May 29, 2002.


Mayor Fran Kilgariff says discussions are under way for a memorandum of understanding between the town council and the newly formed group of native title holders.
She says it has been clear in the council's strategic planning sessions "over the last couple of months" that there is "quite a bit of support" within the council for this initiative.
"I'm hoping that with a combined voice, the traditional owners and the council might be able to actually have some impact on the anti social behaviour that's happening in town, and various other issues, such as what happens in the Todd River," Ms Kilgariff says.
The new group "will just make it very much easier now to get cooperative planning on all sorts of issues."
The Mayor (pictured at left) was commenting on statements made by prominent native title holder Bob Liddle following the recognition by the Federal Court of the body corporate, Lhere Artepe, as the voice of the town's traditional owners (Alice News, May 22).
Mr Liddle says Lhere Artepe will be seeking a major role in fixing the town's social problems, as well as the release of development land previously locked up by the native title claim.
Ms Kilgariff says one of the first acts after her election was to have informal talks with native title holders, and now that Lhere Artepe has been formed, these contacts are able to proceed on an official level.
"The native title holders have been, in my opinion, very much annoyed for some time about behaviour in town that gives all Aboriginal people a bad name, and which is disrespectful to their land," says Ms Kilgariff.
"With some sort of a united voice, the town council and the traditional owners will have much more of an impact than they would separately."
However, Ms Kilgariff says she would be "strongly against" any form of ex-officio representation of traditional owners on the council.
She says if Aboriginal people want to be on the council "they would have to be there in their own right, and legitimately, and able to speak with equal authority to everybody else.
"My personal opinion is that I am against ex-officio representation, quotas or anything like that.
"The thing to do is to get Aboriginal people there under the same terms and conditions as everybody else gets on the council."
Ms Kilgariff says the council has limited powers of enforcement, and with respect to many offences these rest with the police.
The council does have power over littering offences, and camping in the Todd River, "but there are problems associated with enforcement".
"It can be dangerous.
"That sort of role is something we're presently looking at in conjunction with the Tangentyere river wardens.
"There are moves to have joint patrols between our by-laws people and the river wardens.
"There are situations where the police rather than our by-laws officers need to have that enforcement role."
Asked whether there is a problem with authorities being either reluctant or unable to enforce laws, Ms Kilgariff says: "It's not necessarily either of those things.
"The problem is so big É enforcement is a drop in the ocean."
Ms Kilgariff says the council has no authority over acts on Crown Land even if it is within the municipal boundaries.
"The NT Government controls quite a few of the roads in the town, for instance, and a lot of the Crown Land is under the jurisdiction of the NT Government."
This includes areas such Spencer Valley and Undoolya. The council is the trustee for the Todd River "but now it's a three way authority, the council, the government and Arrernte people".
Says Ms Kilgariff: "The council and the Arrernte people are on the same wavelength and are looking in the same direction."


Multi-award winning Alice-based film-maker David Curl says the Territory is being plundered of its resources by overseas film-makers and photo-journalists working illegally.
Mr Curl says media professionals enter Australia on visitor visas and take away with them film and photographs worth millions, income that should be earnt by Territorian or at least Australian producers.Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock, in town last week, confirmed that his department is aware of the issue.
Said Mr Ruddock: "We have sought to brief here in the Territory Ð you're raising a particular issue in relation to entertainment and film production Ð relevant authorities, particularly national parks, in relation to who they should let in and who they shouldn't, and what they should satisfy themselves [of] in relation to those people or organisations that claim they are producing films or making other productions in those locations."Mr Ruddock's emphasis however would appear to be acting on individual breaches, rather than a systemic approach:"Where we have become aware that people who have entered on one pretext are working illegally, we've cancelled visas and removed people."Mr Ruddock did not specify whether any of these people (some 14,000 a year) were overseas film-makers or other media personnel.Mr Curl put to Mr Ruddock that staff at the Territory's premier national parks, Uluru and Kakadu, have told him they are not authorised to look at people's visas when they are issuing permits to film.Mr Ruddock: "Well, if somebody gives me that information, we'll find out about that information sharing because quite frankly there is a requirement for those who are in a position to identify who might be working inappropriately to let my department know.
"We are only as good as the community information we get and if people are breaching visa conditions we need to know about it and we need to take appropriate action and we do."The Alice News asked park manager at Uluru, Brooke Watson, whether his staff check visas when they are issuing permits to film.
"We have a permit application which requires the applicant to have the appropriate visa," said Mr Watson."We don't sight the visa. That's an immigration issue."We don't have the staff to do it, it's not our job."We don't have the authority or the mandate to police immigration matters."If somebody gets caught out, that's not an issue for Parks Australia, it's not our business."
Mr Curl has also raised this matter with the managing director of the Northern Territory Tourist Commission, Maree Tetlow.
Ms Tetlow would not comment other than to say the commission would be looking at the issue.Mr Curl's concern is with the commission's active solicitation of overseas media to work in Australia.According to a commission spokesperson, this is confined to journalists, not feature film-makers, under the Australian Tourist Commission's Visiting Journalists Program.
The ATC's Olivia Wirth dismissed the matter: "When we bring journalists into Australia, they are not working as such.
"I'm pretty sure they come in on holiday visas because they are not working."
They might not sit down at their computer or editing suite while they are here, but they are clearly working. Otherwise, why would the ATC bring them in?
Mr Curl says Territory film-makers would do a much better job in promoting the Territory to the world, because they know the country and the issues, they can get behind the cliches.
"There are only so many superficial stories you can do about the Territory and they've already all been done," he says.Ms Wirth, however, is more concerned about securing the right outlets. She says the Visiting Journalists Program targets the editors and travel writers of key publications and programs, because they know then that their stories, "showcasing Australian tourism product", will get a run.Mr Curl argues that instead of paying overseas film-makers and journalists to come here, these same funds should be allocated to paying for our film-makers and journalists to visit international broadcasters and editors, to attend international festivals and to promote the Territory, overseas.
"Imagine the uproar," he says, "if our government were to pay British and American farmers to fly to the Territory to cut up our own cows, wrap up the meat, and sell it back to us.
"Or imagine if we were paying overseas miners to fly here to dig up gold at the Granites, giving them free accommodation while they were doing it, so that they could make gold jewellery to sell back to us."Well, that's our current government policy for the local media industries!"At the moment, we're not even Ôselling the family silver' Ð we're paying people to come and take it away!"Mr Curl says his small Territory company, set up over 10 years ago, plays an important role in promoting the Territory. His films, in particular the multi-award winning Call of Kakadu and Silhouettes of the Desert, feature articles and photography have reached in excess of 100 million international viewers."The reason why there aren't 50 companies like mine is that the niche is filled by overseas product."I realise that the Federal Government thinks it's a priority to stop immigrants reaching our northern shores in decrepit, wooden boats, but it doesn't seem to care about much wealthier immigrants, arriving in style at Sydney airport, who are costing this country far more in lost income."

COLUMN by GLENN MARSHALL: How cool's our town?

An important grass-roots environmental project was launched in Alice Springs last week. Known as the Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) Cool Community, it aims to recruit at least 200 Alice Springs households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 months.
This will help to combat global warming because households generate around 20 per cent of Australia's total emissions. Your house can be involved if you wish and you will reduce your household running costs - read on.Participating householders will receive knowledge and financial incentives to reduce emissions in three major areas: energy use, transport use and rubbish disposal. This includes free household energy audits to pinpoint how your house can best save greenhouse gases, how much it'll cost and where to get hardware from.You'll be able to attend workshops on various topics, such as composting, energy efficient behaviour around the house, greywater reuse and solar hot water maintenance.
You'll be eligible for a $250 rebate if you install a solar hot water system (on top of PAWA's rebate of up to $900), and a $35 rebate if you purchase $100 or more of greenhouse-gas-saving hardware, such as energy efficient light globes and low-flow shower heads.You'll have access to a Cool Living demonstration house that is currently being developed, discounted car tune-ups and many other incentives.
It is truly grass-roots because it will rely on householders sharing their current knowledge and jointly developing new knowledge to implement hardware and behavioural changes. Home energy auditors will be selected and trained from within the Cool Communities membership and participants will also manage reporting of emission reductions.How can your house become involved? Simply by registering your interest with Desert Knowledge Australia and signing up to the Cool Community program at their website ( or contacting the Desert Knowledge project officer, Mike Crowe on 8951 5219.The DKA Cool Community was officially launched last Friday by the Minister for Central Australia, Peter Toyne, at the Eastside house of Craig and Donna Cross. Their home is an example of a greenhouse-gas-saving house because over several years they have installed roof insulation, skylights, energy efficient appliances, a rainwater tank and changed their habits (like turning off lights in empty rooms) so that their home is more comfortable, has reduced energy use (and hence power bills), car fuel use and rubbish volumes.Nationally the program is a joint initiative of the Australian Greenhouse Office and major state-based environmental groups including the Arid Lands Environment Centre here in Alice Springs.
The Desert Knowledge Australia Cool Community is one of 24 communities Australia-wide that successfully applied to be involved.
Another was Ikuntji community (Haasts Bluff) who will concentrate on composting and/or burying rubbish rather than burning it.
As most of you know, Desert Knowledge Australia is a terrific initiative that aims to develop (and gain economically from) better ways of living and doing business in Australia's desert regions, including improving the economy and lives of Indigenous residents. By becoming Cool Community participants, members of DKA can advance these aims in their own homes.For those who don't know, global warming is the result of a build up of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels in the past 300 years, releasing carbon stored underground for millions of years.
This carbon dioxide gas acts as a blanket trapping heat inside the Earth's atmosphere and not letting it escape into outer space.An interesting fact in Alice Springs is that our landfill seems to produce very little methane gas because it is too dry for organic rubbish to decompose.
Instead much of it is effectively fossilised, creating a carbon sink at the landfill rather than being a carbon emitter.

COLUMN by ANN CLOKE: David's off into sunset.
The first of many semi-retirement celebrations after David's 40 years with Deloitte was held on Friday night out at the Desert Park, as the sun played against the burnt orange cliff-face of the magnificent MacDonnell Ranges.
This was followed by dinner at the Convention Centre, the official opening of which, on Saturday night, was indeed truly spectacular. We are so fortunate to have these two incredible world-class facilities here in Alice Springs.
The week before we'd been out and about celebrating life, and David mentioned to someone that he's semi-retiring and that we're marking the occasion with an OE Ð an overseas experience."You lucky thing!" he was told.Luck has nothing to do with anything Ð forty plus years of hard work perhaps."We're looking forward to the trip," David concurred, "but I wouldn't mind being your age again."I have been thinking a lot about David's imminent semi-retirement and celebration of 40 years' service with Deloitte (20 in the middle of Africa and the last 20 here in Central Oz): parties, dinners, toasts, the sharing of anecdotes and stories, wondering what this next stage of life will hold?My brother, Norman, and Lee, were talking to Gary and Jane (or was it Bryan and Debbie?). Anyway, someone said, "Why don't you base next week's column around everyone here?"Norm was really enthusiastic about it all É he said he was happy to go around checking name tags."What, list all of them?" I asked, looking around at the 200 plus people milling in and around Madigan's, spilling out on to the terrace. Heavens, that would be a bit boringÉ perhaps I could simply make mention of those from interstate?
Vince and Don from Sydney, Mike from Perth, Phil, Anne, David and Julie from Adelaide, Danny, Bob, Cathy, Mark, and Geoff from Darwin, Neil and Annie from Katherine ÉOn Saturday I reflected on the super speech made by Bronte, and David's brilliant response, and the team effort by everyone, particularly Cheryl, Sylvia and Laura, and Leone and Gary, who acted as photographers on the night. Wonderful tributes to David and then a special presentation made to Precy, who was recognised for her 20 years' service with the company.I shifted my focus to the other attendees Ð some, quite rightly, pointed out that they weren't even born when David first started practising in Rhodesia. Samantha, Clare, Nicky, Tania, Sharon, Eugene, Trish, Rob, Margot, Simon, Jan, Mitch and co, and others, like Alvena, Wally, Barb, Dean, Anne, Russell, Krafty, Chris, Judy, Neil, Ruth, Herman, Mary, Gus, Eleanor and Joe have had long standing associations with the firm.We are so fortunate to be able to count so many friends, amongst clients and the Deloitte team: Kate, Kingy, Lori, Steve, Stephanie, John, Marlene, Andy, Ian, Francoise, Debra, Max, Carolyn, Neville, John, Gary, Jo-Anne, Tony, Dave, Franca, Freddo, Sarah, George, Anne, Will, Jenny, Kevin, Liz and Bill, Paul, Rhonda, Peer, Jude and so many others Ð hey, you know who you are!
Because, as David always says, everything in life, work and play, revolves around people.And haven't there been some great songs written with exactly those sentiments? People who need people are the luckiest people in the world. People make the world go round.I'd like to propose a toast, a special tribute, to the people who've given me such positive feedback, who've rung me, or stopped me in the street, to say thanks for confirming what they've always felt, who have enjoyed a light hearted look at the Alice we love, the Red Centre and our on-going issues.To those who've been bored senseless, critical of my writing style, my parochialisms, my total obsession with Alice and all that life here encompasses, at least some of you have been inspired enough to put pen to paper, and the good news is that there's only one column to go before I take a break.
Our overseas experience starts quite soon: in the meantime we're making the most of our perfect Alice weather, barbecue breakfasts and socialising with friends, before we fly into an English summer which, more often than not, isn't quite as warm as our winter!
So much to miss whenever we're away É


Murray Neck and his family have put on the line all they own to build their dream superstore, the high point of the family's seven decades of trading in The Centre. During that time Murray maintained a reputation of exemplary integrity, but made some tough decisions. Yet hard-nosed deals were coupled with extraordinarily good staff relationships, as ERWIN CHLANDA recounts in part two of this report.
Murray's son Greg, speaking at the superstore opening, referred to the employees as "family".
It is no surprise Murray recalls minutely Ð well over a decade later Ð what consequences the pilots' dispute had on the workers: "We shed four staff.
"No-one was dismissed, they left and were not replaced."
The family members Ð Jenny, Chris, Greg and Anthony Ð were working Ôround the clock and cutting back on all sorts of expenses: travel, personal spending, vehicle use and all capital expenditure"We cut our phone expenses, using the fax more, getting our suppliers to phone us rather than us phoning them.
"We came out of that at the end much, much stronger."
Murray says Alice is a very stable town: "We've been able to ride the highs and lows of the national economy."
It is much less dependent on government spending than Darwin: "We've had to feel our way without a great deal of continuous support from the NT Government."
In fact Murray thinks that over the years the town has survived more despite the governments' initiatives, rather than because of them.
Alice in Ten "should be giving us ideas". They are still thin on the ground.
We have the "best water supply between Port Augusta and Katherine" and recycled sewerage should become yet another resource.
"We have a large supply of natural gas but it is used only for electricity."
Both assets "should be used for some sort of manufacturing or horticulture".
For the benefit both of the locals Ð his customers Ð and the tourism industry the "MacDon-nell Ranges need to be developed.
"Parks and Wildlife need to get their act together and allow controlled tourist development in the MacDonnell Ranges.
"To have them sewn up as they have is not using [this asset] as it should be used."
Before the advent of the Town Council, in the Ôsixties, Murray served on the Town Management Board which considered one of the earliest consultants' reports about developing tourism.
It specifically proposed developments at The Rock, which the NT government later poured a fortune into.
The MacDonnell Ranges, which he dearly loves, have virtually been ignored. Murray says a development plan similar to that of Ayers Rock is sadly wanting.
Murray announced at the opening of the super store he will be stepping down as the chairman of the Neck group.
But will he?
"I've offered before but they've knocked me back," he says.
Eldest son Chris, the heir apparent, has been "acting as chairman for the last couple of years".
"He is the ideas man, the entrepreneur, the driving force behind the new building."
With 12 grand children Ð the eldest aged 25 Ð in the wings, there may soon be new faces in the business and, in time, on the board.
And the business, in the future, "may not be 100 per cent family owned".
"I think that's a pretty wise choice and the natural evolution of our business.
"We've studied the guidelines of the Alice Plaza where we have a consortium which owns the premises and where we have a business as one of the tenants.
"We would accept the situation where, if it is in our interests, we would bring in other shareholders who are contributors to the future development."So now, is it retirement to Smoky Bay for Murray Neck?"Never in my wildest dreams! It's a wonderful place with great fishing and very friendly people, but Alice has been and always will be my home town."

The road to power: KIERAN FINNANE talks exclusively to Chief Minister Clare Martin. See Part One in the Alice News issue of May 15.
Darwin was only going to be for six months but it became home: Chief Minister Clare Martin's path to the Territory is a familiar story, though in the beginning it wasn't the land and the lifestyle she fell in love with, but "a fella".
Her first stint was back in 1983 as presenter of a morning show for ABC radio.
She had been working as a reporter in Sydney for programs like AM and PM, but wanted to learn how to present a show: "a different skill, you have to learn things like calling time, for heaven's sake, and how you fill gaps, how you start communicating with an audience live".
"They're not going to start you in Sydney, so when I got an offer from Darwin, I thought great, I can learn the skills somewhere that might be more tolerant."
She enjoyed the six months Ð "I liked the smaller community, which surprised me" Ð but when she got an offer of a show in Canberra, she didn't hesitate. "I didn't think I could pursue my career in Darwin."
Her fella, David Alderman, then a solicitor, went with her.
She loved Canberra and he hated it. After a while, he got an offer to become a partner in the law firm he'd worked for in Darwin, and she got an offer to move to a program in Sydney. There was a tussle between man and career; the man won.
"When I went back I didn't have a job, that was a bit hard. I took leave, then, as luck had it, some jobs came up. The first one was doing the Saturday afternoon racing!"
When did Darwin become home?
"I think it was gradual. I went from doing the racing to getting back a morning show and then moved to television.
"David needed to stay in his partnership for 10 years. I was busy doing the 7.30 Report, went back to radio, had a baby [and later another Ð Jake is now 15, and Chloe, 13], doing all those things that totally engross you in a community.
"When the 10 years had passed, I said I didn't want to leave any more.
"That's when the political opportunities came up for me and David went from being a partner in a firm to going to the bar. We both had our midlife change together, and there was the potential of having no money at all coming into the home!"
Politics had always been part of her life. Ms Martin, who grew up in a family of 10 children in Lindfield on Sydney's north shore, was letter-boxing for the now defunct Democratic Labor Party from the age of five.Her parents, Noel and Bernice Martin, were active members of the DLP and went on to establish a Sydney chapter of the American Christian Family Movement.
"My parents were very strong Catholics, with a strong social justice agenda.
"Politics and community action were just considered part of what you did as a member of a large Catholic family.
"The CFM was about more than going to church on a weekend, it was about how you promoted issues in the community and how you acted as a Christian, rather than simply having the tag as a Christian."
How important is all that now?
"Once you're a Catholic, you're really always a Catholic, the values are there really strongly.
"I was a very strong church-goer as I grew up, but through that Ôsixties time it was a lot more than just going to church, more community driven and very strongly social justice.
"I go to church more now. One week I'll go to the Buddhists, then I'll go to the Uniting, then the Catholic, the whole range of church services.
"I've got more interest in reflection and spirituality than I had over the last 20 years. It's a sign of getting older and having children getting older, you think about things differently."
Interestingly, there is some family background also in representative politics, but on the other side of the fence.
"My mother's brother, Kevin Cairns, was a member of the McMahon Government, he was Minister for Housing. We never agreed with him. It was always very lively when Uncle Kevin came around. He was poles apart from all his nieces and nephews who were absolutely feral about Vietnam war and what we were doing there and about how Australia was changing.
"We didn't see the Liberal Government as reflecting that at all."
That early political awareness developed into an active interest at university where she studied classical music, playing flute and piano.
"But it wasn't a party political thing, I wanted to work in the political area as a journalist."
The first time she joined a political party was when she pre-selected for the seat of Casuarina, "which happened over a lunch in February 1994".
"I joined the Labor party at the same time and gave the ABC apoplexy, absolute apoplexy.
"I was doing a morning show, I had to leave that and I became the training officer."
She lost the election, went back to being a training officer but after a few months, having resigned from the Labor Party, she got back to working as an active journalist.
"I strongly believe you wouldn't work as a journalist with a commitment to a political party. Joining a political party says you have established a loyalty and you cannot work as a journalist.
"The only complaint I had at that time, in fact, was from the Labor Party about one of the stories I did."
Then in May 1995 Marshall Perron retired from the seat of Fannie Bay.
"I thought I'll give it one more go, my family can stand one more go at this. "I also had a belief that if I was ever going to win a seat it would be Fannie Bay. It was where I lived, where I knew so many people.
"So I pre-selected and re-joined the Labor Party within the same five minutes."
It had been hard to lose the first time round.
"It's a public defeat, it's something you have to come to terms with.
"The person who was most upset was my six year old daughter who cried! I used to have this map on the back of the door, and I would mark off the houses where I had door-knocked. There were 12 houses that I hadn't done.
"Chloe at six said, ÔIf only you'd door-knocked those 12 houses, Mum, you would have won.'
"I probably would have thought very carefully about standing again for another general election. Labor's history has been a lot better in by-elections."
Having a by-election come up just a year after her first campaign and in her patch was a key event on Ms Martin's road to the top in the Territory.
"Maybe if it had come up the year after, I would have been too much into where I wanted to go as a journalist again."
So how clear in her mind was the ambition to lead Labor to victory?
"Standing for Labor in the Territory was like smashing your head against the wall really. The track record for winning anything was pretty poor, but I'm an incurable optimist. I must have had a quiet belief that standing for Labor wasn't going to be opposition forever. It was a giant leap at the time.
"I won Fannie Bay by 69 votes, my focus was on my electorate. I became the most persistent and consistent doorknocker, but I also realised that in an electorate like Fannie Bay you had to be very careful not to polarise it politically.
"I had just got across the line and I was going to be the best local member because I wasn't going to lose that seat.
"But having only one other member of the Labor party in Darwin I also had assume the face of Labor there, go to lots of events, as well as balance the demands of a number of shadow portfolios. Lots of balls in the air."
NEXT: The leadership: something she never plotted and planned for.


Many people know the David Helfgott story from the movie Shine, directed by Scott Hicks. My Aunty Helen had met David and seen him perform at the Bellingen Jazz Festival and was inspired by his story and his playing.
Because I am learning to play the piano she wanted me to have this experience as well, so she bought me a plane ticket to Adelaide and a ticket to the David Helfgott concert at the Adelaide Town Hall.
I was really excited as Dad rushed me from the Eisteddfod concert at Araluen to the airport.
Stephen Goldsmith, a Kaurna / Nurungga man welcomed the audience to Kaurna land, where the Adelaide Town Hall is, and sang "I Can Hear My Colours Singing".
The first half of the concert was the Tutti Ensemble, Holdfast Choir. This choir began as in 1997 as a group of 12 intellectually disabled people and two support workers. There are now over 70 singers and musicians in the group. They sing gospel songs, modern songs, songs from other cultures as well as original songs composed especially for them. My favourite song was "The Owl and Nightingale Tango".
What I loved most about this choir was the bravery and the perseverance of the singers, especially the boy with Downe Syndrome who also helped to conduct the choir. They did an excellent job! There was a great message that everyone is valuable, whether they are black, white, old, young, able or disabled.
Sitting in the front row we were able to see the expressions on David Helfgott's face as he played for the second half of the program. He played compositions by Mendelssohn, Debussy, Gottschalk and Chopin. My favourite piece was "Fantasie Impromptu" by Chopin.
I thought it was fantastic to hear him play after all the trauma and challenges in his life.
After the show I got to meet him backstage and present him with chocolates.
He kissed and hugged me. He kissed and hugged my sister and brother too. He loved my bright pink piano tie that I had worn especially for the concert ... in fact he wanted to keep it for himself!
Maybe one day there will be an opportunity for David Helfgott or the Tutti Ensemble Choir to visit and perform for us here in Alice Springs.
[Darcy is eleven. He competed in the Centralian Eisteddfod and was the winner of the 11 years and under piano solo, 12 years and under piano duet and the Original Composition 12 years and under. He was Highly Commended for the Jazz solo 12 years and under and was awarded the Eisteddfod Council trophy for the Most Outstanding Composition (Any age) for his piano piece called "Hands On".]

3 BDRS, 2 BTHRMS, ALL NEW & JUST $117,000.

A brand new three bedroom home of 100 square metres plus a further 65 square metres under verandahs, two bathrooms, built on your land for just $117,000?
That's the right price, says Wayne Bennett, of the Amoonguna Construction Team, which oversees the building of homes on the Aboriginal community just south east of Alice Springs.
He says the company isn't taking on outside work Ð at least not at the moment.
But its costing, whose accuracy is borne out by several homes at Amoonguna, is a useful guide for home buyers keen on benefiting from cheaper land set to become available in the wake of the native title developments in Alice Springs.
The NT Government and the new Lhere Artepe Association are in negotiations likely to result in the release of several hundred blocks in locations including Larapinta and Mt Johns Valley near the casino.
Andrew Doyle, of the Real Estate Institute, says ex-government homes, which may be up to 40 years old, are currently selling (including land) for around $165,000.
He says new buildings cost between $800 and $1200 per square metre plus $400 to $500 per square metre of verandah area.
He says a vacant block has recently been sold for $95,000 at the Kempeana subdivision (opposite the Diarama), while 450 to 550 square metre blocks behind the Diarama have sold for between $75,000 and $85,000.
Mr Doyle says the negotiations with Lhere Artepe are "vitally important" for the town if they result in cheaper land.
He says homes are now out of reach for most first and second home buyers.
AFFORDABLEThey could more comfortably afford land worth around $40,000 to $50,000 which Ð combined with construction costs similar to those described by Mr Bennett, would put the completion price for a new home starting at $160,000.
Mr Bennett says the Amoonguna homes are entirely built by local contractors and trades people.
One exception is a small amount of concrete work carried out by CDEP labour Ð but this cost is factored into the price at the commercial rate.
Also included in the $117,000 is a $5000 fee for a construction supervisor and quality controller, and $5000 for a septic tank Ð which people in town of course wouldn't need. Mr Bennett says the homes have concrete block walls, painted inside and out.
The roof has a steel frame and Colourbond cladding, a fully insulated roof cavity and fully ducted evaporated air conditioning.
Bedrooms and living areas also have ceiling fans and smoke detectors.
The main bathroom has a bath, shower, hand basin and WC.
The en-suite bathroom has a shower, hand basin and WC.
Wet areas and kitchen have ceramic floor tiles and the rest of the house has lino floors.
The kitchen has a walk-in pantry, cupboards, sink, four burner electric stove and oven, two roof ventilators.On the roof is a 300 litre solar and electric hot water system.
The price also includes built-in wardrobes in the three bedrooms.


The embattled Yipirinya School Council, stung by staff walking off the job and having it declared an unsafe workplace, last Friday finally made a statement to the media, via a firm of lawyers.
The council said it did "not believe that the school is an unsafe work site" and that it would be seeking assistance from the Minister for Central Australia and the Minister for Education to resolve the impasse.
The council said it is "very concerned that the students have been sent home", and that "the primary focus should be on the welfare of the school's children".
However, on Monday, as the Alice News went to press, communication had broken down between the council and the Australian Independent Education Union, representing staff.
Darwin-based AIEU organiser Simon Hall would not discuss details but said the union was looking forward to a hearing of some matters in the Industrial Relations Commission on Tuesday.
The council's statement referred to a conciliation conference in the IRC on May 9. It said the union had agreed at the conference to provide the council with details of issues that they believed to be unresolved."The council has still not received that information from the union," said the statement.
"The council believes staff are misinformed about what has occurred."


When the Federal government allocates many millions of dollars to a program for Aboriginal health, why does it take more than two years, and possibly three, to get to the "coalface"?We're talking about the Primary Health Care Access Program (PHCAP) Ð the "Aboriginal healthcare revolution" of last week's news Ð which had its first budget allocation in 2000, followed by a boost to those resources in the 2001 budget.
This wasn't money to get the ball rolling; this was money for the implementation of a thoroughly planned reform of how Aboriginal health care services are funded and delivered (see Alice News, August 8, 2001).It was to see a pooling of Territory and Commonwealth resources and an equitable channelling of them, via a framework agreed by a four-way partnership, to community-controlled primary health care services or community health boards.
"It's been a long and cumbersome process but one we've been part of and we are confident of a positive roll-out starting within two months," says Stephanie Bell, chairperson of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory, one of the partners.The others are the Commonwealth and Territory Departments of Health, and ATSIC.
Federal Minister for Health and Aged care, Kaye Patterson told the Alice News recently that the delays had been necessary in order to "get the structure right and make sure that it's ongoing".
The Minister's man on the ground, regional manager David Scholz, agrees that the roll-out has taken longer than expected but says there's always a "trade-off between speed and sustainability"."We want strong community endorsement of this program and that takes a great deal of time," he says.
How does the partnership know that Aboriginal communities want responsibility for their own health services?
Ms Bell, also director of Congress in Alice Springs, says communities throughout Australia were consulted on the matter during the development of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (NAHS) in 1989.The majority of communities wanted control. They saw it as away of maintaining cultural integrity and of having greater power over having their needs met.
"We have been promoting this message to government for a long time," says Ms Bell.Also, the historical experience of communities with their own service is that they have greater success in attracting resources. Kintore, Urapuntja and Ampilatwatja, for example, each have their own primary health care service, with their own resident doctor.
The service at Katherine West, which is effectively the first fully-fledged PHCAP service, has twice as many nurses as it previously had and three full-time resident doctors, in contrast to the previous part-time visiting doctor arrangement. People in the region are showing Improvements in health as a result."If a community holds its own funds and is in charge of at least the contract to provide services, as is envisaged by PHCAP, there will be a much greater level of accountability from the state to the community," says Ms Bell.
What about accountability from the community to the state? How can we be sure that that a functional health service is what people will get?Ms Bell says it is not possible to control every "unexpected hurdle that may arise" but that Aboriginal community-controlled health services have a good record of maintaining services despite ups and downs in community politics.The Alice News put the same question to NT Health Minister Jane Aagaard. Given the recent statements in the parliament by front bencher John Ah Kit, describing the dysfunctionality of Aboriginal communities, why is she convinced that community control is a good thing?"We want this system to work; it is ultimately the Territory's responsibility that it work," says Ms Aagaard."It is not a simple handover and nothing like a Ôgrants in aid' system where we say, ÔHere's the money, now you do it'."This is a partnership system that has been carefully prepared over a long period of time."Funds and services won't be handed over until the community health boards are ready and able to undertake the tasks."Careful financial and service monitoring processes will be in place to pick up problems along the way."
Meanwhile, the partnership has not been idle since the Commonwealth's allocation of funds.Their first job was to learn to work together. On the government side this involved the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Territory and the Commonwealth, in the process of which they "mapped" all the resources being applied to Aboriginal health.
"It was time-consuming but it provides future clarity that will allow PHCAP to achieve maximum benefit," says Mr Scholz.Ms Bell: "We now know the ratios of population to health care professionals for every community, the per capita expenditure and the health infrastructure."That has never been done before."And there's never been joint funding before, nor a per capita distribution. "It's no longer the case that if you're clever enough to write a submission, you get the money."That's what's Ôrevolutionary' about this."And it's much fairer, says Mr Scholz.The mapping underpinned the Central Australian Regional Health Planning Study, which made the region eligible for PHCAP dollars.For planning purposes, Central Australia has been divided into 11 zones (there are 10 more in the Top End).The initial PHCAP roll-out will occur in five of the Central Australian zones, selected on the basis of both need and capacity to benefit, the latter seen as reflected in community leadership and self-governance.
The five zones to get the first roll-out are: Anmatjere, around Ti-Tree; East Arrernte, the Harts Range, Bonya, Lake Nash area; Northern Barkly, taking in Corella Creek, Alexandria Downs, Nicholson River and Elliott; Warlpiri centred on Yuendumu; and Luritja-Pintupi, covering Papunya, Mt Liebig and Kintore.Steering committees, with eight to 16 members on each, have been formed in each zone, and they are now preparing to select consultants with whom they will work to develop their own strategic health plan.
This is the point from which Ms Bell counts the roll-out as happening.
"It is critical that Aboriginal people themselves, through their health boards, are making the decisions about what services they need."The provision of qualified staff is only one part of the process."
Nonetheless it's an important part and Ms Aagaard says PHCAP will create a lot more health jobs in the Territory.
Will the department be shedding jobs?
It seems likely that some people who presently work for the department will in future work for the community-controlled services.
This may improve recruitment and retention, says Ms Aagaard.
"Experience tells us that people prefer to work for Aboriginal organisations than for the government. Katherine West, for example, has been successful in recruiting nurses whereas it's always hard for us to recruit in remote areas."The committees will also work out how communities can share the administration and resources of their health services on a zone basis.Mr Scholz: "Many services are managed centrally at present. With PHCAP the management will move closer to where people live, with a management structure developed within each zone.
"It is unrealistic to expect that there will be a manager resident in each community as this would be Ôresource intensive' and detract from the ability to deliver primary health care services."So, while all this has been happening have health services been in a state of suspense?Mr Scholz says not. The construction of housing for new staff has already started in some areas, with the Commonwealth spending $5.5m on staff housing and infrastructure in the PHCP zones "to keep ahead of the main implementation".
Wherever possible this work has been coordinated with the activities of the Indigenous Housing Authority of the Northern Territory (IHANT) and NAHS to achieve economies of scale. Another $5m has been spent across Central Australia on upgrading health clinics, including the development of patient information recall systems. A future step will allow information sharing between clinics, responding to Aboriginal patients' high mobility.Other programs have been used to enhance primary health care in 15 communities in Central Australia, concentrating on those with high needs in areas outside of the initial five roll-out zones.
Examples include an extra nurse at Areyonga, extra nurses and health workers at Finke, an administrator and resident doctor at Santa Teresa, and a nurse, IT and a new clinic at Amoonguna.
In all, there's been an expenditure of $2.2m, "a 16.2 per cent increase since 1998," says Mr Scholz.


Coaches from West and Rovers gladly took home premiership points from their wins on Sunday, but would not have stored many great moments of football from the outings to Traeger Park.
In the late game on Sunday the Blues downed South 11.11 (77) to 6.17 (53). Earlier West continued their undefeated record by accounting for Federal 16.18 (114) to 6.2 (38).The contest between third and fourth placed Rovers and South was always expected to be a close game. The Blues ran on without Brett Wright, while Adrian McAdam was again missing from the Roo line-up. Shaun Cusack also appeared in casuals to coach from the sideline, which could well have been the difference between the two sides at the end of the day.In term one, Herman Sampson got the Roo machine fired up with a goal, which was countered by majors from both Jamie Tidy and Nathan McGregor from Rovers.
Then late in the quarter Souths evened the tally with a goal from Lloyd Stockman. At the first break Rovers held a two-point lead, which they maintained through until half time.In the second quarter Souths had nine scoring shots to register a score of 4.10, while Rovers made the most of their chances adding 3.1 for a total of 5.6.
It was Sampson's ability to break through the South half forward line to give them the two goals of the quarter, while goal sneak McGregor proved effective with two, indispersed by one from Max Fejo, which kept the Blues in front.The third term resulted as an even one on paper with both sides adding 2.3. But on the field it seemed South were gaining an upper edge. Darren Talbot and Shane Hayes were getting plenty of touches and Sampson continued his plunder up forward.
In reply Rovers had Edric Coulthard again commanding in the backline, with Malcolm Kenny and Karl Hampton both providing drive.An unfortunate loss of Clinton Pepperill with what seemed to be a recurrence of an ankle injury, could have counted against South, but certainly at three quarter time they seemed to be in the box seat to run home winners.Alas it was not to be. The Blues stole the march from the first bounce of the final term and scored four goals to South's four behinds, so taking the game by 24 points.
Rovers had Kenny, then Robert Coombes and Kasmin Spencer kick goals before the sealer from Mark Nash. In response South found themselves locked in the dead pocket at the southern end time and again, and could do little to arrest their situation.For Rover coach John Glasson it was not a game to be remembered as a top Rover performance even if they did collect the premiership points. The laurels of the day went the way of Mark Nash who was chaired off the ground by his team mates.
The action was a testiment to his contribution to sport in Alice over the recent years. He returns south soon, but in the Centralian annals he will be remembered, as a natural leader and true sportsman!
For South's Shaun Cusack it was a disappointing outcome. He has a side which on its day is capable of outplaying all comers in Alice Springs. Sunday was not one of those days !Coaches Noel Teasdale and Michael Graham probably had similar feelings after the West win over Federal. The game didn't reach great heights, with West taking the points thanks to a productive third term.The Bloods ran on minus their three Thunder representatives who were being conveyed from the airport, having successfully defeated the ACT in Sydney on Saturday night.By mid way through the first term however, Steven Squires, Shaun Cantwell and Adam Taylor were on terra firma at Traeger Park in the Blood and Tar colors.
This aside West were capable of establishing command early in the game with Jarrod Berrington taking control of the centre, Josh Flattum dominating in defence and Michael Gurney establishing an avenue of attack through half forward. As such they led 4.5 to 2.1 at the first break.In the second quarter Federal bounced back. They found Desmond Jack to be a real target at full forward and he registered a bag of four goals by half time. Glen Moreen also joined in the Feds' harvest with a goal, giving them three for term, while Westies seemed to squander chances, booting 1.5 for the session.West as nine point leaders were far from home and hosed at the big break, but things changed quickly in the premiership quarter. Despite losing Darrel Lowe with a knee injury, and Flattum being yellow carded, Westies kicked themselves into a winning position. Steven Squires kicked three goals for the term; Henry Labastida celebrated with two; and Karl Gunderson registered a single. In reply Feds wallowed, scoring a solitary point.With the game in their keeping the Bloods in the last term then ran in 4.6 to one goal. Squires kicked two, taking his bag for the day to six, and Westies finished the game well on top of the battling Federals.This week the two top teams of the competition face each other, with West playing Pioneer.
In the curtain raiser Federal and South will chase premiership points.


The Finke Desert Race for 2002 may have crept on us this year, but in the background the voluntary committee, assisted by the NT Major Events Company, has been doing the hard yards required to organise such an event.The Finke is no longer in the hands of a few dare devils taking advantage of a long weekend to challenge the elements and race 230 kilometres south, and back, just for the fun of it!The race is now one of five points-scoring events which combine to form the Australian Off Road Racing Championships. For years the growth and repute of the desert race was stifled somewhat by the fact that the national body held championship legs elsewhere and in competition to the Finke weekend.
Now that our race has been recognised as part of the championship series, but it is not quite "all easy sailing". Racers are now required to adhere to the demands of CAMS and compromise has become a key word in the race's organisation.In years gone by a car or bike crippled on the downward journey ended the penny section with a DNF attached. For them the race was over!This year true racers who can re-ignite their machine for the homeward leg will be able to re-enter, albeit behind the twentieth-placed vehicle, for the run home.
In terms of championship racing this sounds a valid and fair innovation, but when the actual conditions at Finke are analysed there are issues to take into consideration.
The Desert Race has a tried and tested success formula of community involvement.It has been the nomination of the little battler on his one and only "ride to work" bike, or $5000 four wheeler, which has helped give Finke its character. In recent years with the entry of the bike manufacturers becoming more serious, and six figure buggies being constructed, the top end of the market has hit the big time. And now it is the task of the organisers to hold it all together through compromise to ensure there is a place for everyone in the race.It is here that course conditions become a vital consideration. At the
southern end of the course the "whoops" are such that a vehicle in a gully at times cannot be seen from the other side. Race guru Jol Fleming aptly terms the conditions as "vertical S Bends" where racers hurl themselves forward into the true unknown.
In these conditions the re-entry of former DNF vehicles could be problematic. The last thing need by a little battler Ð who has made it to Finke, camped overnight in a swag, and had a meagre carbohydrate loading at dawn Ð is a big time competitor barging through the field. To be rammed from the rear could be catastrophic!Another unique feature of the Finke Desert Race is that there is no limit to the cubic capacity of entries. This can have a positive influence on the race, but could also have the potential to blow the grass roots Finke racer out of the game. With innovation there still needs to be a place for "Joe average".Finke 2002 has seen a swing towards big four-cylinder bikes, customised buggies, and professional four wheel drivers. Power will exude at the start line. It may well also swing the favouritism for outright victory the way of the cars. Only time will tell! Otherwise in the lead up to Finke 2002 none of the traditional character appears to be missing. Nominations have come thick and fast. Garages are abuzz with vehicle preparations. The Start / Finish Line has been spruced up. Even down the track, Cotter camp has been manicured with lawn mower and whipper snipper attention over the last few weekends.The Finke Desert Race, as an Australian Championship event, is now a premium and professional part of our culture. This acquired professionalism will now hopefully also spill over to the small lunatic element of the crowd whose antics have in past times endangered racers and fellow supporters. A trouble-free Finke both on and off the track is the organisers' dream!


Outfits by Alice Springs textile artists and designers Philomena Hali and Milena Young will be modelled during Proper Flash, Bush Couture at Olive Pink Botanic Garden on Sunday, starting at 2.30pm.
"The show will feature 14 fashions modelled by 14 Alice Springs men and women,'' Milena said."Philomena and I have entered numerous fashion awards over the years."For those events we have to design our works to fit a particular size person, so we thought it would be fun to design items for Ôreal' people for a change, and for all ages too."The fashions in Sunday's show are for people aged seven to 70 plus."Just because you're not a particular size and age does not mean you can't wear original designs."Philomena and I have been talking about having a show like this for some time.MODEL"So we decided to stop talking and do it. We asked some people we know if they would model for us and they said yes."Milena came to Australia from London in 1993 and to Alice Springs in 1997 and since then has taken and taught numerous workshops relating to textile design.She has also taught in Aboriginal communities, participated in various exhibitions, such as the Alice Craft Acquisition and the NT Fashion Awards, and in 2000 spent three weeks as craftsperson-in-residence at Musgrave Gallery in Ayers Rock.Philomena is well-known throughout Central Australia, and indeed Australia, for her work in textiles.In addition to teaching classes and conducting workshops for Territory Craft, she has also taught art courses in various NT schools.In 1999 Philomena was one of seven Australian textile artists invited to attend the Third International Shibori Symposium in Santiago, Chile.Both Milena and Philomena design their works based on the colours and other things they observe in the Central Australian landscape."I do take photographs but I don't look at them while I am working," Milena said."Instead I like to see what results intuitively from what I have observed."
Both Milena and Phil design a wide range of items, from scarves to wall hangings, to dresses to fashion accessories, incorporating a variety of different dyeing and printing techniques.
Sunday's show will also feature a wide range of work, the majority being recent designs.
There will also be entertainment by dancer Elisabeth Strayer and singer Brooke Caldow.
Refreshments will be available at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden Cafe.

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