Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 12 »

Developing a treasure: 10 year East Macs plan

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Jobs in mining, investment in tourism accommodation, pushing for re-discovering the gold mining town of Arltunga, developing Alcoota fossils as a place visitors can visit: It’s all part of the 10 year plan for the East MacDonnells by the Central Desert Regional Council. FULL STORY »

The Anzac Day parade 2019

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Veterans, school kids, military, police, emergency services, American soldiers, mums and dads and babies in strollers – anyone can march in the Anzac Day Parade in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Recognising the forgotten wars, necessary for peace

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On Anzac Eve a different kind of remembering took place on Anzac Hill in Alice Springs: it did not exclude a commemoration of the service of Australian men and women in military conflicts abroad, but went beyond it, to lament the broader violence, suffering, loss of life and property in war, including the Frontier Wars. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Jacinta Price spits dummy

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A hysterical dummy spit by Jacinta Price, following publication of a report on Monday critical of her record as a town councillor, is unbecoming of a candidate for a major party in a Federal election. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Ms Price at a meeting of the Town Council from which she has resigned despite her pledge to serve a full term. FULL STORY »

Jacinta Price: 4 year commitment lasted 18 months

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The CLP candidate for Lingiari, as a member of the Town Council, contributed little to the running of a struggling town, her meeting attendance grossly inadequate. And Code of Conduct complaints – all found to have been vexatious or without foundation – that she or people associated with her had apparently lodged against three fellow councillors, had local government teetering on dysfunctionality for months. FULL STORY »

Rock, Alice: Widening the gap

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Tourism Research Australia figures show earnings increases Territory-wide for 2018 but in The Centre, the Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon resorts remain on the ascendancy while Alice Springs continues to slide. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Without old power station we’d be ‘stuffed’: ETU

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The noisy Ron Goodin power station on the edge of the posh Golfcourse Estate is still essential for keeping the lights on in Alice Springs, writes Dave “Strawbs” Hayes, ETU NT Organiser.


UPDATE April 24: Statement from Territory Generation. FULL STORY »

Bottlo cops work but big rise in break-ins and car thefts

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The Gunner Government has not only been a financial disaster for the NT, their soft on crime approach has seen our safety in Alice Springs being compromised like never before, writes Robyn Lambley MLA (pictured), Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

Shorten’s NT fracking boost ‘disastrous’




Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s plan to create a $1.5bn fund to encourage the unconventional gas industry in Queensland and the Northern Territory is a disastrous move for landholders, regional communities, and the climate, writes Naomi Hogan (pictured) of the Lock the Gate Alliance. FULL STORY »

Megafauna museum: Locals outnumber tourists

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Big Bird was visited by 5468 between October and March. Most of them were locals. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Budget repair: Check out the cost of this load of rubbish

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Nine weeks and six days after a report to the police of the illegal dumping of a trailer load of rubbish on the road into the West MacDonells National Park, the lifeblood of our tourism industry, it appears nothing constructive has been done by the NT bureaucracy. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Shining light on Parrtjima cost-benefit

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Are the festivals costing $2m each putting too many tourism eggs into one basket? Do we really need the lights on the hill or are the attractions “on the ground” developing as the heart of the event? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Baker Boy was a smash hit, especially for Aboriginal youngsters.


Watch Baker Boy video clip! FULL STORY »

First Aboriginal doctor: Gordon Briscoe AO, BA (Hist), MA, PhD

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Alice Springs born Dr Gordon Briscoe’s journey is remarkable: Since the 1950s he has been a prominent Indigenous activist, leader, researcher, writer, teacher and public commentator. Born in 1938 he was a talented soccer player and in 1997 became the first Indigenous person to gain a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) from an Australian University. By MARK J SMITH. FULL STORY »

Penalising responsible drinkers is not the answer

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With the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that 84% of Australians drink within recommended guidelines and, as a society, we are consuming less alcohol today than any point in the last 55 years, the knee-jerk desire to penalise people doing the right thing doesn’t stack up, writes Brett Heffernan, CEO Brewers Association of Australia. FULL STORY »

Satour & Price seeking legal advice in Code of Conduct saga

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All Code of Conduct complaints against Councillor Catherine Satour have been dismissed and she wants the complainants “held to account”. She has not named them, but Jacinta Price, who last night resigned as councillor, appears to confirm they are associated with her. Ms Price is a candidate in the upcoming federal election.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

The festival of lights – and phones 

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Parrtjima is photogenic, especially just after sunset. Everyone had their phones out, including me, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Coalition wants to accelerate Beetaloo gas production

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Feds contribute $8.4m to “get on with the job. We want to get the gas up out of the ground and into people’s homes and businesses as quickly as we can,” writes Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Photo: Lingiari candidate Jacinta Price. FULL STORY »

Budget repairs: Charging for parks, paying less to homeless

Disproportionate hit for the homeless young to help Gunner repair his record deficit. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Employment breakthrough by local Coles

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An intensive and clever promotion last year by the Coles supermarket in Alice Springs created a critical mass in Aboriginal employment. And a follow-up this year resulted in the proportion of Indigenous personnel working there well exceeding that of the town’s population. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Jenny Standley (right) helping Mary Bayly from Napperby Station load her bush order. FULL STORY »

Budget repair: Where are the tough decisions?

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Is there more than a bailout from the Commonwealth, asks Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured). FULL STORY »

Trouble kids, their parents and the law

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Parents of children who rob, steal cars and break into homes are breaking the law which requires them to  “provide the necessities of life” to their offspring. Should they be prosecuted? ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Families Minister Dale Wakefield. She is pictured (at right) with Mayor Damien Ryan and COTA NT CEO Sue Shearer cutting the birthday cake as the NT Seniors Card turns 20 and the Council on the Ageing, 50. FULL STORY »

Wards for Alice council, including one for town camps?

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Councillor Eli Melky thinks so, and that there should be more elected members, going from the current eight to 10 (plus mayor). KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Speed up road building, say cattlemen




Gas development will massively increase use of bush roads, writes Ashley Manicaros of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association. FULL STORY »

Barkly gets nation’s first Regional Deal

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$63m over 10 years, $15.4m for weather radar station (similar to the one pictured) over 20 years, was announced today jointly by Labor and Liberal pollies in Tennant Creek. FULL STORY »

Massive horse deaths now a risk to humans

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There needs to be a cull, say government officers, but the responsible residents are not acting, and the Central Land Council, responsible for assisting owners of Aboriginal land, remains mum on the tragedy. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Ken Hampton: From podium to pulpit

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Ken Hampton was a junior athletics champion and won the 1961 Bay Sheffield 130-yard race in 12.4 seconds. He became a community leader and Anglican deacon, and the first Aboriginal Justice of Peace in South Australia. By John P McD Smith. FULL STORY »

Move School of the Air to Anzac High building

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The iconic school is bursting at the seams and could be relocated to its original place which itself deserves being maintained, writes Patricia Nelson. FULL STORY »

Tour operator new land council chairman

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Central Land Council delegates have elected Sammy Wilson as CLC chair and Barbara Shaw as deputy chair at their meeting at Yulara Pulka outstation near Uluru. FULL STORY »

Road toll drops by half

But some police news isn’t good: About five youths are alleged to have robbed a woman on Anzac Hill last night. FULL STORY »

New environment laws to follow broad consultation

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The Government has moved one step closer to introducing its new environment protection legislation following extensive community consultation, writes Eva Lawler, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources. FULL STORY »

Horses starve, rotting carcasses near homes

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Horses are starving to death north-east of Alice Springs. Rotting carcasses near homes are a growing health hazard to residents. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 4pm The Department of Primary Industry and Resources says Aboriginal Land Rights Act land is managed by the landowners, in conjunction with the Central Land Council. It is always concerning and distressing when any animals have died, especially in a manner such as this. FULL STORY »

Taxpayer funded firm sends woman bush, unprepared

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Taxpayer funded firm, STEPS Group Australia, sends woman staffer, Ming Lai, to remote communities without training in safe driving on bush roads, no working sat phone, not knowing how to engage 4WD, and when she complains she gets the sack. STEPS’s response: “No comment.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: “Got lost finally found my way to the Aged Care Facility. Stressed out, comforted by Lorraine,” says Ming Lai. FULL STORY »

‘Great Air Race’ crashes after government blows $413,000

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Organisers could not guarantee “safe passage” to its competitors, says NT Major Events. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Shoe on the other foot: caught in a foreign justice system

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An Australian judge was arrested on the weekend for taking photographs in a prohibited area along the Chinese border with North Korea. Her outrage at being arrested led to her also being charged with creating a public disturbance. Not that she understood any of this, as she does not speak Mandarin. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

All views about gallery location will be considered: Lauren Moss

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National Aboriginal Gallery update: Business plan still a work in progress. No agreement about locating the gallery south of The Gap. MacDonnell blaze: Reviews still underway, will consider the use of water bombers. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Minister Lauren Moss today who hosted a breakfast for bushfire volunteers at the Telegraph Station. PHOTO (from left): MLA for Namatjira Chansey Paech, Andrea Celofega, Minister Moss, Karlee Foster, Sue Chambers and Valerian Celofega. FULL STORY »

Art gallery, culture centre location a no brainer: What’s the holdup?

2627 Yeperenye Festival 2 SM2627 Yeperenye Festival 1 SMHarold Furber and Owen Cole say they have made it clear “over and over and over again” that the gallery and the cultural centre should be combined and built south of The Gap. “The government changed it into two projects.” Now the two men are forging ahead with the cultural centre on its own. A significant meeting will take place in Sydney next week, involving Deloitte. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photos: The sensational Yeperenye Festival, had to be held south of The Gap, in 2001.


UPDATE April 12


Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss, confirms the government’s “clear commitment of $20 million” and says the proponents of the project have drawn down against this commitment to support their early planning works. FULL STORY »

NT gets mention in call for global fracking ban



International legal experts say unconventional gas and oil drilling method is a human rights violation, writes Shay Dougall, Convenor of the Australian sessions of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal and impacted Chinchilla resident. Photo: Protesters in the Alice Springs Town Council gallery in 2014.


Updated 10.15am: An extra zero? FULL STORY »

Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’

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The Heritage Council relied on a doctored application from historian Alex Nelson who says the decision not to heritage list Anzac High “certainly means that my nomination, in effect, was not able to be judged properly on its merits”. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA.  FULL STORY »

See the Red Centre without setting foot in Alice Springs

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“It is expected the new service will be very attractive to time-poor Asian and European travellers. Travelling to Uluru via Darwin improves their options, cutting their travel time up to five hours … instead of travelling on flights via other cities,” says the promotion of a direct Darwin to Ayers Rock Resort service by Qantas, starting today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Qantas promotional image, showing Kata Tjuta (the Olgas ). FULL STORY »

Bill Espie: Police hero from Alice Springs

2627 Newspaper clipping SM2627 Chief Inspector Bill Espie SMBill Espie’s mother, Edie, was one of a group of Aboriginal women in Alice Springs who wanted their children to have a better chance in life. Others like her were Hetti Perkins, Dido Cooper, Tilly Tilmouth, Melva Palmer and Millie Woodford. They accepted assitance from Father Percy Smith to help further the education of their children at St Francis’ House in Adelaide. As a member of the NSW police force Bill rescued two men from burning vehicles. He received a string of commendations, including the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct. Story by JOHN P McD SMITH. FULL STORY »

Top cops to get axe




Police Commissioner’s “crazy” decision to axe all Territory Duty Superintendent jobs, writes Paul McCue, NT Police Association President (pictured). FULL STORY »

Federal Budget ‘another big GST blow to the NT’




A further $75m reduction of GST: The Territory Labor Government has fought to see immediate Federal investment in the Territory and job-creating projects. This Budget doesn’t deliver that says Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured). Meanwhile Opposition Leader Gary Higgins welcomes new taxation measures for business and individuals. FULL STORY »

Billion dollar mine inching closer to reality

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The money isn’t in the bank yet but Arafura Resources is soliciting “indicative costs” for motel-style accommodation on site for use during shifts and initially, construction. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Remote parents to raise playgroup and web data issues

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Hiccups in the mobile playgroup scheme and payment for internet access needed to do school work were key issues raised at the annual meeting of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association yesterday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image NTCOSS website. FULL STORY »

Gallery swap: Aborigines second in pecking order

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The Chief Minister is putting his fresh “preferred location” for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery to the town council, ahead of the local Aboriginal people whose culture and traditions the multi-million project is mean to be celebrating. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Isolated parents meet: From the absurd to the visionary




Boarding and travel allowances under the microscope, and a push for agricultural, conservation and land management courses. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Ziggy Solczaniuk, School of the Air pupil at Ross River, pictured in 2015. FULL STORY »

Killerbots, guided by Pine Gap, same as any other weapon?

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What to hit, what to avoid will be programmed at the design stage; deployment and targeting will still be human-directed. That’s what makes Pine Gap relevant and gives Alice Springs residents a more than usual stake in the debate at the UN. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Welcome to winter paradise

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How to use a Swag and other useful hints as we say good-bye to the heat. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Cattlemen face land tenure, gas, live export and Native Title

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Live export restrictions, on-shore gas production, Native Title and security of land tenure present challenges to the cattle industry, according to Chris Nott (pictured), president of the NT Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA), speaking at its annual meeting today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 12.30pm The NT Government is proposing to amend the Pastoral Land Act making permission to use pastoral lease land for non-pastoral purposes more difficult to obtain.


UPDATE Saturday 3.15am: Live export safe under Labor, say McCarthy and Snowdon. FULL STORY »

Half a billion dollars for NT roads: Scullion

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Federal program will  increase flood immunity and boost safety and efficiency through sealing, realigning routes, building bridges and widening roads, writes Nigel Scullion (pictured) Senator for the Northern Territory. FULL STORY »

Council platitudes in response to residents’ anger

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The Town Council director of technical services, Scott Allen (at left), answers with platitudes questions raised three weeks ago about damaging work done to the verges of Schaber Road. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

We’ll all be rooned. Not.

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House and unit prices: Hanrahan’s got it wrong. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: Part of Araluen from Google Earth. FULL STORY »

Council: fob off, rejection, and secret moves

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On top of failing to apologise for disparaging remarks and rejecting council’s appeal for master plan funding, Chief Minister Michael Gunner seems to have his sights set on the Civic Centre block for the proposed national Aboriginal art gallery. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Bottle snatching and assault alleged

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Police seek a woman after alleged bottle snatching and assault. FULL STORY »

John Moriarty: My mother found me in Alice Springs

2624 Moriarty Qantas SMUniversity graduate, soccer star, activist, senior public servant and successful businessman: Removed child John Moriarty rose to the top of Australia’s public life, with Alice Springs at the crossroads of his extraordinary achievements. MARK J SMITH chronicles them. Photo: John and Ros Moriarty with the Qantas Dreamliner whose livery their company created. Two-time Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes is in the centre. FULL STORY »

Save Anzac Hill High School: National Trust

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The school was the first purpose built school for the education of secondary school students in Alice Springs and was a significant step-up in school design to meet the increasing needs of the community, writes Tim Dixon, Director, National Trust NT. FULL STORY »

News cycle: It’s all over in a day

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The 24 hour news cycle is a handy reality for some: It’s all forgotten by tomorrow. A case in point: The IBIS Styles Alice Springs Oasis hotel in Alice Springs is alleged to have given Aborigines inferior rooms. Tourism Central Australia CEO Stephen Schwer (pictured) had known about this for months. The organisation’s chairperson is dodging questions. FULL STORY »

Ways of being: beyond the beauty of Papunya paintings


Men, whose lives in so many ways were under the thumb of Native Affairs, found the means to assert a profound expression of who they were in their own terms and sent this out into the world, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Gas, oil royalties: 10% of what?

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After the agonising, divisive fracking debate we can be safe in the knowledge that we’re getting in royalties 10% of an amount of which we have no idea. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Canberra billions: Is there anybody out there?

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Alice Springs is slow off the mark getting a slice of the $5bn in the kitty of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Mark Coffey (pictured), Head of the Office of Northern Australia. FULL STORY »

Thinking about Dreaming

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Usage and meaning of the words ‘Dreaming’ and ‘Dreamtime’ have moved a long way from original understandings, reflects DICK KIMBER. FULL STORY »

Massive gas reserves close to being tapped

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But the red tape is still a mile long. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Alister Trier, Chief Executive of Department of Primary Industry and Resources, addressing some 250 mining personnel at the AGES conference in Alice Springs this morning.


UPDATE Wednesday 10.50am: Tourism not fracking should be promoted, says the Protect Country Alliance. FULL STORY »