Story Archive » Volume 20 » Issue 21 »

August 23, 2013

Coalition promise: $33m for Outback Highway through Alice

 

 

A Federal Coalition government would provide $33 million over three years for the upgrading and partial sealing of the Outback Highway from Winton in Queensland to Laverton in Western Australia. The announcement will be made by Tina MacFarlane, CLP candidate for Lingiari (pictured), this morning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Centrecorp to buy Memo Club building – source

The Aboriginal owned investment company Centrecorp is buying the Memorial Club building (pictured), says a well-informed source. Centrecorp declined to comment. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Hello! Is anybody out there?

Is there really going to be an election on Saturday? The major lobbies for Alice Springs could be forgiven for wondering about that, at least until this morning when the Coalition dropped the Outback Highway bombshell, a massive boon to the ailing tourist industry, to mining and remote communities. But apart from that, the town’s five main pressure groups are still waiting for answers – and so are we. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Early polling in Alice Springs. 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 »

Henley on Todd: Bottomless boats? No way!

More than 4000 people – up on last year – came to see the Henley on Todd yesterday, or at least some of it, as the annual event entered its second half century. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. See also UPDATE MONDAY 10am.
FULL STORY »

Council v government: Kilgariff to flood or not?

 

 

Is Kilgariff above or below the Q100 flood level? The Town Council says it is below. The NT Government says it is above. Q100 means the level of flooding likely to occur once in 100 years. The council has wiped its hands of it, yet it is a pet project of Chief Minister Adam Giles. Image: The Kilgariff land and St Mary’s Creek running through it. The road on the left  is the South Stuart Highway. The road at the bottom is Colonel Rose Drive. The intersection is the south-western corner of the proposed suburb. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE 8am Saturday: CEO’s comment. FULL STORY »

Sharing with skaters: if Melbourne can, why not Alice?

If busy Melbourne can share its streets with skate-boarders, so can Alice. That’s the message Councillor Chansey Paech put to the council last night. The website of the city says it “encourages all young people to use the city, including skaters.” It goes on to outline a code of conduct for skaters and BMX riders. Something similar could be used in Alice, Cr Paech is arguing. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

Pictured: The City of Melbourne has encouraged a flourishing youth culture. Here a skater and street art in a back alley off Flinders Street in the Melbourne CBD. FULL STORY »

The desert in all its grandeur

 

The sweeping energy of great geological movements, at the same time as the solidity of the forms created: no easy task to resolve in paint, yet he does it. Adrian Robertson, who paints at Bindi Art (Mwerre Anthurre Artists) in Alice Springs, has several modestly-sized yet striking canvasses holding their own in Talapi’s Desert Colour show, alongside large works by reputed artists of the APY Lands. By KIERAN FINNANE.

Pictured: Yalpirakinu by Adrian Robertson. FULL STORY »

Alice’s Ben Slip to play at Sydney Blues n Roots fest

 

 

 

Alice Springs musician Ben Slip The Slipsta will perform at the Sydney Blues n Roots Festival on October 27. Ben (centre) is pictured during the shoot of a film clip at Bond Springs north of Alice Springs with Jessica Mauboy (at right), his wife Laura (at left), son Joe and film crew members. FULL STORY »

A thousand roaring truckies …

One thousand truckies and partners from every Australian state are in town for their 18th annual reunion at the National Transport Hall of Fame. One hundred of them were last night inducted to the Wall of Fame which now includes 1000 legends of the nation’s transport industry. PICTURED: The parade this morning, led by the newest prime mover, built in Australia, of another major Hall sponsor, Caterpillar. FULL STORY »

Congress: Not asking for more, but don’t give us less

The wish list of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, for whomever will gain power in Canberra, contains not what it wants to get, but what it doesn’t want taken away. In a swirl of rumored spending cuts, where will the money come from to drive the newly chosen direction? The 40-year-old NGO that has a budget of $38m a year, for both town and “auspiced” services. More than 70% comes from the Feds. Congress has 300 employees, half of them Aboriginal. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

IMAGE from the Congress annual report 2010-11, as published on the web. FULL STORY »

Yuendumu manual for healing community troubles

 

The launch of the Yuendumu Mediation Manual was nothing like the usual book launch, nor is this the usual book. The main story barely has 200 words in English and about the same in Warlpiri – a compelling lesson in how a few words can make a powerful point. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

Pictured, from left: John Gaynor (from the Central Desert Shire which helped with the publication), Thomas Rice, Cecil Johnson, Riley Oldfield, Robert Robertson and shire employee at Yuendumu, Madhu Panthee.

  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 »

“Have a nice day” – in Alice it can be like this …

 

 

 

 

I had a nice day yesterday: Breakfast in the Roadkill Cafe (mission statement: “You kill it, we grill it.”), welcoming a young family back to The Alice and a climb to lofty heights. It doesn’t get much better, comments ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: Spring has arrived on Mount Gillen’s southern flank. FULL STORY »

Green roadmap: nuke power the answer?

Talking about CoolMob’s roadmap, what is the elephant in the room? Nuclear power. We have plenty of uranium within a stone’s throw of town (anyway, the quantities needed are minuscule). The area is geologically stable – ideal for storage of waste. And we are a long way from the national power grid. The answer? Image: Conceptual drawing of a two module reactor. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Little change in crimes against person, property offences down

There is little change to the statistics for the June 2013 quarter released today of crime against the person in Alice Springs. There is a sharp drop in property crime against last year but a rise when compared with the June 2011 quarter. 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 »

Snowdon’s backing for ‘high cost exclusive group’

 Part of $2m project ‘poor value for money’ in view of department panel

 

“Select and train a small group of Indigenous distance runners who will compete in a series of distance running events around the world.”

Nice work if you can get it. Someone did – former world champion marathon runner Robert “Deek” de Castella, and the rest is history. Well, not quite. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Picture by Dan Himbrechts, Adelaide Now. Robert De Castella with (left to right) Charlie Maher, Juan Darwin and Caleb Hart. FULL STORY »

Alice as a Living Room

 

There are three places I had a love affair with: Amsterdam, Tokyo and Alice Springs. What do  they have in common, I often wondered, writes SUZANNE VISSER. 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 »

Greens want humane, economical approach to asylum seekers

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

We are calling on Territorians to vote for a humane and economical approach to the issue of asylum seekers, write Todd Williams and Michael Brand, local Greens candidates.

  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 »

Finding the songs left to sing

 

Art or cunning?, a contemporary sculpture show at Watch This Space, is a pleasure to behold, like the sight of a wide deep bay or river after leaving the desert. To walk into the gallery animated by objects of intrigue, there in the space like other bodies that engage yours, to make your way around them, to feel the attraction of their forms, their varied materials, the push and pull between them, is to realise that you’ve been missing this kind of experience.

What is immediately striking is the distinctness of the works on show, particularly in relation to materials and construction. There’s a phrase in the title of one that suggests something about the artists’ processes: “Everybody can’t have thought of everything.” So they set out in search of the “song left to sing”. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

Pictured: “There’s gotta be some left to sing, everybody can’t have thought of everything” Gillian Welch by Sia Cox.  FULL STORY »

Distinction of design reflecting a sense of place

 

No other single entity has put its stamp on the contemporary face of the Alice Springs town centre to the same extent. With the redevelopment of the northern Todd Mall and Parsons Street and the construction of the Green Well Building on Bath Street, the design work of architects Susan Dugdale and Associates has raised the bar of the built environment across key sites from east to west, reflecting a commitment to the idea that “Alice Springs is a special place”. By KIERAN FINNANE.

UPDATED, Saturday 24 August 2013. 

Pictured: The Green Well Building from the south. Image courtesy Mike Gillam.

  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 »

Bright kids to be victims of teacher cuts, say protesters

See also UPDATE THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 10:10am

 

Time to take a break from Federal issues? Here’s a Territory one that teachers and students reckon is hot enough to take to the doorstep of NT Chief Minister Adam Giles. The main prop of the protest was a coffin in which elements of local education may be buried soon, says Senior Secondary School teacher Penny Whiley (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The product of time spent joyfully

 

 

 

 

 

At over eighty years of age, Lilly Ulah’s display of glowing canvases at Raft Artspace confronts the tendency to couple physical frailty with colourlessness. Faded, dull, paling, lackluster or dim are words that connote age; while vivid, bright and shining mark the spiritedness of youth. When the Coober Pedy Arts Project began their workshops in 2010, no one could have predicted that the most brilliant participant to emerge would be a resident of Umoona Aged Care; a woman without any technical arts training. ANNA GEORGIA MACKAY went to the opening.

  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 »

Land use emerges as big issue in Centre

 

 

Candidates spruiking repetitive and uninformative platitudes is an irritating feature of Australian elections which always result in the victory of one major party that is only marginally different from the other. We quickly get over it. Lingiari is different: Here the election is a matter of life and death. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Land lease payments – nice little sit-down earner

An initiative by the Howard government in 2006 to stimulate commercial activity, private enterprise style, by Aboriginal people on their land has been turned into yet another source of sit-down money. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The Central Desert Shire office in Yuendumu: a public asset for which lease payments will need to be made. FULL STORY »

‘Centralised government not fit to deal with outback’

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Episodic policy announcements about regions and northern Australia are evidence of political concern about non metropolitan Australia but will not solve the problems endemic across remote Australia because government arrangements are not fit for purpose, writes Fred Chaney, Chairman of Desert Knowledge Australia. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »