Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 4 »

January 23, 2014

New courts: new building project for CBD

 

Alice Springs is to get new Supreme Court facilities, doubling in size from one courtroom to two, with the existing courthouse turned over entirely to the busy Magistrates Court. FULL STORY »

Open speed limit starts tomorrow

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

A 200km stretch of the Stuart Highway will undergo a 12 month open speed limit trial, starting tomorrow, writes Peter Styles, Minister for Transport.

  FULL STORY »

After rocky start, life skills village seems on track

Horror stories about public housing: People from the bush are given a dwelling in town. Within days a horde of relatives descends upon it, the place is trashed, the neighbours are in uproar and the pollies running for cover.

Now Aherlkeme, a training facility south of the Gap, may have the answer. After a rocky start in July 2011 new managers are getting tough on rules. Passing life skills courses there are becoming a condition for getting public housing. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

UPDATE February 4:

Further details supplied by the Department of Housing, after enquiries from the Alice Springs News Online, are raising questions about the efficiency of the program. FULL STORY »

Aborigines find jobs not the only way to harness resources

The little children are clever, Part Two.

 

Somehow more and more Aboriginal people are getting work despite not having a good education. The underlying trend is up. The Indigenous increases in employment exceeded the increases for the Australian population as whole. BLAIR McFARLAND continues his reflections on the policy conundrums in remote communities and suggests some different answers are needed.

  FULL STORY »

Pilger’s polemic fails Australia and Aborigines

John Pilger’s recently-released film Utopia cannot rightly be called ‘documentary’ or ‘journalism’ if those words are still to have any standards attached to them. It does not ask questions, other than ones Pilger thinks he knows the answers to and to which he can lead his interviewee. It does not seek out or fairly treat a single dissenting point of view. It does not recognise complexity. It has all the irksome smugness – and the sing-song voice to boot – of a man in a pulpit who is quite sure of being right, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

How to diversify our economy: Labor’s view

Mining, transport, framing, art and culture – our future will depend on it. Editor ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Deputy Opposition Leader Gerry McCarthy about Labor’s view on diversification of our economy. PHOTO: Tennant Creek Clontarf Academy alumnus checks out Bootu Creek Mine. Will he join the FIFO workforce? FULL STORY »

Single, unemployed, and back on my bike

 

 

When one grows up on a bicycle, like I did in the Netherlands, it is amazing how quickly one picks up the art of riding, even after an absence of thirteen years. FULL STORY »

Gap pedestrian crossing goes, Feds waive refund

 

 

UPDATE Wednesday, January 22, 1:45pm

An agreement has been stuck with the Black Spot Program for there to be no requirement for the NT Government to pay back the cost of installing the crossing, and that it will fund the additional safety measures for this area.

 

Yesterday’s report: The Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development will not be paying for the removal of the controversial pedestrian crossing at The Gap. What’s more, if the Territory Department of Transport removes the crossing, it will have to return the Federal Government $266,521 in Black Spot funding. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Work starts on removal of crossing.
FULL STORY »

Alice Plaza and the street: can we try a bit harder?

 

Businesses opening their doors onto the street is a make or break situation for Todd Street North, with the most critical premises being the tenancies on the eastern side of Alice Plaza.  If one solution is grease traps, allowing a cafe to open up in the location, is everyone trying hard enough to make that happen? KIERAN FINNANE reports.  FULL STORY »

Who pays for pedestrian crossing? You work it out.

 

 

 

Will the NT Government need to repay the Commonwealth Government the $300,000-odd it cost to build the Gap pedestrian crossing, which is now being dismantled? You work it out.

  FULL STORY »

Minister says ‘no’ to further Mbantua Festival grant

 

 

 

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has rejected a further request for a government grant for the Mbantua Festival held last year. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Festival chairman Neville Perkins. FULL STORY »

National Trust may sell off historic house

 

The historic Les Hansen House, built in 1942 on a large block corner Bath Street and Stuart Terrace, may be sold by the National Trust.

The Darwin-based CEO of the trust, Elisabeth Close, says the sale is being “discussed” because the trust has not been able to lease the property, it can’t find a tenant and it is very expensive to maintain it. By ERWIN CHLANDA FULL STORY »

Snapping Henley on Todd out of its midlife crisis

 

The town’s three Rotary Clubs are calling on the public for ideas to snap Henley on Todd out of its midlife crisis. A budgie smuggler race – maybe with a doorstop thrown in – may be added to the program to return the madcap regatta – now more than 50 years old – to its former glory. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Pollies on Alice youth: he said, she said

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

While Chief Minister Adam Giles is touting government support to the tune of $2.5m for a youth facility at one end of Anzac Oval, Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie is deploring his shutting down of a youth facility at the other end. FULL STORY »

Is NT Government turning its back on CBD project?

The NT Government appears to be turning its back on a proposed residential development creating about 70 apartments in Todd Mall. Developers say the project also has significant community benefits which would warrant a $2m grant. Minister for Central Australia Matt Conlan has declined to be interviewed on the matter, but it is understood the request for the money is being refused. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Google Earth Image: CBD land owned by the Uniting Church, and adjoining town council carparks, which together make up the real estate where the proposed development would take place. The former Commonwealth Bank building (# 5 in the photo) has been empty for some time. FULL STORY »

Prisons cost us four times national average

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The NT’s imprisonment rate is five times the national average. The NT spends $553 per head of the NT population per year on our prison system, compared to the national average of $139 per head, writes Priscilla Collins of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. FULL STORY »

Slash and burn instead of milk and honey for Alice

 

 

 

The people of Alice Springs are starting to “arc up” over the failure of the CLP government to spend money on infrastructure in the town, says acting Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Central Australia, Gerry McCarthy (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

‘They are afraid for their children’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) visitors are meeting asylum seeker mothers who do not know if they and their families may be deported by force in the middle of the night to Nauru or Manus Island. Mothers have heard of the reports of violence on Manus, the risk of malaria on Manus and substandard living conditions on Nauru – they are afraid for their children, writes network member EMMA MURPHY.

  FULL STORY »

Ryan vs Liddle: beyond mediation

 

The face-off between heavyweights in the local Aboriginal political scene continued in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court today. Maurie Ryan (left, in the centre), chairman of the Central Land Council, is applying for a personal violence order against former deputy chairman and ongoing executive member, Michael Liddle (right). KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

  FULL STORY »

Hunter/gatherers vs the farmers

 

 

Whitefellas are not at some pinnacle of evolution that all other cultures seek to attain. When we meet Aboriginal people, it becomes uncomfortably evident exactly what have we given up for what we have gained, writes BLAIR McFARLAND in the final part of his series.

  FULL STORY »

Cr Paech: Alice needs boost not blame from Giles

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

When local councillors tried to tell the Chief Minister the town was suffering economically and socially and needed Government stimulus to promote private investment, we were told to wait until the election was closer and we would benefit from pork barrelling, writes CHANSEY PAECH, an Alice Springs Town Councillor.

  FULL STORY »

Vale, Max Kleiner

 

 

 

Max Kleiner (pictured) was a highly respected business man, a sportsman, a socialiser, a contributor to society, and importantly, a great family man, writes Rotarian PETER HOEY, who gave the eulogy at the service yesterday, attended by some 300 people, celebrating a life that enhanced Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Three people and one event shine on Oz Day in Alice

Three people and one event are front and centre today in Alice Springs, honoured with Australia Day awards. They were Peter Lowson (pictured with his group of little Aboriginal drummers), teenager Jacilyn Lindner who captured a commercial opportunity, emergency services volunteer Michelle Thomas and the Australian Dirt Kart Titles. FULL STORY »

Giles has head in sand and in clouds over booze: ALP

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The CLP is divided over grog as the alcohol related crime statistics keep rising, writes Ken Vowles (pictured), Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy. FULL STORY »

Taking alcoholics off the streets

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

The second quarterly figures released today show the Government’s Alcohol Mandatory Treatment system is having a significant impact in taking chronic alcoholics off the streets and giving them the opportunity to turn their lives around, writes Robyn Lambley (pictured), Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation. FULL STORY »

Alice Plaza: no plans to front the street

 

Will the Todd Street North side of the Alice Plaza open its doors onto the street following the revitalisation works recently completed there? This was one of the expressed hopes behind the works but it seems that the short answer is no. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Crunch time for Adam Giles

 

 

If the the NT Government can manage the Alice Springs economy through its downturn and rekindle its dynamics, they’ll be a Government of legend. If they fail they’ll be history. FULL STORY »

Let’s not allow Aboriginal recognition to be hijacked

 

Proposed changes to the constitution recognising Aboriginal Australian history prior to European settlement are in danger of being sabotaged as the discussion is hijacked by the more radical chip on the shoulder isolationists amongst us. FULL STORY »

January 26: Good day, bad day?

 

 

 

January 26: When the penal colony established that day has matured into today’s Australia, or when the wars of conquest started that have never been resolved. FULL STORY »

One gap that’s not closing

 

 

ALCOHOL WATCH #8 by Russell Guy

Some people continue to blame the “Aboriginal industry” for the failure of billions of dollars spent on “Closing the Gap,” but very few acknowledge the alcohol industry as one of the chief players. FULL STORY »

Spec builders limited to one block at Kilgariff

 

 

“Spec builders” will be able to buy land at the new Kilgariff  suburb but only at the rate of one per person, says Chief Minister Adam Giles. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »