Story Archive » Volume 20 » Issue 18 »

July 25, 2013

Roads, 457 visas, growth towns: Chamber of Commerce

 

 

Better roads and more bridges, less red tape with 457 visas and opportunities in growth towns for private enterprise are on the national elections wish list of the local Chamber of Commerce, according to its executive officer, Kay Eade (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Footy glory for Centre’s best lasts just a weekend

Once a year a small remote town north-west of Alice Springs is the place to meet the top crop of young men in the nation’s desert centre. But their glory is brief: when the Yuendumu Sports weekend is over they go back to the depressing idleness to which Australia consigns them, languishing on the dole or being under-employed. The photo above shows the team from Cockatoo Creek 50 kms north-east of Yuendumu. According to captain Elijah Jones, only one player has a job – in aged care. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Coalition agenda includes nation’s longest short-cut

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Outback Way is included in the Coalition’s Northern Australia Policy and the Outback Highway Development Council outlines how the east-west route through Alice Springs can be kept open for business for road trains for $11m a year, prior to the start of the sealing project in 2016/17, writes the council’s chairman, Patrick Hill. FULL STORY »

Violence must stop. Forgiveness must rule.

 

 

The laid-back, slow, lazy mood in the outback town of Yuendumu can snap into one of high drama and heart-wrenching emotion in the blink of an eye. Today, the 50th anniversary of the Yuendumu Sports, was such a day. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Boost royalties, distribute CLC assets: Ryan’s fiery agenda

A 50% not 10% royalty for Aborigines from mining anywhere in the Territory, not just on the half under granted under land rights; immediate distribution to traditional owners of the Centrecorp assets worth tens of millions of dollars; and a five billion dollar national future fund as compensation for Indigenous people: These are part of the fiery agenda of Maurie Japarta Ryan (pictured). The new chairman of the Central Land Council and the founder of the Australian First Nations Political Party spoke with Alice Springs News Online editor ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Northern end of the mall reopens

 

 

 

Traffic officially returned to the northern end of Todd Mall this morning for the first time in 28 years (apart from special occasions). But more importantly people came out in good number to enjoy the new public spaces created as part of the mall redesign. It will be the ongoing presence of people, locals and visitors alike, that will be critical to the hoped for revitalisation of the town’s premier ‘street’. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Mining company convicted and fined for desecration

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) is calling for miners to respect the law and honour their agreements, following the historic prosecution of  OM Manganese Ltd for the desecration of an Aboriginal sacred site, writes AAPA CEO Dr Ben Scambary. The company was today fined $150,000 in the Darwin Magistrates’ Court for one count of desecration to, and one count of damaging, the ‘Two Women Sitting Down’ sacred site at Bootu Creek manganese mine on Banka Banka station, 170km north of Tennant Creek.

Pictured: The site damage seen from the Eastern rim of the Masai pit looking across to the collapsed bull nose which includes the registered sacred site. Photo courtesy AAPA.   FULL STORY »

Tele medicine could bring new stroke cure to Alice

A tele medicine system bringing revolutionary clot busting treatment to stroke victims in regional hospitals such as Alice Springs is being developed. For “eligible” sufferers thrombolysis is very effective “and the evidence supports its use. It’s our only proven acute stroke therapy,” says Chris Levi (pictured), Professor in Neurology in the University of Newcastle. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Turning smelly nuisances into multi million dollar assets

 

 

 

 

All those who haven’t been paying attention to the debate so far, please join me for this back-of-the-envelope exercise on big picture issues confronting Alice Springs, looking past the end of our noses and compelling matters such as parking in the CBD on Saturdays. At the moment we are storing our garbage, and process our sewage in an open-air facility, pretty well dead in the middle of our municipality (X marks the spot on the map). There are better options. ERWIN CHLANDA comments. FULL STORY »

Grog sellers liable, drinkers need permits: summit demands

Requiring buyers of alcohol to have a permit, even in Alice Springs; making sellers of alcohol share liability for accidents or crimes in which grog is a factor; and motivating indigenous communities to divert already existing government funding towards reduction of harmful drinking: These are among measures called for by the two-day Aboriginal grog summit that ended in Alice Springs today, according to Priscilla Collins, CEO of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Ms Collins is pictured at the summit this morning. FULL STORY »

Alice Springs man wins Telstra award

 

A business launched by Alice Springs man Christopher Brocklebank (pictured) in 2002 last night won the Micro section of the Telstra NT Business of the Year awards.

 

His venture italklibrary is dedicated to turning written information into stories that can then be spoken in any language and placed online at italklibrary.com

 

“Judges acknowledged the incredible personal story and journey taken by the business owner and were impressed by italklibrary’s business model and outcomes,” says a Telstra media release.

 

Italklibrary has created a national database of stories in multiple languages, including 14 Australian Indigenous languages, and Mr Brocklebank says: “They say a picture speaks a thousand words – our pictures speak a thousand languages.” FULL STORY »

Missing Ryder brother’s remains found

Police have confirmed that skeletal remains located near Hermannsburg last month were that of missing person,  Kwementyaye Ryder.
The Alice Springs News Online understands he was the brother of the late D. Ryder. The death does not appear suspicious, police say.

FULL STORY »

Council drags chain while horse bolts

 

The horse had bolted: while the Town Council was mulling over the issues and deciding to send a letter to the Minister, the Development Consent Authority approved, with conditions, two proposed telecommunications towers in Araluen. Councillor Jade Kudrenko, who has been trying to represent constituents’ views opposing the siting of the towers, last night expressed her frustration with council’s slowness while the DCA’s process had rolled on. KIERAN FINNANE reports from council’s committee meetings. Other issues: buskers in the mall • water waste and savings • asbestos in confidential • McDouall Stuart statue in no-man’s land.

 

Pictured: Greens councillor Jade Kudrenko, here introducing the party’s NT Senate candidate, Warren H Williams. FULL STORY »

Call to block oil and gas exploration at King’s Canyon

Traditional owners of Watarrka (King’s Canyon) National Park are strongly opposed to an application by Palatine Energy Pty Ltd to begin oil and gas exploration in the park and are demanding that the NT Cabinet block it, the Central Land Council (CLC) said in a media release today. FULL STORY »

Rotary women to the fore, honour for prison volunteer

Remember when Rotary was seen as the reserve for stiff upper lip blokes in pinstripe suits? Times have changed – at least in The Alice: Two out of three club presidents here are now women (pictured, from left) Erika Sauzier (Mbantua) and Fran Neylon (Stuart), with Mike Smith (Alice Springs) in the minority. Meanwhile another prominent service club worker, Probus president Enid Harland, received a prestigious award usually reserved for Rotarians, the Paul Harris Fellowship. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Live cattle industry ‘still a political pawn for Labor’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Federal Labor’s decision to appoint an Inspector-General for Animal Welfare and Live Exports is meant to appeal to Labor’s left but will just add another layer of unnecessary red tape for Northern Territory cattle producers, writes Nigel Scullion, Country Liberals Senator for the NT. FULL STORY »

Presbyterian church re-established in Alice Springs

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Presbyterian Church has returned to Alice Springs after many years, writes Bill MacRae, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Giles sticks with his ‘no’ to Gonski

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

I am standing up for Territory students and rejecting Kevin Rudd’s flawed Gonski education formula that says dozens of local schools need less funding, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles. FULL STORY »

Intervention not demonising men

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

I am responding to comments from Des Rogers, Deputy Chief Executive of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress about the Little Children are still Sacred report. I was shocked to hear his comments. I think it is deplorable that he has said the Federal Intervention demonised men, writes Alison Anderson, Minister for Children and Families. FULL STORY »

Voting for change? Don’t hold your breath.

 

 

If you’re getting all excited about the September 7 election – don’t. That, in a nutshell, is the advice of the CDU’s Alice Springs based Professorial Research Fellow Rolf Gerritsen (pictured): “Nothing much will change” no matter who forms government in Canberra, nor who gets elected as the Member for Lingiari. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Questions about stroke treatment at Alice hospital

UPDATE Wednesday, July 31

 

A spokesman for the health department has provided the following comment: “We have a town with relatively few stroke patients and those strokes are more likely to be haemorrhagic where this treatment does not work and makes the stroke worse.

 

“The treatment of patients who present with a stroke to Alice Springs Hospital is tailored to the clinical need of the patient and additional advice sought from specialist staff interstate if required.”

 

To bust or not to bust, that is the question – and it’s one of life and death. The Alice Hospital does not use clot busting medication, other than Aspirin. But Dr Andrew Lee, of the Flinders stroke clinic in Adelaide says clot busting medication is a good thing. Photo: Clinical Nurse Manager Jeanette Berthelson in the recently opened emergency department of the Alice hospital. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

NT, Commonwealth initiative to make homelands more viable

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Country Liberals Government is committed to making homelands a viable place to live for Indigenous Territorians with a new funding formula that is focused on equity. The new long term funding arrangements were negotiated with the Commonwealth Government through the municipal and essential services implementation plan guaranteeing funding for 10 years, writes Alison Anderson (pictured)

Minister for Regional Development. FULL STORY »

Fracking may be used but horizontal drilling will be preferred

 

 

 

 

The oil and gas company Blue Energy Limited has entered into an agreement for exploration in an area roughly the size of England, north-west of Tennant Creek (see map). Chairman John Ellice-Flint says the company will be exploring for “conventional and unconventional oil and gas”, the former appearing in sandstone and limestone, the latter in shale. The controversial fracking is sometimes used to recover unconventional oil but he says horizontal drilling will be the preferred method. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Minutes of a meeting never held: the farce ends here?

The farce of presenting a Finance Committee report with nothing in it was called into question by Councillor Eli Melky at last night’s end of month council meeting. He asked Director of Finance Paul Della if there wasn’t at least something that could be regularly itemised, to avoid the “flick through”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Other issues: Jargon doomed to fail. • Pedestrian crossing to stay? • Bikes and skateboards in the new mall. •Asbestos ‘all clear’.

Pictured: Councillors distributing balloons during the recent opening of northern Todd Mall, from left, Chansey Paech, Liz Martin, Jade Kudrenko, Steve Brown. Cr Dave Douglas in the background, taking a break. FULL STORY »

Container deposit scheme: it’s all go!

 

 

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Territory’s Container Deposit Scheme has cleared the final hurdle following the Federal Executive Council’s decision to grant national recognition yesterday, writes  Peter Chandler, Environment Minister. FULL STORY »

The Territory’s $30m homelands conundrum

If you believe there’s nothing out there in our wide open spaces beyond the handful of major centres – think again. There are 772 other locations where people live, funded through NGOs, local government or the government direct. Regional Development Minister Alison Anderson is now lifting this $30m a year conundrum out of the too hard basket. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Google Earth image of an outstation near Utopia, just off the Sandover Highway, north-east of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Consumers to pay for flawed container deposit tax

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The announcement by the Northern Territory Government that it will reinstate its failed Cash for Containers Scheme means that consumers will bear the cost of what is effectively a tax on drink containers, writes Gary Dawson, CEO, Australian Food and Grocery Council. FULL STORY »

Ode to a Sombrero: Neil Murray

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally, something comes your way – out of the winter chill, down a long road, whipped up by summer storms and whirly whirlies big enough to carry your humpy or your sombrero away – and you know that there’s still a chance that dreams can be built on songs, rather than breaking upon the walls of laws that are sown upon the wind. RUSSELL GUY reviews Sing the Song: The Essential Neil Murray. FULL STORY »

Feds put students’ hostel in a place without school

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Federal government is embarking on a desperate plan to shift responsibility and some of the costs for its failed NT indigenous boarding school program to the Northern Territory government. Warren Snowdon announced that the second hostel for 72 students would be located at the isolated location of Garthalala where there was not even a school for them to go to, writes Senator Nigel Scullion, Coalition spokesman for Indigenous Affairs (pictured). FULL STORY »

Hugh Winterflood (aka SkankMC) wins NT Song of Year

He run amok in the safe house, disturbing the kids … felt like he ceased to exist,

he was a decent fella but he needed a mate,

but he couldn’t accept love plagued by demons of hate.

 

These are the chilling lyrics in Northern TerrorStory by Hugh Winterflood, aka SkankMC from Alice Springs, which has been voted the 2013 NT Song of the Year People’s Choice. Photo: SkankMC (at right) and his musical partner Flim Flam receive the NT Song of the Year (Hip Hop) from MC Bliss from Bliss & Eso (centre). FULL STORY »

Books and arts in The Centre

 

 

From our archive: recent reviews by KIERAN FINNANE.

 

Updated August 6, 2013: Some of the links to our archive may not previously have been working. Fixed now!

 

At right: Artist and author Rod Moss (right) during the opening ceremony for his exhibition Anatomy Lesson – You. Me. Us. FULL STORY »

Warlpiri versus the Queen

 

 

Alice Springs News Online journalist KIERAN FINNANE (pictured) has brought together her reporting of a number of court cases involving young Warlpiri men in a long and detailed piece of reportage for the current, 10th anniversary edition of the Griffith REVIEW. FULL STORY »

Desert Knowledge offshoot turns 10: The Clever One – really?

There is one thing Ninti One – translated as Clever One – has practised persistently in its first decade of operation: spin: The camel cull, telemetric cattle management, Aboriginal tourism and enterprises are flops, pie in the sky or nice ideas – and now the world’s most researched ethnic group is going to research itself (photo). And all that behind a wall of silence. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Road planning in a roundabout way

The construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Undoolya Road and Sturt Terrace completes an odd example of the management of traffic flow in Alice Springs. There are now four roundabouts in a row – one at every street corner – along Undoolya Road from Sturt Terrace at one end to the intersection of Stott Terrace and Grevillea Drive to the east, in a distance less than a kilometre, comments ALEX NELSON. PHOTOS: Undoolya Road roundabout at the Winnecke intersection. The Alice Springs News Online has asked the town council for a comment.
FULL STORY »

Getting all steamed up over water

Water restrictions should not hamper economic development in Alice Springs. That has been the view taken to the town’s Water Advisory Committee since its inception by its members from the Town Council and the business community. The committee’s head, Anne Pye, resigned at the end of June when the NT government decreed that the water availability for the town should be assured for 200 rather than 300 years. She took the view, as does committee member Jimmy Cocking from the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC), that the government’s move is acting in disregard of community opinion. This is clearly far from the truth. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

Pictured: Commonage sewage ponds, courtesy Bob Taylor. While we are arguing about water supply in 300 years’ time, we waste three billion litres a year by disposing of sewage through evaporation, at the Alice Springs treatment plant south of The Gap.

  FULL STORY »

Marketing ploy? Bureaucrat creep? Joke?

 

 

It was a consummate performance: the perfect bureaucrat, eyes glued to the screen, ignoring all around her, a little discreet typing, lots of competent nodding, agreement, questions, plans.  Business shirt, straight skirt, stockinged legs, low-heeled pumps.  Desk, phone, computer. Right in the middle of Todd Mall. Passers-by were non-plussed, amused, intrigued, KIERAN FINNANE among them. FULL STORY »

Cops and skaters now co-exist in northern mall

 

Councillor Chansey Paech has asked council to provide police with information about skating in northern Todd Mall, where skate-able street furniture has been provided. As we reported last week bike riding and skating are not prohibited in this part of the mall, a street open to traffic, but remain banned in the pedestrian southern end of the mall.

 

SEE UPDATE AUG 13.

  FULL STORY »