Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 2 »

National Indigenous Gallery advisors: ‘Release full report’

p2514 NIAG Philip Watkins, Hetti Perkins SM
Co-chairs of the National Indigenous Art Gallery steering committee Philip Watkins and Hetti Perkins want their full report released. Its leak to The Australian last week has prompted them to speak publicly for the first time since finalising their work in November. EXCLUSIVE by KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Mining in the NT has turned the corner

5232 Ian Scrimgeour SM



“Unprecedented levels of new geoscience are being released,” Ian Scrimgeour (pictured), executive director of the NT Geological Survey, told the AGES conference in Alice Springs this morning. “We have only scratched the surface of the Territory’s potential.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Feel free to try this at home

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Talk to your neighbours. Maybe they are nice? CHRIS HAWKE writes with an idea about Neighbourhood Day. FULL STORY »

Pack of girls attacked me, says Chinese on working holiday

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‘Stealing with violence’ is the police term. Chinese graduate says she was assaulted in the middle of the night. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

New shield laws protect news sources, but is there a flip side?




Territory shield laws, announced by Attorney-General Natasha Fyles (pictured) make it legal for journalists to keep their sources confidential. But is there a flip side, opening a door for the government to censor news? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

‘Protection of children’ strong theme for Women’s Day

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Arrernte women are continuing to work to raise their profile as a leadership group in Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE  reports from International Women’s Day celebrations, held last week after being rained out on March 8. FULL STORY »

Federal study casts light on future source of town water

p2313-Rocky-Hill-SMp2217-Rocky-Hill-vineyard-SMA federal study examines the Rocky Hill borefield, from which Alice Springs will be drawing its water in 30 years’ time, and the possible impact on groundwater of the vineyard and other irrigated horticulture on the bush block some 50 kilometres south-east of the town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

We failed a young child: Dale Wakefield

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Families Minister Dale Wakefield (pictured) says “there was a failure of shared accountability to ensure the safety” of the two-year-old girl allegedly raped in Tennant Creek. The Minister announces sweeping changes and additional staff and services. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Day on the beach for cattle from Alice

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What? Undoolya cattle on Bondi Beach? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Trying to save the bilby – again

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New app will aid Aboriginal rangers to track the mammals threatened by a phalanx of introduced predators. FULL STORY »

‘Bring back school based constables’

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An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure, writes Tabby Fudge, of the NT Council of Government School Organisations. FULL STORY »

Mayor: town needs ‘full lockdown’ on bottle shops

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A “massive increase” in the number of glass wine and spirit bottles cashed in at the Town Council’s tip shop over summer coincided with a less than comprehensive presence of police at bottle shops this summer. Government’s phase in of police auxiliaries at the bottle shops is a “real concern”, says Mayor Damien Ryan. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Government alcohol policies a giant hangover

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Cops at bottle shops (POSIs): Is the police doing what the government is telling it, or is it bending to the demands of the police union? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: POSIs absent from the Todd Tavern take-away on the weekend.


UPDATE 3:40pm: POSIs “balanced” with other needs, says police.


UPDATE 3:50pm: Lambley pleased Gunner “flip-flopped”. FULL STORY »

Lambley says Gunner dodges scrutiny

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Michael Gunner is “running away” from scrutiny of his performance as police minister, writes Robyn Lambley (pictured), Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

Empathy for youth on the streets ‘a must’: FOCAS volunteers

p2513 Karina Akarana SM
After a break because of “high level of stuff on streets” and the need for more volunteers, Karina Akarana’s FOCAS group is starting up again tomorrow, Friday, walking the streets to engage with youth.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Cr Satour wants answers on ‘verbal abuse & violence threat’

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Councillor Catherine Satour said she comes to council feeling “anxious” although she appreciates that rangers now escort councillors between the carpark and the chamber. This follows an incident on January 29 when she says she was “verbally abused and threatened with violence by Councillor [Jacinta] Price’s family”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Chansey Paech to Jacinta Price: ‘Finger pointing must stop’

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MLA Chansey Paech has responded in the Legislative Assembly to Jacinta Price’s sweeping attack on Aboriginal politicians  that they are ignoring the urgent issues of child protection. FULL STORY »

Cops hush up dangerous joyride

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Police fail to inform the public about actions of children that put their lives and those of other road users in mortal danger on Sunday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. And while they say they have CCTV images, they will not release them. Meanwhile over night, eight vehicles were stolen by culprits yet unknown.


UPDATE March 15, 8:50am: Four more youths arrested. FULL STORY »

Cr Melky alleges budget irregularity

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Nothing if not persistent, Councillor Eli Melky says he will take his concerns over an alleged council budget irregularity to the Minister. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal Men’s Shed: ‘We’ll build it ourselves from scratch’

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A group of  men have formed the Blokes on Track Aboriginal Corporation to create a Men’s Shed –  “a grass roots development of men teaching men how to behave and learn to hunt and gather in this modern world through creating employment opportunity.” KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Unfolding story: Kids race ute through town

They do wheelies in the Anzac Oval carpark, possible location for the National Indigenous Art Gallery, and run a red light at the Wills Terrace – Leichhardt Terrace intersection. Police say they will provide details. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 1:35pm:

“Still investigating.”


UPDATE 3:10pm March 13 Police release: “The offenders are in custody. Police cannot comment further.” FULL STORY »

Delays with electricity generators in Alice, Tennant



Handover of Territory Generation’s new engines (similar to the ones pictured) in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek power stations is delayed and no dates are given for it. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Genocide in Australia – unthinkable?

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Genocide is a difficult subject to read or talk about. It is even more difficult to write intelligently about it, but Professor Colin Tatz has managed remarkably well in his book, Australia’s Unthinkable Genocide (2017). R.G. (DICK) KIMBER reviews. FULL STORY »

Women power gets palliative care facility

2523 Palliative Care women SMPersistence pays off for three women, and their supporters: After a campaign over more than two decades, Alice Springs has a dedicated place for people near the end of their life. Pictured are the main players (from left) Sandra Clyne, Mary Miles, Robyn Lambley and current Health Minister Natasha Fyles. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not

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Tracker (pictured) was ahead of most of his contemporaries. He left behind ideas which they are still struggling to catch up with. ERWIN CHLANDA reviews sections of the book Tracker by Alexis Wright. FULL STORY »

Rampaging kids: Dale Wakefield drops the ball

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Is there a case for the community to step in? ERWIN CHLANDA comments. FULL STORY »

Selfie at the top of the world

2522 Bill Yan Everest 2 SM2522 Bill Yan Everest 1 SMAlice man Bill Yan (pictured) finds extremes as he climbs to Everest base camp. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Miners seek certainty under native title

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The Minerals Council of Australia outlines a set of principles – stability, certainty, efficiency, opportunity – against which broader proposals for Native Title Act reform can be tested. FULL STORY »

Who put Anzac Oval on the agenda as site for art gallery?

Anzac Oval SMAnd then there were two: Who added Anzac Oval? Reliable sources say the steering committee recommended only the Desert Park as a suitable site for the  National Indigenous Art Gallery. Arts Minister Lauren Moss neither confirms nor denies this. PHOTO: Anzac Oval at the launch of the 2016 Masters Games. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Town Council still blocking two servos: United

2491 United Katherine SM


Town Council still blocking construction of two service stations, says United Petroleum. The public s denied cheap fuel, says the company. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: United servo in Katherine with a Pie Face store.


UPDATE March 7: Council responds. FULL STORY »

It’s not money that makes the NT political world go round




Seats come cheap in the Territory, with only around $3m all up swirling around in declared campaign funding. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: On 2016 NT election night, Warren Snowdon takes a well calculated guess that Dale Wakefield will knock off Adam Giles. FULL STORY »

Kittles car yard hit again

16 cars damaged by “several youths”. FULL STORY »

International flights to Alice would lower fares

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The sorry history of the Commonwealth’s long term abrogation of its responsibilities towards regional Australia culminating in the privatisation of airport terminals in the 1990s has permitted the absolving of direct Federal involvement in these issues. By ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Venturing into a famous marriage 

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Poet Leni Shilton’s attention to Bertha Strehlow, wife of Ted,  works against the epic scale of the TGH Strehlow story. KIERAN FINNANE on the verse novel, Walking with Camels – the Story of Bertha Strehlow. FULL STORY »

A good spot for the art gallery?

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Tourist’s hire car vandalised at the spot proposed for the National Indigenous Art Gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Not a million dollar dunny

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High tech public loo a bargain compared to the civic centre one, says Town Council CEO Rex Mooney. ERWIN  CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alcohol reform: the ins and outs

“Don’t mention takeaways” appears to be the motto for the NT Government in its dealing with the review into alcohol policies by Trevor Riley, former Chief Justice of the NT. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE March 5, 4:15pm FULL STORY »

Taxi impounded

Minibus intercepted carrying wine, spirits into dry community. FULL STORY »

Bush foods: how can wild harvesters get a piece of the pie?

p2510 Bush foods Titree women FWalsh SM
How to shift attention in the bush foods industry from “the top of the value chain” to supporting the women harvesting the plants and seeds in the wild: that is the challenge, says industry trail-blazer Rayleen Brown. One of the essential supports is combatting buffel grass, which is compromising the harvest.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Government lied on liquor, says Lambley, demands poll

p2351 Robyn Lambley SM



Government lied about cops at bottle shops and floor price for alcohol, writes Robyn Lambley (pictured). FULL STORY »

Road Transport Hall of Fame is saved

Transport Hall of Fame SM


The society has come to an agreement with NT Government instrumentalities: It will become a corporation, the legendary Liz Martin will continue as an advisor and it’s all go for the 2018 reunion. Ms Martin is calling for locals to join up: Currently only 1% of the members are from Alice. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA.   FULL STORY »

Jim Beam at 7.45am: Businesses, staff bear the brunt




Drunks in Alice Springs street first thing this morning while in Tennant Creek, police fail to prevent drunken mayhem, writes Kay Eade (pictured), Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory. Ms Eade provides a link to the detailed reasons of the Director-General of Licensing for imposing temporary restrictions on Tennant Creek, which included recent increases of 200%+ in some alcohol-related offences. FULL STORY »

Chamber of Commerce in a grog Catch 22

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Some Chamber of Commerce members make money from alcohol, others have businesses hit hard by grog fuelled crime and unrest. CEO Kay Eade speaks with editor ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet

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A petition with more than 1000 signatories has stalled the Town Council’s formal vote on flying the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Starlifter passenger seeks compensation

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He was injured in a US military aircraft landing incident in Alice Springs in 1973, writes Russell Walker.   FULL STORY »

‘Proper’ drinking: elusive goal but how hard have we tried?

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As Alice Springs looks once again at the pernicious problem of excessive drinking in our town – guided by a new Liquor Commission working with a new Liquor Act and a new reform framework – a new book can help inform the inevitable debates. KIERAN FINNANE reviews Maggie Brady’s Teaching ‘Proper’ Drinking.  FULL STORY »

Liquor Commission to ‘implement government policy’

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Public views are to to be considered but “I don’t think this is a democratic process or a process where the average person in the street is consulted,” says commissioner Blair McFarland. He spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA. PHOTO: The Alice Springs watering hole formerly (when this video was shot) known as the Animal Bar. FULL STORY »

Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?

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As Alice burns, the town has paid tribute to the Stolen Generation. The focus now must shift to the rising Abandoned Generation. 

PHOTO: Fire crews in Col Rose Drive after a stolen car had been torched and a bushfire started. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Liquor Commission: Lawyer, social worker represent Alice

p2220-Russell-Goldflam-SM2518 Blair McFarland SM



The new Liquor Commission will give the community a major say on how grog is sold. It has two members from Alice Springs, Russell Goldflam (left) and Blair McFarland (right). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.   FULL STORY »

Queen’s Baton belongs to Alice for two days

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The Queen’s Baton is in The Alice for two days. Yesterday Greg Reval (pictured) took it up The Mall, and today 21 locals will show it off across town. Follow their progress! FULL STORY »

Multi-pronged effort saves river giant: better late than never

p2510 Fiona fire giantp2510 Fiona fire Sue Morrish
The efforts of several persistent individuals as  well as the fire brigade contributed to saving the old river red gum at right … but only just. Report by KIERAN FINNANE, photo series by FIONA WALSH who says now is the time to start work and planning for next summer’s fire threat in the river.


UPDATED, 28 February 2018, 3.21pm: Fire service did cut the burning tree in an unprecedented move to save it. FULL STORY »

Mulch, wood chips at landfill catch fire

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A fire that started in separated piles of wood chips and mulch at the landfill yesterday was too fierce to bring under control and continued to burn through the night. Our photo was taken at around 9pm. FULL STORY »

You can’t choose your neighbours

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Families Minister Dale Wakefield (pictured) undertook that neighbours would be “consulted” during the establishment of accommodation for youths on bail. That does not apply to assisted accommodation: Residents in the vicinity can voice their concerns after the real estate property had already been acquired for that purpose. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Who pays the bill when fracking goes wrong?




Will the public need to cough up when wells are failing and the companies are “long gone,” writes 1 Territory party president, Braedon Earley (pictured) FULL STORY »

Eight Labor heavies will decide fracking

… and they will do it behind closed doors. Bruce Francais of Katherine comments. FULL STORY »

30 scientists say no to fracking in the NT

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The Fracking Inquiry found a scenario submitted by the NT Government would have emissions equivalent to 18% of Australia’s emissions, writes Tom Burmester of The Australia Institute, Canberra, a public policy think tank established in 1994.


UPDATE 5:40pm Matthew Doman, of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, provided a reply. FULL STORY »

‘Resetting the button’ of Aboriginal men’s identity

p2509 Codes for Life Liddle SM
Disturbing events in Tennant Creek this week, including the alleged sexual assault of a two-year-old girl, are an extreme example of a more widespread lawlessness engulfing the lives of too many Aboriginal people. This is what a program called Codes for Life is attempting to confront.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Alleged toddler rape: Why she hadn’t been taken from her family



Territory Families cites 10 quotes from the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children report, including this: “Removing a child from their family and placing them in out of home care should be undertaken as a last resort. It should only be used to ensure the safety of the child.” PHOTO: Commissioners, Margaret White AO and Mr Mick Gooda. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Chance for elders to help cops fight youth crime?

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Could the bail process offer new opportunities? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

$3m boost for Hermannsburg historical precinct

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More visitors are expected following the completion of the Inner Loop road sealing, writes Lauren Moss, Minister for Tourism and Culture. PHOTO: Building in the precinct needing repair. FULL STORY »

Opposition ‘confused’ on infrastructure spending




The “$1.75b job-creating cash budget” is on track, writes Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured). FULL STORY »

Sweet Country shines at the Alice box office

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Local movie buffs flocked to the Travelling Film Festival as well, writes Paul Darvodelsky, owner of the Alice Springs Cinema. FULL STORY »

Too hot? Try laying bricks.

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Sick of the heat? Try laying bricks. “It’s easy,” say Curtis Brown and Adrian Glover. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Offenders bailed to ‘country’: An option, says police

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Trouble makers’ bail could include sending them to their communities, says Police Commissioner Kershaw (pictured with Commander, Domestic and Personal Violence Command, Kris Evans and Acting Commander Bradley Currie (centre). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Offences against the person went up 16% in December

Crime stats: Offences against the person went up in December, most looked to alcohol, but there were fewer against property, when compared to December 2016. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Kids in the justice system: The stark numbers

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Youth detention is rising in Alice Springs (graph), according to figures of Territory Families. Boys behind bars vastly outnumber girls, and Aborigines outnumber non-aborigines by up to 100 times. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fracking inquiry left me thankful, fearful, focused

The terms of reference deliberately ignore the big  issues, writes CHRIS HAWKE, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Desert Knowledge precinct preferred for youth detention facility

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Through local NGOs the site would offer “culture and connectedness to family, along with education and training, while leveraging the expertise available at the precinct,” says Family Minister Dale Wakfield. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Part of the current facility adjacent to the adult prison. FULL STORY »

APY artists set to open gallery in central Sydney 

p2508 APY Sharon ADAMSON SMp2508 APY Tjala Mitakiki men 2017 SM
The gallery will show young and emerging artists alongside the stars and looks to benefits beyond income, such as the partnership between art centres and the National Art School. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

‘Dangerous, alarming’ property tax strongly opposed by council

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The Territory Government’s proposal of a property tax received a big thumbs down at last night’s Town Council meeting. It was one of a number of areas of agreement among councillors, in contrast to the debate around flying the Aboriginal flag from Anzac Hill.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 

p2508 Council flag Cocking SM
The five conservatives on council last night indicated that they will vote down the compromise motion that council permit “on ceremonial occasions” the Aboriginal flag to be flown on Anzac Hill. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Stolen car torched, youths arrested, bailed

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UPDATE February 13
Boys arrested in rural area a short while ago after stolen car was destroyed by fire. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?

2466 Dale Wakefield SM


A multi-million dollar scheme for juveniles on bail is believed to be buying suburban homes to accomodate them, but Minister Wakefield (pictured) is not answering questions as residents express concern about the program. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE February 13: Ms Wakefield, department answer questions. “A young person can’t ‘escape’ or ‘abscond’ from bail support accommodation. They are able to leave at any time … voluntary departure however may result in the young person breaching their bail conditions. FULL STORY »