ALICE SPRINGS NEWS,
September 28, 2006. This page
contains all major reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
HIGHWAY MONEY DEBACLE.
By ERWIN CHLANDA and KIERAN FINNANE.
Central Australia may miss out on $2.6m from the Commonwealth for the
East West Highway because the NT Government is failing to match the
The Queensland and WA governments have already made their matching
contributions, according to Alice Town Council CEO Rex Mooney.
Meanwhile transport operators are saying the Plenty Highway is in its
worst state for decades, and accuse the NT Government of wasting public
money by failing to allocate enough funds to carry out proper repairs.
In August 2001 Peter Toyne, the new Minister for Central Australia,
promised to seal the Plenty Highway.
Now, five years later, Dr Toyne has just retired and NT Transport
Minister Delia Lawrie is declining to explain why the road isn’t even
being kept up to a reasonable unsealed standard.
Mayor Fran Kilgariff and CEO Mr Mooney were in Laverton last week to
attend the annual general meeting of The Outback Highway Development
Council Inc (OHDC).
The road will now be known as The Outback Way, running from Winton in
Queensland to Laverton in WA, a 2800km route, 1700 kms of which are
The OHDC is made up of local government representatives from Winton,
Boulia, Alice Springs, Warburton and Laverton, as well as
representatives from the state and Territory governments.
The Commonwealth has allocated $10m over three years to the project,
with $4.6m to go to the Territory “because we have the worst roads”,
says Ms Kilgariff.
So far the Territory Government has promised $2m, but unless the
remaining $2.6m is also guaranteed the Territory stands to lose its
Ms Kilgariff will be seeking a delegation to Ms Lawrie to urge action
on the matter.
Meanwhile a veteran truckie says failing to spend enough on repairing
the Plenty Highway is tantamount to wasting millions.
Jeff Tucker says the current makeshift work on the road to Queensland
is useless because all graders are doing is filling sand in between the
And the next passing vehicle simply blows the sand out again.
What’s needed, says Mr Tucker, is a “grade, water and roll”.
Neil Hallagan, the NT manager of the road maintenance firm Works
His firm looks after the Tanami Road, the other transport disaster in
Neither man is blaming the contractors: they’re simply doing what the
government is assigning to them, with limited funds.
Ms Lawrie would only say: “$2m has been expended on upgrading the
Plenty Highway - those works were completed at the end of last
“In addition, a tender has just been called for 15kms of gravelling
works on the Plenty Highway.
“The road was last given a full maintenance grade including drainage in
August and September 2006.”
But Mr Hallagan says much more than that is needed: “Most roads have
lost all their gravel.”
To bring a seriously degraded road up to “good dirt road standard” with
a “grade and roll” takes between $10,000 ad $30,000 a kilometer, and
roads in Central Australia are so bad that “it will be closer to
That means Ms Lawrie’s $2m doesn’t go far on the 350 km of Plenty
Highway: closer to $10m will be needed.
Mr Tucker owns Centre Stockfeeds, has had a road train license since
1972 and travels the Plenty frequently in his Kenworth truck.
He’s just returned and faces a repair bill of $1800.
He says the present condition of the highway is the worst he’s ever
There is significant damage to his truck every time, lights popping
out, broken mudguards, brake boosters smashed.
He says the corrugations are so bad as to be a significant danger to
the traveling public.
The truck goes sideways at times, and the load is in constant danger of
He suggests the NT Government may be liable in case of injuries and
damage because of its negligence in repairing the road.
“They have a duty of care,” he says. “But we’re run by Darwinians, not
Mr Tucker sees no point in soon having two sealed roads to King’s
Canyon while the major traffic link to Queensland is in such dangerous
When Labor was elected to government in August 2001 Dr Toyne made a
firm commitment to the sealing of the Plenty Highway.
He said the government would first ensure that there is a “concerted
effort” also from the Queensland and WA governments (both Labor) “so we
don’t have a fantastic road in the Territory and a goat track across
The Plenty Highway north-east of Alice, and the Gunbarrel west of Ayers
Rock, will be sealed, he said.
“The long haul trucking industry will be looking for alternative
activities in three years’ time, when the Darwin railway is completed,
if that industry is to stay in Alice Springs at the present strength,”
said Dr Toyne.
THE BATTLE FOR STUART.
By ERWIN CHLANDA.
Candidates in the Stuart by-election, won by the ALP’s Karl Hampton
with a greatly reduced majority and voter participation, have described
aspects of the poll as undemocratic and unacceptable.
The row started when the ALP requested the Electoral Commission to
conduct unscheduled mobile polling at Tara (a community near Barrow
Creek) and at Tennant Creek, which is not in the electorate.
Just one vote was received in each place.
The ALP had claimed some enrolled voters had gone on a football trip,
or had failed to vote for some other reason, and had made no
arrangements for postal voting.
Another unscheduled “mobile” was conducted at Yuendumu, requested by
the community, and receiving 37 votes last Friday.
Mobile polling had already been conducted at the community the week
Although the ALP were present at all three unscheduled polling places,
the five non-Labor candidates were given no advance notice of the extra
opportunities to vote, or only a few hours’ – not enough to be at the
polling places or to have helpers attending with how-to-vote cards.
According to the Greatorex MLA Richard Lim, CLP manager John Elferink
learned by email about the additional voting less than five hours
before the second lot of voting took place in Yuendumu.
Independent Gary Cartwright only found out about it when he spotted it,
by chance passing through the community at the same time.
Independent Anna De Sousa Machado says she was told about it in Alice
Springs by a friend at 1pm on Friday.
Polling started at Yuendumu, 300 km away, two hours later.
The Electoral Commission’s Greg Davis says his office only had mobile
telephone numbers for Ms Machado and Peter Tjungarray Wilson, and these
were not always in service.
According to the Electoral Commission, there were no people handing out
how to vote cards at Tara.
There were CLP and ALP helpers handing out how to vote cards at Tennant
ALP and Gary Cartwright were handing out how to votes at the second
poll in Yuendumu.
According to counting early this week Mr Hampton had scored 1168 first
preference votes, well over half the 2003 formal votes cast, likely to
secure him a win
without counting preferences.
However, he had just 58% of the formal vote, whereas his predecessor
Peter Toyne had 71%.
Ex-Labor MLA Gary Cartwright, now an independent giving his preferences
to the CLP (as did the other two independents) got 280 primary votes,
Machado 155 and Mr Wilson, 20.
“I’m trying to send a wake-up call to Labor that it is neglecting the
bush,” Mr Cartwright said on Saturday. He now works for the Utopia
“The government is spending millions on a lagoon with artificial waves
in the Darwin harbor precinct.
“How many people in the bush will get a benefit from that?”
The two CLP candidates, outgunned by a well-oiled Labor campaign
machine, did poorly with 218 votes (Rex Granites) and 162 (Lloyd
Despite the commission’s elaborate efforts to entice people to vote,
and the associated expense for the by-election – “about $100,000” says
Electoral Commissioner Bill Shepheard – the turnout was poor.
Little more than half of the 4434 voters enrolled turned up and only
2003 or 45% cast valid votes.
Mr Shepheard defended his decision to run three unscheduled mobiles:
“We can vary the schedule as we receive information,” he says.
“It’s been done before, when there were sorry camps or funerals.
‘We do advertise as best we can [but] there is a lot of movement out
there so we need to be flexible.
“My job is to allow as many people [as possible] to vote up until six
o’clock on Saturday.”
Asked why the commission was running six mobiles in town camps in Alice
Springs, all no more than 15 minutes’ walk from the “static” Braitling
booth or the Electoral Office in Leichard Terrace, Mr Shepheard said:
about providing a service that delivers the right outcomes.
“Those town camps were polled in the 2005 election with some success in
terms of voter numbers.
“We have a high percentage in those locations of assisted voters, so
it’s operationally sound to provide a limited service on separate
The Alice News asked Mr Shepheard: “Is it not true that the service is
provided on a racial basis: if you live in a white suburb you don’t get
it, if you live in a black town camp you do.”
SHEPHEARD: I wouldn’t see it that way. As the Electoral Commissioner,
I’m not doing that, I’m looking at groups, I’m looking at how we can do
There are other people living near these places. We’ve sent them
letters advising them where they can vote.
NEWS: One voter lives within two minutes’ walk from two mobile polling
places. They are on town camps, which are private land. She didn’t have
automatic access to them. Six of the eight mobile polling stations in
Alice Springs were on this type of private land.
SHEPHEARD: People can acquire permits to get on there if they wish.
We’re not doing it on racial grounds. I don’t control the land permit
NEWS: But you make the decision where you set up your booths.
SHEPHEARD: I do. I put them in places where I feel we can process
people better and maximize participation.
NEWS: As commissioner you will have a say in the next electoral
redistribution, in 2007. At the moment the urban parts of Stuart are
all town camps and have clearly been selected on racial grounds. What’s
your opinion about this?
SHEPHEARD: It would not be appropriate for me to comment on what’s
happened before [but] there is a community of interest [between urban
and bush Aborigines].
When we crank up the new redistribution it will be an entirely new
process and everybody will have the opportunity of putting in their
We’re beaten up either which way: one minute people are telling us
we’re not getting enough participation, next minute they’re telling us
we shouldn’t be going to places [with mobiles].
The Electoral Commission gets dragged in as if we’re doing something in
a biased fashion. And that is simply not the case.
Meanwhile, despite the best efforts voter education still has a long
way to go with some.
Ms Machado had a call from an adoring voter: “I love you so much,
Napanangka, I gave you six votes.
“And I only gave a one to that Hampton bloke.”
Election workers for Karl Hampton (centre), including (from left) a
helper from Yuendumu, Eileen Hoosan, Melissa Brown and Barbara Shaw,
ran rings around the supprters of the other candidates, with personal
knowledge of the voters and language skills.
GOVT. FILM OFFICE A BONUS OR BURDEN?
By KIERAN FINNANE.
Is the Territory Government’s investment of half a million dollars in
the NT Film Office contributing to the development of the local
Some local players would prefer to see all the money in a grants pool,
while director of the Film Office, Penelope McDonald, recently
reappointed after expiry of her first-term contract, says the grants
program is not the most important part of what the Film Office does.
She sees the office’s most important role as connecting industry
players so that local productions get off the ground.
But local independent film maker David Nixon says the office is being
funded to fail. He says 70% of funding is spent on administering
the 30% that is divided into grants.
“Such is the demand, the grants are invariably small and therefore
don’t have the desired effect of stimulating the industry’s economic or
professional development,” says Mr Nixon. “It’s the Arts NT model all
over: lots of administrators making wages while the creative sector
scrounges for resources.”
In its first three years the Film Office presided over a total of
$350,000 in grants, while operations of the office, employing two
staff, were allocated $750,000 (only $500,000 was spent).
During this time the Territory Government subsidised the Sydney-based
company Southern Cross to produce the TV series The Alice to the tune
of $330,000. This exceeds by almost $70,000 the entire screen grants
program of $262,000 for 2006-07.
A recent Territory Government subsidy to CAAMA, which is of course a
local company, of $243,000 for their TV series Double Trouble, almost
matches the current grants program.
Says Mr Nixon: “The precedent for production funding is to knock down
the Cabinet door. Why then, have a Film Office? “
Film Office director Penelope McDonald (pictured at right) agrees that
any government money available to support the screen industry should
come through the Film Office and “be responsive to guidelines the
office develops about how to support and grow the industry”.
However, she does see benefits flowing to local professionals from
productions like The Alice coming to town: “The experience [locals]
Allan Collins and David Tranter gained as second unit cinematographer
and soundrecordist on The Alice meant that they were more readily
accepted by the Nine Network as
key crew for shooting Double Trouble.”
This kind of flow-on effect is a reason why the Film Office spends some
of its time on enticing outside productions into the Territory.
“The Film Office had a big role in securing The Rogue for the NT,” says
“At one stage they were going to film in WA. We sent them photos of
locations, put them in touch with people who would help them find
locations. And then we put them in touch with the right people to
obtain permission to film in Jawoyn country.”
The Rogue is backed by Miramax and will have a big release. Ms McDonald
says it could be the new century’s Crocodile Dundee in terms of
for Top End tourism but also will be an important industry credit for
Territorians who have worked on it.
The same goes for Baz Luhrman’s upcoming Australian epic, which Ms
McDonald says has spent tens of thousands of dollars on employing
people doing location work; the reality TV series The Amazing Race; and
Ten Canoes. Unfortunately for the Alice-based industry, all this action
was in the Top End. Nic Cave’s The Proposition could have been filmed
here, says Ms McDonald, but instead it went to Queensland where there
were better incentives.
Ms McDonald says the Territory Government should create an incentive
program for incoming productions, with conditions that would assist the
development of the local industry: “The South Australian and Queensland
film industries were built on the back of in-coming productions,” she
She says the Film Office is beginning talks with the Department of
Business and Economic Development about a screen industry incentive
program. But Mr Nixon sees that route to industry development as too
slow: “It will take 10
to 20 years to grow an industry off the back of incoming productions:
obvious alternative is to commission locally produced collaborative
of art, land and culture – themes that resonate with locals and
He would like to see the Film Office get away from its emphasis on
cinematic and broadcast projects: “That emphasis comes at the
expense of producing content for a local audience. If we are to ‘share
our story’ we need to explore what that story is.”
Ms McDonald says the Film Office is interested in supporting people to
produce programming for every kind of delivery platform but “I won’t be
satisfied personally with my role until we see a project we support
broadcast on national prime time TV.”
Mr Nixon is campaigning passionately – in heritage, tourism and local
government forums – to get support for digital interpretive media
telling local stories.
Such media “installed in each of the attractions around town would have
a profound effect on tourism and provide the spark for sustainable
development”, he says.
Ms McDonald agrees the changing technological landscape should be a
benefit to the Territory industry: “It would be more feasible if the
Film Office had
increased staff and resources.”
A discussion paper put out by the Film Office to stimulate thinking
around its direction for the next three years recognises the importance
of “digital futures”: “Because this sector of the industry deals in the
‘virtual’ it can
often operate outside the more physically based traditional film and
industries. This factor makes it ideal for Territory conditions.
screen content for digital applications is in demand everywhere.”
So if the demand is there and there are locals capable of delivering
content, what’s the problem? Few local film-makers are qualified as
producers and directors,
says Ms McDonald, and the Film Office is committed to trying to raise
skill level. For those who are qualified it’s a matter of bringing
creative talent to the market, and the Film Office has very limited
with which to do that.
One way though is to support travel to events like the annual
conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia. Priority
is given to producers.
David Curl, who produces and markets his own films, was supported by
the Film Office to pitch his latest production, Shadows of Uluru, at
this conference last year, and succeeded in attracting Film Finance
Corporation funding for it – once again, an amount more than the
Territory’s entire screen grants allocation. Mr Curls’ Shadows of
Uluru, a feature film for cinematic release, and his television
documentary, From Ayers Rock to Uluru, will be ready for international
release next year.
Ms McDonald is also hoping to increase industry connections with Asia
through screen industry markets in Hong Kong and Singapore.
“The Film Office would talk about the faciltiies here and what we can
offer and individuals could take their products. It would be a good way
of creating awareness of the NT in Asian growth economies.”
Meanwhile, there are other local producers, apart from Mr Curl, finding
their own markets, says Ms McDonald. Warlpiri Media, based in Yuendumu,
shooting a series called Australian Rules for the ABC.
Shane Mulcahy is on the way to financing a documentary about Carl
Strehlow, father of Ted, called The Ingkarta’s Masterpiece. Warwick
Thornton, writer-director of the prize-winning short films, Mimi and
Greenbush, has a feature going into production next year.
Despite the grants program’s obvious limits, local film-makers and the
Film Office have been brainstorming about how best to disburse this
year’s allocation. One model they are looking at is to fly in “a
hot shot producer” who would work with “a slate of four or five
projects”, mentoring a local producer as
Says Ms McDonald: “A good person might expect a fee of $100,000 for a
year’s work, though the amount would depend also on their interest in
the copyright of the works produced: “A cut down version may be
possible this year.
“As with everything we have to think smart and leverage support from
other bodies like the Australian Film Commission, the Australian Film
Television and Radio School, Desert Knowledge. I’ve had problems
getting Territory film and television production recognised as an
industry. It is a small industry in the Territory but huge nationally –
and increasingly insatiable with all the different delivery platforms.
In the first three years the Territory Government
have put their toe in the water, now it’s time to look to the future.”
A recent three day workshop run by the Film Office at Hamilton Downs,
titled Creating Vision, tried to outline what that future could be.
Trouble was, it was only for Indigenous film-makers, says Mr Nixon, who
expresses “disappointment” at “an increasing polarization of
culture in the Centre and at the way
government and arts bureaucracies are contributing to it”.
“There are special provisions and funds everywhere for the expression
of Indigenous content or views,” he says. “Where’s the support for
collaboration? Everything I want to make has Indigenous people in it.
unless I hand over the key creative roles to Indigenous people I can’t
Isn’t it a case of Indigenous media winning in the marketplace?
Mr Nixon says that the special support in place for Indigenous media,
from the Film Office to Film Australia, the Australian Film Commission,
SBS and ABC virtually excludes Central Australian independent
film-makers from competing in the market they live in. Ms McDonald says
the workshop was funded by Desert Knowledge CRC and was for people from
VALLEY: NO CASE FOR REZONING.
By ERWIN CHLANDA.
A proposal for a residential subdivision of 92 blocks in Emily Valley
has been rejected for the second time by the Development Consent
It was rejected because the “proposed development does not comply with
minimum lot sizes”, said the authority.
Much of the project would have been on land zoned “Rural”, with a
minimum block size of 40 hectares, while the lot sizes proposed by the
developers were well under one hectare.
The applicants did their best to gloss over that fact, highlighting the
one-fifth of the land is zoned Rural Living 1 with a 0.4 hectare
Objector Kaye Kessing told the DCA at a public hearing last week: “The
developers continued [their] insistence that the entire area of this
current proposal is zoned RL1.”
Ms Kessing and friends had spent $200,000 for 40 hectares adjacent to
their three hectare block so that they could enjoy privacy and the
block’s diverse vegetation and bush foods.
They were facing the prospect of an urban-style subdivision over their
Emily Valley Estates Pty Ltd bought the land, in Stegar Road, from
local identity Peter Hooper about two years ago.
Real estate agent John McEwen part-owns the company and is its front
The DCA said it can approve variations to lot sizes but those
requested by the developers were “considered excessive, without
“The proposed development is considered to be contrary to planning
scheme provisions ... in the Alice Springs Land Use Structure Plan 1999
and Land Use Objectives, specifically in relation to the determination
of lot sizes on the basis of land capabilities, and public access to
open space, and conservation of sites of significant heritage and
The DCA also found the application deficient with respect to:-
• stormwater management [which] demonstrates no reduction in flood
immunity to the Ross Highway;
• the capacity of Ross Highway to carry the potential additional
• the sewer system;
• access; and
• potential fire hazard.
Ms Kessing told the DCA: “We who have settled deliberately in the rural
area of Alice Springs wish to remain in a rural area.
“We do not want it changed, however subtly, to an urban area, which
these developers seem to wish to do if judged by their repeated use of
the word ‘urban’.”
She welcomed a switch by the developers from overhead to underground
power supply, but said she would remain sceptical: the development to
the east of
the Heenan Road area got the green light on the basis that underground
would be installed.
But this was reversed “behind the backs of the public ... and we in
Heenan Road now look out on a row of extremely unattractive power
poles, instead of the trees that were knocked down to make way for
“We are stuck with it and we are angry.”
An objector from the Ilparpa area, Roger Thompson, told the authority,
by letter, that much of the new application was identical to the
earlier one, whilst failing to deal with matters raised by the DCA.
Mr Thompson says the applicants are claiming they have an agreement
with Power and Water about the proposed sewage system, yet there is no
such document in the submission “which leads me to conclude that no
such agreement exists”.
David Cantwell, a consultant to the applicants, says he will recommend
them to appeal.
He says it appears that the DCA is not taking into account agreements
the applicants have with sacred sites authorities and the town’s native
title body, Lhere Artepe.
Meanwhile another big rural residential development, proposed by the
Brown family in the White Gums area, is the subject of a rezoning
application before the Lands Minister (Alice News, August 24).
The project came under fire in a submission to the DCA from Rod Cramer,
who lives on the nearby Temple Bar station.
He said when his family bought Temple Bar, they did so in the clear
knowledge that White Gums was designated as pastoral land.
However, Steve Brown, brother of applicant Patrick Brown of Patrick
Homes Pty Ltd, says a subdivision of the White Gums area for urban
had already been mooted well before the Cramer family bought Temple Bar
19 years ago.
He showed the Alice News a document by the NT Department of Lands, a
regional outline Structure Plan dated 1985.
Three options were considered for future urban residential development:
the Undoolya Option; the Commonage-White Gums option; and the
Advantages of the Commonage-White Gums option were identified as:-
• relatively low costs for sewerage headworks;
• favourable topography and soils.
• difficult arterial road connection;
• distance from the CBD, necessitating probably the development of a
• possible pollution to the Mereenie aquifer.
Mr Brown says the White Gums option was “headlined” and widely
discussed at the time.
It would not have been possible for local people not to know about it,
Subsequent town planning has identified Mt John’s Valley and Undoolya
Valley, both north of the Gap, as the location of future urban
expansion of Alice Springs.
THE ‘PARTICIPATION CAPITAL’ of OZ.
By COLUMNIST ADAM CONNELLY.
Quick question for you. How’s your social life? I’m not trying to pry
into your personal life; it’s just that mine is a bit full at the
In fact to say it’s a bit full is like saying February is a bit hot or
that the Stuart by-election was a bit annoying. I’m run off my feet at
A cornucopia of social events has been laid out before me and I have
had to choose between several options on more than one occasion. This
leads to a decision having to be made.
All of a sudden the question of what to do on a Saturday night becomes
“Well this group of friends will be off to this event and I went out
with them last night so I should probably go to the other one…”
My brain hurts. God forbid I offend someone by going out.
I heard Alderman Murray Stewart label Alice Springs the “participation
capital of Australia”. He’s spot on. Never before in all my travels
have I known a
town that so whole-heartedly embraces its social aspect. Don’t you
people like your families?
Every day of the week for the past couple of months there has been at
least one social occasion for someone to attend.
From Desert Festivals to Bass in the Dust. From Henley on Todd to the
art exhibition at Mbantua. I’ve been to so many charity fundraisers I
anyone is short of a quid.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the option to either dress up, swank about
and pretend I know something about art or dress down, large it up and
pretend I know something about footy. With the amount of choice
available there is something for whatever mood I might be in.
There is however a statement made at these dos. A whispered thought
that dare not be spoken too loud for fear of reprisal.
It is as though Lord Voldermort himself (or perhaps just Eugene
Raghiantti) might be waiting round the corner.
Perhaps if I let the cat out of the bag here in the Alice Springs News,
perhaps if I have the courage to say this thing, then others might feel
to speak their mind.
Here goes … is there, maybe, just a bit too much on in town?
There I’ve said it. Maybe there aren’t enough people good at tofu
origami in town to have an exhibition, let alone a retrospective.
See it’s not just the audience that is spread thin, it’s also the
participants. I hate to say it but I think a couple of the events that
I saw at the Desert Festival fell victim to the “just because you like
doing it doesn’t mean you
have to be good at it” scenario.
Thinning the herd is only one part of the Connelly plan for the
eradication of social congestion.
Perhaps we need to work out some sort of schedule. The council can
A calendar could be placed in the civic centre. Those who wish to put
on a do have to “bags” a date and pay a fee. Three dos a day maximum.
I can’t understand the logic behind the social void that will greet us
in the summer months when there are at present perfectly good indoor
won’t cause sunstroke, but are causing social calendar conflict.
How on earth are the people of Alice Springs meant to cope with the
double ups. like a couple of weeks ago when the Henley on Todd clashed
almost to the minute with the CAFL grand final.
Both events are of large enough community significance yet the crowd
was split between those who wanted to watch people get dirty and sweaty
on the sand and those who wanted to watch people get dirty and sweaty
on the grass. How dare they make us make such a
In fact as a small protest I have made a rather staggering decision.
Tomorrow night, I’m going to stay home and cook a meal. Revolutionary I
know. A home cooked meal at my place. What a brilliant idea. In fact if
goes well I might sell tickets to the next one.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,– I am writing to congratulate you on your excellent September 21
cover page. The cover articles by Kieran Finnane were positive,
constructive, and enjoyable to read.
The article about Steve Brown directly addressed some of our real
everyday and long-term problems, by presenting a vision of Alice as a
place very different and “more colorful than any other town” and that
change will be a “huge lift and a boon for the town.”
It was the best article I have ever read about Alice’s future, and a
welcome relief from the critical tone of many other articles.
The other article about the Desert Mob show was also intelligent and
full of useful information, seen through the eyes of an obviously
I hope these cover articles are followed by many others like it.
It may make a real contribution to how we see and improve our town!
Sir,– Once again the ratepayers have to thank the Alice Springs
News (Sept 14) for informing them that the Mayor attended a meeting on
the Tyeweretye proposed “donga” site, with Mal Brough when he ‘popped
Where were the people we elected to run the town, where were the
alderpersons that we might have expected to put forward the views of a
very large number of people, who do not want ‘dongas’ there or anywhere
else inside the town area in strict contravention of the ASTC
Since the alderpersons do not appear to be unduly disturbed at not
being informed of the meeting and appear to be quite content to
sit back and
listen to a ‘one man band’, perhaps a public meeting should be arranged
Mal Brough be invited, so that the town can voice its opinions and
the alderpersons have so far failed to do.
ED – To be fair, aldermen were indignant at not being invited to the
meeting with Mal Brough, which was apparently called at short notice.
The Alice News quoted Alds Samih Habib and Robyn Lambley on this
subject in the article ‘Drying
out The Alice’ in its Sept 14 issue.
Sir,– Just in time for the five year anniversary of 9/11, one of your
stories in the September 7 issue covered the construction of a new
fence on Schwarz Crescent. It seems the seismic station run by the US
Air Force is now safe from suicide bombers and other Osama types.
This goes a long way toward alleviating any fears we in Alice Springs
may have concerning our vulnerability in today’s terror-franchised
world. An unambiguous
message has now been sent.
To borrow from Greg Palast’s darkly hilarious book, “Armed Madhouse”,
we are saying, “Better target a car park, Ahmed.
They’re watching the Yankee Crossing.”
Sir,– Thank you, Alice News. Your article last year on using
sub-contractors to build your own home inspired me to do the same when
renovating my house.
I had spent several months trying to get quotes from builders and most
were too busy even to quote. After reading your article I rang a
builder in town and told him my idea to be my own project
He was great, encouraged me and recommended some tradespeople I could
contact. This builder did not even know me so it was extremely kind of
him to be so helpful. So thank you to Peter Walsh.
I was amazed at how professional, helpful and reliable the vast
majority of the tradespeople were. I lacked even the knowledge for the
correct terms for things.
I thought that roof cladding was insulation!!
One day I had the two roofers, the plumber, the electrician, his
apprentice and two air-conditioning guys all working up on the roof on
a day when it was over 40 degrees. I did not hear one cross word or
It’s been an amazing experience and has renewed my faith in human
I would like to thank Steve Adler, the draughtsman, the staff at
Project Building certifiers, Adrian Basso and his team who did the
concreting, Steve Williams and his brother Robbie for doing the tiling,
Gary who did the bricklaying, Darryl Cannell and his off-sider for the
roof work, Gavin O’ Toole and his apprentice for the electrical work,
Richard Kleeman for the plumbing, John Matteucci for the rendering,
Smaho Spahic for the painting, Simon Kilgariff for the shed, Alan
Hildebrandt, Chris Wilkinson for the cabinet making and Gareth, who
Also thank you so much to family and friends who helped us in many ways
including looking after the children while all this was happening,
without us even asking for help.
What a great bunch of people!
Back to frontpage the Alice Springs News.