meeting behind closed doors, over remarks he made about Alice Water Smart, a local group formulating rules about water use. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Let’s solve some problems in this time of rest and reflection

Here’s an invitation to celebrate this time of rest and reflection with an exchange of ideas about how to solve the problems – intractable so far – of this beautiful place we live in. It seems inevitable that some uncomfortable views will be articulated. Let’s have the courage to do it.
This invitation is directed to a panel of people whom we have found to have a keen commitment to Central Australia, as well as the ability to articulate ideas. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Plenty in store for The Centre, writes Lambley

Central Australians have several projects to look forward to in 2013, writes Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Alice Springs may move closer to a healthy aviation market, says Conlan

Once some major boxes are ticked, Alice Springs is one step closer to having a healthy and competitive aviation market, writes Matt Conlan,

Minister for Tourism and Major Events FULL STORY »

LETTER: Alice second best in two speed tourism economy, says Minister

The Northern Territory now has a two speed tourism economy, with the Top End remaining strong while Central Australia is faltering, writes Matt Conlan, Minister for Tourism and Major Events. FULL STORY »