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Federal Police uses drone to spy on tourists

 

 

Spooks from Pine Gap demand tourists to tell them what they are doing in a Territory national park. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Is it time for a first nations university?

 

 

It would be an important symbol, but that is not enough. It must produce high quality employment ready students and also be an internationally respected hub for Indigenous research. COMMENT by MARK J SMITH. Image from a Batchelor Institute graduation ceremony in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Four years after power warnings, old engines still carry load

 

 

Four years after alarming predictions by former Chief Minister Adam Giles for the electricity supply in Alice Springs, 10 new gas fired engines bought by his government are still not up to speed. Tim Brands, from RePower Alice Springs, asks why. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Even unpaid fines are spiralling out of control: Opposition

 

 

They almost doubled to 108m since Labor came to power. FULL STORY »

VIDEO: Watch yourself in the NAIDOC march this morning

 

 

Senior women urged about 1000 people marching and attending the rally to fight for what’s right, foremost to save children from incarceration. Video by ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fracking duel at 50 paces

 

 

Gas exploration company Oilmin and fracking foes eyeball each-other: Revealing aspects of Aboriginal participation in the debate emerge. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Man charged with sex offence, boy with multiple thefts

A 20-year-old man will answer a charge of sexual intercourse without consent, while 15-year-old boy will face Youth Court accused of a string of break-ins and car thefts. FULL STORY »

Self-drive at record numbers, but there are risks

 

 

But there are risks, says the NT Cattlemen’s Association: Visitors are not used to encountering road trains. Overnight campers need to be careful with campfires and take their rubbish with them. FULL STORY »

Multi-storey car park for the hospital: Lambley

The Independent Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley (at left) predicts an announcement from Chief Minister Michael Gunner today.

 

UPDATE 7.10am: The government confirms the car park and announces hospital staff accommodation.

 

UPDATE 12 noon Wednesday: The Alice Springs News is seeking a reply from the police to a comment from reader “Sam” about the allocation to the police of numerous car parks in Parsons Street. The Town Council has responded to the points raised by the reader.

 

UPDATE Wednesday 1.10pm: More details of the 70 accommodation units released, including a map of their location (photo). FULL STORY »

Dumbing down Alice Springs


 
Charles Darwin University (CDU) is holding staff workshops this week to discuss its financial difficulties which are feared may lead to job losses, and possibly already have. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police search for absconder

 

 

He has been seen driving a blue Ford Falcon. FULL STORY »

New DKA chief to focus on desert research, renewable energy

 

 

Yirandali man descended from the Hughenden region of Queensland has qualifications including a PhD in medical anthropology. FULL STORY »

Money tight, rainfall low, but the Show sure did go on

The annual Show has turned 60 but hasn’t changed a lot in the past few years, decades really, and that’s a sure sign of perfection. Find out what it takes to earn a ribbon. ERWIN CHLANDA reports, and Alice Springs News VIDEOs show the finer points of judging live Show entries. FULL STORY »

Alcohol research: all the government’s own way

Access to raw data from police and hospital on which crime statistics are based is still denied. FULL STORY »

Robbery, indecent assault: Police seek two youths

 

 

 

Bag snatch at fast food carpark followed by chase and indecent assault. FULL STORY »

Bush bands heading for a September crescendo in Alice

 

 

Bush bands to get opportunity to learn new skills, meet other musicians and create lasting industry relationships in the lead-up to the big bash at the Telegraph Station. FULL STORY »

Caravan sites row: ‘Return to successful arrangement’

 

Camping on show grounds: End government permission acting “to the detriment” of the industry, says Brendan Heenan, president of the NT Caravan Park Association. IMAGE: Show Society advertises caravan accommodation on its website. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice misses out again on Qantas pilot academy

Mackay chosen “because good infrastructure, a proud community – even a new, state-of-the-art sport and recreation precinct for students, trainers and their families. We were really moved by the way locals came together with the #MackayWantsYouQantas campaign,” says the airline. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: Qantas livery showing Wunula Dreaming of the Yantuwa people in the Gulf of Carpenteria.

 

UPDATE 2pm:: “Qantas is not the only airline” says airport manager Dave Batic. Asia Pacific region airlines are looking for similar opportunities. FULL STORY »

Turbocharging spin: Parrtjima’s real figures

 

Tourism Minister Lauren Moss was only half right when she claimed more that 20,000 people saw Parrtjima. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE from the Parrtjima website.

 

UPDATE 3am July 5: Additional comment from Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

New coalition gears up for NT election

 

 

Seniors Party and Australian Country Party form coalition to contest next year’s Territory election. IMAGE from the party’s website. FULL STORY »

Man’s Best Friend is not the council’s

 

Happy dogs make for happy people, writes John Bermingham, but not always in the Old Eastside’s Ross Park where Town Council restrictions have been brought in, apparently with little or no public consultation – or need.

UPDATE 12.20pm: The rules are not new, says the Town Council. FULL STORY »

Council may take up slack of the NT government

 

The debate about Small Council vs Big Council is taking on a new urgency as the NT Government has run up record debts while doing little for The Alice. Council CEO Rex Mooney, retiring after more than 16 years on the job, sees no obstacles to local government broadening its brief. He spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA. Mr Mooney is pictured at the Todd Mall building site and at the opening of the town pool following a $16m funding coup (at right in each photo). FULL STORY »

Beanie fest just getting bigger and better

 

 

More than 6000 of the head gear that’s doing a lot more than keeping your noodle warm in winter went up for sale on the weekend. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured: Deb Everson White (at left) and Julie Napaltjarri Kitson (at right). FULL STORY »

Drunk driver had 11 people in his car

Speeding and alcohol was involved in nearly half the road fatalities in the NT last year, say police. FULL STORY »

Anonymous theft allegations against PWC employees

 

 

Theft of expensive materials owned by the Power and Water Corporation from Darwin depots and workshops are being investigated by the police although, it says, “no formal complaint has been received”. The materials allegedly stolen include entire cable drums (similar to the ones pictured). FULL STORY »

Government transparency? Don’t ask.

 

Elected Minister passes buck to appointed authority which doesn’t answer questions. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. Planning Minister Eva Lawler is pictured. FULL STORY »

Sustainable and stunning with a serious message

 

 

Designers ask: “At what cost is cheap clothing and fast fashion to lives and the environment?” There is another way and it’s stunning. See video! FULL STORY »

Crack-down on mobile phone, VDU use while driving

 

 

Also, learner drivers will no longer be able to ride a moped but cyclists will be allowed to ride slowly across pedestrian crossings. IMAGE: Two motorcycle riders lane-filtering (lane splitting) in California (Wikipedia). FULL STORY »

Gallery: no deal yet on land swap

 

Its “many complexities and options” are taking time to explore, says council CEO. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

 

UPDATE 12.45pm June 27: What does “taking out of “confidential” mean? Town Council CEO Rex Mooney explains. FULL STORY »

Government accused of unfair competition

 

 

The NT Government has rekindled a long running dispute about Blatherskite Park competing unfairly against privately owned caravan parks. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Loss of Community Safety Patrol in Central Desert

 

 

The Central Desert Regional Council stands to lose its community safety patrol program because of funding changes, writes Diane Hood (pictured), the CEO of the council. FULL STORY »

‘Catastrophic’ drop in construction work

 

 

Chief Minister Michael Gunner is hiding a government-commissioned report called Alternative Approaches to Funding and Financing Infrastructure, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured). FULL STORY »

Council: Jacinta Price refuses to bury the hatchet


 
Crs Jimmy Cocking and Catherine Satour have asked for an apology for the variously frivolous, vexatious or misleading complaints made against them, but it’s clear they won’t be getting one. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Is Beetaloo worth fracking? Study raises doubts.

 

 

High-level review by EnergyQuest: “While many more wells will be needed before a development decision can be made, the Origin and Santos wells, in 2019, will go a long way to establishing whether the hype about the Beetaloo is justified.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. MAP Australian Energy Council. FULL STORY »

Alice turns Queen tribute into giant karaoke

 

 

When star Freddie Mercury lost his voice the Alice Springs audience didn’t complain. It took over. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo EMMA TODD. FULL STORY »

Living on little for a week, to make a point for the world

 

Joel Pillay joined the Ration Challenge, living on a box of food such as it is given to refugees in the Middle East, “to spread awareness within our community of the less fortunate in Syria”. AT RIGHT: Mr Pillay and partner Victoria Mafambane. AT LEFT: Part of the rations. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Albrecht Oval lights: fight not over yet


 
The suggestion that dense vegetation around the oval would screen out the feared light and noise impacts of the project is “preposterous”, says one determined opponent. Council nonetheless voted to go ahead.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

‘Schools must not be hit in Budget repair’

 

 

We understand the Northern Territory is facing a challenging set of circumstances. However, actions taken by government to achieve savings must never be at the expense of our children’s education, writes Tabby Fudge (pictured), President, Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations. FULL STORY »

Intervention still the main concern

 

 

The ongoing loss of community control, pressure to sign over land, humiliating and discriminatory income management, increased removal of children from families, excessive policing and over-incarceration mark 12 years of the Northern Territory Intervention, writes Georgina Gartland. Professor Jon Altman, of the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University, is pictured. FULL STORY »

NT should be the sun, wind powerhouse

 

 

The Northern Territory can create more than $2bn in new annual revenue and over 8,000 new jobs by pursuing a target of 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, new research by Beyond Zero Emissions has found. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The cost of booze

 

 

It’s a $60m a year hangover for NT Government. Add to that funding from the Commonwealth to GPs, Aboriginal medical services, counselling and other support. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal leader joins Country Party

 

 

Aboriginal leader joins Country Party: Phil Alice is a campaigner for youth initiatives and 25 year veteran with the NT police. An initiative by him in November 2017 to collaborate with the Town Council fell on deaf ears. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

And now “cabinet in confidence”

 

 

What is the government hiding, asks Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured). FULL STORY »

The heavy lifters are those who dropped the bundle

 

 

The Government snipes at the Opposition and Robyn Lambley over pay rises yet they keep them on the shortest of leashes when it comes to providing staff. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Gunner with lots more staff. FULL STORY »

Tell me what you think about fracking – for $100

 

 

Government fracking consultation by invitation: still, a tremendous level of distrust of the government was obvious, writes Bruce Francais (pictured), from Katherine. FULL STORY »

Quietly lending an ear, or saving a life

 

 

It’s all in a days work for the chaplains in town. Canon BRIAN JEFFRIES writes about people in Alice Springs who perform great deeds without fanfare. PHOTO: Induction last year of Rev’d Rob Weekes as the new Police Fire and Emergency Services chaplain (Southern Command). L to R: Commander Brad Currie, Rev’d Rob Weekes, Assistant Commissioner Michael White. FULL STORY »

Drug charges as large amount of cash confiscated

 

 

A 39-year-old man was arrested and refused bail. FULL STORY »

Art gallery, cultural centre: ‘Another day, another backflip’

 

No cultural Centre, no time frame for the art gallery – bad news from the government in the Estimates Hearings, says MLA for Araluen Robyn Lambley.

 

UPDATE 5.10pm: Minister Moss responds. FULL STORY »

Country Party seeks to stand candidates in all seats

 

 

Policies still on the back burner, but the economy will be a top concern while the government’s pay freeze has its problems, say Ian Britza (pictured) and Eli Melky, the party’s coordinator for in the NT, in a conversation with ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

US marines in Darwin could drag Australia into war

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR 

The marines remain within the US Marine Corps chain of command at all times which means that Australia would have no control over the situation, if it suited the interests of the USA to attack a country in our region, writes Kathryn Kelly for IPAN. FULL STORY »

More heat over Albrecht Oval lights, council digs in

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Town Councillors unanimously support going ahead with the light tower project for Albrecht Oval  in face of ongoing vocal opposition from some local residents. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured: View to the west taken by a drone-mounted camera above the oval at the height of the proposed towers. Photo supplied.

  FULL STORY »

Mating odour to catch feral cats

 

 

Authorities are failing to use the obvious in controlling wild introduced species, writes Trevor Shiell, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Say no to no go, urge anti-frackers

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Territorians should defend their water and reject the NT Government’s planned no-go zone fracking maps, which place communities, high-value farmland and important cultural and ecological sites at risk, writes Graeme Sawyer, Protect Country Alliance spokesperson. FULL STORY »

Three town councillors in Country Party push

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Eli Melky (at right), Marli Banks and Catherine Satour team up with former WA parliamentarian in new right-of-centre movement. FULL STORY »

Making new tools for living 

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Almost a whole generation of younger men in the Western Desert have not been ‘given’ cultural knowledge due to substance use and criminal incarceration. They want to learn and the elders want to teach.  The Men’s Tjilirra Movement supports this important answer to intergenerational trauma.  PAMELA NATHAN with JAMIE MILLIER TJUPURRULA  write about this unique cultural healing program. FULL STORY »

Larapinta section 7 being moved north of range

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New shelters for Ellery (at right), Ormiston and Redbank, writes Lauren Moss, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture (pictured). FULL STORY »

Stem tide of waste with craft and imagination

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It’s that time of year again, when Alice audiences are treated to the product of many hours of careful craft and myriad moments of imaginative inspiration, when a piece of wood takes flight as a mythical bird, when an old blanket transforms into an elegant suit. KIERAN FINNANE  previews. FULL STORY »

Alice to get first Aboriginal owned earth ground station

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It will be in the Heath Road complex of the Centre for Appropriate Technology. It will be built and owned by the Aboriginal not-for-profit science and technology company, according a media release this morning. FULL STORY »

Finke story: The front and the back of the field

2642 Finke Toby Price SM2642 Finke Jack Rhodes 1 SM“You’ve got the pros and the people with budget, the guys out there who want to win it. And then you’ve got the guys who want to just finish it.” ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with the TV reporters who were fighting their own battles with the nation’s biggest desert race. At left: Toby Price during his record run south on Sunday. His truck broke down yesterday. At right: Jack Rhodes and David Pullino airborne in their race to victory.   FULL STORY »

No use of real-time monitoring during shooting rampage

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The surveillance bracelet worn by the alleged shooter, Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, who killed four people in Darwin on Tuesday, provides real-time monitoring of the wearer’s location, but no use was made of that capability during his hour-long rampage. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo Commissioner for Corrections, Scott McNairn.

 

UPDATE June 7, 4.08pm FULL STORY »

Grog stats: No independent review

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Claimed decreases in alcohol related assaults are based on government information: The massive size of the published drops suggests that they should be verified by independent reviews. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: PHOTO: In 1990, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress purchased a food outlet and an attached takeaway liquor licence, and allowed the licence to lapse immediately, pouring out booze in Gap Road. FULL STORY »

Ted Egan: Forget splitting hairs, counting drops of blood.

2640 Ted Egan 2 SM2640 Jones book woman SMAny person who can establish genetic link to Australia in 1787 may be acknowledged, honoured and respected, by official recognition as a First Australian. I make some hopefully positive suggestions on semantic issues, as the nation looks for positive ways to “close the gap”. It is a chasm. We certainly need to be thinking big, to allow meaningful interpretation of our history, going back centuries in reflection. By TED EGAN (at left). Young Arrernte woman at Alice Springs Telegraph Station, ca. 1895. FULL STORY »

Liquor laws may force convenience stores to close

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A cap on sales of alcohol at 25% of store turnover proposed for next year could have no impact on the total alcohol sales in Alice Springs, but would channel more trade to Woolworths and Coles. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

$10m upgrade instead of new youth detention centre

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Public opposition to the proposed siting of a new youth detention centre was a factor in the government decision not to build it, but $10m will be spent on expanding the current facility next to the adult prison, Families Minister Dale Wakefield announced today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Cops at bottle shops: expensive bluff?

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How much does the Point of Sale Intervention – cops at bottleshops – rely on bluff? Is it working? Or is whatever gain it  produces offset by the harm done to our community by the racial profiling of which there is ample anecdotal evidence. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »