Story Archive » Volume 22 » Issue 4 »

February 25, 2015

Third rapist of European tourists: 15-page criminal history at age 20

Bruce Impu, the third offender, pleaded guilty today to his part in the rape of two European tourists in May 2012. At the age of just 20 he has a 15-page criminal history. KIERAN FINNANE reports from the Supreme Court. FULL STORY »

Police raid third drug lab in Alice suburb

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Police say they discovered an “active illicit drug laboratory” when they raided a residential property in Gillen yesterday. PHOTO supplied by police. SEE UPDATE Thursday 2:30pm.

  FULL STORY »

Now you see it, now you don’t

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A sign erected yesterday telling people they will be prosecuted if they enter into the popular Ilparpa claypans area didn’t last long. It was gone this morning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Being with Uluru: a God inside

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“A meditative and mindful experience is about being in the moment, aware of the surroundings but not being judgemental about them.” It may be a new way of travel, reports I-LING CHEN, a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Deputy Administrator Pat Miller gave herself legal aid loan

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Members of the same family, including former CEO and Deputy to the Territory Administrator Pat Miller, have given themselves and each other loans from funds of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Tiny minority runs Rock, ‘working’ towards closing climb

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The Abbott Government leaves unchallenged the Ayers Rock (Uluru) park management plan, approved by Peter Garrett, despite its flaws. When the climb is closed permanently, as it is planned, will the sunset be enough? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Prof Gerritsen in Alison Anderson’s cheer squad: Bess Price’s husband after the coup

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The Stuart MLA’s husband and self-confessed biggest fan, DAVE PRICE (pictured), discloses his wife’s role in last week’s CLP upheaval and lets fly against prominent Charles Darwin University professor, Rolf Gerritsen.

  FULL STORY »

A tuneful tick off Dave’s bucket list

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Liverpudlian Dave Oakes (pictured) ended up in the Alice when his wife convinced him to turn left at Threeways “just to have a look” because she thought Alice Springs sounded romantic. ANDREA JOHNSTON reports.

  FULL STORY »

John Bell still seeking a ‘sorry’ from de Castella

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Issues between him and Rob de Castella in the Indigenous Marathon Project in 2010 will be heard in the ACT Supreme Court on March 30,writes Alice Springs sports identity, John Bell.

  FULL STORY »

Cabinet: Bess Price gains housing, Tollner back

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Bess Price (Stuart, pictured) has gained housing as a new portfolio in the reshuffle announced by Chief Minister Adam Giles a short while ago. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Conlan resigns from the front bench

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Apart from embattled Chief Minister Adam Giles, Bess Price (Stuart) is the only front bencher in Central Australia after the resignation this morning from all his ministries by Matt Conlan (Greatorex, pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

14th reshuffle: Tollner back in ‘nest of vipers’

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CLP chaos and dysfunction continues in the wake of yet another CLP Minister moving to the backbench – sparking the 14th Cabinet reshuffle in just two and a half years, writes Natasha Fyles (pictured), Shadow Minister for Government Accountability.

  FULL STORY »

Council should get ethical with its $25m investments

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The Town Council should take a look at divesting from the Big Four banks for environmental and ethical reasons, says Councillor Jade Kundrenko. They should do no such thing, counters Cr Eli Melky, as only the Big Four are underpinned by the Federal Government in times of crisis. KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

 

  FULL STORY »

Jazz greats to play in Hermannsburg

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Hermannsburg is likely to be one of the venues for the “biggest jazz and blues festival in the world” featuring James Morrison (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Competitive tendering wasting ‘closing the gap’ money

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There is progress in health but education outcomes are poor, writes Donna Ah Chee, Congress CEO (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

CLP fiasco: Now Oz is laughing about us, not with us

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CDU professor Rolf Gerritsen (pictured) looks at a tumultuous week when a handful of CLP politicians were prepared to destroy the Territory’s elected government if Adam Giles could not remain Chief Minister. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Police rejects apology from Giles

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The Police Association is disappointed with the Chief Minister’s half-hearted apology delivered during a press conference yesterday, writes Vince Kelly (pictured), President of the Northern Territory Police Association.

  FULL STORY »

Legal aid funding cuts ‘false economy’

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The Aboriginal legal aid service in Alice Springs (CAALAS) is facing a funding cut of 40% over three years as the Territory Chief Justice (pictured) says such savings are a “false economy”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Council to build a cemetery chapel

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A design for a non-denominational chapel in the grounds of the Alice Springs Cemetery was put before the Town Council for approval last night. FULL STORY »

$5m road bill for bush council (updated)

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UPDATED: Fixing up the Nirripy road alone will cost the Central Desert Regional Council $3m and it estimates at $5m the total cost to repair its 1700 km connecting roads damaged by recent rains.

  FULL STORY »

Giles, van Holthe, police: The goose, the gander

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The bitter row between the police and Chief Minister Adam Giles is exacerbated by his arch foe turned deputy now stonewalling questions over allegations similar to those that have forced ex-police commissioner John McRoberts to resign: Interference in an inquiry. By ERWIN CHLANDA. PHOTO: Government mugshot of Mr Westra van Holthe, all smiles.
FULL STORY »

Burn, not bury rubbish: Incinerator plan

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An incinerator meeting most NT needs is planned by businessman Darren Burton at Brewer Estate. By ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Peter Latz: The adventure of my life

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“Assessing our water stocks, Dave and I realised that we only had enough for reduced rations that night and the next morning. If we didn’t get to water the next day we would be in deep shit.” Author and botanist PETER LATZ continues his account if adventures in the bush with traditional owners.

  FULL STORY »

Gas the “glittering prize” but fracking worries some

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Gas and oil will make the Territory an economic powerhouse, says the Treasurer, but fears of fracking persist. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Stars in the making

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Performance artist Melissa Kerl has an answer for parents wanting an outlet for their children’s acting talents. ANDREA JOHNSTON reports.

  FULL STORY »

Disquiet over fracking at Town Council meeting

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The only way to protect aquifers at present is “not to drill”. So says Councillor Eli Melky, a perhaps unexpected bedfellow for anti-fracking protesters, pictured this morning outside the annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar at the Convention Centre.  KIERAN FINNANE  reports.

  FULL STORY »

Would be political assassin’s past with the police

Two investigations found Mr Westra van Holthe had acted wrongly as a policeman. Now he is member of a Cabinet that effectively ended the career of the Territory’s highest ranking police officer, on the basis of UNPROVEN accusations of unlawful actions, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine.
FULL STORY »

Back to the Tanami, with Engineer Jack

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“After supper several Aborigines stepped apart from us and ‘talked to the country’– this involved them spreading their arms and loudly exclaiming with statements like, ‘Hullo country – sorry we have been away so long – it’s so good to be back’.  A most enlightening custom and one I have since taken up myself.” Author and botanist PETER LATZ continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners.

  FULL STORY »

Alice’s mountain biking ‘gold mine’

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Alice Springs is sitting on a “gold mine” in mountain biking tourism, says former Australian velodrome champion and born and bred local, John Pyper.

  FULL STORY »

The farce of Minister Chandler’s Yirara ‘assessment’

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The two-day “assessment” this week of Yirara College, embroiled in a scandal over rampant student misconduct, was a farce, according to a new source speaking to the Alice Springs News Online and currently employed by the college. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

NOTE UPDATE 5:30pm.

  FULL STORY »

Lamenting lines of life sentence and lifestyle choices

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There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the moment by people who are well employed and salaried, speaking out on behalf of those who are not. Self-help is not a favored option, it seems, despite Aboriginal shareholding in major businesses. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Tax money for bush: Don’t ask how much. Ask how.

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Costs to government to support Aboriginal people to live in the bush wouldn’t be prohibitive if the focus was appropriate technology and infrastructure that enables self–reliance and sustainability, write Dr Steve Rogers and Peter Renehan from the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) in Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Youth detention system a failure

The failings of the Territory’s youth detention system under multiple governments were made abundantly clear last week with the release of the Review of the Northern Territory Youth Detention System Report, writes Julie Edwards, CEO of the Jesuit Social Services. FULL STORY »

Land use: poor enforcement of rules

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Walk with ERWIN CHLANDA through the thicket of land planning, land use and government administration: You’ll get to places that will make you say “what the hell,” some will please you, and a few will give you a laugh. PHOTO: The new Kilgariff suburb: Almost all of stage 1A sold or under offer.
  FULL STORY »

Wearable Namatjira

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Transferring delicate visions of the desert landscape in the Namatjira tradition to limited edition silk circle skirts and scarves is the latest innovative project from Ngurratjuta Many Hands artists in partnership with Batchelor Institute. And they are using crowd funding to back the venture. FULL STORY »

Paddys in Alice have a cause to celebrate

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St Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and in a tradition developed over the last four years a group called “Paddys in Alice” is raising funds for a charity – this year for a very sick little girl. ANDREA JOHNSTON reports.

  FULL STORY »

IAD may close

A key Central Australian Indigenous education and training organisation may have to close its doors because of cuts to essential funding under the Federal Government’s Indigenous Advancement strategy, writes its CEO. FULL STORY »

Faces change. So does Alice’s.

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Except for Market Sundays, Bunnings can attract a bigger weekend crowd than Todd Mall. Yeperenye seems to every day.

  FULL STORY »

Sick tree Melanka concern

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Arborist Geoff Miers has been asked to report on a sacred tree on the Melanka site.

  FULL STORY »

A weapon concealed in knee replacement?

Airport security checks of people with artificial joints are “annoying, time consuming, and totally pointless nonsense,” writes Charlie Carter. FULL STORY »

Education Minister in Yirara cover-up

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Education Minister Peter Chandler has rejected an offer from two teachers to meet with him in person and give him detailed, first-hand information about problems at Yirara College. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice-designed technology helps community and tourists

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Traditional owners have used their rent income from the Finke Gorge National Park to put two mobile phone hotspots, developed by the Centre for Appropriate Technology, along the notorious Boggy Hole access track to the park.

  FULL STORY »

Cyclone John: Police Commissioner’s trail of destruction

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The political and legal cyclone which whirled in following the resignation of Northern Territory Police Commissioner John McRoberts on January 15 is still wreaking havoc: The fat lady hasn’t even walked onstage yet, let alone started singing. COMMENT by By RUSSELL GOLDFLAM (pictured), President, Criminal Lawyers Association of the NT.

  FULL STORY »

Your car’s data: Who owns them?

p2221-diagnostic-tool-SMForget metadata and spying governments: When your car gives up the ghost a hundred miles from nowhere, the data you are worried about are those of your vehicle. Right now these are the subject of a major brawl from which the consumer seems set to be emerging victorious. PHOTO: “After-market” car diagnostic tool from China: When you buy a vehicle, should you not receive a genuine one from the manufacturer? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Cuts give Indigenous advancement “uncertain future”

Local government in the bush is grappling with Federal funding cuts, write President Adrian Dixon and CEO Cathryn Hutton, of the Central Desert Regional Council.
  FULL STORY »

Prime Minister attacks wellbeing in remote Australia

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The Prime Minister cares more for “Phil the Greek” than for people in the outback, writes Sid Anderson (pictured), MacDonnell Regional Council President.

  FULL STORY »

Yirara College: Minister Chandler on the case

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Education Minister Peter Chandler says he is prepared to order an investigation into Yirara College (pictured) if there is evidence of tumultuous conduct and danger to students and staff as has been alleged by our sources over the past two weeks. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Yirara College chairman responds to reports, questions

Tim Stollznow, Chairman of Yirara’s Committee of Management, is responding on behalf of the college, and the Finke River Mission, to reports in the Alice Springs News Online, and to emails from the News asking a string of questions.
FULL STORY »

CAALAS: Questions about travel money, credit card

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EXCLUSIVE: Serious questions about travel allowances for board members and the use of a credit card by former CEO Pat Miller will cast a shadow over tomorrow’s AGM of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: Taking the law bush at Haasts Bluff.

  FULL STORY »

Desert Knowledge acting CEO quits

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Paul Davis has resigned as the acting CEO of Desert Knowledge and is “in discussion” about joining the Hatzimihail Group which is seeking to establish a Technology complex in the DK precinct (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

The cruel death of J. Pollard: killers plead guilty

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Life in gaol, never to receive visitors: that’s the punishment the family of J. Pollard see fit for his cruel killers. In the Supreme Court today four men pleaded guilty to causing his death recklessly. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Authority procrastinates over land use: Lambley

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The Development Consent Authority needs to get its act together, says MLA for Araluen Robyn Lambley (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

The ABC, the Burka and equality

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My wife Janet posted a comment on FaceBbook about the wearing of the the Burka. When she was interviewed about it on the ABC she was asked if her comments reflected mine. Why?

  FULL STORY »

“Our” Araluen too expensive?

I request the Friends of Araluen to do their best to have the Travelling Film Festival return “home” to Araluen next year, writes Mark Wilson. FULL STORY »

WorkSafe says it’s all good at Yirara College

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“De-escalating serious student behaviour” was already on the Yirara College agenda two years ago when Work Safe issued an improvement notice. However, the industry watchdog says it has had no complaints from Yirara since. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image: Copy of a memorandum leaked to the Alice Springs News Online. FULL STORY »

Government mum as rural living takes pounding

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A resident in Petrick Road says he is at his wits’ end with the inaction of NT Government about what he describes as blatant breaches of planning laws, turning rural residential land into an industrial block. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Artist found voice in ‘melting pot’ of The Centre

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How welcome to hear an assessment of Central Australia’s “vital artistic community” as one of encounter between the cultures, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. This is where  JOHN KEAN situates the work of artist Marina Strocchi whose survey show opened at Araluen on the weekend. FULL STORY »

Cull troublemakers, says Yirara College teacher

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Rampant misconduct by some students is making Yirara unsafe for other students and staff and makes meaningful teaching all but impossible. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: Work of a student.

  FULL STORY »

Fracking needs robust regulation: Report (& updates)

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The long-awaited Hawke report into fracking has been released today. It says “environmental risks can be managed effectively subject to the creation of a robust regulatory regime” and there is no need for a moratorium. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
UPDATES – views of Minerals Council and Arid Lands Environment Centre.

  FULL STORY »

Anti social conduct outside Memo Club eased

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Anti-social behaviour outside Memo Club is no longer a significant issue since police have “proactively engaged with management to ensure compliance with security and licensing requirements,” says police spokesman Simon Eldridge. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Former police commissioner to be investigated for crime

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The government accepts a recommendation that John McRoberts (pictured with a naval officer) be investigated for the criminal offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice, write Chief Minister Adam Giles and Police Minister Peter Chandler.

  FULL STORY »

16% of public dwellings vacant, 614 applicants waiting

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There are 114 unoccupied dwellings public housing dwellings in Alice Springs and about 614 applicants on the wait list, according to a spokeswoman for Housing Minister Bess Price. Vandalism continues to be a problem. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fracking moratorium needed: Alliance

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The Frack-Free Alliance welcomes the release of the Hawke Inquiry and calls on the government to initiate an immediate moratorium “on this proven high risk, low return industry”.

  FULL STORY »

Rocky Hill vineyard threat to our drinking water

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As the Rocky Hill Grape Block lies directly above the drinking groundwater supplies of Alice Springs, there is a real and ongoing health risk posed by a pollution threat, writes hydrogeologist Robert Read Richie Hayes, who runs the Rocky Hill operation, declined to comment..

  FULL STORY »

Clontarf: it’s more than footy

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“The main goal is to get them finishing year 12, and then there’s an employment program to help them get work and be successful in society after school.” ANDREA JOHNSTON reports about Clontarf making a difference. FULL STORY »

Lambley broadside: Giles arrogant, dishonest

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International convention demands Adam Giles should have resigned, said Robyn Lambley (pictured): “Instead he threatened he would prefer to bring down our government. I believe Adam Giles has no integrity.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Yirara: 100% failure doesn’t worry Minister

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We now have an education minister, Peter Chandler (pictured), asserting that a boarding school, 40 years old, funded by his department, does not warrant an investigation although every single one of its students is in the bottom quartile of achievement. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Impu to spend at least 14 years in prison

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Bruce Impu (pictured), who pleaded guilty to eight counts of rape at gunpoint of two European tourists in Alice Springs in 2012, was today sentenced to 15 years with 12 year non-parole period. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Hatzimihail project: DK seeks more details

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Desert Knowledge chairman Ken Johnson (pictured) says the board is seeking further details about the multi-million dollar proposal of the Hatzimihail Group for the precinct south of The Gap. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Katherine council opposes fracking

Two NT councils have joined the rapidly growing list of local councils across Australia opposing fracking, writes Charmaine Roth, of the Don’t Frack Katherine group. FULL STORY »

Licensing red tape cut, council told

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Good-bye NT Licensing Commission, hello Director-General of Licensing, and back to the drawing board for the cemetery chapel (drawing at left): The town council got food for thought at last night’s meeting. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Get tough with unruly students: Former Yirara staff

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A former Yirara staff member says double standards applied by management to the 14 house parents often causes bad blood. By ERWIN CHLANDA. IMAGE from the Yirara College website.

  FULL STORY »

Yirara: Rebellion and failure or meeting a challenge?

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Two teachers who worked at Yirara last year gave an alarming account of students’ behaviour and poor results to Editor ERWIN CHLANDA for an exclusive report. It also looks at the effect of the scandalously inadequate primary school education many students receive in the bush before they are sent to the residential college in Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Bring back first home grant: Real estate agent

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A prominent Alice Springs real estate agent, Justin O’Brien (pictured), says the NT Government should reinstate the first home owners grant for existing homes. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

NT fracking regulations ‘Australia’s weakest’

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The NT system of regulating fracking needs a complete overhaul and the government is yet to take any steps to remedy these shambolic laws, writes David Morris (pictured), from the Environmental Defenders Office NT. FULL STORY »

Neglected past to get a bright future

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Living in a sanctuary amongst sculptures by one of your favourite artists sounds idyllic for any art and nature fan, but the challenges in one mysterious corner of Alice Springs are anything but. ANDREA JOHNSTON reports from the Pitchi Richi sanctuary.

  FULL STORY »

No room on plane for local Member

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It was mean-spirited of the Chief Minister Adam Giles to refuse me a seat on his taxpayer-funded charter flight to my home town of Tennant Creek to attend the commencement of the re-enactment of the Borella Ride, writes Gerry McCarthy, Member for Barkly. FULL STORY »

Searching for Kurlpulunu

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“Engineer Jack he told us that the plant played a big part in Yapa mythology and that the dreaming connected to it involved a big bird (“as big as an aeroplane”) that caused the death of dingoes.” PETER LATZ, author and botanist, continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners. FULL STORY »

Real estate market ‘crashing and burning’

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The real estate market is “crashing and burning” at least in part because of the NT Government’s restriction of its grants for new home buyers to new dwellings. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. ABOVE: A scene from the boom times.

  FULL STORY »

Current political upheaval mirrors the past

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One fact that stands out from all the controversy swirling around Territory politics at present is just how closely it echoes the events of a quarter century ago that almost unravelled the CLP in the 1980s. ALEX NELSON comments. He is pictured when he was chosen as the CLP Member of the Year in August 1990.
FULL STORY »

Present pollies not a patch on past

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Past politicians’ standards of behaviour and intellect were far superior to anything we see today, and their achievements vastly more outstanding, writes ALEX NELSON. PHOTO by him: Former Senator Bernie Kilgariff.

  FULL STORY »

Highlights

POLITICS

Budget gets thumbs up from interest groups. Reply by Gunner ignores health spending in Centre.

NT Budget 2015.

Tourism: let the battle for the big spenders begin. First in a series by ERWIN CHLANDA.

Parks authority controls people, not weeds.

 

LOCAL AFFAIRS, ECONOMY and CULTURE

School of the Air: Show and tell or being there.

A day in the sun for Alice Springs.

Land grab, but no dying pillow.

Discount fuel 8 cents cheaper.

Tourism recovery? The proof will be in this year’s pudding.

Playing race relations for laughs.

Gunfire brekkie after moving ceremony.

Anzac Day dawn service, 2015.

Anzac links by hands, hearts and hard drives.

Keyboard vigilantes.

Pat and Norma Brennan: 50 years devoted to each-other, and tourism.

Comic take on clash of cultures.

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR & COMMENT

Needed youth services missing from Budget: Councillor.

Thoughts on war and peace from a cyclist in Alice.

HAL DUELL: Banning lightning carnival won’t work as a quick fix.

Rock throwing kids already in care. Minister should scrutinise his own department.

Alice oval to get top athletics track.

Nearly all stage one blocks sold in Kilgariff. FULL STORY »