Story Archive » Volume 22 » Issue 7 »

May 5, 2015

Anzac Day dawn service, Alice Springs, 2015

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An estimated 2000 people were at the dawn service on top of Anzac Hill this morning on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. Photo and report by ERWIN CHLANDA

  FULL STORY »

Anzac links by hands, hearts and hard drives

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They are a long way from Gallipoli – even from Alice Springs – but School of the Air students are remembering the diggers in their own way. PICTURED is the McKnight Family on Huckitta Station.

  FULL STORY »

Gunfire brekkie after moving ceremony

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The town was up early for the Anzac commemoration. DAVE IVES reports.

  FULL STORY »

Tourism: let the battle for the big spenders begin

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Some operators are not pulling their weight in Tourism NT’s quest to end the 10 year slump. ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with Tony Mayell, the CEO of the government promotion body, in the first of a series of reports about the industry that stands between Alice as a private enterprise centre, and a welfare town.

  FULL STORY »

Keyboard vigilantes

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Vigilante sentiments are alive and well in Alice Springs in the wake of rock throwing and vandalism last week. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Nearly all stage one blocks sold in Kilgariff

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Almost all the lots have been sold in Kilgariff Stage 1 and there have already been six pre-sales off the plan in Stage 1B, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles.

  FULL STORY »

Comic take on clash of cultures

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“Potentially everybody” will be offended by the “politically incorrect” new black comedy out of Alice Springs, 8MMM. Ahead of its free public screening this weekend KIERAN FINNANE talks to its writer / producer Trisha Morton-Thomas, who also plays one of its lead characters.

  FULL STORY »

50 years devoted to each-other, and tourism

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Norma and Pat Brennan making it as a couple, and in an industry that has seen better days. By ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Westra van Holthe, Clown King

The NT now has a clown for a Deputy Chief Minister, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine. FULL STORY »

Parks authority controls people, not weeds

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The NT Parks and Wildlife Commission spends more time controlling people than introduced grasses which are choking Trephina Gorge, a jewel in out tourism crown. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

League needs to take responsibility for carnival mayhem

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The football League must to take more responsibility not only for the conduct of players in the Easter Lightning Carnival, but also for their “entourage” coming to Alice Springs for the fixture, says Paul Fitzsimons (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Banning lightning carnival won’t work as a quick fix

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Rock throwing: The problem lies deeper than once-a-year footy visitors.

  FULL STORY »

Rock throwing kids were already in care, Minister told

A number of the children who appeared in court this week in relation to the recent rock throwing and vandalism incidents were already in care of the Department of Children and Families, write Antoinette Carroll and Christa Bartjen-Westermann, of Making Justice Work.
  FULL STORY »

Minister deplores big stick but says it worked

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Threats to take children into care and fine parents curbed anti-social behaviour, says John Elferink (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Alice on track for athletics

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Alice Springs athletics will get a new, first class track at a cost of $2m, write Chief Minister Adam Giles and Minister for Sport Gary Higgins.

  FULL STORY »

Govt to put rock throwers into care as council passes buck

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Council defeats curfew motion as government may put into care rock throwers, fine parents of truant kids. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Window in ambulance smashed by vandals.

  FULL STORY »

Stop Easter footy carnival in Alice: Liddle

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The Easter Lightning Carnival should no longer be held in Alice Springs, says prominent local Aboriginal man Michael Liddle. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Man indecently assaults sleeping woman: allegation

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Police are looking for a man who unlawfully entered a residence in The Gap at around 1am yesterday and indecently assaulted a 30-year-old woman as she slept. FULL STORY »

Mayor on thin ice with fracking claims

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Damien Ryan says the fracking debate is a “hysterical rush to the waterfall” and other councils opposing the controversial process are being shut out of the debate about it. Peter Clee (pictured), the president of the Wagait Shire Council, disagrees.

  FULL STORY »

Cops, cars pelted with rocks

Large groups of youths were chased in the centre of town. The ringleader is described as a male aged in his late teens or early twenties, of Aboriginal appearance. He is of medium build and wearing a pink or red t-shirt.
  FULL STORY »

Alice Springs Town Council Fails to Act to Protect Local Water Supplies

We are extremely disappointed that Alice Springs Town Council failed to pass a motion last night that would protect the town’s water supply from the risk of hydraulic fracturing, writes Tanya Hall, Central Australian Frack Free Coordinator. FULL STORY »

Hybrid sports car doing 350 km/h north of Alice

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The change from cruising silently at city speeds of 60 km/h to a roaring race car doing 350 km/h took just 40 seconds on the open speed road north of Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Let Me See: about so much more than sight

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To gather at the door with strangers; to be led inside, directed where to sit, where to stand, when to close your eyes, when to open; moving in and through dim light, even darkness, to try receiving a space or a work with senses other than the visual: these were some of the pleasures of the art event, Let Me See: Arts & Technology. About so much more than seeing. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

  FULL STORY »

‘Inner Loop’ of West MacDonnell Ranges to be sealed

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NT Budget 2015 will provide money to seal the Mereenie Inner Loop over the next two years, the 43 kilometres of Larapinta Drive between Hermannsburg and Glen Helen, via Gosse’s Bluff (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Do we really need to seal that other loop?

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Completing the Inner Loop road seal in the magnificent West MacDonnells is an excellent call by Chief Minster Adam Giles. Now let’s drop the Mereenie Loop? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.

  FULL STORY »

Sealing the Outback Way: The mouse that roars.

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The council of Queensland’s Boulia Shire – population about 600 – has its eye on the contract for sealing the Plenty Highway in the Northern Territory between the border and the Stuart Highway. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Cops target domestic violence offenders

Detectives arrested seven people following a two day operation targeting domestic and family violence, writes Detective Superintendent Brent Warren. FULL STORY »

The Chief Minister’s motor millions

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The source of the Alice Springs News Online report three days ago about Chief Minister Adam Giles splashing millions on motor sports wasn’t far off the mark.
  FULL STORY »

Police seek information on rock throwing

There were 11 reports of rock throwing incidents in the CBD between 9pm Thursday and 3am today (Frinday), writes Senior Sergeant Siiri Tennosaar, of the Alice Springs Police.
  FULL STORY »

Overpass: $24m white elephant

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Are there more pressing civil works on which $24m of public money could have been be spent rather than the railway overpass nearing completion on the Stuart Highway south of town? The Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Central Australia think so. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
  FULL STORY »

Spate of property offences, anti-social behaviour

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Police have received a number of reports about property offences and anti-social behaviour during the Easter Holidays, writes Superintendent Travis Wurst (pictured), of the Alice Springs Police.

  FULL STORY »

Giles handing out millions to motor sports?

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An aide to Chief Minister Adam Giles will not disclose details of NT Government grants to the drags and speedway clubs in Alice Springs but they are rumored to be sizeable. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Chamber says ‘no’ to race based tender rules

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Government’s race-based tendering requirements cannot be justified, says Kay Eade (pictured), CEO of the Alice Springs Chamber of Commerce. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

$5m health teaching facility

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The government will this year construct a $5 million training and teaching facility at the Alice Springs Hospital site, allowing staff to be trained using state-of-the art technology to replicate real emergency situations, writes John Elferink, Minister for Health (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Better WiFi, mobile signal soon south of Gap

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Alice Springs residents south of The Gap can look forward to relief for their congested WiFi and mobile phone services.

  FULL STORY »

Visitor robbed and bashed, but footy crowd behaved

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A 21-year-old visitor was robbed and bashed from behind this morning, allegedly by three males of Aboriginal appearance. On a lighter note, local police are on the beat on a novel way of transport.

  FULL STORY »

New guide to tracking down the arts of The Centre

 

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27 operators are part of a project which incorporates four separate art trails across Central Australia and the Barkly, writes Adam Giles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and Minister for Tourism.

  FULL STORY »

100 kids on the street in the middle of the night

We stayed until around 3am each morning and noted we never saw a police vehicle or night patrol or youth patrol on any day at any time we were there, writes Russell Bray jnr. FULL STORY »

Youth curfew calls ‘ill-founded and dangerous’

Calls for the introduction of youth curfews in Alice Springs are ill-founded and dangerous, writes Julie Edwards CEO, Jesuit Social Services. FULL STORY »

Race rules in NT government tenders draw fire

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Companies expecting to win tenders for Territory Government work now will need to have staff that is 30% or 40% Indigenous, reports ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Tender rules: Swap ‘Indigenous’ with ‘local’

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The NT Government’s Indigenous employment policy will cause a quantum leap in racism and division.

  FULL STORY »

First Outback Way seal may go further

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The first seal of the Outback Way, which traverses Australia east-west through Alice Springs, may be longer than the Federal Government is bartering for. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

No rape jokes for Araluen, please

Jim Jefferies, to perform at Araluen, is known for his misogynistic rants and rape jokes, writes Margaret Carew. FULL STORY »

Virgin new link to Centre for overseas tourists

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Chief Minister is betting a bottle of Grange that Virgin will bring about cheaper air travel to The Centre. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Airport firies stage a watery welcome for the Virgin inaugural flight today.

  FULL STORY »

Fest to honour late rock hero Rowley Hill

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Blacken the Globe will Rock for Rowley. RAINER CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Water for growth doubted in govt draft

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There seems to be little spare water for uses other than supplying the town, at its present rate of consumption, according to the NT Government’s Draft Alice Springs Water Allocation Plan 2013-2018. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Ali Curung watermelon plantation some 400 km north of Alice Springs – should horticulture draw water from the Amadeus basin? FULL STORY »

Water foes on same page about exploration

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Two arch foes on issues of water management say they are on the same page about the urgent need for exploration of new resources. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

How ice began to ruin my life: former addict

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A recovering ice addict in Alice Springs tells ANDREA JOHNSTON how she got hook on the drug now widely considered the most vicious drug on the illicit market. Photo courtesy police. FULL STORY »

Ice – it’s worse than any of us realise

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This is a girl before and after becoming addicted to ice.

  FULL STORY »

Town inured to Aboriginal violence: lawyer

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The public of Alice Springs is both inured to violence in Aboriginal society, because of its frequency, and afraid of speaking out about it, lest this is interpreted as being racist. So says Russell Goldflam (pictured), president of the Criminal Lawyers Association, commenting on the current debate about the alleged rape of an Aboriginal nine year old girl in an Alice Springs town camp. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Minister confirms defects in tender winner’s previous job

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Minister Peter Chandler has confirmed there were defects in the emergency department built by Sydney-based Lahey Constructions which has just been awarded a $30m tender for more work at the hospital. PHOTO: A dance by traditional healers (nangkaris) opened the $25m department in June 2013. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Brrrr!

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There was ice on our bird bath this morning, in the Rangeview Estate farm area. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Chandler explains why outside company got $30m tender

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Minister for Infrastructure, Peter Chandler (pictured), has explained why a $29.6m Alice Springs hospital tender has been awarded by the NT Government to Sydney firm Lahey Constructions Pty Ltd instead of a local company. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Opposition outrage over tender going east

A well placed barb … but read on! FULL STORY »

Melanka: 8 storeys done deal, but still questions

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The topic most people at this morning’s Melanka hearing wanted to talk about wasn’t on the agenda of the Development Consent Authority: The eight storeys. But quite a few other points were raised by about 20 “submittors”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

‘My brown skin baby’ composer passes away

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Both Territory Senators paid tribute to Bob “Uncle” Randall who died at Mutitjulu on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mr Randall performing his famous song in the Bungalow play at the Mbantua Festival in Alice Springs in 2013.

  FULL STORY »

Will the NT also stop funding outstations?

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Federal Government and the CLP will walk away from continuing to fund outstations and remote bush communities, writes Opposition Leader Michael Gunner (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Certainty for remote homelands in the NT

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Claims that the Federal Government wants to close some communities in the NT are wrong and nothing more than deliberate scare-mongering, writes Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Budget to encourage new businesses in Alice – Chamber

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Budget measures will be particularly well received in regional Northern Territory where unemployment is at its highest and job opportunities are limited, says Chamber of Commerce EO Kay Eade (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Budget boost for northern development: Giles

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The Territory Government has welcomed the down-payment in the Budget on the development of a sustainable Northern Australia with the creation of a multi-billion dollar concessional loan scheme for infrastructure, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles.

  FULL STORY »

Better ‘destination’ parks and none will be sold

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The Town Council will make a long term commitment to improving its network of parks without selling any. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

  FULL STORY »

Council parks – what opportunities?

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Reinvesting Alice parks as community hubs and shared spaces was one of the issues that originally motivated me to stand as a Councillor, writes Chansey Paech (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Bonding on a tough trek in magnificent country

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Out there company hierarchy doesn’t count for anything. We were all equals. Some very junior staff were leading executives: Bonding, Larapinta Trail style. ERWIN CHLANDA talked to the trekkers.

  FULL STORY »

Time for a date?

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The potential of the date industry is huge, announced Primary Industries Minister. Provided you have a lot of time, he should have added – and water. PHOTO: Mr van Holthe (at right in the picture) with AZRI technician Glen Oliver. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Looking for love and meaning on the road

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The “poetry and song of the road” is the stuff of Russell Guy’s novel Dry Crossing for its first thirteen chapters. KIERAN FINNANE  reviews.

  FULL STORY »

Desert imprints: artists’ new ventures

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Desert artists are using a range of print-making techniques to reinterpret, more than simply reproduce, original art works. The results are showing in two new exhibitions, one in Alice Springs, the other in Sydney, writes KIERAN FINNANE.

  FULL STORY »

At last: paper recycling for Alice

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Alice Springs is set to get paper recycling, adding to the ‘green’ repertoire of the Town Council’s Regional Waste Management Facility.
  FULL STORY »

Rowley Hill’s family says thank you

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Rowley Hill’s family – Richard, Jane, Samual, Asta and Jasmine – would like to thank the wonderful community of Alice Springs and beyond, for your love, support and overwhelming generosity since we lost our Rowley in the Todd River the evening of 8 January, 2015. FULL STORY »

Hall dropped from community Facebook site

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The spokesman for a paramilitary group in Alice Springs, Gary Hall, seems to have suffered a blow to his public acceptance. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: One of the remaining references to Hall on a community FB site.

  FULL STORY »

Has paramilitary spokesman broken law?

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“That depends on how he said it and what steps he has taken to go down that path,” says Attorney-General and Minister for Justice John Elferink (pictured). Meanwhile police chief won’t answer questions. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Shot kneecaps, smashed legs: Threat to crims

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There is a paramilitary group in Alice Springs ready to shoot offenders in the knees or smash their legs with baseball bats, says its spokesman, Gary Hall (pictured)ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Blockies fight planning bid: Town could be next

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Rural residents have banded together to fight an application to turn a rural residential block into an industrial site, with serious implications for the amenity of the area. This could be your neighbour’s yard, they say in an advertisement. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks ‘not welcome’ in her community

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Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, adored by national TV audiences, is apparently no longer welcome in her own community of Utopia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Self help not part of the welfare mantra

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” remark has focussed the debate about who should be doing what for Aboriginal people. Self-help is not on the agenda for some. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Last week’s rally in Alice Springs.

  FULL STORY »

Leaving their tribal lands to avoid more work for dole

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People in remote communities would rather leave their tribal homelands than working for the dole there, for longer than they would need to in an urban centre. So says Central Desert Regional Council president, Adrian Dixon (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

A day in the sun for Alice Springs

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Mayday Monday in The Alice was all about being out there and having fun in our brilliant autumn weather. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

School of the Air: Show and tell or being there

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The School of the Air in Alice Springs goes the extra mile in its contacts with tourists: There’s always “a real person” for them to talk to, and who will answer questions, says Bill Newman, Middle Years Team Leader. But the real buzz would be to join a student like Ziggy Solczaniuk in his classroom at Ross River Resort, in the magnificent East MacDonnells. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Land grab, but no dying pillow

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It was fire and brimstone at noon today when a crowd of 200 listened to prominent Aboriginal activists on the council lawns, thundering about the possible closure of remote communities in Western Australia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Monitoring devices to be extended to youths

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Electronic monitoring devices could soon be used on youth offenders, writes John Elferink, Minister for Correctional Services (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Man sought after aggravated assault on woman

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Police are seeking a man of Aboriginal appearance, about 175cm tall and medium build following an aggravated assault in Alice Springs over the weekend.

  FULL STORY »

Discount fuel 8 cents cheaper

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Automobile Association deal for members from May 15. UPDATE 1pm Saturday: The discounts are already in place. The Alice Springs News Online this morning bought premium unleaded fuel for $1.50 a litre at the Indervon service station (pictured) in Gap Road.

  FULL STORY »

Pre-paid return tickets for footy fans?

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Requiring payment in advance for the return trip from the Easter Football carnival in Alice Springs, for supporters as well players, is one measure under consideration to avoid the spate of criminal damage in the wake of this year’s fixture, says Assistant Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  FULL STORY »

Budget gets thumbs up from interest groups

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New Opposition Leader Michael Gunner (pictured) attacks the Budget’s spending on health in his reply speech today, but makes no mention of the Central Australian Health Service being allocated $38m for capital works, including $34m to be spent in Alice Springs. Local Labor branch president Chansey Paech declines to be interviewed.

  FULL STORY »

Big capital works budget for Centre

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The NT Budget announced this morning provides for a capital works expenditure in Central Australia of a whopping $174m, including $102.8m worth of new works. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Ormiston Gorge. The completing of the inner loop road will trigger a boom in the Western MacDonnells.

  FULL STORY »

Council: Lightning Carnival should stay

But fix problems, including racism 

 

Town councillors spoke as one last night: the Lightning Carnival should stay, but associated problems should be fixed. And From Steve Brown to Jade Kudrenko they rejected the “racist” commentary on the issues in social media.   KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Majority stick to ‘no’ on fracking moratorium

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Impassioned pleas from the public gallery, an eloquent speech from Councillor Jade Kudrenko, a certain volume of letters and emails, and a second small petition – adding 96 signatures to a previous 165 – were not enough to persuade the blockers on the Town Council to impose a moratorium on fracking in the municipality. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

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

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Making the most of what we’ve got is Tourism Central Australia’s strategy. The second report in a series by ERWIN CHLANDA. PHOTO: Ellery Bighole marketing image from Tourism NT.

  FULL STORY »

Needed youth services missing from Budget: Councillor

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I had hoped the NT Government would prioritise in the Budget after hours services given the recent focus on issues around young people on the streets at night, writes Chansey Paech, Alice Springs Town Councillor (pictured).

  FULL STORY »

Playing race relations for laughs

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During the opening scene of the first episode of 8MMM an Aboriginal staff member falls into an open grave and dies. The scene is played for laughs. There couldn’t be a clearer signal that no sensitivities will be spared in this comedy series out of Alice Springs which will start going to air on ABC television this Wednesday. KIERAN FINNANE was at yesterday’s free public screening of the first two episodes.

  FULL STORY »

Furore over hospital tender

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Builders in Alice Springs are incensed about the NT Government letting a tender worth $30m for work on the hospital to a company that has apparently no presence in the town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

  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 »