August 13, 2003.


The chairman and director of the Alice Springs Festival are accusing Alderman Bob Corby of having a "conflict of interest" when he voted against granting the festival $40,000 to stage free community events in Todd Mall.
And while people from the national arts and entertainment industries will be involved in this year's event, listed on the council's own website since the beginning of the year, some aldermen were "gobsmacked" when they heard it was on.
The festival's Clive Scollay and Di Mills say Ald Corby, a public servant who is manager of the Masters Games, an event heavily sponsored by the Town Council, should have absented himself from the finance committee meeting which declined the funding request.
The Town Council was a "diamond sponsor" (ie top ranked) of the 2002 Masters Games. Sponsorship agreements have yet to be entered into for next year's Masters Games.
The games media manager, Andrew Cummins, an NT Government public servant, said those agreements will be made with the games' sponsorship manager, "who is not Bob Corby".
Mr Cummins declined to put a dollar amount on council's previous sponsorship "because of contractual privacy".
He did say that council contributed to paying for the medals awarded at the games, and offered extensive in-kind support in terms of access, upgrading, maintenance and cleaning of the facilities used.
The NT Government funds the games at just under $1m, and sponsorship of last year's event provided in total a further $500,000, in cash and in kind.
Mayor Fran Kilgariff told the Alice News that it is a matter of public record that council puts $150,000 into the Masters Games every second year.
Ms Kilgariff is on the games' advisory committee.
Mr Scollay, who was Executive Director of last year's Year of the Outback celebrations, says the festival is "the victim of outrageous politics within the Town Council".
He says: "It is a disgrace that a growing community event has been caught in the cross-fire.
"A reactionary faction on council is out to get the Mayor."
"It appears that whatever the Mayor supports this faction reacts to."Mr Scollay says there is no association between the Mayor and the festival.
He says the "reactionary faction", in relation to the festival, is characterised by "self interest, lack of interest and conflict of interest".
Ms Kilgariff does not agree that there is "a plot to get the Mayor".She says it is more a case of a "general disagreement in philosophy"."The aldermen who didn't want to put money in don't see the festival in the same light as I and some other aldermen do."I see the festival as enriching for the community, as a young event now but with the potential to grow and do great things, including increasing our tourism trade."It makes Alice Springs people proud of themselves, it shows off their community and ultimately this could have a big economic impact for the town."Ms Mills says Ald Corby, together with Alds David Koch, Jenny Mostran, Michael Jones, Geoff Bell and Russell Naismith displayed "impatience" and "disparaging and dismissive attitudes" towards the festival, both at the April 14 deputation she led to present the festival's request and at the finance committee meeting of July 28.
During the deputation, Ms Mills Ð supported by business stakeholders, the Chamber of Commerce's Beth Mildred and the Alice Springs Resort's Jane Oakley-Lohm Ð presented council with a budget disbursement of the funds requested, a draft strategic plan for the festival, a case study of last year's event which recorded 19,872 attendances, as well as eight letters of support.
Ms Mills was hoping that the council would enter into a collaborative relationship with the festival in promoting the CBD, especially Todd Mall, as a vibrant and safe place to enjoy community life. The planned events include a street parade and busking and pavement art competitions.
She says Ald Corby was constantly fidgeting and looking at his watch during her presentation.
She says during the finance committee meeting the festival was negatively compared with the Masters Games.
She says Ald Koch asked: "What festival? Have we really got a festival?"
She says Ald Mostran said that the festival could hardly be compared to the Masters Games in terms of its contribution to the community.
Ms Mills says the two events are "not in the same league" and asks why they have been "pitched against one another".
She says the aldermen's "narrow-minded, tunnel vision views prohibit community cultural development", which the festival committee sees as "the way of the future for this region" in terms of its appeal to national and international visitors.
She also says the aldermen seem to be forgetting that supporting an arts and cultural event is part of the council's strategic plan.
She says these aldermen were initially against even in-kind assistance for the festival.
Ultimately though council has granted them $20,000 in in-kind assistance as well as the $23,000 profit from last year's Year of the Outback (YOTO) events, both resolutions put forward by the Mayor in a meeting on April 28 and for which Ms Mills says the festival is "truly grateful".
Ms Kilgariff also favoured granting the festival's request for $40,000.She says it would be "ludicrous" to imagine that council would not have granted in-kind assistance, which they do for all community events.She says the allocation of the $23,000 has not involved actual expenditure from this year's budget.
Ald Corby denies any conflict of interest.
He says he absents himself from any council decision-making about the Masters Games, but sees his relationship to the Alice Springs Festival as no different from his relationship to any other community group asking for money.
He sees council support of the festival as "sufficient".
He says he has not been to many events of the previous two festivals, but believes they have been "good for a town of this size".
He says he hopes the festival has a good future, which is ultimately "up to the organisations involved".
Ald Koch believes that the festival has been funded "quite adequately".He says the $23,000 from YOTO was not profit, but unexpended monies.
He has "no problems with the festival", but: "It's the same old story.
"We are expected to keep rates under control while there are always lots of people asking us for money.
"Before the Northern Territory Government used to sponsor this kind of event.
"Now they are trying to shift costs to us at the same time as reducing our funds.
"If the government is serious about developing the Central Australian region, then they should support this kind of event."
Ald Koch says when he asked, "What festival?" it was in a discussion about "other festivals down south". He says he wanted to know how the Alice Springs Festival compared in terms of its organisation, funding and contribution to the community.
He says of course he knows about the festival: "I went to half the events last year."
Ald Mostran says a "breakdown in communication" may be responsible for the upset.
She says aldermen were "gobsmacked" when they heard from Ms Mills that there would be a festival in September.
She says they had understood that the festival would only take place every second year and in the off year of the Masters Games (which is, in fact, this year).
"We had no idea that we would be asked for resources this year; it was not part of our timetable or our budget planning."
She also says council had to "chase down burrows" for proper acquittals of the $100,000 they put into YOTO and have never been completely satisfied with the acquittal of this expenditure.
She says council wants to support the festival but has to strike a balance between its support for "a known event" like the Masters Games, and a "green field" event like the festival.
She says the festival has to be able to substantiate its claims about community participation and to date they have not been able to.
She says Ms Mills' assertion about disparaging attitudes is "unfair".
"To be fair, council is being very supportive, especially when compared to what the NT Government is putting in."
She also says Ms Mills and Mr Scollay are being selective in accusing Ald Corby of "conflict of interest".
She says Ald Raelene Beale worked under contract for YOTO and the festival, yet they don't seem to have any concerns about her involvement in decision-making on festival matters. (Ms Mills says Ms Beale has never worked for the festival.)"I also find it extraordinary that they are attacking their most generous sponsors in this way.
"They accuse us of self-interest when we do 15 hours of community work each week, trying to balance the interests of the whole community. They only seem to be able to see things from their perspective."Ald Mostran believes that the festival needs to "broaden its appeal" particularly by increasing its Indigenous offerings, which is "what tourists want to see".
(The festival program includes two major Indigenous events Ð the Aboriginal arts and crafts exhibition, Desert Mob, and the community choir event, Desert Song.)
Ald Mostran also believes that the Wearable Art Awards have "huge potential".
Ald Jones denies having said "a single disparaging word" about the festival.
"It simply came down to the fact that we had no more money to put into it without a rate increase, so I asked, Ôwhy are we even debating this?'" says Ald Jones.
Meanwhile, national attention and community support for the festival continue to grow.
Director of the world-renowned Adelaide Festival, Stephen Page, will be in the audience for the last five days of this year's program, which will include the Wearable Art Awards and the Desert Song event.
The Wearable Art Awards, the runaway success of last year's festival, are set to scale greater heights this year under the coordination of Tiffany Manning, who has extensive international experience in the fashion world, and with the participation of Jeanne Little, the "queen of wearable art", as judge.
Local business is getting solidly behind the festival: cash sponsors include Power & Water ($11,500), Yeperenye Centre ($3000), and Alice Springs Resort ($3000).
Telstra, Gallery Gondwana and Polkadot are each donating a cash prize of $1000 for the three open categories of the Wearable Art Awards; CAAMA, the $200 cash prize for the student category.
Rock City Music last week signed a cheque for $550 and donated a Jackson electric guitar worth $900, which will probably be used as a prize in the busking competition.
The Commonwealth's Festivals Australia is kicking in $16,000.
The NT Government has put in $20,000 as well as the shared arts accommodation in the old Repco building, which is currently undergoing renovation but will ultimately provide a permanent festival office.
MLA Loraine Braham has meanwhile accommodated the festival team free of charge in her electorate office.
Arts NT is providing a further $11,380 in project funding.
The Alice Springs Cultural Precinct is providing extensive in-kind support, including venues free of charge, and marketing and promotional support for the events being held there.
The Convention Centre is also providing "fantastic" in-kind support, as is Seven Central.
Local business advertising support for the festival program has been "outstanding", says Ms Mills.


The Town Council will be "urging" Lands Minister Kon Vatskalis to consider small housing blocks south of The Gap to "facilitate release of land for residential development in the town".
This was revealed during hearings by the Development Consent Authority of an application by Ron Sterry for permission to develop 168 lots on rural land between Ragonesi Road and the MacDonnell Range, south-east of The Gap.
Meanwhile builder Pat Brown has announced plans for up to 500 blocks at White Gums, south-west of The Gap (Alice News, July 16).
The council's call comes as land prices remain at record levels and a deal between the NT Government and Aboriginal native title holders in Larapinta has stalled.
The government had hoped turn off the first blocks at the western edge of town by last Christmas.
The deal between the government and the native title body, Lherre Artepe, allows for each party to develop about 35 blocks, with Lherre Artepe having first choice of the land.
The government has also agreed not to sell its land before the native title holders have marketed theirs.
As the agreement has no deadline, the government's hands are now tied indefinitely while the three family groups within Lherre Artepe are sorting out how to proceed with the development.
The Alice News made a request for comment to Lherre Artepe chairman Brian Stirling, by leaving a message for him at the Central Land Council where he works as a field officer.
Mr Stirling did not return the call.
The News also called repeatedly at the Lherre Artepe office in Leichhardt Terrace but it was unattended each time.
Ald Jenny Mostran, who is also a member of the Development Consent Authority, says the council's push for small blocks south of The Gap is to relieve the current social and economic crisis caused by the massive cost and shortage of residential land.
"We need to reduce the demand for land which has driven prices sky high," says Ald Mostran.
"We need to lobby the government to look at any proposal."
"Moving the market around" would mean new home buyers would have a better chance, and people could switch to bigger or Ð in the case of retirees Ð smaller homes, "freeing up people wanting to move on to the next stage of their lives".
She says the town is looking forward to opening up for housing the Mt Johns Valley where up to 1000 blocks could be developed if native title constraints were resolved.
She says while the Larrakeah people in Darwin are well under way with a $50m residential subdivision, supported by the Northern Land Council, "Alice is getting left behind".
Ald Mostran says the current stagnation of the building industry, because there is no land to build on, is hurting especially self employed tradesmen and enterprises with less than five employees.
"They are leaving town," says Ald Mostran.
"They are desperate to get something going."
Meanwhile the Development Consent Authority deferred a decision on the Sterry application, asking the developer for more information.
The authority says it acknowledges that the present design concept has the "ability to protect or duly recognise É the environmental and geophysical sensitivity of the site".
The authority says smaller blocks than currently required may be acceptable provided remaining open space maintained the currently stipulated population density.
Nevertheless, the average lot size should be 1600 square metres and the minimum, 1200.
The authority asked for more details about the open space and drainage network, as well as roads, and required these designs to be supported "in principle" by the Town Council and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment.

LETTER: Youth Night Patrol a glorified taxi.

Sir,- Re "Street kids experiment" in last week's Alice News.[The photograph accompanying the story showed] a lad who should be out bush with his relatives because of his serious ongoing anti-social behaviour.
The police have explained to me that, to a certain extent, they are powerless in that there is only a "handshake" agreement possible to keep him out bush.
He is a lad whom I have taught out bush and in town. Just another young person crying out for help.Therefore your story on the Youth Night Patrol did rile when it was disclosed that they are to receive further government funding for an "experiment".
At best, as I have said in your columns before, the YNP project is a cosmetic solution to well known anti-social problems in Alice Springs.
All it does is reinforce to certain kids that on their daily timetable there is time for hooning around late at night because they know that they receive a free glorified taxi back home afterwards.
The paid employees of this project, to the best of my knowledge, do not keep a running record of who they pick up each night. There is no data passed on to appropriate agencies.
There is no record kept of where kids are dropped off in order for a pattern to be established which relevant authorities may be able to use.
I do find it galling that the government funding they are to receive is coming from the Office for Crime Prevention.
Irrkerlantye Learning Centre is where a significant number of these kids attend or have attended. More often than not it is on a highly irregular basis for several of them. At present there are three young people aged 13, 14 and 15 respectively whose bodies will change dramatically in the next few months. They would be regulars of the NYP.
Money that provided for a counsellor and health worker at Irrkerlantye is an obvious [need].
Nevertheless the Centre is always there for them. Moreover it is also there for their adult family members. It is a unique educational model.
Adults can attend painting classes or be part of a Work Program that enables them to be in a CDEP. There is also a crche so that young mothers or grandmothers or carers can participate in studies.
Disgracefully, the Minister for Education Syd Stirling and Education bureaucrats at the Gap Rd office are abandoning them. First it was Centralian College who divorced themselves from the relationship. Now it has gone to a higher level.
The Government is abdicating and they are handing over the reins to a religious order. Nothing against the order but one can see that eventually they will only be able to operate it as a mainstream school. That situation, clearly, will not work.
In the Bob Collins Review on Aboriginal Education released in 2000 Irrkerlantye Learning Centre received a big gong for "best practice". One of the few schools in the review to do so!
Graham Buckley
Alice Springs

Loving Alice: being cruel to be kind. COLUMN by ANN CLOKE.

Mum and Dad are leaving Alice, their "second" home, on Saturday.
We've had a great month together, highlighted by trips out into our spectacular countryside, enjoying family dinners and barbeques with Norm, Lee and family, and get togethers with friends including dinner out at the Hilton on Todd with Ian and Francoise, pleased to be back after her European interlude.
"It's a shame you don't have a computer, Nan," Lesley-Ann commented, as she, Emma, and Bart, contemplated keeping in touch with Nan and Pop when they arrive back in New Zealand, "then we could send emails all the time." "What about writing us a letter?" Mum asked.
"It's nice to spot a hand written letter in amongst the bills and junk mail."
The children concurred that it's much more convenient to sit at the word processor, delete mistakes, move sentences around and use spell-check ...
Spike Milligan wrote a piece of prose, Letters, to do with never receiving a letter he really wantedÉ and by the time one did arrive, it was far too late.
I've kept dozens of letters I've received over the years Ð the writers are special, the contents of interest. Many have been re-read at odd times and filed with other important snippets.
The art of letter writing, the actual act of sitting with pen in hand and writing pad, is possibly a dying one Ð if we can't find a pencil, fountain pen, ball-point biro or roller ball free flow easy-to-write-with pen, it doesn't matter, because there's always the key-board.
Letters to the Editor continue to take top billing along with social pages and the sports section in local newspapers and readers are able to agree, or disagree, with happenings and points of view É as someone did last week in this paper, accusing me of negativity and "local bashing".
It is interesting that a person of standing in the community, an alderman, is so defensive regarding issues and actions that tend to concern the majority of people living here. She has chosen to ignore the fact that, in the main, my columns are topical, very much pro the Alice and our glorious lifestyle, and in complete contrast to headlines in other local papers which are generally sensationalised and promise doom and gloom. I am a realist, usually positive, and I was thrilled that a piece I wrote about the Alice, the landscape, spirituality, harmony, lifestyle and people, was published in The Review, Weekend Oz, August 2-3. I've had super feedback, local and national.If we do nothing, nothing will ever change Ð it's necessary to affirm the positive aspects of life here whilst continuing to address and discuss those issues that are of concern.
We need to tell it as it is every so often rather than bury our heads in the sandÉ heaven knows, we have enough of that to cover all those heads of complacency.
It's beneficial to travel to other places, to be outward looking, ensuring that the Alice is keeping pace with other like-sized centres, growing socially, economically and commercially: because it's very easy for people who live and work in a place on a day to day basis to accept deterioration as the norm, without realising that change, possibly for the worst, is gradually overtaking them.
Most townspeople are trying to safeguard the lifestyle that Alice Springs offers whilst trying to find solutions and create opportunities for those presently less fortunate.
I'll continue to write as I see it É the pen is mightier than the sword, and mine is usually poised (not poisoned) and pretty evenly balanced, as I fence sit, my sword ever ready, ever sharp, to ward off cutting remarks and non-constructive criticism.

It's a deal, kids. COLUMN by STEVE FISHER.

These days every single exchange and agreement seems to require a contract and a price, not to mention adequate insurance and full compliance with a legal framework.
So it can be a relief to find that some traditions remain unsullied by the march of the material world. But it is also hard to find them.
Even the simple act of moving to Alice Springs had my children working overtime to devise new ways in which they could extract an obligation in return for letting me bring them here.
So we formed an unwritten contract. They would submit to whatever horrors Central Australia had to offer. In return, I would offer pussy cats, satellite television, rooms painted colours they chose and a never-ending supply of repeat animations about a talking yellow sponge. We signed on the invisible dotted line.This is the challenge for the liberal-minded parent trying to bring modern ideas about decision-making into the home. Over a decade ago, gazing at their tiny hands and freshly soiled nappies, I made a pledge to myself that these kids would be empowered from day one. I would talk with them about their feelings. I would encourage them to be assertive, expressive, compassionate and open to challenge.
It was an emotional moment. I scrubbed the nappy with a wire brush, these being the non-disposable towelling terries of the environmental home. Then with tears running down my cheeks (due to the stench), I pondered the future. Little did I know what this promise would set in train. Now the tiniest household decision makes motor industry arbitration seem like a cosy chat.
"Just tell them where they are going and the date of departure," advised my father, harking back to simpler times when parents spoke and children obeyed. "It never did you any harm." Other than turning me into a bleeding heart with unrealistic expectations, I thought. But then again, maybe he was right. Set down a few clear rules and everything will be fine. Rule No.1:I make the rules. Rule No.2: ErÉ Rule No.3: That's it.
As I was saying, it is good to find some aspects of life that do not require a contract, a memo of understanding, a formal agreement, a protocol or a coalition of the willing. One great example is billeting, otherwise known as the act of offering accommodation to visiting sports players and accepting it for your own on long trips away from the Alice. I was never a fan of bartering systems set up by alternative lifestylers where you joyfully paint someone's wall and they gleefully cut your hair. These ideas always seem too contrived. Billeting, on the other hand, is standard currency for sports exchanges. The volunteers on these trips are the unsung heroes of our town.
But billeting system is that it breeds discontent among the hosted. Every billet seems to offer bigger portions of food and shinier household appliances. The billets own landscape gardens with greater biodiversity than Borneo and computers so modern that they haven't been invented yet.
It's called the magnifying effect. In reality, billets offer the same or less. But the act of being away on an exciting sports trip makes everything seem larger, except the goal when you only have the goalkeeper to beat.
So just when you thought that an exchange could happen without it having a contract, you pay the price when they get home.

Aussie Rules: Boys from bush back in town. Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.

The Yuendumu Sports of the long weekend left CAFL sides somewhat depleted, but it was a different story last weekend at Traeger Park.
The boys from the bush, who on most weekends play at least two games, were in full flight.
Their influence was such in the main game that Rovers were able to claim a 41 point victory over the more fancied South, scoring 19.10 (124) to 12.11 (83).As early as Friday night the whisper was around the taxi industry that an upset was in the wind on the weekend, but at no stage was it expected to be as convincing.
In the early game West were expected to win and they did so after shrugging off a whirlwind start from Federal. After clawing their way back into the game late in the second term, West took control and ran out 86 point winners, 20.24 (144) to 9.4 (58).
The final placings on the ladder have altered as a result of the round, with Pioneer holding top spot from West, with South now third, Rovers fourth, and Federal in fifth place.
The real interest of the day centred on the Rover clash with South.
Despite the return of players from Western Aranda, the Yuendumu connection at Rovers returned to their home country after their Saturday afternoon victory over McDonnell Districts. Again it left coach John Glasson in a quandary prior to the first bounce, but the Blues got away to an electric start with Clinton Ngalkin and Ricky Rose partnering effectively out of the centre and setting up forward line attacks.
Five goals resulted with Martin Patrick, Oliver Wheeler, Dave Johnson, Ricky Rose, and Rex Paraloutja opening their accounts.In response the Roos were listless and managed only one major for the term, from the boot of Shaun Cussack.
In the second quarter Rovers accelerated, while Souths lacked attitude. The debate concerning the effect of the swirling wind was nullified when Rovers proceeded to score six goals for the quarter. In this session Kenny Morton became influential, and in the forwards Max Fejo struck with three telling goals.
Another to strike was Geoffrey Inkamala who found space often and directed play. Ngalkin, Patrick and Wheeler joined Fejo in the goal scoring and the Blues went to the dressing rooms at the big break leading, 11.6 to 4.5.
Souths' three goals had come from young Aaron Reid and the white boots of Malcolm Ross.
A five goal to four third term left Rovers in front by 48 points, and the challenge of simply staying on their feet to win the game.
Indeed at times it did seem that South may pull out of second gear and make a charge for victory in the last term, but to Rovers' credit they were able to respond to each South challenge and so post a 41 point win.
Max Fejo bagged six goals. He was in the best players, but at all times thankful for the efforts of Clinton Ngalkin, Ricky Rose, Kenny Morton and Geoffrey Inkamala.
For South the loss was a real kick in the pants. The Roos have the players and the coach to win a premiership in 2003, but games are not won by taking the soft option. Too often the Roos failed to chase down the hard ball, so forfeiting possession and allowing their opposition a chance to score.
Malcolm Ross scored three goals, without many opportunities, in fact at times playing in the ruck to try to save the game. Alby Tilmouth played his consistent straight through game at half back. Charlie Maher and Shane Hayes contributed well.
In the curtain raiser Gilbert McAdam would have been heartened in the first half as his chargers took the game up to West. The Feds bounced out of the blocks with first quarter goals to Bradley Turner (2), Sheldon Palmer, and big Shane Buzzacott.
Showing dash and desire they raced to a 4-2 to 2-5 lead at the first break, leaving Westies a trifle awestruck.
In the second term the Demons continued to mete out the medicine, until Westies found their feet midway through the term. With Jason Swain able to outreach his opposite number, a point of attack was found and a he cruised to a bag of eight goals for the game, Westies grew in stature and ran home easy winners.
They extended their three goal half time lead to 61 points at three quarter time, with Federal unable to score in that vital term.
In the run home the Bloods sniffed a big win and booted 6-8 to 3-1 to record a percentage gaining 86 point win.
Swain was Wests best player, well supported by Mick Hauser, Michael Gurney and Victor Williams. Kevin Bruce was again the fulcrum at centre half forward and Curtis Haines again applied his flair to the game.
For Federal the only way to think is forwards, and on the day they had players who will give them heart. Kelvin Kopp, Adrian Williams, Chris Forbes and Henry Peckham each gave plenty in the Demons' endeavour.
This week Federal face another Goliath in Pioneers, while Rovers and West go head to head.


For Ray Walters, of the United Club, winning the coveted 2003 Keegan Medal, the CARFL's most prestigious award for the Best Player for the season, was a landmark personal.
Walters grew up, and still lives in Titjikala (Maryvale), some one and a half hours south of Alice Springs. At a young age he showed ability both on the sports field and in the classroom. A dozen years ago he was selected to attend Yirara College where he stood out as a youth with attitude. Although still a teenager Walters showed the capacity to make wise decisions, often turning negative options into positives, and gaining results along the way.
In the Alice Springs High School he was "the cream of the crop" for his age group.
Yirara teacher Terry Lewis enticed him to rugby.
A decade later, Walters was the toast of his peers on Keegan Medal night, scoring in 10 of the 12 rounds, notching up five best on ground votes; two second votes; and three thirds. By polling 22 votes Ray Walters took the 2003 Medal from Central Memo's Allan Priestley who gained 13 votes, with fellow Magpie Dennis Sawtell taking third place with 10 votes.
This year has been a significant one in United's history. While each of the other three clubs have battled to fill the bench of a Saturday, the Magpies have melded a side which is talented, has depth, and has dominated the minor round games.
Finishing on top of the table they earned automatic entry into the grand final.
For their opponents, the Vikings, the year has been different. They went into the season as reigning premiers. Injuries and unavailability of players played havoc with the side, and it was not until last week's 58-4 preliminary final win over Central Memo, that they looked anywhere near at full strength.
The significance of the win will be tested at 3pm on Saturday at Anzac Oval as they face the power of United. At their last meeting the Magpies shut the Vikings right out of the game, with a 78 to 18 victory. On that day it was Walters who led the United juggernaut with five tries.
In the preliminary final both Jono Swalger and Trent Abbott of the Vikings hit their straps, and Paul Veitch had his kicking boot on, scoring seven goals.
Experienced pundits however cast doubt on the real strength of their opposition, Central Memo, who qualified for the preliminary final by virtue of a forfeit over a struggling West.


Part ephemeral mural, part selling show Ð attractive narrative paintings and landscapes.
In a show at Watch This Space Italian-born artist, Massimo Palombo Ð now art teacher at Alice Springs High Ð brought together these two strands of his practice: one experimental, conceptual; the other, by his own description, "more conservative".
The most successful interaction was between the boat mural and the painting titled "The invasion" (pictured). The diagrammatic boat with its resonance of Indigenous depictions of boats (too fine to reproduce here), expanded historically and politically the boat people theme of the painting.In contrast, the dream-like figures, sweeping across the wall and linking two otherwise unrelated works, were aesthetically appealing but all three elements did not develop into a more interesting "whole".
This aside, Palombo presented some engaging paintings, none more so than the two small canvasses titled "School", with clear reference to ASHS, and seeming to reflect a tough and complex experience.Unfortunately today is the last viewing day for this intriguing show, which points to Watch This Space's desperate need of volunteer gallery sitters to help extend their viewing hours.

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