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Ministers lash out at council over gallery

 

The council is “divided, lacks leadership and individual Councillors have put their own political interests above the interests of the people of Alice Springs”. MLA for Braitling, front-bencher Dale Wakefield (at left), and culture minister Lauren Moss (at right) respond to Tuesday’s rejection of the gallery deal. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

New mines in The Centre – a snapshot

Five mines in The Centre are at varying stages of development. None have reached final investment decision, but if even just two make it into production, and that is likely, the economic advantages for Alice Springs would be significant, ranging from a big boost in employment to lower airfares for FiFo operations. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. At right: Drilling at Molyhil. FULL STORY »

We won’t be there for His Royal Highness

 

The staff of Prince Edward (pictured) and the Chief Minister’s Department lay down the law for journalists during his visit next week: No questions, censorship of text and photos. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police seek public assistance following assault

Youths bashed man after he refused to give them cigarettes: Allegation. FULL STORY »

Police gets street parking, cops’ private cars in compound

 

 

Businessman says there was no public consultation about arbitrary loss of scarce car parking. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Paul Lewis. FULL STORY »

Gallery statement by ministers mischievous: Councillor

 

 

No one in their right mind would want to demolish a perfectly good building such as the current council civic centre, with the risk of burdening the community with a huge debt, writes Councillor Eli Melky. FULL STORY »

Council says ‘no’ to government gallery offer

 

 

$20m is not enough, the council decided in a secret meeting last night. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

National gallery: Waiting for the council, says Wakefield

Just hours before a secret meeting of the town council to discuss the sale of its civic centre land to the NT Government for a national Aboriginal art gallery (a swap deal), Minister Dale Wakefield this morning has made it clear that the project’s future – at least for the time being – will depend on the decision of the councillors and Mayor Damien Ryan. PHOTO: Ms Wakefield (centre) at the launch of the Northern Territory Solar Resource project this morning, wearing her hat as the Minister for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Secret art gallery business

 

The Town Council is holding a Special Meeting tonight to consider the location of the national Aboriginal art gallery – the NT Government’s land swap deal. The meeting, behind closed doors, will have full decision-making powers, but again Cr Jacinta Price will be absent, on the third last stop of her interstate speaking tour. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Rules for outback work travel may catch some out

 

 

“Going bush” is a major part of many jobs in The Centre and NT Work Safe has requirements that may catch some employers unprepared. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Desert Mob: the enduring phenomenon


 
More than 200 artists are represented in Desert Mob; many more are active when you consider some of the big names missing from the show, obviously in too much demand elsewhere, and the many others whose work was available at the Market Place. Considered in light of the region’s population, it is phenomenal. KIERAN FINNANE reports on some of the highlights. FULL STORY »

Chinese will like to go bush: travel agent

 

 

Our wide open spaces a drawcard for Chinese tourists, especially young ones, says visiting travel agent Sam Lu, pictured at Simpson’s Gap yesterday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Boy from The Centre to address UN Human Rights Council

 

 

A 12 year old Arrernte / Garrwa boy from Central Australia will give a speech at the world’s peak human rights body in Geneva tomorrow, with a simple message for Australian governments: stop sending 10 year old children to to prison. Dujuan Hoosan is pictured with his mother Megan. FULL STORY »

Cattle in parks: Fences impractical, says department

 

Parks are leaving fencing to pastoralists, says Cattlemen’s Association. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE: Cattle have no place in conservation reserves nor national parks – ALEC CEO Jimmy Cocking.

 

UPDATE Sept 7: Central Land Council says CLC rangers don’t control cattle in national parks. FULL STORY »

Vincent Lingiari award: the art of truth-telling

 

 

The Vincent Lingiari Art Award, being held this year for only the second time since its inauguration in 2016, is infused with the spirit of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, in particular the truth-telling about Australia’s history that the statement calls for. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Councillors send message to Jacinta Price

 

 

A majority of her colleagues have effectively put Councillor Jacinta Price on notice that they will not continue to unquestioningly accept her absences from council meetings.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Ask former top Federal public servant about NT debt mess

 

Martin Parkinson (pictured), the recently retired Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and former Treasury Secretary, who has been the nation’s top public servant for two Prime Ministers, may have answers eluding Michael Gunner and his government.

 

UPDATE Sept 9, 5pm: Comment from Opposition Leader Gary Higgins. FULL STORY »

‘The fastest accelerating vehicles on planet’

 

  FULL STORY »

The Alice Springs Inland Dragway is among the nation’s best, rated for 8000 horsepower Top Fuel machines, and built by enthusiasts for the town’s huge number of petrol heads. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with long-time supporter Andrew McGouchie.

Men sought after acts of criminal damage

 

 

Police release CCTV images after vehicles are damaged in two locations. FULL STORY »

Gillard lecture seeks to start Aboriginal suicide debate

 

Julia Gillard (pictured), in her annual lecture at the University of Adelaide, said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are nearly three times more likely to be psychologically distressed than other Australians and twice as likely to die by suicide. Of those aged between 15 and 19 their rate of suicide is four times that of their non-indigenous peers. MARK J SMITH reports.

 

UPDATE 12.15pm There will be a walk for World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday next week. FULL STORY »

Fracking transports forced to go slow by protests

 

 

Activists are taking to the Stuart Highway to slow down transports of mining equipment heading for fracking sites in the Territory, while traditional owners are on their way to Sydney Town Hall with a message for Origin that it hasn’t got their consent for fracking their land. FULL STORY »

Strong growth in Australian LNG in 2018-19

 

 

EnergyQuest estimates that Australia exported a total of 75.1 million tonne of LNG in the 2018-19 fiscal year, continuing to be the largest LNG supplier to Japan and China, according to the company’s CEO, Graeme Bethune (pictured). FULL STORY »

Value of NT mineral production highest ever

 

 

The value of mineral production in the Northern Territory for the past year was the highest on record at $4.92bn, writes Paul Kirby (pictured), Minister for Primary Industry and Resources. FULL STORY »

River red gums work outside the square for survival

 

Tree roots usually go down. This tree’s sometimes go up. Local amateur botanist Alex Nelson has a theory. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Hate speech report sparks trolling

 
Our report about hate speech last week, covering remarks by tourism figure Wayne Thompson (pictured), has resulted in me being trolled, which – looking at the bright side – puts me in the box seat for reporting about this vile practice. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.

 

UPDATE Sept 4 at 8.10am
We added the following sentence: “Mr Hamilton is the new manager of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame, appointed by the Adelaide law firm selected by the NT Government to run the hall, after the government sacked the volunteer board.” FULL STORY »

NATS: Drags exhilarate, show cars excel

The Red Centre NATS got under way in earnest this morning with Grudge Racing Fun Runs at the Inland Dragway (see video) and at the Blatherskite Park pavilions, in almost hushed silence, as some of the most amazing restored and modified cars went on display. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Cattle near national park tourist icon

 

 

A bull was grazing on the sparse drought-stricken vegetation at the base of Corroboree Rock yesterday, a national park in the West MacDonnells and a prime tourist attraction. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Art and nature: a happy encounter

 

These are welcome new ‘visitors’ to Watarrka National Park, writes Kieran Finnane. FULL STORY »

Gallery business case: still no answers to the big questions

 

 

The National Aboriginal Art Gallery Strategic Business Case is remarkable for what it does not tell us. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Huge experiment in NT bush will cast light on sun vs diesel

 

How fast can we – should we – transition from fossil fuel driven electricity generation to renewables? Will the bean counters have the say, or the people considering climate change is threatening our survival? A huge experiment under way in Territory bush communities will be casting light on this. ERWIN CHLANDA reports, with advice from LYNDON FREARSON, from the Alice Springs based think tank Ekistica. FULL STORY »

These ringers are all the way from Indonesia

 

 

The NT Cattlemen’s Association is hosting 20 Indonesian agricultural students for the next eight weeks as part of the NTCA Indonesian-Australia Pastoral Program, writes ASHLEY MANICAROS, NTCA Chief Executive Officer. This photo was taken at the Alice Springs cattle yards yesterday. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal flag to fly year round on Anzac Hill


 
The exception will be Anzac Day, when the New Zealand flag will fly alongside the Australian flag. A report will come to council about the possibility of flying the Torres Strait Islands flag. KIERAN FINNANE reports (updated  from last night’s brief mention). FULL STORY »

Online hate speech by leading tourism figure

 

A leading Alice Springs tourism figure, Wayne Thompson, has described in social media a rock thrower as a “filthy piece of shit”, reports ERWIN CHLANDA and is associated with other abusive language. Mr Thompson is pictured (centre) with Minister Steven Ciobo and Julian Barry (Qantas).

 

WARNING: THIS REPORT QUOTES LANGUAGE SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND OFFENSIVE.

 

UPDATE 5.26pm: Thompson breaches copyright. FULL STORY »

Council: yes to protecting NT drinking water from fracking, no to declaring a climate emergency


 
A push to get the NT Government to declare all Territory public drinking water areas as no go zones for fracking was unanimously supported by the Town Council last night.  Another, to get them and the Australian Government to declare a climate emergency, did not fare so well. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Cr Banks misses out on Deputy Mayor, Cr Paterson returned

 

Cr Banks had appealed to her colleagues to share the position around. It offers an opportunity to broaden one’s experience and to strengthen leadership skills, she said, and a vote for her would encourage other women to take up roles in local government. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

It’s good-bye, Liz Martin, after 25 years creating an icon

 

 

The former heart and soul of the National Transport Hall of Fame was doing her final job for the iconic institution that was her life for more than a quarter of a century. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Leadership and consultation can go hand-in-hand

 

Talks between the Town Council and Mparntwe custodians about the national Aboriginal art gallery haven’t even started, and the relationships with the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Central Australia need “re-igniting”. So says Cr Marli Banks, pictured holding daughter Maringka Abbott, with NSW Cr Helen L’Organe at the Australian Local Government Women’s Association Annual Conference in Sydney.  FULL STORY »

CLP to focus on youth crime, tourism, mammoth deficit

 

Creating tangible consequences for juvenile offenders, picking up the ball Labor has dropped on tourism promotion, and defining how the current government’s mammoth deficit can be reduced without affecting vital services, that’s what will keep the Country Liberals on the hop between now and the elections in a year’s time, says the party’s president, Ron Kelly (pictured). He spoke with Alice Springs News editor ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians


 
The business case for the national Aboriginal art gallery, one year overdue, is “based on the development of a CBD-based” institution, a location in direct conflict with the wishes of the town’s Aboriginal custodians. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Minister Wakefield.

 

UPDATE 4pm: The cost of the business case report is $224,121 excluding GST. FULL STORY »

Authorities underrated risk to Pine Gap, Alice of a nuclear strike

 

In a new book, Project Rainfall,  well known author TOM GILLING  tells the story of Pine Gap from its genesis in the Cold War  to its modern role as a weapon in the American ‘war on terror’. This extract focusses on the early 1980s, when the world was closer to nuclear war than at any time since the end of the Second World War, and on the risk to Australia from the presence of the so-called  ‘joint facilities’. FULL STORY »

150 riders from across Oz in 2019 Redback

 

 

Paul Van der Ploeg claimed overall Redback Crown, smashing the course record by four minutes, in a come-back from femur fracture. Local rider Henry Hackett (pictured) came in under the course record. FULL STORY »

NT firm Sitzler gets major national award

 

Territory construction firm Sitzler Pty Ltd has been named as one of Australia’s best businesses at the National Business Leadership Awards, writes Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia. PICTURED: Sitzler started in Alice Springs in 1957 as a partnership between brothers Peter and Paul Sitzler with remote area construction. FULL STORY »

Opposition leader will not be questioned on looming NT poll

 

Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (at left), in a media handout, “has vowed to offer Territorians a ‘real alternative’ in 12 months’ time” but he won’t discuss it. Party president Ron Kelly has agreed to an interview with News editor ERWIN CHLANDA.

 

UPDATE August 26: Mr Higgins has now offered to make time for an interview with the News. However, as we had already made arrangements to interview party president Ron Kelly, we thanked Mr Higgins and advised we would take up his offer in the near future. FULL STORY »

‘Voter apathy greatest threat to Territory democracy’

 

With one year to go until the 2020 Territory election apathy poses the greatest threat to democracy in the NT. 25,000 Territorians are missing from the electoral roll. About 16,000 of those are Aboriginal, writes IAIN LOGANATHAN, NT Electoral Commissioner. PHOTO: Polling station in the Aboriginal Karnte Camp during the 2012 election. FULL STORY »

Stuart Highway trek maintains its allure after decades

 

I’ve been travelling the Stuart Highway between Alice and Adelaide for decades and I never tire of it, writes KIERAN FINNANE.

 

UPDATE August 21: Fuel price gouging by Erldunda Roadhouse. FULL STORY »

Youth crime: compassion alone is no solution

 

If the already dangerously complex issues of youth offending can be fairly dealt by leaving out half the facts, then Alice Springs youth lawyer Sophie Trevitt (pictured at left at a public meeting on youth issues) has done a fine job with her opinion piece in yesterday’s The Guardian. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Bottle shop cops need to be brought into line: local chain

 

 

“People who are going about their lawful business are being interrogated and harassed when there is no evidence that an offence has been or is about to be committed. Some of the examples would astound you,” writes Peter Holden, Chair, Lhere Artepe Supermarkets. FULL STORY »

‘Disgust’ at site choices for youth detention facilities

 

 

Both the Alice Springs and Darwin “juvies” are too far out of town, have no public transport and a very negative message by being next-door to the main gaols: “You can look forward to a future path into the adult prison system,” is the message for the the young offenders, according to the Aboriginal Peak Organisations. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gunner Government ‘droving’ away investment

 

 

Opening up cattle station land to non-pastoral uses may be slowed down by a new veto right for Aboriginal native title holders, writes Ashley Manicaros, CEO, NT Cattlemen’s Association (pictured). FULL STORY »

New booze law: Nanny state, needs testing, it’s just great.

 

 

Life is getting even harder for the locally owned liquor stores in the brave new world of booze control, ushered in by last night’s Liquor Bill 2019, with the support of the Opposition. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Locally produced hemp could replace plastic

 

 

… but have we blown our chance – again – asks Trevor Shiell. FULL STORY »

Another great river tree goes up in flames

 

 

The third large old tree was damaged or destroyed by fire in the bed of the Todd River adjacent to the CBD that I’ve noticed this season, writes historian ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Invasive buffel grass soon part of international focus

 

CDU ecologist Ellen Ryan-Colton, who has been researching the cultural and environmental effects of the introduced buffel grass in the APY Lands of northern South Australia,  will participate in a UN-sponsored global assessment on invasive alien species and control. FULL STORY »

Massive illegal dumping will test the EPA

 

News reader discovers trash dumped illegally in large area and says it’s just the tip of the iceberg. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE Aug 11. FULL STORY »

The ups and downs of high rise in Alice Springs

 

 

As ALEX NELSON chronicles the quest for high rise buildings in Alice Springs – mostly unsuccessful – he discovers that the height of the structures were in indirect proportion to the national and even global economies. FULL STORY »

McConnell ‘highly likely’ to run for Braitling

 

Scott McConnell (pictured), the current Member for Stuart, blames his former Labor colleague Dale Wakefield for “derailing” the National Indigenous Art Gallery and the Chief Minister for selling short the regions and Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site

 

 

“Who is the Chief Minister talking to,” asks Cr Marli Banks (pictured in the centre of the photo) who says, contrary to his assertion, there is no formal decision on the civic centre swap. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Policing is still just a numbers game

Stone throwing triggers new debate about law and order, but it’s a same-same debate, with parental responsibility still not getting much of a mention, nor is the view of serious commentators that not police but society much reduce crime. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. At left: NT Police Association president Paul McCue. FULL STORY »

Australian pathway through Pine Gap to nuclear ban treaty 


 
‘A careful examination of precisely what Pine Gap does shows there is a viable pathway in the most important of its nuclear-related activities for Australia to become compliant with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, without necessarily disrupting its alliance with the United States,’ writes RICHARD TANTER. The Alice Springs News publishes this piece on Hiroshima Day, remembering the catastrophe of the first atomic bomb dropped on that Japanese city on 6 August 1945. FULL STORY »