LIM HITS OUT AT GOVERNMENT OVER LAND, DARWIN FOCUS. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
The Country Liberal Party's new Deputy Leader Ð a Central Australian for the first time since Ray Hanrahan in the mid-eighties Ð claims the Territory's government is "very Darwin-centric".
Says Greatorex MLA Richard Lim, who got the job in a surprise move ahead of Jodeen Carney (Araluen): "Anything south of the Berrimah Line has been ignored.
"It's a very cynical way to govern, to concentrate on the 100,000 people in the Top End."
Dr Lim says while the oil and gas projects are "very important to Darwin, they leave Central Australia in the cold".
And he says the government is not acting on the tourism slump in The Centre.
"Tourism has gone down significantly and I don't see this government doing enough to promote Alice Springs as a first tourist destination," he says.
Dr Lim says people are leaving Alice Springs, a trend strongly linked to the government's failure to provide housing land.
Private subdivisions, including those proposed by Ron Sterry in Ragonesi Road and Samih Habib in Cavanagh Crescent, are being held back in favour of a proposed development at the western edge of town, the result of an agreement between the government and Aboriginal native title holders.However, that development is stalled, says Dr Lim.
"That thing is not going anywhere.
"The government cannot give me a realistic date for land release.
"There are two parcels of land that are ready to be subdivided and this Minister [Kon Vatskalis] is overseas on a family holiday when he should be here, looking at what he could do to facilitate land release.
"What he is doing is ensuring that Larapinta Stage Four [the native title holders' land] gets up first and holding back the others [the proposed private subdivisions].
"That's not right.
"This town is begging for land and he is doing nothing about it."
Dr Lim says while the completion of the Darwin railway is imminent, the government is failing to realise trade opportunities.
"It has not talked to southern manufacturers about how they are going to get their goods to overseas markets," says Dr Lim.
"It has lost engagement with South East Asia where our markets are.
"The relationships that we built in the past are now being left to languish.
"I have continued to maintain my connections with South East Asia and I will continue to do that, but this government has lost it.
"We had great relationships.
"Business and trade should be in the hands of business people, and governments open doors for business people to do trade.
"I say that this government has lost that.
"The gates that we had opened in the previous 20 years of CLP government have been left to almost swing shut."
HOW LIM GOT THERE. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Jodeen Carney sold out her party supporters to save Denis Burke but missed out on her 30 pieces of silver which went to Richard Lim.
That seems to be the harsh reality in the wash-up of the latest blood-letting in the erstwhile invincible Country Liberal Party.
Ms Carney refuses to comment.
And "party members have said, enough is enough, now let's move forward," is all Dr Lim will say.
He's the clear winner in the cabal with his election to Deputy Opposition Leader, yet another milestone in a political career pursued with extraordinary tenacity.
The plot so far: The powerful Alice Springs branch of the CLP wants to get rid of Denis Burke and tells Ms Carney and Dr Lim to back challenger Terry Mills.
Things go pear shaped when Ms Carney Ð so local party insiders say Ð does a deal with Mr Burke for the deputy leadership in exchange for her support.
Dr Lim quietly follows suit.
Mr Burke keeps his job.
Leading figures in the Alice CLP branch are outraged. Vice president and current Braitling hopeful Michael Jones, and treasurer Andrew Maloney resign from the party's management committee.
MLA for MacDonnell moves to the back bench.
A resolution at the CLP's annual conference backing Burke and declaring that the party is a "united team" scrapes through, but the dissenting votes plus the abstentions are barely fewer than the affirmative votes.
Watch this space.
Dr Lim says he was elected in a secret ballot of the party's Parliamentary wing, and he doesn't know the numbers.
It's a remarkable achievement for the ethnic Chinese, son of a service station owner, who came from Malaysia to Queensland as a high school student in 1963.
In 1972 he graduated as doctor in Brisbane, moved to SA and worked as a country doctor from 1975 to 1981, when he arrived in Alice Springs.
Clear about his political ambitions, he successfully stood for local government Ð a significant win in a town not noted for its enlightened attitudes towards ethnic minorities.
Dr Lim was an alderman for eight years, four of them as the deputy mayor.
He joined the CLP in 1983.
He bought a light aircraft and countless times, after surgery, flew to Darwin for CLP meetings, taking off on the five hour return flight during the night, ready for work again the following morning.
Dr Lim says he "progressed through the ranks" of the CLP from branch member to branch delegate to Central Council.
He was a vice president of the party for six years, under presidents Shane Stone, Gary Nairn and Suzanne Cavanagh.
He stood down from his party roles when he was pre-selected for Greatorex in 1994.
More a diligent worker than an ideas man, Dr Lim sees his new role as implementing his Leader's vision: "I see Burke as a very good strategic thinker and I am a good organiser."
As chairman of the party's policy and strategy development committee he will be pulling some important levers, "coordinating all portfolios", and will be in charge of the portfolios of transport and infrastructure, corporate and information services, communications, ethnic affairs and Central Australia.
Of course, the Alice branch at preselection time may get its revenge for his defection over dumping Mr Burke, but they're more likely to blame Ms Carney, and Dr Lim's persistence will have paid off.
Ms Carney's fate, of course, is another question. As they say, a week is a long time in politics.
SNOB HILL LAND DEAL REJECTED. Report by KIERAN FINNANE.
The Development Consent Authority has recommended that the Lands Minister should reject developer Samih Habib's application to rezone land at 33 Cavanagh Crescent, neighbouring Alice Springs' most prestigious homes (see Alice News Jul 23 and Sept 3).
However, if the Minister were "of a mind to allow the rezoning", the authority has recommended that the SU ("specific use") zoning provisions address a number of points.Only single dwellings should be allowed, advises the authority, while "multiple dwellings, home occupations and bed & breakfast uses" should be deleted.
(Mr Habib has said that he only intends to have single dwellings on the site).The authority recommends that the number of dwellings be limited to five or six (Mr Habib had hoped for 11 development sites).
Any site disturbance should be limited "to an approved building footprint"(a condition Mr Habib's application specified).
The authority also recommends "no sheet metal fencing or separate sheds to be permitted" and "all external finishes of buildings to be earth tone colours of low reflectivity".
It says only single storey development should be allowed "to a maximum of 4.5 metres, measured from any point on a building from the natural ground level (before construction commenced) immediately below that point".
(The lack of a specified height limitation in Mr Habib's proposal was one of the concerns expressed of the Eastside Residents' Association [ERA] in their submission to the authority.)
Development would also require approval of a "suitable system of effluent disposal", recommends the authority, "noting that an assessment of land capability does not support the use of septic systems".
(Effluent disposal was also a key concern of ERA's.)Finally, the authority says all matters not specifically covered within the SU zoning provisions should be subject to the provisions of RL1 zoning (a rural residential zoning allowing for blocks of one acre), and it recommends also that "it may be beneficial" to "exhibit the changes for a further 28 day period".
To the News's request for comment, Mr Habib said that the authority's recommendations are "under consideration".
Meanwhile, the News asked Department of Lands regional manager Peter McDonald what had happened to the covenants governing specified building envelopes at another of Mr Habib's developments, on Baldiserra Drive in the Emily Hills area.
A source had suggested that the covenants were not worth the paper they were written on because they had been altered.Mr McDonald confirmed that a number of the original building envelopes have been modified but in each case, he says, this has resulted in "an equivalent or better environmental outcome".
The development permit had required the developers to put in covenants with respect to building envelopes.
These covenants were between the developer and the individual lot owners, and could be changed only by application to the Development Consent Authority.
In this process departmental natural resources staff were able to carry out detailed inspections of the individual sites and put their advice to the authority.The end result was not a "watering down", says Mr McDonald, but a "better recognition of the capability of the land to support development".
REAL TRUE HISTORY: THE CONISTON MASSACRE. Part One of a Feature by DICK KIMBER.
"That policeman came along. He lifted up that rifle Ð shot my father. He fell down. My big brother was crying. He threw himself on my father's body, where the blood was coming out.
"That policeman [here George made the action of reloading a rifle] he lifted his rifle up again. Bang! My big brother been finish.
"I was just a little kid, standing there crying. That policeman [and again George made the rifle-loading action] he lifted up his rifle again. He pointed it at me. That Ônother man, he lifted that rifle."
George made the hand action of the other member of the patrol, and recalled his words. "Don't shoot him, he's only a little wee-ai."
That was the beginning of the Coniston Massacre from George Morton's perspective.
George, a Warlpiri man, had been born in the Coniston area in about 1923, so was a five year-old boy at the time of the shootings. He appeared to bear no ill-will towards any other Australians because of it.
He had volunteered the story out of the blue, and laughed as he finished Ð a way of deflecting blame from me. However, when I asked further questions he again laughed.
"They shot the wrong man," he explained. His father had not been the murderer - nor his brother.
To understand the Coniston Massacre of 1928, it helps to go back a little further in time.
On 15th April, 1860 John McDouall Stuart had described the country in the valleys of the MacDonnell Ranges as "as fine a pastoral hill country as a man could wish to possess".
He and his party, travelling north, had located and named Anna's Reservoir four days later. This is an unusually large rock-hole a short distance W.S.W. of present-day Aileron.
An "abundance of grass" in the vicinity, and description of the near Reynolds Range as being "well grassed with gum cks [creeks] coming from it with a little mulga scrub", led to it being taken up as the homestead base for a cattle station in 1884. (This was the same year that a baby boy christened William George Murray was born in farming country near Melbourne.
As was common with many farmers and other rural workers Australia-wide in that era, as he grew to manhood he joined a local defence unit, the Victorian Mounted Rifles.
To become a good horseman and rifle-shot was to be a good citizen, prepared to defend one's country).
The construction of the Overland Telegraph Line in 1870-1871 led to further exploration. Colonel Peter Egerton Warburton, after travelling along the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges to Haasts Bluff, was the first outsider to pass through Warlpiri country.
He turned north from Haasts Bluff and, in the first fortnight of May, 1873, named Central Mount Wedge and, passing close to present-day Yuendumu, named Mount Hardy and other features of what is now Mount Doreen station country.
He then traversed the Tanami and Great Sandy Deserts to the Western Australian coast. W. C. Gosse, following west along the Reynolds Range, named the Lander River, the Warburton and Cockatoo Creeks, and Rock Hill near Yuendumu, in May, 1873.
He then turned south, seeing Warburton's tracks and camp at Central Mount Wedge before travelling still further south to give the first detailed written account of Uluru (Ayers Rock).
The rock-holes and soakage on the Lander that acted as a base depot from which Gosse could explore further west are the focal area for the various shootings which later collectively became known as the Coniston Massacre.
As earlier indicated, a cattle station was established at Anna's Reservoir in 1884, and in the next year was attacked, with the stores and the building being destroyed apart from its stone-work, and station-hands Figg and Coomb severely wounded.
This led to a police patrol west and then south, with Mounted Constable Wurmbrand, station owner Billy Benstead, one other station-hand, and Native Constables shooting 15 Aboriginal men.
The official report indicated that only one man was shot in self-defence but, as Billy Benstead noted, the word "dispersal" was used to obscure the details because it "sounded better."
According to T. G. H. Strehlow, another Wurmbrand patrol resulted in the shooting of people at Wurmbrand Rock, near Tilmouth Well on the Napperby Creek. Mounted Constable Willshire, who worked both independently and in close association with Wurmbrand to "pacify" Aborigines in the mid-late 1880's, was also responsible for the shooting of cattle-spearing and horse-spearing men on a similar patrol.
Beyond their reach, in the heart of Warlpiri country, a man called Japangarti took his wife in marriage by Warlpiri law.
They were to have four sons, all by Warlpiri social law called Japananga.
Such marriages continued, as they had from time immemorial, and among the next generation were children who later became known as Darby Jampijinpa and Major Jangala.
Of significance, too, was that in the winter of 1900 Allan Davidson led a prospecting party west of Kelly's Well, near Tennant Creek, to Hooker Creek and the Western Australian Border.
On the return journey they found the sites of the Tanami and Granites gold-fields, being told the Warlpiri name of the former by a Warlpiri man who was identified as of the "Uramulla" group by Davidson Ð a variation, depending on pronunciation, of the term "Warramulla" or "Wallamulla".
This led to several prospecting parties, the Lawrie brothers included, travelling with camels from Hall's Creek, WA, to Tanami over the next decade.
The Lawries found good gold in 1909-1912 and returned to Hall's Creek.
There, several years later, they cared for a small boy, Alex Wilson, whose bushman father, as Alex told me, died an alcoholic, probably in Broome, and whose Aboriginal mother was speared to death.
The small rush of the 1909-1912 period also resulted in "about 60 men" being on the field when mining warden Lionel Gee visited in 1910.
Next year three other prospectors, who were trying their luck at The Granites, had their camp raided by Warlpiri warriors.
Shortly afterwards they murdered John Stewart by bashing in his skull with a tomahawk.
Stewart had been, according to Gee, "a man of particularly kindly and good natured character" Ð a view shared by his prospector-mates.
This murder led to the Warlpiri as a whole, the western "Warramulla" in particular, being regarded as dangerous people. They were "bad blacks" in whose country, as prospector-explorer Michael Terry indicated in 1927, a loaded revolver, loaded rifle and night-long watch were a necessary precaution.
The point is, though, that it was Warlpiri country, and the prospectors, pastoralists and other travellers were regarded, by the Warlpiri, as trespassers who damaged sacred sites, took over their key waters, and were often enough ruthless in other ways.
From a Warlpiri perspective they should have reciprocated with gifts of food and prized items, but by not announcing their travelling presence by lines of smokes, and by taking rather than giving, the intruders were acting as enemies.
That British rule, and a belief in benign conquest and settlement, prevailed in the capital cities, was unknown to the Warlpiri, and also had limited relevance to the cattle-men and gold-seekers on the frontiers.
NEXT WEEK: Gold boom and drought in the Tanami Desert.
A weekend in Sadadeen. COLUMN by STEVE FISHER.
So what are you doing next weekend?
This is not a prelude to an invitation. Heaven knows, you have better things to do, and I'm not good company. I only have two topics of conversation to offer. The first is soccer and the second is, er, it must have slipped my mind. Anyway, you would soon get bored and start gazing past my shoulder for a more interesting person. In any case, I am far too busy breaking up concrete in my backyard and repainting the growing tidemark on my ceiling where the air-conditioner leaked. After that, I'll rake the chicken do-do from my chook pen into my bone dry compost bin and re-tension the droopy shadecloth.
I only ask the question because I was just wondering what you do when you are not doing what you normally do. Providing you don't work weekends, that is.
My plans are exciting. People tell me that it is bound to rain soon, so I have this idea to glue each individual flake of mulch to my front yard. This is to prevent it being washed down the drive, along the street and into the next suburb. I can't stand the thought of someone else scraping my best mulch off the bitumen, carrying it into their yard in a wheelbarrow and spreading it around their non-native plants before watering them with several hundred litres of top-quality drinking water aged trillions of years old.
Maybe the glue for the mulch will fail to adhere to the crumbly surface of the stuff that passes for soil in my yard. In which case, I will need to somehow prime the surface with binder or resin. This could become excitingly technical and might even take several weekends. No problem, I'm sure that the rewards will justify the effort.
Everything has to have a vision statement these days. The vision for my backyard is that it will be like Switzerland. By this, I mean that nothing will be out of place. Have you seen those aerial photos of Switzerland where it looks like a model railway layout? In fact, you have to look closely at the photo to check that this is a real country. It looks like a place where you have to take your shoes off before you enter in case you get dirt on the bitumen. One day, in a future millennium, my backyard will be this way. It's The Suburban Dream.
While I am waiting for the glue to dry on the mulch, I might just spend some time watching my latest native plant continue its journey from healthy individual with the world at its feet (or at least its roots) to dried-up crispy yellow specimen. Then I can break it up into mulch flakes and spread it around the next native plant before it too starts on the same journey. I love ecosystems. I could sit and watch them all day.
I saw someone building a house in their backyard. It looked liked they were planning to sell the house to another person. This sounds like an excellent idea. That way, someone else can look after your yard, battling the forces of nature and paying for the privilege. I never did understand the point of backyards.When I am done failing to improve my yard, I'll probably go into town. I like to sneak into the newsagent and gaze at the space where my favourite magazine will appear in three weeks' time. This might sound sad, but don't mock the emotions brought forth by longing. Without longing we are empty, emotionless shells, mere objects floating on the wishy-washy surface of life. Anyway, maybe the magazine arrived early.
So there you have it. Large helpings of joy, endeavour, aspiration, longing, sorrow and plant biology. Just an average weekend in Sadadeen.
Home and away. COLUMN by ANN CLOKE.
It has been suggested that David and I spend a lot of time in places other than the Alice.
We get away every so often, but contrary to public opinion, we're not away all the time.As alleged "A" types who, incidentally, have worked hard for decades to ensure we now have options, it's comforting to weigh up, when contemplating a little break, whether to sit behind the steering wheel enjoying some of that sunburnt country which Dorothy McKellar has immortalised in her Australian bush writing, or opt to fly across it. We decided to drive to Emerald, just east of Rockhampton, to visit David's daughter, Helen, husband Richard, and children, Rebecca and Ben, who have recently moved there from Mudgee Ð Henry Lawson country in central New South Wales.
It would be fun to take the Plenty, go off-road, but between the two of us we don't have a lot of mechanical nous, so we'll follow the highway. Perhaps this will be deemed a "B" type trip with the luxury of tar seal, two and three star roadside motels, or, perish the thought, especially when it's below zero, camping out, all star.
We left early one August morning and saw a brilliant orange sun rising in the rear vision mirror. The road to the north of Alice has changed dramatically over the last 12 months Ð just 60 kilometres out and the new railway line is running adjacent to the Stuart Highway, high crossings and sweeping overpasses taking road traffic up and over the newly constructed rail line. It's too soon to call into Aileron and say hi to Greg and his team, or Ti Tree, for that matter Ð we'll do it on the way home.
There's not a lot of traffic Ð the vehicles we do see, we acknowledge. Don't interstate drivers know about the Outback wave?
Barrow Creek looks desolate Ð a pile of car bodies, a dumped and rusting Outback sculpture, directly opposite the hotel, has grown to enormous proportions, and the once welcoming BC sign is faded and tire. Wycliffe Well, hot coffee but no sign of any UFOs, past Wauchope and the Devil's Marbles, and into Tennant Creek, Desert Harmony and Oasis Town signs bright and bold. The town looks neat and clean Ð we are impressed, as are others we meet along the way.
En route to Three Ways and the Barkly Homestead, Tableland Territory, 732 kilometres into the journey: From the border, Kiama Creek, Camooweal and beyond, the road has deteriorated significantly, narrow and bumpy, with long stretches of road works.
We're sharing the driving and it's my turn Ð the navigator doesn't have a huge task so doubles as official note taker. David has written in big letters: "SHITTY ROAD!!"
We've made good time and now we've lost half an hour! From unlimited speed restrictions in the Territory, it's 110 on the open road in Queensland, but many places are down to 100.
The road-trains here, according to warning signs, are shorter than ours Ð only 50 metres long (ours are a purported 54.5 metres long). Everything's bigger in the Territory.
Driving into Mt Isa, two signs warrant a mention Ð the first is a welcome and "Stop Violence In Our Community", the second promotes the "first and last supermarket".
Heading out, just on sunset, and the countryside Ð the ranges, colours and textures Ð is similar to that around the Centre. Cloncurry, built on the back of cattle and mining and transport, has a "Hurry Back to the Outback" sign on the outskirts of town. Hundreds of kilometres on, and we know we're still right in itÉ
CLOKEY, Outback Suburu, attracts attention at various stops: Where are you from? Where are you heading?
Matilda Country is drought stricken, a lot drier than the Barkly Ð totally denuded in places, desolate, no trees, not even a blade of yellowing grass.
Through McKinlay, home of the Walkabout Creek Hotel, made famous in Crocodile Dundee. Then it's Kynuna, one roadhouse, no petrol, one pub, a nightclub (interesting!), a couple of houses, no horses (not even one!) and a water tank Ð empty, we were told. There are no hills on the horizon, just a lot of nothing as far as the eye can see. The young couple running the roadhouse love the space out here.
On to Winton, sheep and Dinosaur Country, and the last time we were here, about 17 years ago, it rained and we were flooded in: a band from Brisbane en route to Darwin delighted travellers with impromptu performances until waters receded and the roads cleared. That was possibly the last big rain they've had, a store keeper told us.
Road kill rife Ð Francoise would love it!! She's created works of art featuring cattle and kangaroo carcassesÉ The skyline has changed, limestone cliffs, rocky outcrops and windmills. Then it's Longreach, home of Qantas and the Outback Hall of Fame. It's a good thing that the Outback is so large: every town sports signs claiming the "real story of the Outback".
Ilfracombe, Hub of the West, a proud heritage style town, Barcaldine, with wide streets, four hotels on the main one, including the Shakespeare and the Globe, shades of good old England, through to Jericho, "Stride the Divide Ð Central Highlands," and the countryside is now hilly, undulating and well treed. Emerald is finally on a road sign.
Near Alpha a cattle jam, hundreds of them, musterers on horseback and motorbikes, with dogs, slows us right down. We drive into Emerald at 6.35pm. It's already dark but we can see 2283 on the clock and the smiles of family as we pull up.It's been a great drive over, through big country and small towns, some welcoming, some not so. Ben, grandson, asked me what I was doing É writing about our trip over to see you, I responded. Will people be interested, he wanted to know. Hard to say, possibly not.
Travelling through the Outback, there's a sense of belonging, talking to people who have chosen to stay in some of these isolated little towns, and what compels them to do so, and others, mobile, moving into the area for work purposes, mining, agriculture, cattle, road and rail transport, the Outback experience.
The people, their ethic, is familiar Ð it's the same as ours in the Alice. The quote of the week in an Emerald Hotel read: "If you're not the lead dog, the view is always the same." It's great to be on the road, out in front, clocking up the miles and experiencing the difference.
EAGLES TO GRAND FINAL. Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.
The semi-finals day in Aussie Rules saw Pioneer progress to the grand final, and Rovers prepare for their end of year trip as they were eliminated, finishing fourth on the CAFL ladder.
At Traeger Park on Sunday West played Rovers in the elimination final, and the reigning premiers did enough to stay in contention by winning 16.11 (107) to 12.14 (86).
In the second semi minor premiers Pioneer proved too strong for South, winning 16.10 (106) to 13.11(89).
The elimination final started on tenterhooks for both sides as the scoring was slow and the passages of play at times cumbersome. Rovers however took the initiative early, with a goal from Martin Patrick. From there they peppered the goals but missed several shots that could have given them a real grip on the game. They scored 1.7 for the quarter, which speaks for itself.
In the Wests' scoring zone, opportunities were less forthcoming, with Kevin Bruce scoring their only goal for the term, the Bloods resting at 1.4. It was an interesting move to see Bruce in front of the goals and as the game proceeded it proved to be a winner.
However with the Blues running the ball freely, his presence could well have been appreciated in a more dynamic role at centre half forward or even centre half back.
The second quarter saw West hit their straps as they scored 7.4 to 1.4 for the term and put themselves in a winning position at half time.
In the forward zone Jarrad Slater came into his own with four goals, and in doing so displayed the skills that rank him highly in this competition. Be it in the air or recovering at ground level, Slater is a class performer. The other two key attackers, Jason Swain and Bruce contributed a goal apiece.
Down field Andrew Wesley provided plenty of drive and the return of Michael Gurney added sting to a defence, which also had an effective Danny Measures junior competing well.
For the Blues it was not a good session. Their only goal came off the boot of Martin Patrick and their sorties into attack were limited.
It was a different story in the third term, however, as Rovers kicked six goals to one.
Significantly it was the connectedness of the communities players that got the ball rolling for the Blues. Clinton Ngalkin, Oliver Wheeler, Ricky Rose, Max Fejo and Sherman Spencer asserted their influence on the game.
In a 15 minute timeslot Rovers put themselves in a competitive position, going a four point lead before Jason Swain settled the ship for Wests, allowing them to rest at three quarter time, 9.10 to 8.14.
A prodigious kick from Kevin Bruce got the Bloods off to a good start to the final quarter, and while it was a five goal to four run home West had the guns to hold out the determined Rovers runners.
Bruce and Slater ended the day with five goals each. Darryl Lowe and Jason Swain assisted with two goals each. Across the centre. However, it was Andrew Wesley who created play for the Bloods. As best on ground he was assisted by Lowe, Gurney and Measures to set up chances for the forwards.
For the Rovers side it was a final appearance to be remembered. Max Fejo headed the goal scorers with four goals. Clinton Ngalkin was dynamic, Karl Hampton was the incubator, keeping the side pumping, and Oliver Wheeler set the scene time and again.
Just where Rovers go from here is in the lap of the gods.
The individual job that John Glasson has put in to keep the club afloat this year cannot go without special comment. He may now be saying he wants to spend more time with his young son, but come next season the sniff of liniment might (hopefully) become something he can't refuse.
For Wests the season continues, and coach Jon Burke was a keen onlooker when Pioneer and South took to the field.
Pioneer showed no mercy as they opened their account through Vaughn Hampton and deposited six goals to two on the board in the first term. Aaron Kopp booted two goals, and played an influential part in establishing the lead. Craig Turner registered his first of three for the game and again played a leader's game.
Come the second term it was as though the moon was on its side. South took control of proceedings and ran the ball with consummate ease through to the scoring zone.
While the Eagles looked to have gone to sleep, South snatched the lead with a seven goal to one burst. Gilbert Fishook proved to be an effective avenue, and besides kicking two goals, he assisted in many more. Malcolm Ross came into his own, and Charlie Maher knew just where to deliver the ball.
At half time when the Roos rested at 9.6 to 7.4, they looked capable of an upset.
As with any game against Pioneer one cannot count the chickens before they hatch, and true to reputation, the Eagles bounded back in the third quarter. They produced six goals to one, with Ryan Mallard digging deep and finding plenty. He produced three significant goals, while Turner pulled a 50 metre plus goal-scoring torpedo out of his repertoire to sit the Southies back in their seats.
Come the last quarter the honours were shared at three goals each. But on the scoreboard it was Pioneer who won the game by 16 points.Mallard's five goals were impressive.
Down field, however, there were plenty who put in for the Eagle jumper. Turner was superb. Peter Donohue is an unsung hero each week. Matt Campbell, Wayne McCormack and Daniel McCormack again provided the run. And in a return to Traeger Park, Geoffrey Gibson was memorable with his runs out of defence.
Pioneer now have a week off to prepare for the grand final. South have to face West this Sunday to decide their fate. In the game against Pioneer, however, they had plenty of contributors. Fishook and Ross scored four goals each. Charlie Maher gave the Roos their run. Darren Talbot, Shane Hayes, Shaun Cusack and Kelvin Maher were the men of experience, who gave plenty.
The preliminary final on Sunday should be a real draw card as West and South decide grand final appearance rights.
FRONT RUNNERS MAKE EVERY POST A WINNER. Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.
Racing at Pioneer Park on Saturday was tailored for the front runners, when in all four races the horse that set the pace prevailed.
In the New Committee Class Five the Sheila Arnold trained Border ran with La Mexa and upon turning into the straight proved his worth by drawing away to win by three quarters of a length. The $1.40 favourite has a touch of class, and there is no doubt that second placed La Mexa will have the opportunity to register a win in the near future, given that most serious competition will be spelled prior to the Spring Carnival. The long odds campaigner In the Swing cashed in with third money, some four and a half lengths in arrears.
In the 1100 metre Chairman's Class B Handicap, there was a turnabout in the expected running order. Crown Pacific, who started favourite having led in the running a week prior, took the sit as Wild Knight led from the gates. Raja Mahal sat midfield but neither was any match for Wild Knight once they entered the straight.
He stretched out to win by three and a half lengths, with Crown Pacific in second place and Rajah Mahal filling the minors.
The 1200 metre Patron's Handicap turned into a sprint reminiscent of Scotro at carnival time, when Mookta's Reward danced to his own tune at the front of the field and won by six and a quarter lengths. Cover Gal ran on well to pick up second money and Star Damsel who tried to match it early, showed signs that a spell would be appreciated as she ran to the winning post in third place.
The last of the day at the park was the 1200 metre Class Three Handicap, where an upset result rewarded the value punters. Geodude, at double figure odds, had a change in riding tactics: rather than settling mid field as he has in the past, he was hunted up and led with Volcanic Pearl offering some pressure.
Murphy's Prize sat three wide during most of the running and while Volcanic Pearl dropped off, Murphy's Prize came at Geodude late. Geodude prevailed on the line by a long head with the battling Classic Khan four and a quarter lengths further back.
Racing will resume on Saturday week with good fields expected. Many recently turned three-year-olds will be nominated and, along with seasoned performers, the meeting should be an indicator of things to come in the spring.
Return to Alice Springs News Webpage.