November 2, 2006. This page contains all major reports and comment pieces in the current edition.

The Central Land Council (CLC) has been holding up progress on the Mereenie Loop Road for some five years by refusing access to gravel and water needed for the construction work.
At the same time Tourism NT, and the Alice-base industry lobby CATIA, are sitting on plans to use the road ­ once sealed ­ as the key to developing tourism in the region, turning ‘round the industry’s stagnation, if not recession, in and near Alice Springs.
“We are in a holding pattern on a whole marketing strategy for this region,” says CATIA manager Craig Catchlove.
“We can redefine the whole of Central Australia once this road is sealed.
“And yes, if we’d had it five years ago we’d be in a much better position than we are now.”
Mr Catchlove says the project is at the “core to to repositioning, redefining, re-branding Central Australia” and crucial to entice to The Alice the “190,000 people a year who go to The Rock and don’t come to Alice Springs”.
It is understood the traditional owners and the Territory Government’s Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority have given the all clear for the work on the road, now known as the Red Centre Way.
However, the CLC is refusing to sign off on it because there is no agreement with the government over the level of compensation to be paid should any damage to sites occur.
Ken Porter, tourist park manager at the model Wallace Rockhole community, and married into the prominent Aboriginal Abbott family, says he’s attended several meetings at which the issues were raised.
“The traditional owners want the sealing to go ahead,” says Mr Porter. “They are tired of the bad road conditions.
“The problem, as I understand it, is with the CLC and the NT Government not being able to make a deal.”
Says Minister for Central Australia Elliot McAdam: “The project is critical for our tourism development and we’ll continue to work as hard as we can with the CLC.”
Asked why he wasn’t calling on Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough to intervene, Mr McAdam said: “I believe the proper way to get things done is to negotiate to get a satisfactory outcome. We want it resolved.
“As Minster for Central Australia I work with the appropriate Territory Ministers and the CLC and I’m confident we’ll get an outcome there.”
Asked when that is likely to be Mr McAdam said: “I can’t say.”
The CLC did not respond to a request for comment.
The road works have been on the drawing board since before Labor came to power in 2001: the CLP government had planned to upgrade the loop as a dirt road, and the new government agreed ­ upon CATIA’s urging, according to Mr Catchlove ­ to proceed with a seal.
Millions of dollars were allocated in successive NT Budgets but only partially spent and the remainder carried forward.
Some $13m is being spent this year but further work will need the sites agreement.
“We are going to have a problem if this is not fixed before the end of this year,” says Mr Catchlove.
“The Haasts Bluff Land Trust work must start next year.”
Mr Catchlove says the strategy involving the new road “is how we make everyone who comes to Central Australia come to Uluru and Alice Springs and everything in between.
“We’re joining the dots of all our major icons, the West MacDonnells, Gosses Bluff, through the Haasts Bluff area to King’s Canyon and off to Uluru, a holistic package for Central Australia.
“At the moment we’re a bitsy destination ­ from Alice Springs, out a bit, left a bit, down a bit, ‘round a bit.
“It’s no wonder travel agents hate it.”
Talks with the CLC had been going on for five years, says Mr Catchlove, but “we have no authority to bang a table and say, you must do this or that.
“It’s up to the NT Government, with the CLC, to fix this.
“But we still have a 100% commitment from the NT Government to complete that road even though it’s doubled in price, to $70m.”

The homegrown events ­ Wearable Arts, the Wild Foods competition, the Bush Bands Bash ­  were the big successes of this year’s Alice Desert Festival, a public forum on the festival and its future agreed.
They led in terms of creativity, particpation, audience enthusiasm. Wearable Arts, recognised as the shining star to date, needs to be brought into the main program, argued those attending. Acting chair of the festival committee, Scott Large, had reservations about this as many involved in Wearable Arts also participate in other events in the festival.
The street parade needs to launch the festival, not end it. It’s a good event to have at the end of the working week but not at the end of the festival: “Everyone’s too exhausted.”
It also needs to start on time: “You can’t explain to a three year old why it’s running late. “
Work with schools to become involved in the parade ­ for example, through their visual arts, dance and drama programs ­  needs to start early in the year.
The parade is a great way to involve people who may not otherwise take part in the festival.
The festival should be about building bridges in the community. Doing this involves finding new ways of involving a broader spectrum of people and particularly of bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together. Funding applications should be made for sport and recreation dollars; there’s no reason why the festival should be seen as an arts festival exclusively.
It was argued that security fencing and gate charges had kept many away from the Darwin Symphony Orchestra event in the river. Family tickets cost $50, singles $20/$15.
A charge of $5 for the Bush Bands Bash did not deter an audience of some 1500, more than 1000 of them Indigenous. The festival committee had greater Indigenous content as a goal this year and this event was deemed a success in this regard, said Mr Large.
There was general agreement that the investment in this year’s HUB Space had not been worthwhile: it was too big, dispersing audiences; too unattractive, in contrast to the vibrant  2005 HUB Space “which was probably too small for about one hour”.
There was discussion about possible alternative venues for the HUB, including Todd Mall, although there was also strong positive feeling about holding events in the river.
The possibility of having a biennial rather than annual festival was raised, but the majority feeling was to maintain an annual festival. Mr Large thought it would be almost as hard to get the momentum going biennially as annually.
There was discussion about alternative dates. Holding the festival in May rather than September has received a lot of support, said general manager Eugene Ragghianti.
The program needs much clearer presentation, including a clear calendar of events.
Marketing needs to put across a clear idea of what the festival product is, which this year’s television campaign, poster and associated artwork failed to do: “This comes back to supporting organisations on the ground involved in the arts and committed to developing the festival.”
The forum welcomed the commitment of Mr Ragghianti to stay on at the festival for a second year.
The importance of having artistic direction for the festival was emphasised.
Staffing roles are being reviewed by the committee, which is also seeking new blood and expertise.
It’s planned to form programming sub-committees and possibly a Friends of the Festival group.
The value of networking in the community was stressed, especially to provide community knowledge and continuity to incoming committee members and staff.
Ways of drawing volunteers into the festival need to be explored. Mr Large said some international backpackers had taken on important roles in this year’s festival.
It was agreed to hold a public discussion on the future vision of the festival in the near future.

A slanging match between the Central Australian Tourism Industry Association (CATIA) and its rebel executive member Chris Chambers has done little damage to his claims that the organization is under-performing, allowing The Rock to be promoted for years while Alice Springs went backwards.
His attack, using mainly government statistics over 20 years, last week painted a picture of decline unchecked by tourist commission (now called Tourism NT) initiatives (Alice News, Oct 26).
CATIA general manager Craig Catchlove, complaining of a “gratuitous attack on CATIA,” took aim at some of the figures.
He says 1985 visitor night statistics were an “anomaly” and without them the situation isn’t looking quite so bad.
Mr Chambers counter-claims that the 2005 stats, showing a recovery, may well also be an anomaly.
However figures released by Tourism NT (the former tourism commission) this week do indicate that the recovery is continuing.
Visitor nights increased in the Alice region (not including The Rock) in the year ending June 2006 when compared to the year before: largely because of increased stays, the interstate figure was up 25.4% to 608,900 and up 11% to 584,800 for overseas visitors.
Nevertheless, CATIA’s annual meeting tonight is bound to agonize over other indicators highlighted by Mr Chambers last week, and added to by Ken Porter, tourist park manager at the model Wallace Rockhole Aboriginal community, and married into the influential Abbott family.
He says in 1999 the community had visits from an average of 655 tourists a month. This year the figure is almost half at 385.
“It’s a backward spiral all the time,”  says Mr Porter.
But the bickering about visitor nights, numbers and expenditure is futile because until about two years ago, the NT Government didn’t supply separate figures for Alice Springs and Ayers Rock.
This deliberate obfuscation was a strategy by successive CLP governments, a ploy retained for some years by the ALP, to conceal the damage The Rock was doing to The Alice in the tourist game.
“Figures weren’t collected for Alice Springs. That’s been the bane of our lives for so long,” says Mr Catchlove. So what stopped CATIA from doing its own research, independent from the commission, over which CATIA is meant to have watchdog function?
Mr Catchlove concedes the business in town declined until 1997, rose to a high until 2001 when it was zapped by 9/11 and SARS, hitting rock bottom in 2003. On the numbers there appears to be a recovery now but one can’t be sure until the full 2006 figures are out.
That leaves Mr Chambers’ other indicators unchallenged.
They include sharp drops in visitation of beauty spots in the West MacDonnells; the complete or partial withdrawal from the trade of a dozen accommodation houses with a loss of nearly 500 rooms; a reduction from an average length of stay of 9.8 days (Mr Catchlove says “it was actually more than six”) in 1985 to 3.6 days in 2005; sharp drops in Alice Springs room rates, indicating a drop in demand, while The Rock went through the roof (“probably very true”); town tours with dwindling passengers (“we don’t monitor town tour numbers”); a major bus company moving its operations to Yulara (“rumors are out there”); and so on.
The wrangle ­ again ­ raises the question why CATIA, via the NT Government, is powerless to stop the Central Land Council from holding the region to ransom over the Mereenie Loop Road (see our lead story).
CATIA has one member at the Ayers Rock Resort ­ Voyages, part of the $6b GPT Group.
In Alice Springs CATIA has 317 members, many of them grumbling.
What’s been the trend for visitor nights in Alice Springs over the past 20 years, we asked Mr Catchlove.
“I’d have to look at that figure but the end result is we are not generally trending down.”
How can a lobby tolerate a government sponsoring promotion leading to this kind of inequity (figures courtesy Mr Chambers): from 2003 to 2004 the average spend by a visitor to Alice Springs grew from $452 to $513 (12%). The corresponding figures for the Ayers Rock Resort were $659 to $912 (38%).
If the Mereenie Loop Road (now called The Red Centre Way) is the answer to all these woes, the government ­ and CATIA ­ had better get a wriggle-on.


“I think Alice Springs is without a doubt the most important regional location in the whole of Australia, in the context of what it can offer in the future.
“The vision for Alice Springs, for Central Australia, is to have a very strong and sustainable economy, built around the tourist industry and the pastoral industry.
“I see an emerging horticultural industry. I see the region being a world leader in arid zone research and development through Desert Knowledge and the Solar City project. We are a very unique part of Australia, and with the right strategies the opportunities are endless.”
That’s the enthusiastic view of Elliot McAdam, the new Minister for Central Australia, The Centre’s voice in Darwin.
He spoke with Alice Springs News editor ERWIN CHLANDA about a wide range of issues, including some from the development manifesto on which community leaders have commented in recent editions of the Alice Springs News ­ see

NEWS: There are calls for a broad revolution in Aboriginal affairs: people say we must move away from nurse maiding perpetually dependent and supposedly incompetent people. We must forge a partnership focussing on realizing the vast commercial potential of this region and the enjoyment of its superb environment by all races. That will require, over time, a fundamental change of personnel dealing with Aborigines, in government as well as NGOs, currently the remnants of bureaucrats and social workers who over 30 years have brought about failure and misery on a massive scale, ignoring or suppressing the resilience and resourcefulness of Aborigines here.
McADAM: There’s no doubt about it, things do need to change and I believe we’ve actually been taking steps in that regard. You only need to look at our local government reform. It’s going to provide security and certainty, in a framework that’s recognised Australia wide. It will mean we don’t go to Canberra with our hands tied behind our backs in terms of road funding [Alice News, Oct 26]. 99% of the Territory is un-incorporated. We’re not getting $16m to $22m a year for roads from Canberra for that reason. We’ll be competing for road money on the same terms as the other states. A regional shire type model will provide a greater capacity for the management and governance of communities. Now we’ve got some 63 councils out there.
NEWS: But how will that make people more productive in a commercial, private-enterprise sense?
McADAM: These are separate issues. Local government is just that, the provision of local government services.
NEWS: So what’s the economic future in the bush?
McADAM: The cattle industry in The Centre has always been marginal but in the Top End and the Barkly there is great capacity to grow cattle production. It’s important to understand that it’s only since we’ve been in government we’ve been able to engage with the Northern and Central Land Councils, to bring about 12 properties back into production. You’re talking 35,000 head of cattle this year alone.
NEWS: Are these stations run by Aborigines or leased out to other producers?
McADAM: It’s a combination of both. Some Indigenous people have come back into the industry and some land is for agistment [of other people’s cattle]. The NT Cattlemen’s Association has just reached an agreement with CLC for employment and training opportunities. That’s a highlight of this government’s work. The same applies to mining. The previous government had between 900 and 1100 applications on their desk because they didn’t want to negotiate. There was a pretty toxic relationship that was holding up the Territory. We’ve been able to negotiate with the land councils and the land councils [have come to agreements] in respect to almost all of those applications, and more. There’s been a big turnaround in the last four to five years.
NEWS: Mr McAdam, your government wants to transfer ownership of national parks to Aboriginal interests, through a landrights process controlled by Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough. He may well now take the view that this no longer makes sense. The chances of native title claims, which in the wake of the Ward High Court decision may trigger land rights claims, look a lot less likely to succeed since the Yulara and Darwin claims have been rejected. Mr Brough’s own land commissioner has disposed of land rights claims over 15 parks in Central Australia. The sunset clause for new land claims kicked in nearly 10 years ago. Mr Brough may well say: “Your parks strategy is no longer a land rights issue. If you want to give ownership of your parks to a minority then do it under your own legislation and suffer the consequences. Don’t drag me into it.”
McADAM: That’s entirely up to Brough. The Northern Territory Government has made its decision. I doubt very much that the Commonwealth would attempt to in any way overturn this parks joint management proposal.
NEWS: What kind of development would you like to see in the parks?
McADAM: There are lots of opportunities, eco-tourism, opportunities for Indigenous tourism, small enterprises such as camel tours. Over time people will invest and grow the market and they will value-add to Alice Springs. There are many investment opportunities and they will be driven by demand.
NEWS: Under your government’s parks policies Indigenous applicants would need to be given preference in the allocation for business concessions within the parks. If you have a cumbersome and restrictive regime for concessions, no-one will be putting up their hand to build a hotel or even run a sausage stall. According to a government brochure, “the leases require preference to be given to the participation of the traditional owners in any commercial activities conducted in the park.”
McADAM: I don’t think it works that way at all. My understanding is, for example, if someone wanted to develop a five star accommodation, or four wheel drive tours, that would be subject to the normal planning processes. Remember, we’re talking about joint management. Obviously, the Indigenous people involved in the management, along with the NT government parks people, will be making commercial decisions based on what’s viable and what’s not. It won’t necessarily follow there will be a veto [by Aborigines].
NEWS: According to the Central Australian Tourist Association [CATIA] the Mereenie loop road is the centre piece around which your tourist commission is building a strategy for revitalising the flagging tourism industry in The Centre. Essentially, the strategy is based on round trips between Uluru and Alice Springs, taking in the many attractions along the way, and eliminating backtracking. It’s claimed this will make the destination much easier to sell. Yet first the upgrading, and now the sealing of the Mereenie loop road has been delayed for five years or more by the refusal of the Central Land Council (CLC) to grant access to gravel and water. Why has your government not put its foot down over this?
McADAM: Discussions with the CLC are ongoing.
NEWS: But they’ve been ongoing for a very long time.
McADAM: The project is critical for our tourism development and we’ll continue to work as hard as we can with the CLC.
NEWS: I understand the CLC is holding Central Australia’s major industry to ransom, why don’t you call on Mr Brough to intervene?
McADAM: I believe the proper way to get things done is to negotiate to get a satisfactory outcome. We want it resolved. As Minster for Central Australia I work with the appropriate Territory Ministers and the CLC.
NEWS: The establishment of facilities for international flights to Alice Springs must be accelerated and given priority. The Alice is ideally situated to become a hub for national and international flights in and to Australia. An example of international hub and spoke airports is Denver, Colorado. As the owner of the Yulara airport, the NT Government must prevent any moves towards international flights there, but the Ayers Rock Resort will benefit from an upgrading of Alice Springs.
McADAM: The market drives this.
NEWS: Your government owns the airport at Yulara. Can you have a say about turning it into an international airport?
McADAM: Government is not going to interfere with the private marketplace. We’ve entered into an agreement about the airport with the operators of Yulara and they themselves will drive that forward. Government has a role in the context of a broader strategy, in terms of the Alice Springs tourism market, and how it can be linked [to the Ayers Rock Resort].
NEWS: You wouldn’t stop the resort from making the airport there an international airport?
McADAM: I don’t think government has that kind of role at all. What we are very mindful of is how do we grow Alice Springs, how do we complement, how do we value-add. You do it through marketing, and I’m not a marketing expert. You’d need to talk to Hendo [Paul Henderson] about this.
NEWS: The parks administration and the tourist commission used to be headquartered in Alice Springs. Is there a chance if them coming back?
McADAM: I’m a great supporter of regional development, and I’ll be talking to the Ministers about this. It’s important to have a regional focus, that management decisions are made on a regional basis, bearing in mind they have to fit into the broader strategy. If it’s at all possible to return some of the parks management and administration to Alice Springs then I’ll be very happy to take this up and drive it forward.
NEWS: A couple more from the manifesto: The government should put 50% of the Tourist Commission budget, around $20m, at the disposal, for tourism promotion, of Alice-based community interests, such as the Chamber of Commerce, in consultation with the Town Council and CATIA.
McADAM: I don’t think you should be prescriptive. We’re here to promote all of the Northern Territory but I would expect the Central Australian region to get more than what is an adequate share of the marketing.
NEWS: Charles Darwin University (CDU) should establish a fully fledged campus in Alice Springs, with comprehensive courses and local staff, enticing families with tertiary education age children to stay in town.
McADAM: [The administrators of CDU] are charged with running the university. They will make the decision some time in the future whether there should be a full fledged campus down here. I don’t oppose it.
NEWS: Should the power station, the dump and the sewage plant be moved to Brewer Estate?
McADAM: I’m happy to talk as the Minister for Local Government but it’s also a planning issue. But if I’m approached by the Alice Springs Town Council I’m more than happy to engage in discussions with them and I’m certain the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning would [be happy to look at it] as well. I’ve not had any approach from the council.
NEWS: The approach would need to come from the council?
McADAM: Absolutely, and the moment they do that I’ll be happy to engage with them.
NEWS: People are saying the government needs to put in place effective flood mitigation for Alice Springs. It’s claimed failure to do so will have catastrophic consequences as global warming will cause rainstorms to become more frequent and ferocious. A Federal moratorium is ruling out a dam upstream from the Telegraph Station until 2012 but should that be revisited? There have been big changes in representation of local indigenous people, most notably the formation of the native title organisation Lhere Artepe. The boffins are saying only a dam can protect the town from a major flood. This can either be a dry or a wet dam.
McADAM: My understanding is that effective flood mitigation strategies are in place at this point in time. I would not be advocating any form of dam at this point in time but clearly, this is an issue that needs a lot more discussion.
NEWS: What sort of discussion would you like to see?
McADAM: The discussion would have to be about science. That’s the bottom line. I’m not aware of any studies saying that a dam would be the solution to the flood mitigation strategy.

In Alice Springs there are many dangerous creatures.
In the cities there are dangerous things as well. I would hate for you to think that those from larger centres are all soft, latte-sipping toffs.
Many are, but many are not.  The dangerous creatures I faced before coming to Alice Springs were not the slithery scaly types, nor were they eight-legged creatures with fangs but rather the two-legged variety.
The Alice is not immune to these creatures either. There are many ‘characters’ here in town. Some of them deserve their status. Their lives and outlook on life is unique and welcome.
But there are some who receive the moniker ‘town character’ simply because there is no other category in which to put them. A very wise man once said that we should be judged by the content of our character. Being a 60 year old, thrice divorced, alcoholic loud mouth is not exactly what Dr King had in mind.
So I thought that using the fresh eyes of the somewhat outsider, I might be able to describe to you a couple of the dangerous creatures that inhabit the town. They may not bite but they’ll certainly sour your day.
Firstly there is a strange little creature known by the social zoologist as hippius ferralus or the common hippie. This is an introduced species to the region.
The common hippie has relocated to the semi-arid regions of Australia due to habitat loss. The inner urban squats they once called home are now the loft apartments of IT middle management and graphic designers.
These creatures are highly socially dangerous. One conversation, brief as it may be, and the victim will not only wish they had spent that time removing their own spleen with a spoon but will also walk away from the encounter with a sense of doom about the world no therapist could shake.
Luckily for us though the common hippie is not a stealth attacker. They are easily spotted in the wild.
The corduroy often worn by this species gives an aural sign of their approach. The matted hair and facial jewelry are conspicuous at the least, if not tough to look at, and their hatred of bathing mixed with patchouli and vegetarian diet makes the olfactory senses a great first test for the potential victim.
The common hippie is often found in parks twirling fire, at festivals performing mime or at markets selling hemp clothing.  Avoid where at all possible.
The second creature is slightly harder to distinguish in the wild. In fact the element of surprise is their main weapon.
Social zoologists have named this species alice impervious.
The alice impervious is a dangerous beastie for several reasons. Generally found at gala functions or public occasions these creatures’ main poison is their boundless love for Alice Springs.
This is a clever ruse because it is not until you are well into the conversation with the alice impervious that you realise that their uncompromising love for the Centre is generally for financial gain.
This creature outwardly finds no wrong in whatever happens in this town. They love it, nurture it and support it or at least they appear to do so. But this love affair is purely cosmetic. A ploy to lure victims to their economic vision.
They are blind to the social ills that plague the town. Why? Because those ills are bad for business and it is easier to pretend they don’t exist than to actually care.
They kill by insidiously sucking the marrow out of the town’s social fabric. Scavengers all, they appear incredibly friendly, social and fun. Sadly though once business goes bad, they are often found in Adelaide. Just like the bower bird their conversations and agendas are showy but ultimately for one purpose.
Unlike the common hippie, which is to be avoided at all cost, the alice impervious is to be ignored or actively challenged. Much like a barking dog.
So there you have, in true Attenborough fashion, the two most deadly creatures in Central Australia. Sadly there is no Rex from the Reptile Centre to come and take these beasts away should you find one on your kitchen floor. Now there’s a business opportunity.

Sir,­ Alice Springs Town Council will be approaching the NT Police Minister regarding violence in Alice Springs.  With every act of violence there are victims and perpetrators.
Whilst I believe the Police Minister needs to answer for the severe lack of services in our town, I do believe the source of the problem has been apparent for many years and needs to be addressed with intelligence and long term foresight.
Today I was approached by a member of the public whose child had been attacked and threatened by a group of teenage girls.  The police took no action against the perpetrators and offered little support or advice for the victim.
This is a terrible situation but let’s look at it more deeply.  The police are severely under-staffed, under-resourced or perhaps their energies are targetting different areas of law enforcement. So now our equation includes perpetrators, victims and an impotent police force.
 Let’s go deeper and complain to the Police Minister ­ no money, no ability to allocate more money, not enough police recruits.
What about the Chief Minister?
The budget did not allocate more resources for our region so her hands are tied.
The Federal Minister?  Mal Brough talks a lot but his understanding of the underlying issues seems a bit narrow and he certainly hasn’t got the millions in his back pocket or an army of police and social workers ready to march in.
So what do we do?  Many months ago I put it to council that we need to bring in expert social infrastructure planners to talk about how to build a network of services and facilities to make life more comfortable and appropriate for the people who live here.  This was voted down.
Now the situation is worse (or perhaps the complaints are getting louder) and we are going to go running to the Police Minister.  I don’t dispute that this needs to be done but I do believe that we need to consult experts, create a vision, assess the needs of our people and start to demand social services, entertainment and suppport for our town.  Why is the second largest city in the Territory missing out on our fair share of funding and services?
If you want to do something as simple as renovate your kitchen, you call the experts, so why is it that we are afraid to work with experts in regard to planning our town?
Jane Clark
Alice Springs
ED ­ Ms Clark is an alderman on the Alice Springs Town Council.

Dismayed by Mayor

Sir,­ Regarding A. L. Truman’s letter to the editor (Alice News, Oct 26).
I too am concerned at the remarks of our Mayor lately and her lack of loyalty to the town.
I was absolutely dismayed and surprised at her remarks during her speech at the opening of the Master’s Games.
To all our visitors, she ended her speech by saying “Leave our town as you find it.”.
What exactly did she mean by that?
Many people have commented to me that they thought it was rude and unnecessary.
It is not these visitors who mess up our town!
Remember our previous Mayor, and how passionate he was for the Alice and how he continually talked it up. Our current Mayor could well learn from his example.
Loraine Braham MLA
Alice Springs
Thanks all round

Sir, ­ On  behalf of Bosom Buddies, Alice Springs, I would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Masters Games Commitee for allowing our Breast Cancer Support Group to participate in the 5 Kilometre walk on Monday 23 October.
Our gratitude goes also to Noel Harris of the Alice Springs Running and Walking Club for assisting our preparation, and to the many officials and volunteers for their helpfulness on the day.
To Erwin Chlanda and staff of the Alice Springs News, and sponsors, thank you for the opportunity to highlight the activities of our support and advocacy group, and to promote the Walk in Pink, and the Spectacle of Balloons later in the day.
We were overwhelmed by the tremendous response of so many local people who joined us for the Walk in Pink, before heading off to begin the day’s work.
Our heartfelt thanks to you and to the visitors who also supported us.
We felt our twofold objective ­ to raise awareness of breast cancer, affecting one in eight women in Australia, and to promote the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle, in recovery from, and prevention of disease ­ was achieved.
Our ladies also enjoyed and appreciated the hospitality of the volunteers at Adelaide House, which looked superb decked out in pink balloons. Thank you, one and all!
Liz Locke, President,
Bosom Buddies NT
PO Box 9099, Alice Springs 0871

Sir,­ I am writing to thank the people of Alice Springs and in particular the dedicated staff of the emergency department at the Alice Springs Hospital.
I recently visited the Alice and soon after arrival was struck down by a mystery illness causing me to seek medical assistance at the emergency department of the Alice Springs Hospital.
Within two hours of my arrival my condition had been diagnosed and treatment commenced. I spent a couple of days in the emergency department and have since made a full recovery.
My care (and that of my visiting wife) was first class in what must surely be described as “trying” conditions ­ once again thanks and well done to all.
Steve Crossingham
Kempsey NSW

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