ROCK: LAME BUFFEL BATTLE. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Parks Australia isn't winning the battle against buffel grass around Ayers Rock, and isn't putting up much of a fight.
Parks manager Tony English says the introduced plant, capable of gradually displacing all native flora, is "well established" inside the ring road, especially on the southern and eastern sides.
Mr English estimates 10 to 15 per cent of area inside the ring road is now under buffel, threatening not only plant life but also native animals in Australia's most prominent natural tourist attraction.
"The desert mouse, for example, and some reptile species are particularly impacted by buffel," he says.
"It also has an effect on drainage patterns and water ways."
The plant, introduced in the ‘seventies and ‘eighties as a dust suppressant, but which experts now say should be declared a weed, thrives in the drainage gullies taking storm water away from The Rock.
It now has "no real positive outcomes at all", says Mr English.
If ignited by lightning, for example, it burns very hot, destroying other flora in its path and creating conditions for a buffel mono-culture.
The parks service spends 100 manhours a month fighting buffel, which contains the plant at its current level but doesn't get rid of it.
Mr English says the effort is being supplemented by the Friends of the Park and Conservation Volunteers Australia.
The traditional owners of the park, living at Mutitjulu, despite its desperate unemployment rate, are not currently involved in the war against buffel, but "there is some potential" in involving locals, says Mr English.
The main effort is concentrated on areas "where buffel has the most significant effect on biodiversity and cultural values, areas around Uluru".
Progress is slow because the method used is pulling out the plants by hand.
Mr English says the service will "investigate the use of sprays and herbicides.
"We need to go through a process of negotiation and discussion with the board of management.
"The board will have advice from a scientist."
In 2002 wild fires burned 30 to 40 per cent of park.
There have been no big fires since, only small lightning strikes.
Mr English estimates there are some 900 hectares (nine square kilometres) of buffel in the park, mostly close to the monolith. 10 to 15 hectares are removed each year but the plant expands elsewhere.
GETTING THE BASICS RIGHT. Report by KIERAN FINNANE.
Security is a word you hear a lot at Earth Sanctuary, an eco-tourism outfit located in bushland near the Alice Springs airport.
The sanctuary is run by the brothers Dan and Tom Falzon, who outdo one another in good looks, big smiles and environmentally friendly smooth talk.
But behind too good to be true appearances, the brothers walk the talk.
They started in 2000 with a lease on 40 buffel-infested hectares and a tin shed. Four years later they are receiving 25,000 visitors a year in a haven demonstrating lessons for the planet.
The security at the forefront of their endeavours is the kind you achieve by being self-sufficient.
But now they are also offering a security service that's about protection. You can see them most Saturdays, in uniform at the front gate of Melanka's Party Bar. An odd match, you might think, the peace of the sanctuary by day, mean streets by night, but for Tom and Dan it's all part of the same take on life around us.
They see at the root of the high levels of fear, anger and violence in the world, in many instances, people's insecurity about the simplest but most essential of things: water, then food and energy.
If people have control over these, they'll feel far less anxious when other things go wrong. In this way the world will be better off and the buck stops with the individual, they say.
They run a program for children called Earth School. They are shocked at how many children don't know where water comes from, where bread and butter come from, let alone the electricity and fuel they take for granted every day.
So in Earth School and their other educational programs, such as Tribal Night, they try to get people to take stock of how their basic requirements are being met and what they can do to become more independent in these areas.
The great thing about Earth Sanctuary is that you can see for yourself what can be achieved with relatively simple means.
The place is inviting but completely unpretentious.
As you pull up alongside the hybrid energy plant (solar, wind and mains back-up), the first thing you see is the brothers' washing slung across a wire outside the ablution block. This is a converted caravan under an iron roof, with shower stalls and basins, male and female, for when they receive a ‘sleepover' tour.
The water to the stalls is collected off the roof and is heated by the sun, of course.
Across the way is an ‘enviro-dunny', using no water at all. It's a bit more sophisticated than a ‘long drop', basically by having a large draw pipe that pulls oxygen into the bin, promoting rapid evaporation and leaving a rich source of dry compost for your garden.
"It's saved us tens of thousands of litres of drinking water," says Tom. "You use two to three days' supply every time you flush."
On the other side of the ablution block is a shipping container, which the brothers are setting up as a rudimentary living space.
It has the advantage of being pre-eminently transportable, so quickly available in an emergency. They also can't fault its strength and stability but for longer term solutions they prefer a circular form.
There's an Indian tepee and a dome on a side track."We've tried living in them all, we know the pros and cons," says Dan.The dome is best for the consumption of energy – no corners for trapping heat and light. It's also easy to construct and manage. One to two people can put up a dome without high-level skills, says Dan.
Nonetheless the brothers live in a square house a bit further along. This corrugated iron structure around a central courtyard was already on the block when they arrived. They've painted the roof white, covered the courtyard to make a cool inner core, protected all the walls from the sun.
None of this is innovation; the brothers' achievement is the persistent, steady application of well-known solutions to create a sustainable whole living environment and then to invite people in to see.
The big surprise is the swimming pool. The pump, like all their appliances, runs off solar and wind-generated energy.
But what about the 25,000 litres of water? How can they justify that?
It's rainwater they've collected, and it's no different to storing it in a tank, says Dan. They aim to have 75,000 litres stored on the property at any time. In the event of "shutdown" where they'd need to use the resource for drinking, they have equipped themselves with filtration units.
They limit evaporation by shading the pool and in the hottest weather cover it with a tarp. Meantime they can enjoy a swim.
Beyond the living area is an enclosure for injured wildlife and beyond that their bar, restaurant and ‘infotainment' area.
They've created shade with dried witchetty branches lashed onto frames; tables, chairs, benches all knocked together from materials at hand. There are quandong trees dotted here and there. The area is on a slight rise and looks out to bushland, as far as you can see. Buffel has been kept at bay in a 200 metre radius right around the site.
‘Info' is what they are most concerned with but they believe people learn best when they are enjoying themselves and in touch with the earth.
Their parents, Joe and Ros, were both teachers. Joe is very involved with his sons' work at Earth Sanctuary. The brothers defer a lot to what he says and, for men of their age – Tom is 28, Dan 30 – have a heightened sense of being a family. It seems to be a particularly sunny experience.
Which brings us to their security service. Why did they get involved in such an activity?"To better understand the community we live in," is Dan's simple answer.
"It's not your normal security operation. All our work is to do with communication.
"We get in there and talk. It's the one thing lacking in our community. I'm constantly struck by people's isolation.
"When things go wrong and they need to vent, they turn to alcohol.
"We get in there and make sure people are being spoken to. Our approach is to treat them like we would like to be treated ourselves."
This part of their operation is called Milikom Security. They employ 26 officers, half of them women, providing a 24 hour, seven day a week service.
They don't take any job. Dan gets serious on this issue: "We are not in the business of mopping up after businesses who abuse people through the sale of alcohol," he says.
Indefatigable, he and Tom also work as volunteers for St John's Ambulance.
"We've seen the aftermath of the abuse of alcohol. Owners of venues should be made to go out with the police or the ambos and see the assaults, the accidents that happen as a result of their abuse.
"You can't sell a drug such as alcohol and wash your hands of it when the client leaves."
Dan says he and Tom enjoy having a beer … once a month.
"We get our enjoyment from education and learning, we're stimulated all the time from that, so we don't really need alcohol."
But they're not all work and no play. Their working routine, for themselves and their staff, is three months on (with normal days off) and then two weeks' break – "to go and dip our toes in the ocean".
"Everyone comes back full of energy, productivity lifts, and people are happy to come to work."
That work in all its facets (space doesn't allow discussion of their media projects or their emergency and safety awareness training) will keep them in Alice at least until 2012 when their lease expires.
It's the perfect place to develop their interests:
"Because of Alice's isolation and extreme weather conditions, it's the ideal community to go independent, to become a solar city and show the rest of the world how it's done," says Dan.
"We can't rely on government and corporations to lead this movement. All people have to do is learn to look after themselves and that is just so powerful."
DEAR SANTA. Comment by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Dear Father Christmas,
Sorry about trying to turn you into a political activist but all my wishes are to do with the Territory Government. I've watched it for more than three years and I'm still wondering when it's going to start firing. Hope you can help.
Early in the piece it abolished mandatory sentencing. It was a significant act, a blow for justice and earned us praise around the country from lower case "l" liberals. But the abolition cost nothing and unless you're a repeat offender it won't have any impact on your life.
They appointed a top bloke as the administrator – good on ya, Ted!
The Chief Minister did a lot of smiling, which is also very nice. But then it was time to tackle the hard issues and I'm still holding my breath. The Darwin railway was completed but it decimated our road transport industry and then the freight rates went up.
Clare had to find other things to smile about.
Not quite sure what they are at the moment. It couldn't be education in the bush where we've made little progress while a sea change is needed, nor petty crime which engages the Government and the Opposition in a ritual "yes we did – no you didn't" bickering every time the quarterly statistics come out.
And every month in our region a child dies from petrol sniffing, under the gaze of our public servants, who are doing nothing about it, except commissioning yet another report into something for which the answers are as clear as the nose on Rudolf's face.
So what I want for next year, Father Christmas, is something substantial from a government I thought would have passion, vision and courage to tackle the big issues.
The Government is giving ownership of our national parks to Aborigines. We're told it makes sense because the new owners will add some of their own land to the parks estate which will then become an even greater asset for our tourism industry.
This argument would be more convincing if Aborigines, and the Central Land Council, were helping to develop tourism on their land right now, rather than stand in its way. Show me please if I'm wrong.
Please make the Government see the merit of joining the growing national debate about important provisions of Aboriginal land rights legislation. We're getting left behind as the Government seems more interested in their mates in the Aboriginal industry, rather than in seeking the bold solutions needed after a quarter of a century of tragic failure.
Roughly half of our country is controlled by Aborigines and the other half by pastoralists. One is earning no money (if you ignore welfare payments and royalties) and the other contributes about three per cent to the Territory's economy.
Making the best use of our land, for the benefit of all Territorians – now that's a very big issue!
Show me please, Father Christmas, some signs that there is an understanding of this imperative.
And please tell me what Desert Knowledge is all about. I checked on their web site and I quote: "The knowledge that resides within inland Australia – individually and collectively – about successfully developing and sustainably living in harmony with these arid lands is of great value ... drawing from informal and formal knowledge bases, developing business models to capitalise sustainably on our natural resources, facilitating better remote delivery of health and education services, and developing policy and appropriate tenure including Intellectual Property arrangements for communities to progress commercial opportunities." Wow.
What I see around me at the moment is social and racial strife, town planning that's a joke, people jammed together on land sold for extortionate prices, many buildings that couldn't be less suitable to the desert, rampant wasting of water, creeping destruction of our heritage and scant benefit from our natural attractions. Just tell me, please, am I really living in the birth town of Desert Knowledge? What Desert Knowledge do we have? Who wants to buy it? For how much? The Government has less that a year to run to make a difference. Please, Father Christmas, help them to achieve it!
LETTERS: Time travel with Terry.
Sir,– Never let it be said that the Northern Territory lags behind the rest of Australia in terms of achievements. If the CLP is elected to government next year we will have achieved something unknown in other parts of the country – the ability to ‘time travel'.
Yes, we will be instantaneously transported back to the ‘dark ages', back to the horror of paternalism and assimilation policies and practices. But rest assured, this time it's different, this time it's ‘progressive', this time it's called ‘integration'.The comments of opposition leader Terry Mills (Alice News, Dec 15) left no doubt that if elected the CLP plans to apply the same type of ill-fated and draconian policies to ‘deal' with Indigenous people that have proven so damaging in the past. Indigenous people needing to ‘qualify' to live in urban public housing? Sounds familiar. Will they also require a permit to visit town?
Not to worry, the questions around ‘qualifying' for housing are purely rhetorical given that our ‘visionary' potential future Housing Minister, John Elferink, plans to sell off public housing stock as quickly as possible (Centralian Advocate, Dec 3).
The recent spate of overtly racist, separatist and destructive discourses that have been evident during public meetings and in the media (eagerly fuelled by CLP politicians), should sound alarm bells with all Territorians. It has certainly turned my stomach. This is not the way to address community disharmony.
We need to be working together to build strong healthy communities that are safe for all people to live in.
Not only should communities be physically safe, they should be emotionally, spiritually and culturally safe. People also have a right to feel safe from the effects of racism, disadvantage and ostracism. All people have a right to live in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.
With your approach to social inclusion Mr Mills, I wonder if you would ‘qualify' to live in such a community?
Problems with punitive policy
Sir,– I refer to recent statements by opposition leader Terry Mills in the Alice Springs News.
While I believe his support for indigenous home ownership has great merit and his frankness is refreshing, some of his thinking on ‘mutual obligation' seems naive.
While no-one would dispute the aims of providing the best possible education for indigenous children and strongly encouraging school attendance, I sense obvious trouble with a policy of school attendance linked to the payment of family allowance benefits.
Such a narrow policy could wreak havoc on family incomes particularly in homes where a child is ‘unmanageable'. I'm sure several warnings will be given but ultimately I can't imagine an efficient bureaucracy able to rapidly reinstate payments as offending families return to compliance!
The net result could well see increases in family dysfunction and the community crime rate.
Is this just another example of politicians framing punitive policies around popular but unsubstantiated remedies?
Dysfunctional families wracked by violence and substance abuse, stressed by poor health, overcrowded housing, too many demanding relatives and defeated by a lack of purpose or hope are unlikely to behave rationally when it comes to their children's education!
I would add here that in some exceptional communities too much money (from royalties and other income) can be equally damaging. I suppose those parents are even less likely to respond to the government stopping their money.
Perhaps Mr Mills could explore reforms that would provide appropriate direction to all parents in the expenditure of family allowance benefits.
Some parents need intensive support which should include a range of options for their children that go far beyond conventional education.
Unless we improve support in the home any increased attendance by children (who are also likely to need much more emotional and practical support at school) will be placing an extra burden on teachers, thereby reducing their capacity to teach.
The magnitude of costs is unavoidable but governments can choose to spend more on education, family support and mentoring young people in the workforce as an investment in the future.
Such priorities may well spare our society financially and emotionally: by mitigating rises in the cost of public housing repairs and maintenance, treatment for victims of crime, support and compensation costs, law enforcement, court costs and gaoling offenders.
The pressing challenge for our community leaders, role models and mentors is to convince severely demoralised families that a brighter future is possible through education and ultimately employment.
When framing policy, the opposition leader should also look to recent successes within communities which have linked access to the swimming pool with school attendance and not surprisingly reaped additional health benefits!
The capacity for a future Terry Mills led government to affect change and progress among indigenous people is directly linked to his credibility as a leader who will govern for all people.
He could develop this style by choosing not to taint the next election with a racially divisive twist.
Sir,– I refer to your article "Sacking could solve savage feud – Toyne" (last week's issue).
Dr Toyne is either distorting the truth or misinformed. I know the truth about Willowra, I lived there. I entered Willowra as a citizen and a supporter of the NT Labor Party. Initially, I voluntarily worked there with a group of locals, keeping the town tidy. I was appointed store manager in January 2003. Later that year, Dr Toyne was the sole reason I changed my political party.
I became disheartened when he chose to listen to the fabrications of the CLC chairperson (2003) and attacked the store (subsequently I was given a clean bill of health by the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs).
My appointment as a CLP candidate was initiated by the people of Willowra who want a change of government.
The real issues of the people of Willowra should be the focal point. I have been told by many that the acrimonious fighting began in 1995/96, not in the last 18 months as Dr Toyne states in the article.
Residents of Willowra have actually accused both the Justice Minister and the CLC for building this "Great Wall" dividing the two clans.
Residents clearly stated that they felt these two powers showed preferences to the CLC chairperson and his family and a family related to the NT Sports and Recreation Minister.
There was, and is, an outcry for a change of the system and one sided politics at Willowra – after all in this democratic country we are allowed freedom of speech and thought, aren't we?Dr Toyne mentions that, "Earlier meetings had also asked the key community members who had been fuelling the fighting to also leave the community."
This is correct!
Two key families were asked to leave, the Presleys and the CLC chairperson and his family.
The Presleys, as honourable people, left Willowra and the agreement was to stay away for three months.
The CLC chairperson and his family (the Browns) never left, nor were they ever made to leave the community.
The riots continued and those instigating them were obvious.After three months the Presleys tried to return; they were never allowed to return – the forces were against them.I clearly recall that "old people going hungry as a result of the trouble" was not the case at all. The store did not close as a result of the riots.
I was never apprehensive, I stayed out of the riots – it was a matter for the people to resolve themselves.
If the store committee asked me to close the store, I did for one or two hours, but I would reopen and ensure that people did not go hungry – it did not matter if it was 5pm, I would trade.
We were asked to close the store by the committee, we never chose to close.
I ask the Justice Minister to give me back my democratic right to travel the lands with which I have an affinity.
I ask the CLC to grant me a special permit to Willowra so that I can challenge the sitting member for Stuart to a full community meeting, in the presence of the media and MLAs.
Let the people decide, not the powers dictate.
CLP candidate for Stuart
Measuring up against Alice. COLUMN by VIKTORIA CORMACK.
There is no better measuring device for distance than time.
I had forgotten how remote the rest of the country is from the centre of my universe, but was recently reminded when we set off down the Stuart Highway in our car. We were finally off on our first family holiday ever.
Off to explore new places and experience new things, as well as getting a break from the summer heat.
It did not take long before the novelty of being on the road wore off and the children started asking, "Are we there yet?"
We relieved the boredom with sweets and other snacks and stopped for roadside picnics and eventually "arrived".
But like the chewies, the relief from covering hundreds of kilometres in a day, did not last. So we kept moving and discovered fun and exciting things to do along the way.
Like walking on the beach looking at shells and seeing new birds. A lot was different and exotic, feral animals and plants, European sounds like sparrows chirping and non-native trees with very green leaves. It made me think about all the people who have travelled across the world to settle in Australia, and how they were looking for a new world yet could not help but bring with them animals, birds and plants from home.
Of course what one is used to is what qualifies as normal, home is the measuring stick that everything new is measured by, and if something is so different that we do not recognize any of it we may feel compelled to fix it.
Just as we have a huge impact on the natural environment, it impacts on us and in combination with the culture in which we live shapes us as individuals. I find myself comparing everything and every place I come across to Alice. I hadn't realised how different it is to the rest of the country and how it has made me view the world.
Not surprisingly I have liked the places on the way that have reminded me of home.
The small, friendly slightly remote ones. We have looked up friends who used to live in Alice. Although on holiday, trying to get away from the everyday we seek out the familiar.
Maybe we travel not to explore new territory but to explore different parts of ourselves and get to know ourselves better. All roads lead to Rome. Maybe that is really saying that all roads lead home. They are all roads to self-discovery. The prince travels far and wide in search of a bride and finds her at home on returning from his travels.
You sometimes need to get far away to get closer to home, to blow out the cobwebs and open your eyes and your mind and see things more clearly.
Turn the binoculars around the right way rather than looking at your life the wrong way around. Seeing yourself and where you are coming from with new eyes. Maybe we are never looking for something truly new but for something we have a vague notion of existing somewhere inside, misplaced but not lost.
The year is coming to a close. It is time for new beginnings and New Year's resolutions, but also time for reflection. To look back on the road we've travelled, the distance we have covered in the past year.
Look at what we have experienced and what we have learnt.
Maybe we will never ‘get there' and there is no such thing as a destination. After all great distances are not measured in kilometres but in time.
Stuff-ups that can't be fixed. COLUMN by STEVE FISHER.
Is that it, then? Don't we get another go at 2004? Oh, please, can't we just rewind the year and fix up all those anticlimactic events and stuff-ups that became a part of history as soon as we committed them.
Well, no. Time is about to be called on another year. It's no good living in the past. Instead, look on the bright side. Ordinary life might let us down sometimes, but it can also be as interesting as the supposedly extraordinary life lived by people in magazines and movies.
So how was your year? Here are some helpings from mine.
January: Bought sunscreen in a sale at a cycle shop, then learned that it was the kind of sunscreen applied by Japanese cyclists who cross deserts. After a week of appearing more pale than usual, I remove sunscreen with a paint scraper.
February: Bike lights fail. I am pulled over by traffic officer using his flashing lights and siren as I ride my recumbent bike on the Causeway in the semi-gloom. Policeman issues a warning then says, "Wicked bike!". I ride home on the path, posing a physical threat to shoppers and children.
March: Take out humungous home loan and relocate to house with rock mulch. When I try to rearrange it, mulch doesn't budge, even when I use a crowbar. I check to see whether the rocks have been individually bolted or glued to the dirt. Conclude that they haven't.
April: Awarded permanent residency visa. For some strange reason, this brings on tears that stain my new trousers from the sale at Mensland. Conclude that emotion can be costly.
May: Wake up to grey skies and rain for two solid weeks. Wet patch appears on ceiling. Plaster sags. Morale sags even more due to lack of sun. I feel cheated by the climate and consider returning visa to Department of Immigration claiming a warranty defect. Realise that I must be more superficial than I had thought.
June: Despite my protests, household gathers more pets. Start to wonder why our home is a haven for non-native animals and resent the high-fibre diets provided to the bunny rabbits.
July: First teenage party held by children at our house. No stairs to hide under, so I slink into a small room and visit soccer websites until it is over.
August: Decide not to enter Masters Games. Body expresses its thanks by putting on weight.
September: Notice that our new house has lawn. I can't bring myself to spray high-quality drinking water on it, so lawn dies. Lawn revives when water-saving ethics are temporarily forgotten. Achieve vegetable-growing success at last as broccoli appears on heat-wilted plants. Cat uses raised beds as a toilet. Twice a day.
Turn up to cricket match as a card-carrying parent with a chair and a novel. Immediately handed clicking device and status of relief umpire. Experience weird sense of megalomania when calling no-balls after wickets are taken. Novel goes unread. Heat exhaustion seems probable.October: Under bombardment of government publicity, finally accept the importance of kids alive doing the five, but can't remember the first one.
November: Commence new diet regime involving blended frozen fruit, skimmed milk and magic powder bought in Adelaide. Vice-laden life gets no better despite one less vice. Abandon diet fad and give in to muffin-frenzy.
December: Visit sauna in hotel. Sit in changing room wondering why the sauna isn't hot. Realise that the other door from the changing room leads to the sauna proper. Reflect on the other stuff-ups of the year.Then again, on balance this year was a good one.
I hope that your year lived up to your expectations too. Thanks for reading my meanderings in 2004. I'll be in touch next year.
CRICKET: FEDS SOUND INTO BREAK. Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.
Federal have gone into the Christmas break in cricket in the most sound position they have achieved for many years.
They are almost assured a position in the finals, while in other camps the flames do not flicker as brightly.
At Albrecht Oval on Saturday a depleted RSL side padded up against Federal, who were missing their powerhouse and captain Michael Smith.
Despite this the RSL boys could only muster 135 off 38 overs thanks to stoic Federal bowling. The veteran Jarrad Wapper destroyed the middle order to return 5/19 off nine overs.
Graham Schmidt and Geoff Whitmore opened for RSL and with a partnership of 51 had RSL looking solid. Schmidt fell to Rick Lovercombe, who in his return from injury, had Schmidt trapped LBW for 32.
Whitmore then pushed the score to 2/70 before he succumbed to a Wapper delivery, caught O'Dwyer for 24. From that point the rot set in for RSL, with Wapper snapping up Scott Robertson for 10.
In the fall Tom Dutton added 11 before being run out and Nathan Flanagan remained not out 17, while the remainder of the RSL bats hardly raised a yelp.
Backing Wapper's performance was Lovercombe who returned 2/37 off 8.3 overs and Allan XXXX Rowe who snared 2/16 off nine.In chasing 136 to win Federal batted for 34 overs and reached 3/139.
BJ O'Dwyer and Tom Clements opened with a 115 partnership. O'Dwyer was the first to go, LBW to Dutton for 52, and then Clements departed, bowled Schmidt for 47.
With the back of the challenge broken, Craig Galvin scored 16 not out after Wapper had been accounted for by Schmidt caught Flanagan for a duck. Graeme Schmidt ended the day with 2/33 off nine overs and Dutton picked up 1/15 from eight.
The Sunday game turned into an almost slash and burn affair when Rovers went to the crease first. They adopted aggressive tactics with Matt Pyle and Nick Clapp opening, and Jason Bremner padded up as first drop.
The idea had some merit but unfortunately the guns did not blaze. Pyle was caught by Leigh Hiscox off Jeremy Bigg for a mere four, then Ryan Thomson took the Clapp wicket, caught James McLaughlin for 10. Peter Tabart then snapped up Bremner's wicket off Bigg for two and Rovers were reeling at 3/25.
Darryl Lowe and Luke Bozio applied themselves in the middle order to boost the tally with scores of 26 and 17 respectively. Lowe was caught by Thomson off a Hood delivery and Bozio was bowled by Bigg. Graham Lovis then recorded the side's top score with 37, and with a determined 16 from Gavin Flanagan, Rovers then staggered to their 141.
Bigg returned the figures of 3/22 off his nine overs. Wayne Todman fired in four overs to snare 2/12 and Ryan Thomson was rewarded with 2/32 off five overs.
West knew they had the game in their keeping and sniffed the chance of moving into second position in front of RSL should they win well.
They took 31 overs to achieve the target, making 1/145. James McLaughlin lost his wicket when on 20, trapped LBW off Clapp. Otherwise fellow opener Rory Hood went on to be not out 44 at the conclusion and Peter Tabart again showed his true colors with a sparkling 56 not out.
WORLD GAME IS FAST AND SPICY AT MID WAY POINT. Report by PAUL FITZSIMONS.
The world game played in seven-a-side form in the Centre has reached mid-point in the season, with a Christmas break being taken until January 11.
In the final round before the break, the A Grade games were again fast and spiced with an element of real skill.
Rory Hood in the midfield showed a dominating performance. Playing for S&R Vikings in their 2-0 win over the Cunning Ones, Hood exploded into the game with a goal after only three minutes of play.
With Richard Farrell missing from the Vikings' line up and the potency of Lauren Mengel in the Cunning Ones' defence the game was touted to be a tough slog. Despite the pressure, Hood lifted the cap off things for the undefeated Vikings.
With a second goal at the 35th minute from Chris Bettineschi the premiership favourites controlled the game until the final whistle.The inclusion of Gio Morelli in the Feds' line up aided in their 3-2 win over Starbucks. By half time Feds seemed to have the game in the bag with Damon Vandershuit and Dean Goodger each scoring.
It was a different story in the second half however as Patrick Kleiner came on the scene, netting two goals and putting Starbucks in the picture. A little touch of brilliance from Vandershuit at the 37th minute was enough, however, to secure a Feds win, giving them three more premiership points.
Neata Glass Scorpions seemed to have their match against Central Falcons in the bag with early goals coming from Simon Harrison and Adrian Spiteri. However late in the game Ross Arezzelo burst scored and set the scene for a possible draw. Scorpions, although under strength yet again, held on to take the game 2-1.
In B Grade Stormbirds recorded a 3-0 win over Feds B. Stormbirds showed a welcome return to form with John Kustan, Stuart Morphett, and Steve Nicholson each netting the ball. In contrast, despite the inclusion of Nat McGill and Eddie Neblett, Feds B could not put their game together.
Despite being at the top of the ladder and winning 2-0 over Thorny Devils, Buckleys had to work hard to pick up the premiership points. Tom Clements and Francis Kumar put the score on the board for Buckleys. The Devils had their chances in this game and if they can recruit a striker over the festive season, they could become a real force in the competition.
The ASSA then put on a top performance to take the points over Neata Glass Scorpions in a 1-0 display. Declan Furber-Gillick added to his goal scoring tally and ensured the win for ASSA.
In C Grade an own goal gave Dragons a 1-0 win over RSL. RSL had only seven players and in the conditions this proved fatal.
Stormbirds continued to boost the confidence of the club, when they enjoyed a 3-1 outing against Alice Springs Girls. Tom Dutton, Phil Hassall and Jo Dutton successfully netted goals for the winners while Renee De Marco put the Alice Girls' score on the board.
Central Land Council had another win, claiming the honours late in the game after being down 1-0 at half time against the Neata Glass Scorpions. Big Joe Clark celebrated with a goal, as did the Rolls Royce, Graeme Smith. Jordan Zahra netted for Scorpions, giving CLC a 2-1 win.
The Old Farts, despite intensive training sessions, really bit the dust when they were given a 10-0 football lesson against Alice Power. The Old Farts regular keeper Geoff Baronett was absent and so Alice Power had a field day. Kyle Kruger scored a hat trick, while Noel Murtagh, Zac Harvey and Tawanda Jonowe netted two each in the goal fest.
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