Story Archive » Volume 20 » Issue 19 »

August 9, 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 »

Container deposit depot closed: UPDATE from Coca Cola

Negotiations about a new container deposit system between the Territory Recycling Depot in Smith Street, Alice Springs, and drink manufacturers have broken down. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE FRIDAY 8am

A mock invoice for $6m will this morning be presented to Terry Davis, Group Managing Director of Coca Cola Amatil by the Boomerang Alliance, Greenpeace Australia Pacific and Clean Up Australia.

 

UPDATE SATURDAY, Aug 24, 8:30am

Coca Cola Amatil has provided the following statement: CCA understands that an operator will be establishing a depot in Alice Springs in the near future and we have arrangements in place to deal with them.  We agree with the depot operators that the legislation is flawed and that the Government should consult publicly with all parties on its plans to fix it.  If it does not consult it may just make the situation worse.
FULL STORY »

Kilgariff $170K blocks, dept. on council stormwater deal

 

 

“Stormwater is no longer the enemy.” That, in a nutshell, lies behind the deal between the Town Council and the NT Government over stormwater management in Kilgariff. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

PHOTO: Swale drain at Araluen Park – the answer to drainage at Kilgariff? FULL STORY »

Green future for Alice: how much wishful thinking?

The local environmental lobby’s draft “road map to a desert smart town” can be seen a wish list for the Federal elections, it but goes well beyond that focus – and could do with a robust reality check. In 2033 Alice Springs runs on 100% renewable energy? A local horticultural industry which supplies 50% of local fresh produce needs? And all that whilst not increasing water use beyond the current level? The Arid Lands Environment Centre’s Jimmy Cocking (pictured at right with environmentalist and science journalist Tanya Ha at Friday’s CoolMob gala dinner) and Mr McClean spoke with Alice Springs News Online editor ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Tell a tourist bureau where to go

 

 

Looking for information about where to find information can take tourists on a wild goose chase, discovers ALEX NELSON. Photo: The new Tourist Commission home in Todd Mall – where the first one was half a century ago. FULL STORY »

Fitness, child care, 457 Visas on Town Council wish list

 

 

 

More child care and keeping fit are initiatives the Town Council hopes will get the support of the next Federal Government, says Mayor Damien Ryan (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

What the Feds can do for our tourism

 

 

 

 

Luxury tent accommodation at Ormiston Gorge, a tethered balloon at Uluru and mountain biking in the hills around The Alice are ideas that may attract Federal grants for businesses under schemes that should continue after the elections, says Tourism Central Australia boss Jaclyn Thorne (pictured). AT LEFT: Mountain bike rider Corey Gerdsen on top of the world – well, the Alice hills, anyway. FULL STORY »

A fete made in Alice

 

 

Figures aren’t finalised yet, but it looks like the annual Old Timers Fete on Saturday made $70,000. And all of that will stay in town, says Old Timers manager Mary Miles, head of the complex that cares for the town’s elderly and frail. 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 »

No, you can’t :-(

 

 

 

… but Cr Paech will fight on!

 

Cars in the new shared zone of the northern Todd Mall are OK but skateboards are not. Council has installed skateable street furniture there but – for the time being at least – skaters are not to use itFor that to change a majority of councillors would have to support modifying Public Places by-law 53 which bans skateboarding on footpaths throughout the entire CBD. A change to the by-law looks like it will be hard won. Cr Chansey Paech was on his own at last night’s meeting in wanting to welcome skate-boarding in the mall. KIERAN FINNANE 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 »

Cr Melky continues campaign for greater transparency

 

 

It won’t be for want of trying if Councillor Eli Melky fails to bring more meaningful discussion of council’s finances into the open. Council’s Director of Finance Paul Della had made an effort to have something for this month’s committee meeting to consider in open, two reports in fact, one requiring no action, the other merely for formal endorsement. Cr Melky was not to be bought off so easily. 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 »

One of our warmest winters …

… in our hottest year

Walking in the wind shadow at the foot of the southern Mount Gillen range yesterday my face was getting red, my hair, damp on my forehead; the shirt beneath my backpack was sticking to my skin. And this was a winter’s day! Surely a record for August? But no. That was set only a few years back and I’d already forgotten. On August 22, 2009 it reached 35.2 degrees Celsius at Alice Springs airport. Yesterday it only got to 30.8 degrees. KIERAN FINNANE asks the Bureau of Meteorology about our very warm weather and what, if anything, it means about our climate. Pictured: Seeking the breeze high on the range. 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 »

People to get back their voice in local government: Minister

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The Country Liberals Government is fulfilling an election commitment by introducing a Bill at the next sittings to make changes to the Local Government Act to give people back their voice in local government, writes Alison Anderson (pictured), Minister for Local Government. 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 »

The cutting times

 

A new volume of memoir and reflection on his art by Rod Moss has been published this week by UQP. Titled tellingly One Thousand Cuts, it bleeds grief, as violence, disease and death ravages his circle of Arrernte friends and at times leaves Moss reeling. The country becomes his “safety net” into which he leans to find joy and consolation. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

 

At right: And dark was the night, 2009. A few days later the candle-bearer would stab his young wife, whom Moss shows here with their young son,  11 times. 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 »

Snowdon ‘pork-barreling with other people’s money’

Tina McFarlane (left), Country Liberals candidate for Lingiari, has in a media release accused Warren Snowdon of “raiding the NT Aboriginals Benefits Account (ABA) to pork-barrel his election campaign”. And Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion (right), says in a media release that Minister Jenny Macklin’s speech on Labor plans for Indigenous affairs was “underwhelming and more about throwing money around, bureaucratic plans and targets rather than results”. 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 »

Snap, Rupert!

 

 

 

Spot the difference. None? You’re almost right – only the page folio is different: July 2, 2009 (the one on the left) and the other, today, August 9, 2013. Yet the ad’s main text says: “Who’s reading what in The Centre?” That suggest it refers to the present. In fact it is quoting a Roy Morgan survey of 2008. 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 »

Alleged offender wanted by police

 

 

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate Dion Hayes (pictured). Police media release. 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 »

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 »

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 »

The rise and rise of Yarrenyty Arltere soft sculptures

Rhonda Napurrula Sharpe, one of the leading Yarrenyty Arltere artists from the Larapinta Valley Town Camp in Alice Springs, has won the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award, for her work They Come From No Where. The 3D Award is one of five $4000 prizes in the Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAAs). The big prize of $40,000 went to Canberra artist Jenni Kemarre Martiniello for her elegant glass sculpture, Golden Brown Reeds Fish Trap. 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 »