July 9, 2003.


Opposition Leader Denis Burke says his shyness is sometimes misinterpreted as arrogance, and he has yet to catch up to the public appeal of media savvy Chief Minister Clare Martin.
But he will not say whether or not a majority in the powerful Alice Springs branch of the CLP wants to see him replaced as the Parliamentary Leader.
Mr Burke spoke to the Alice News at the party¶s show stall on Friday morning, following an unprecedented meeting the evening before, when the entire Parliamentary wing of the CLP fronted up.
This followed the resignation from the front bench of MacDonnell MLA John Elferink; the resignation of local branch members from senior positions on the party's management committee; and sustained attacks by local CLP figures on Araluen MLA Jodeen Carney and Greatorex MLA Richard Lim for allegedly selling out the branch by scuttling a bid to dump Mr Burke and install MLA for Blain, Terry Mills, as the Leader.
Alice branch president David Forrest - busy making steak sandwiches for sale and for a free lunch for pensioners - declined an invitation to comment, merely saying the meeting had been "constructive".
But the show grounds were abuzz with accounts of the events at the meeting.
Insiders say the members were less outspoken in the presence of Mr Burke than they had been in his absence, but when Mr Elferink declared the party needed a new leader, the outspoken double winner in an electorate that had been a Labor stronghold for decades received a round of applause.
Mr Burke was careful to sidestep questions about his support or otherwise in the branch - by far the biggest in the Territory, with responsibility for five of the 25 electorates, and the voting power to match.
Mr Burke says the members of the restive branch "are expressing a sentiment that they are not happy with the Labor Government and they are expressing a frustration that the CLP are not doing enough to win back government".
"A lot of that frustration centres on me. I am the Leader. And it also centres on the fact that we did lose the last election," says Mr Burke.
"There are people in the CLP who obviously are still angry about that, and I understand that.
"But it's a matter of working through, and having everyone understand that we're all working towards the same objective."
Mr Burke was keen to see the mending of fences in The Centre as a work in progress, although Darwin based CLP president Len Notaris that morning had already declared the it was Mr Burke who would be leading the party to the next election.
"What last night's meeting showed was that we're moving constructively through this distraction," says Mr Burke.
"The tone of the meeting was such that there was no intention to have a vote, and that it was unnecessary.
"The meeting was very constructive."
However, insiders says there had been no vote because it was not a constitutional meeting.
"Some of the people there who should have spoken up didn't.
"In any case if there had been a vote taken, it should have been a secret ballot," says one insider.
"It was just a get together, so no vote could be called for.
"This probably saved Burke's neck. But the matter isn't over yet."
More than 50 members - out of a membership of 180 - were at the meeting, initially intended as a meeting of the branch executive with the politicians.
But according to one insider, Dr Lim - the go-between - and Ms Carney wanted the meeting to be a gathering of members.
Mr Burke indicated he had no hard feelings for Mr Elferink who merely "wanted time out, and I'm respecting his point of view".
Mr Burke says the branch is "supportive of the [Parliamentary] wing."
Supportive of the wing's right to make a decision, or supportive of the decision to confirm Mr Burke as the leader?
"I believe it goes hand in hand," says Mr Burke.
"Do I have the confidence of the Alice Springs branch? I would say that we all have a lot of work to do, including me, to ensure we win the next election.
"I have a lot of work to do myself to improve aspects of my personality, aspects people believe need to be improved.
"For example, there is a perception that Burke is arrogant.
"I believe that most people who know me don't think I'm arrogant.
"Probably I'm shy, in many respects, and that may come across as being aloof.
"But those are things I clearly have got to work on. My media skills need improving because Clare Martin is obviously strong in that area."
He wasn't answering questions about numbers for or against him in the Alice branch.
He says: "I don't event want to use the word majority because it's a divisive way of expressing it.
"I would say in the meeting last night I could not have asked for a better outcome."
This is pretty well what was expressed in a press release the following morning, which, according to one insider, was clearly drafted by Mr Burke's staff before the had even taken place.
However, one paragraph was deleted which said the CLP would go to the next election with Mr Burke as the leader.
That line was struck from the release, says the insider, upon Mr Forrest's demand.


The town council gives Alice Springs' biggest industry - tourism - a helping hand but doesn't want to be its main driver, says Mayor Fran Kilgariff.
She says the council spends up to $1m a year - directly or indirectly - to aid the industry, but won't get involved in initiatives such as bringing Todd Mall to life in the evenings.
The council spends $19m a year (not counting depreciation).
"There is not enough money in our budget for the sorts of things you're talking about, entertainment," says Ms Kilgariff.
"Frankly, I don't think that's actually council's job to do that."
Whose job should it be?
"Well, I think if the mall traders want to attract people there at night then that's their job to do that.
"We're doing what we can, in terms of infrastructure and reduction of anti-social behaviour.
"But there also have to be moves by the mall traders.
"If you're saying you can't get a cappuccino in the southern part of the mall after 4.30pm then that's a commercial decision by the mall traders.
"It's not something that council can get involved in."
The council is still caught short with its plans to build public toilets in the centre of the CBD.
Ms Kilgariff says four years ago "we got as far as the design stage" for a staffed toilet block with lockers and showers in the Hartley Street car park, the only land the council owns in the middle of the CBD.
The project was knocked on the head by the NT Government planning authority, mainly because of objections from the Uniting Church, as well as heritage groups, which didn't want the facility near the Flynn Church and the Old Hartley Street School.
Then two years ago $100,000 was set aside for Supaloos in Todd Mall, "but we couldn't find a suitable place to put them, and nobody was happy with the aesthetics of them.
"So we put the money in the [current] budget to see if we can find a suitable location."
One option is to "encourage" the Coles and K-Mart shopping centres to be "more open with their toilets".
Public toilets had also been part of the redevelopment of the civic centre, which is "not progressing very much", says Ms Kilgariff.
The current draft budget contains $600,000 for partial redevelopment of the council complex - more offices ("we have people working out in the foyer") and upgrading of health and safety standards.
The civic centre was built in the early Îseventies, but plans in recent years to replace the complex with a controversial multi million dollar "Taj Mahal" have been scrapped - at least for the moment.
Ms Kilgariff says there are a string of council initiatives benefiting the tourism industry: "$100,000 is spent on lighting, and the general security of the mall is much better.
"Anti-social behaviour is down in the mall and al fresco dining has increased."
The draft budget earmarks $50,000 for Todd Mall promotion.
It's still unclear what that will be spent on, possibly surveys such as whether surveillance cameras should or should not be installed, and Christmas trains.
"The $25,000 we put into the tourism futures is definitely showing a leadership role," says Ms Kilgariff.
The futures project, run by the local office of the CSIRO, aims to predict developments in the industry in response to a variety of changed circumstances.
"We take development of tourism in Alice Springs very seriously.
"We've also put aside $30,000, not allocated yet, for any contingencies that may arise," says Ms Kilgariff.
But how could the council lead?
"Council does a lot of working with other groups in terms of tourism, such as CATIA.
"We were involved quite strongly in the lobbying for Virgin airlines."
She estimates the council spends $1m a year in cash and kind for tourism, including:
Û maintenance of the art collection at Araluen ($65,000);
Û last year $150,000 for the Masters Games;
Û around $30,000 for Henley on Todd and Camel Cup; Û and the weekly update of the council web site, "the most complex and consistently maintained web site in Alice Springs".
In addition, $1.6m is planned to be spent on parks and gardens, plus $140,000 for initiatives emerging from the current neighbourhood consultation process.
Ms Kilgariff says a major addition to the town's amenities could be the relocation of the YMCA to the town pool.
The council has set aside $15,000 for a feasibility study.
"The potential for a sporting complex at Traeger Park is just incredible," says Ms Kilgariff.
"If you added a heated pool to what's already there, plus the proposed changes to the skate park, then we would have an absolutely wonderful sporting facility."
A decision will be made "definitely by Christmas".
"The Y has already had a feasibility study done on having a heated pool [at its current site], and it has been proved to be economically feasible.
"They basically are saying, we would like to have a look [at moving to the town pool site] but we've got a fall-back position if nothing happens at the Traeger Park site."
Ms Kilgariff says the open questions are "how would the council and the Y safeguard their respective interests, and who would pay for this big complex, which I imagine would cost millions and millions of dollars, probably $6m.
"There are other things such as a hydrotherapy pool badly needed in town, but that can all be brought together, and funding could come from quite a few areas."


Strong demand for quality Central Australian store cattle saw prices for steers and heifers exceed expectations at the annual Alice Springs Show sale last Thursday.
Neville Chalmers, Branch Manager for Wesfarmers Landmark in Alice, one of the selling agents, says the sale went "extremely well and made 15 to 20 cents a kilogram (liveweight) more than what we expected".
"Prior to the sale, we thought that if they made $1.50/kg we'd be doing well for good milk-teeth steers, but most made between $1.55 and $1.70/kg," says Mr Chalmers.
Wesfarmers Landmark yarded and sold 800 steers and heifers from beef producers in the district, with most cattle purchased by interstate lot feeders.
Mr Chalmers says buyers came from NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria. The Cargill feedlot in Wagga Wagga NSW was one of the major buyers, purchasing close to 600 steers. Wesfarmers Landmark clients Yambah Station, 60km north of Alice and owned by Aaron and Karina Gorey, topped the sale with 46, two-tooth Shorthorn steers, average weight of 376.5kg making $1.70/kg. The steers were purchased by a feedlot in Korumburra in Victoria.
Yambah Station also topped the sale for heifers, selling 58 milk teeth Shorthorns, average weight 372.9kg for $1.35/kg. The Cadzow family's Mt Riddock Station, 200km northeast, sold 40 milk teeth Poll Hereford steers, average weight 338.5kg for $1.62/kg and another 27 milk-teeth Poll Hereford steers, averaging 377kg for $1.60/kg.
Mt Riddock also sold 39 milk teeth Poll Hereford heifers, average weight 316kg for $1.35/kg. They sold 20 Poll Hereford cows, average weight 501.7kg for 90c/kg. Tarlton Downs, owned by the James family, 450km northeast, sold 23 four-teeth Poll Hereford steers, averaging 343kg for $1.40/kg to Wesfarmers Landmark clients in Cobar.


The account of a former Congress employee would suggest that management of the health care organisation is riddled with nepotism, corruption and incompetence.
The woman, who says she is a trained and experienced Aboriginal health worker (AHW), contacted the Alice News, outlining a number of serious allegations.
This followed our lead story "Black health organisation ripping off the taxpayer?" (June 4 - see our web site).
The former employee did not wish to be identified for fear of "comeback" on her - harassment and "blacklisting" which would prevent her finding a job in the future.
The Alice News talked over the allegations in detail with the woman and found her to be sincere and credible. The News also put the allegations to Congress.
The ex-employee says Aboriginal health worker (AHW) staff and people who are not related to the dominant families in the management of the Congress were discriminated against in the organisation.
She says claims by Congress that AHWs have gone into management positions are "crap".
She says AHWs until recently were not even allowed internet and email access and were especially kept out of the loop when it came to information about health conferences which they might have wanted to attend.
She says AHWs who were family members of senior staff were paid more than non-family members.
She was paid around $21,000 a year, while she says "family" members, with equivalent or lesser qualifications, were getting paid $50,000.
Says Congress Deputy Director, Donna Ah Chee: "The allegations regarding salary levels are confusing as they don't say whether the people being paid more were doing the same duties.
"All Congress staff is paid in accordance with the EBA agreed levels. These levels reflect the duties of the position and this includes the qualification required to undertake those duties.
"The salary figures quoted are quite demonstrably incorrect."
Ms Ah Chee also says that Congress "takes exception to the broad nature of the allegations against our current AHW workforce and the attack on their credibility that these allegations represent".
"Congress AHWs come from many areas of Australia, both locally and interstate. They are all registered with the NT AHW Registration Board and hold the Certificate III Aboriginal Health Worker (Clinical) qualification.
"The NT Registration Board has not required AHWs who were already registered to upgrade their qualifications in order to retain registration. This precludes some registered AHWs from gaining employment with Congress as an AHW.
"Congress is proud of the hard work often undertaken [by AHWs] under difficult conditions, particularly outside of Congress on the Community Health Programs and recognises the valuable skills and knowledge they bring to our clinical team."
The ex-employee also says a Congress vehicle "was constantly seen" at the home of the staff member responsible for it "for three to four hours at a time" during working hours.
She says another employee "took revenge" over an incident by taking "the medical files of patients and staff, reading them at a party with friends and then dumping them at the landfill for all to see".
She says she was aware of over 200 missing medical files: "To this day, the patient files are not secured, the filing cabinet is available to all and opened with a knife."
Ms Ah Chee says these allegations are "incorrect". She also says: "Patient files are kept in a secure location, accessible only by designated staff.
"Congress has complied fully with the requirements of the new Privacy Act and we take the confidentiality of our records very seriously."
The ex-employee says while AHWs are not allowed to sign Medicare forms, AHWs were "constantly given Medicare forms to fill in with their patients' details and to leave in the file".
Ms Ah Chee says this statement reflects a "misunderstanding of the process by the informant".
"Neither doctors nor AHWs have ever signed Medicare forms at Congress. Only patients can sign these forms. The current practice at Congress is that only doctors are allowed to get patients to sign these forms after the consultation has occurred."
The ex-employee says "Communicare patient files" were accessed by non-medical senior staff "to check up on" health workers.
She says "only medical personnel are supposed to have the privilege" of seeing the Communicare files.
Ms Ah Chee: "The information system referred to, Communicare, has amongst its various capabilities the ability to measure patient through flow and waiting times. This facility (not patient files) is accessed by senior management to monitor the operations of the clinic in dealing with patient demand."
The ex-employee alleges expensive equipment "such as an ECG, a Haemoglobin machine and an eye camera, all worth in the $200,000 mark each, are left unused in the clinic, collecting dust".
Ms Ah Chee does not respond specifically to this allegation.
The ex-employee also says funding was obtained for employing a trainee pharmacy assistant. She says the job was given to the daughter of a senior member of staff, " who didn't turn up".
Says the ex-employee: "So without another interview or selection process, another family member was slotted in.
"She also did not want the job, so funding was collected for a year and wasted."
She says no one was in the trainee position for about six months.
Ms Ah Chee: "All full time and part-time staff are employed through proper selection panel processes, consistent with any relevant legislation. Congress recruits staff through public advertisement followed by a process of merit selection. The recruitment process also includes referees' checks and the substantiation of qualifications.
"Congress is confident its recruitment processes are fair and equitable, and insists that staff recruited to professional positions hold the appropriate qualification."
Ms Ah Chee also says that "monies from positions unfilled are carried over as savings into the following financial year and subtracted from that year's funding allocation, or returned to the funding body if that is the requirement for positions that are not on going". The ex-employee says mobile phones, desks, computers all go missing, as do S8 drugs.
"Yet nothing is said and conveniently family members just happen to have a new mobile phone, computer or are on S8 drugs not prescribed for them."
The News asked her how often she had seen this happening.
"Only occasionally, but it's still happening and it shouldn't be."
Ms Ah Chee: "The charge of stolen goods seem so unsubstantiated by the source's own omission to seriously question the value of their inclusion in the article other than to create a broad smear campaign against the organisation."
The ex-employee says Congress staff who are family members have turned up for work under the influence of marijuana or alcohol and nothing has been done about it.
How often did this happen?
"All the time, two to three times a week."
How did she know?
"You could tell, their eyes were bloodshot, they were being stupid, not their normal selves."
She says incidents of a staff member swearing at patients have gone without any disciplinary action.
She says she complained in a letter to senior management about one such incident and never had a reply.
She says in a meeting she requested with senior management to deal with a number of "such issues" as well as her own employment issues, and in which she was accompanied by a union representative, she was told to "get to the fSÿ.n' point".
"Myself and the union rep left when such language was used. Nothing was done about this."
Says the woman: "I do believe Congress was originally set up for the right reasons but since [recent and current management] took over, it has become a farce."
Ms Ah Chee does not respond specifically to this last series of allegations, but suggests that "any large organisation attempting to provide the best possible standard of service to its clients will no doubt over time have disgruntled ex-employees within its community".
"Congress operates as a highly professional organisation and expects its staff to conform to the highest standards of behaviour," she says. "This includes utilising the extensive legitimate complaints processes available both internally and externally to get satisfaction over workplace employment issues.
"This includes access to union support and advocacy.
"Many of the allegations raised are of such a nature as to suggest a disgruntlement with straightforward management issues and therefore we believe do not warrant a response through the Alice Springs News."


"He was the best player I ever saw play in Alice Springs."
"He was like quick-silver. You'd reach out to catch him and he slipped away."
"Twinkletoes we called him. He could have turned on a ten-cent piece and given you five cents change!"
So the older followers of Australian Rules Football in Alice Springs, and indeed Territory wide, remember the player many consider the most brilliant they ever saw. Although he lived a full life, news of his recent death will have come as a shock to all who knew him.
"We of the Never Never", first published almost a century ago and never out of print since, recognised the legendary nature of the Peckham family in the Top End's Elsey country. Henry was to become another of the legends and, while he had a bushman's and a stockman's skills, it was as a champion football player that he bedazzled all who were privileged to see him play.
Henry and his brothers had initially learnt to play Aussie Rules in Darwin in the late 1930s and Îforties.
The World War II years, 1939-1945, resulted in the movement of many people in and about the Territory. As a consequence, Henry found himself in Alice Springs just as the town became large enough to begin a local "scratch" football competition.
In his first "scratch" game in mid-1947, Henry kicked five of his Aboriginal team's seven goals, thus equalling the total of the defeated Allied Works Council team. He was instantly acknowledged as a champion.
When, in the next month, the local association (then consisting of the Federals, Rovers and Pioneers team) was formed, he became a mainstay of both Pioneers and the town sides of the era.
There was no position he could not have played, but it was as a forward that he is always best remembered. He timed his leads to perfection, and like all great players kept his feet no matter how high he had flown for a mark, or how much he dodged and spun left and right. Furthermore, though not always moving fast, he invariably seemed to have more time than anyone else. As an illustration of his superiority, in Pioneers' first official game against Rovers, which Pioneers won 13-14 to 6-4, he kicked 11 goals in a brilliant display.
Pioneers won the first premiership of this short season of just four games, then repeated this achievement in 1948. Henry had kicked six of his team's eight goals in the grand final, and was understandably named in the best players. He had also been the top scorer, and one of the best players, in the first town side, which took three days to travel by bus to Darwin, where the Darwin side was victorious.
By this time many believed that Henry could be a star in the southern major league competition. This belief was underlined when, in the 1949 season, Henry won the first Mail Medal ever awarded in Central Australia for "best and fairest" in the competition, and was best-on-ground in the exciting premiership game.
The year 1950 saw him signed by West Adelaide. Henry was the first to lead the way for Central Australians to achieve at this much higher level.
He confirmed local expectations by kicking five goals in his first game, and being awarded West Adelaide's trophy for best player on the day. So magical had been his performance that he was chaired from the ground by his opponents as well as his own team-members!
Sadly Henry was unable to sustain this brilliance, for opposition teams resorted to constantly flattening him, and he suffered an ankle injury. After just six games he returned to the Alice where, because of the rules of the era, he was not permitted to play again until the next season.
Although Pioneers now took third place behind Rovers and Federals, the rest from football had allowed Henry's ankle injury to recover, and he continued to star. As a final illustration of his brilliance, in 1952, when Pioneers were defeated by Federals in a close semi-final game, Henry almost created victory by kicking nine of his team's 10 goals!
Eventually, he retired from football, and returned to his home country in the Mataranka-Katherine region. However, at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the origins of the CAFL, Henry was an honoured guest. He stood quietly near one of the old Coolibah trees in the Pioneers portion of "the Hill", a legend and a gentleman, yarning to his many old friends and extended family members. In their mind's eye he remained as he always had been, a true champion.
As the late Alan Wauchope, an old-time barracker and journalist, put it: "He Îdanced' his way through game after game, season after season."
Sincere condolences to the many Peckham family members. May he Rest in Peace in the country he loved.

LETTERS: Bromley bear and knotted knickers.

Sir,- On Friday I breakfasted al fresco at the Dead Dog cafŽ on the Mall - one of several delightful restaurants which fail to supply toilet access to their patrons in our marvellous tourist town.
After all, to do so would spoil our town's hard earned cheeky reputation for not giving a hoot about the customer.
While dining with a small group of local friends (Dopey, Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Doc, Sneezy, Bashful, Snow White, two of the Three Bears, one of the Three Little Pigs, and the dear Little Old Lady Who Now Lives in a SAAP-funded Emergency Accommodation Shoebox) together with some treasured overseas visitors (Laa-Laa, Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Po, Punch, Judy, and a terrific real estate agent from Luton), our chit chat turned to the scandal that has recently gathered like a storm around my dear brother Bromley.
I explained to my fellow brunchers that Bromley never dreamt that he would cause such consternation to so many by setting paw on Uluru. When he visited in '86, he hadn't heard about the new taboo. He had no idea that either the Parks Thought Police or the renowned Alice Springs pundit, Ann (with no Îe') Cloke (with no Îa'), would so badly get their knickers in knots about his Centralian sojourn, many years down the track! I let my guests know that if Brom could have his time again, he would never, ever trot up the shiny path or deliberately do any other naughty thing at Uluru. I have told him that I will take him back to the Park when he next visits me, and together with a few of our dear friends, we will visit the lovely cultural centre; pad around the authorised walking paths, taking in the grandeur of the magnificent sandstone objet; and have a nice picnic in the viewing area at sunset (taking care to put our rubbish in the bins). No unauthorised professional photographers will be allowed, not even from the Alice Springs News! Most of my friends agreed that they couldn't give a stuff about what Bromley did or didn't do, but I just thought that I should write to let you know, so you can tell Ann and the Parks Thought Police they can stop worrying about it all! Bromley's Brother Bob (Durnan)
Alice Springs

Wastewater woes

Sir,- I was very concerned to read in the Alice Springs News (June 18) of the Heffernan Road residents' fears of mosquito breeding and the possibility of fatal mosquito-borne illnesses resulting from the proposed wastewater reuse scheme.
However, I am also worried about what will happen to the residents of Alice Springs and the natural environment if we do not begin to reuse our wastewater and conserve water.
The groundwater table for our drinking water supply is 180 metres underground and is dropping by one meter every year due to our unsustainable consumption.
Of course the protection of human health must under all circumstances take precedence over water conservation. But the two goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
There are effluent reuse schemes which are not plagued with mosquito breeding problems. Why not? This is at least partly because they maintain the water quality of their effluent within strict limits and manage vegetation growth well.
Maintaining the biochemical oxygen demand, nitrogen and organic matter content of wastewater outside the limits that are favourable for mosquito breeding is very helpful. Some species of mosquitoes thrive in ponds that have floating weeds or lots of plants growing around the edges. Getting rid of the weeds at regular intervals gives those mozzies no place to hide, and tends to send them away elsewhere.
Your article claims that the water storage area will be lined and that this will help to breed mosquitoes. I am completely ignorant when it comes to entomology but I wonder how this would help, given that mosquitoes seem to lay their eggs in the surface of the water, not at the bottom of the pond. I would think it would be a shame if the next generation of Centralians runs out of drinking water because we weren't smart enough to think about saving it now.
I'd like to read some comments in the next Alice Springs News about how PAW plans to make sure that there are no mosquito problems. This might help to shed a bit of light on the subject and add some scientific facts, rather than stirring up trouble between two parties who are already diametrically opposed.
Thanks for putting the mosquito problem on the public agenda but please don't stop there. Let's see some constructive dialogue please about solutions and not just problems.
Trish Morrow
Alice Springs

Natives under threat

Sir,- The Alice Town Council deserves heartiest congratulations for its sponsorship of the Land for Wildlife program.
The importance of such a project can not be over-estimated. It enables landholders to promote and preserve the local flora and fauna. These are under threat, particularly in the immediate Alice vicinity due to drastic changes to the environment over the past three decades.
Land for Wildlife encourages people to convert their land back to as near a pristine state as possible. Since the project was launched in October 2002 by Mayor Fran Kilgariff, there is already much evidence that it really works. Blocks dedicated to Land for Wildlife provide valuable "islands" which allow our unique plants, mammals and birds to regenerate.
Land for Wildlife is voluntarily operated by landholders but it does aim to provide some incentives and it does need employed coordinators. Right now funding prospects are uncertain. I respectfully request that our town council provide adequate assistance to maintain Land for Wildlife locally. Of all the endeavours in which the council has been involved, few are worthier than Land For Wildlife.
Des Nelson
Alice Springs

Pot belly plea

Sir,- I wonder how many asthma sufferers or people with breathing problems are affected by pot belly fire smoke in the winter? Does your house stink of smoke, or does smoke come drifting in your bedroom window at night, making an unpleasant smell?
If the pot belly stove is left on slow burn overnight with no flame or treated wood is used, the fumes can be very toxic. Please, pot belly stove users, consider you neighbours and use your wood stove efficiently.
Amelia Missen
Alice Springs

Hands tied?

Sir,- For years I used to visit Alice Springs on vacations, but stopped about two years ago. During my last visit to Alice I saw a drunken local man approach a German girl asking for money. He got none and started shouting at her. This was on the grounds between the Uniting Church and Woolworths.
On seeing this I walked to the police station and reported it to the officer on duty. The officer's response seemed to indicate that their hands were tied.
My vacations are now spent elsewhere in lovely Australia.
Darryl Hickman
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