ALICE SPRINGS NEWS
March 24, 2011. This page contains all
major reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
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title body asked to 'show cause' why it should not be put into special
administration. By ERWIN CHLANDA.
Aboriginal native title body of Alice Springs, Lhere Artepe, has been
invited to show cause why it should not be placed under special
The move comes from the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous
It says Lhere Artepe's 2009/10 financial report is overdue.
The Alice Springs News has obtained a 10-page letter dated March 2,
2010 from ORIC to Lhere Artepe.
The letter says ORIC suspects "on reasonable grounds" that Lhere Artepe
has failed to comply with several Acts and rules, and lists about 40
occasions when this appears to have taken place.
The alleged breaches relate to keeping registers of members and
directors; audits and financial reports and dealings; and the recording
and holding of meetings.
ORIC Registrar Anthony Beven said this week a reply has been received
from Lhere Artepe but "we have gone back to seek further information.
"It is quite common for us to go back to a corporation before a
decision is made."
An ORIC policy document dealing with special administrations says they
enable the Registrar "to provide early proactive regulatory assistance
when a corporation experiences financial or governance difficulties.
"It is quite different to a receivership or voluntary administration
under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Corporations Act), which are
usually driven by the interests of creditors.
"Only the Registrar may place an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
corporation under special administration. The Registrar does not need
to apply to a court.
"The grounds for placing a corporation under special administration are
broad. They are not restricted to insolvency or the inability to pay a
"They allow early intervention once certain risk factors are present
and may avoid later corporate collapse.
"For example, a common risk factor is when a dispute between members
and the board has escalated to the point of interfering with the
operations of the corporation.
"This would be one reason for placing a corporation under special
administration and is an important special measure."
corporation has received substantial income from land sales, having
traded the relinquishment of native title for freehold ownership.
Both at Stirling Heights, at the western edge of Alice Springs, and in
Stephens Road, between the range and the golfcourse, Lhere Artepe
received freehold title over about half the land.
At Stirling Heights the corporation sold to a developer its share of
the land, as it is understood, for $2m.
In Stephens Road Lhere Artepe is developing residential land in its own
Recently the corporation is reported to have bought the three Foodland
supermarkets, each with a bottle shop.
Its diverse interests are reflected on its website.
The corporation's CEO, Daryl Pearce, said Lhere Artepe did not own the
businesses but declined to make further comment.
A newspaper advertisement in December by Lhere Artepe Enterprises
stated: "Not a cent of Native Title money has been used in the purchase
of the supermarkets, rather the funds were raised through the
Commonwealth Government's Aboriginal Benefit Account and local
benevolent foundation Centrecorp who have a similar vision to Lhere
Artepe Enterprises about the potential to alter the balance between
food and alcohol purchases.
"Commercial finance was also secured from the National Australia Bank
who have been great supporters of the purchase's capacity to bring
about positive social change."
Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation was formed in 2002 following the
Federal Court decision that native title was recognised to exist within
the Municipality of Alice Springs.
Its website says "the organisation now consists of four entities, each
sharing a vision for a safer, tidier, culturally rich and sustainable
Posted at 1830 CST on March 29: Mr
Pearce, through a lawyer, this afternoon provided the following
statement with respect to this report: "[The Alice Springs News]
included reference to Lhere
Artepe Charitable Trust, Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd and Lhere
Artepe Supermarkets [in an] article about Lhere Artepe Aboriginal
Corporation being requested to 'show cause' why it should not be placed
under special administration.
"The three above legal entities [are not] a cause of [nor are] in any
way, whether financial or otherwise, affected by the 'show cause'
notice directed to Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation."
Pearce also notified the News that "there is no such entity as Lhere
Artepe Charitable Trust and the [Lhere Artepe] website [from which the
News drew its information] is to be corrected".
Flood warning system flawed. By
Alice Springs police chief Anne-Marie Murphy does not acknowledge
official predictions of catastrophic destruction and major loss of life
in Alice Springs in the event of a one-in-100-year flood.
Commander Murphy, in reply to an Alice News report quoting
local resident and Arrernte woman Margie Lynch, says adequate warning
systems are in place for an evacuation.
However Commander Murphy, who is also the Regional Counter Disaster
Controller, does not explain how early warning would prevent
destruction of much of the town's centre, as predicted by the Power and
Water Authority (now Corporation) in its 1990 report.
And now the Town Council has cast doubt on the early warning system
Technical services officer Mark Pierson told the council he had asked
Gordon Jackson, from the Bureau of Meteorology, why the early warning
radar "seemed to go off-line during critical times" such as from
midnight to 6am during a major storm in the Northside about a year ago.
Mr Pierson says: "Mr Jackson replied that the same radar that tracked
the storm was required to track weather balloons used for high-level
synoptic analysis in the lead-up to a storm event, and that the same
radar could not do both tasks simultaneously.
"So the website radar went off-line for about six hours of every 24
hours in the lead-up to a storm event."
Mr Pierson says he asked whether the public and scientists would
benefit from a new Doppler radar in Alice Springs, and Mr Jackson had
replied that "Doppler radars were good but very expensive."
Mr Pierson was asking questions at a public information session also
attended by Margie Lynch and about which she complained.
He says: "I was then asked to keep my questions short."
A request for Federal funding for a new Doppler radar by Mayor Damien
Ryan had not yielded any result.
Mr Pierson says during the recent information evening, attended by the
NT Emergency Services and the Department of Natural Resources (NRETA),
when the exchanges took place, "there was no mention of any sort of
flood mitigation dam, levies, weirs or anything of that nature."
In preparation of our report on Ms Lynch's concerns about what she sees
as the town's lack of preparedness to cope with a major flood, we put
the following, as expressed by Ms Lynch, to NT Emergency Services:
• It’s all very well to say that there’s an evacuation centre at
Charles Darwin University – how will people get there, when there’s
also likely to be a lot of local flash flooding?
• How many people know what they are supposed to do?
• There’s no information regularly going out to people, no education.
• There’d be a huge panic.
• And how prepared would CDU be to receive people in a sudden emergency?
• What kind of supplies would be in place?
• If the Stott Terrace bridge was over-topped and the Eastside became
cut off from the rest of town, how would people such as the frail and
aged, the sick, the injured, be evacuated?
• Where would the helicopters come from? And how many people could fit
in them, realistically?
• And if the town goes under, what would happen to people on the
surrounding communities, outstations and cattle stations?
This is what Commander Murphy says in reply:-
"While it was understandable, given the recent flood events on the East
Coast, that some people’s fears of a similar occurrence here might be
heightened, Alice Springs has a Counter Disaster Plan which includes a
comprehensive flood plan.
"This plan covers all contingencies, including a 1 in 100 year flood,
and residents can be confident they will have adequate warning
should they be required to evacuate.
"The Alice Springs Flood Plan identifies evacuation centres, including
CDU, and agencies and their roles in the event of a flood.
"All contingencies are taken into account in the Plan, including
welfare, health, logistics and resources.
"This plan is regularly tested by the Counter Disaster Committee, whose
role it is to monitor such events as the Todd River flowing due to
"This monitoring is done in conjunction with NRETA (whose role it is to
monitor rainfall and water flow) and, in fact an NRETA member sits on
the Counter Disaster Committee as an advisor.
"Your concerned resident [Commander Murphy is referring to Ms Lynch
quoted in our report] is obviously unaware of the existence of the
Committee or their role, and I would be happy to meet with her to allay
her fears and take her through the current flood plan.
"In the meantime, the Counter Disaster Committee meets on a regular
basis – with or without heavy rain events, to ensure our readiness for
any event which would require a community-wide response.
"A comprehensive flood pamphlet is also available from the Alice
Springs Town Council, Police Station or Northern Territory Emergency
"The Counter Disaster Committee uses local media to provide timely and
accurate information to the public during any heavy weather event, and
residents can be reassured they will receive any warnings and advice in
plenty of time."
Old drive-in to become new
residential subdivision. By KIERAN FINNANE.
Minister Gerry McCarthy has rezoned the site of the old drive-in on the
Stuart Highway south of the Gap, paving the way for a residential
subdivision with a maximum of 74 lots.
The Alice News is making
enquiries about the status of the application
made by one of the site owners, Philip Danby, to revoke the heritage
status of part of the lot (including the screen from the old drive-in).
The rezoning instrument makes
some stipulations with respect to the "amenity" of the future
subdivision. These include:
• a minimum lot size of 400sqm;
• a minimum of 10% of the
subdivision area as public open space, with pedestrian links to that
public open space;
• a road and intersection
design encouraging low vehicle speeds and a pedestrian friendly
environment and a safe connection to Karnte Road (with no vehicle
access from the Stuart Highway).
The instrument also stipulates
"a feature wall along the boundary with the Stuart Highway providing
high value visual and acoustic benefits for residents and the public".
As well a 1.8m high solid
screen fence will have to be erected along the boundary with Lot 8051,
the Yirara College site.
Within the subdivision there
will be landscaping and no solid fencing between the building alignment
and the primary street boundary.
Consent uses for the
subdivision include bed and breakfast accommodation, community centre,
multiple dwellings and supporting accommodation.
Don't trust Territory with Federal money.
By ERWIN CHLANDA.
The use of Federal money for Aboriginal support programs in the
Northern Territory should be under direct control of Canberra rather
than being channelled through the Northern Territory Government.
This is a policy under consideration by the Federal Opposition,
apparently with support from Territory politicians.
Country Liberals Senator Nigel Scullion (pictured) said today: "Given
the history of the waste and mismanagement by the Northern Territory
Government, particularly in bigger programs, I would find it difficult
to accept you would continue with that process rather than directly
funding organizations under some contractual arrangement of delivery."
He says there should be "direct funding of some form rather than
channelling funding through the NT Government.
"One would hope the Commonwealth has learned its lessons of the past.
The NT Government has been "notoriously bad in the use of funds and
notoriously inefficient," says Senator Scullion.
"You can't just give money to the NT Government and come back next week
and expect the job to be done, and the money to have been allocated in
the way that you thought is should be allocated.
"All the efforts in Central Australia should have a [Federal]
In some areas this policy is already in place.
Senator Scullion says in the $670m SIHIP Aboriginal housing program the
Commonwealth, "embarrassingly for the Northern Territory, they actually
had to place Commonwealth staff in NT Government departments to ensure
the job was in fact being done".
This morning Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, speaking on the ABC,
suggested the number of police officers in Alice Springs should be
increased from 200 to 300, there should be strict enforcement of
drinking laws in the town camps, and school attendance should be
Senator Scullion says under the Federal Intervention alcohol
restrictions are strictly enforced in the bush communities but "have
never been applied to the Alice Springs town camps".
Senator Scullion was asked whether the Opposition policies suggest that
after nearly 10 years in power, the NT Labor government has not been
able to get a handle on the problem, in fact has presided over a
worsening of it.
He said: "There is no doubt about that. These are very complex issues
and need a sophisticated approach across jurisdictions if it's going to
work" and the NT Government "do need a bit of a wake-up in those
Senator Scullion says he was Alice Springs last week for meetings with
Independent MLA Alison Anderson (MacDonnell), CP MLA Adam Giles
(Braitling) and Indigenous leaders.
Good dialogue, good
actors. By KIERAN FINNANE.
Good dialogue spoken by good actors
is one of the most powerful things that can be put on the theatrical
stage. Writer Luke Scholes delivered the lines on the page, and actors
Cameron Boon and Sascha Keet, under the guidance of director Darrell
Holmes, brought them to life in the short play For As Long As It Will
This was one of six short plays
staged at Aralunen last Friday for this year's Bite Sized Theatre
event. Previously presented by the now defunct Red Dust Theatre – who
were rightly thanked in the program for their contribution to Central
Australian theatre – this year's event was presented by Red Hot Arts
In Scholes' play a seemingly banal
situation intensifies by the minute. The character played by Boon is
having a lawn sale (the Alice version of a garage sale) before heading
off on a trip to India. The sole customer we see is an old friend
(played by Keet – both pictured
at right). Little by little through their superficially laconic
exchange – of dialogue, objects and money – we come to understand that
the old friend loves the woman who has just left the Boon character. In
the process of buying the left-over detritus of the couple's life he
tries to find out where the woman is now and how he can get in touch
with her. But that is one thing that is not for sale.
Boon played his role with the right
mixture of despondency and cynicism; and Keet his with the right
mixture of naive insensitivity and self-righteousness. Together they
were droll and potent and this little production set the bar high for
Interestingly the play that followed
it in the program, Borroloola by Terri Howison, had a similar theme:
the friendship of two men strained by their love of the same woman.
This was also an effective piece of theatre, directed by Steve Hodder
and very well played by Don Mallard and Felix Meyer. It was slightly
marred by a couple of lines delivering bits of information to the
audience that jarred the dialogue. And it also lost some energy when
Meyer left the stage and Mallard took over in monologue. This had a
slackening effect, a writing problem rather than a performance one.
Tighter writing and pacing would
lift Franca Barraclough's Car-e-ok (photo
Directed by Melissa Kerl, this had some very funny moments, the central
zany idea – using karaoke in couples therapy – being trademark
Barraclough. She played the counsellor in her very entertaining
idiosyncratic performance style and Miriam Pickard, as the young wife
who can't shake the habit of sleeping around, was excellent.
The evening ended with the musically
and visually impressive Confined, written and performed by Tammy
Brennan, directed by Kerzlake. What we saw at Bite Sized was an extract
from a longer work. I will be curious to see how the whole
some sense of drama. The extract was relentlessly focussed on the
pyschic turmoil of the sole character, a young woman. It was hard not
to feel a bit ground down by it, as was also the case with Malcolm by
Leni Shilton, about the unrelieved misery of a young man's life on the
To conclude with the evening's
start, Craig Mathewson's The Futures was a clever idea, held brightly
together by Kerzlake's sparkling performance as The Trader, but it went
in somewhat predictable directions with its three characters who trade
their present for a future they think they want.
ARROW: My dog loves
true, my dog really loves cheese. She has learned to recognise the
rustle of the plastic wrapper, trotting to the kitchen in Pavlovian
hope. I cannot deny her, I love her very much and the look in her brown
eyes is impossible to ignore. Too much gives her wind however, so the
treat is small. Dog farts are nasty.
Writing is a funny game, I’m never quite sure how it’s going to end up.
I have read books on “how to write” and they go on about all sorts of
tedious sounding plot planning and the like. If I had planned this
week’s stuff, dog farts wouldn’t have made it in I’m sure. All I know
is that the words come reasonably easily, the process brings me
pleasure and there is a lot to be said for anything that satisfies
without costing a lot of money or heartache. I guess for me it’s
like playing music, I have a rough idea of what works and what doesn’t
and certainly have a good idea of what I like. Hopefully other people
like it too but that’s not the reason I like playing so much. It’s just
a fun thing to do.
Sometimes people like the music a bit too much and get funny ideas
about you as a person. They start to show up at gigs and stare at the
person of interest, even if no reciprocating feelings are expressed and
this can all get a bit uncomfortable.
There was a strange lady that developed a fixation for me (so I
thought) that made my playing at Bo’s rather difficult a few
ago. She turned up one night we played and stood right in front of me
as we got ready to start, waiting. At the first note she went into a
frenzy of arm-swinging dance moves, thrashing around and making sultry
eye contact the whole while. When the song finished she switched off,
had a sip of water and resumed the position. Music starts, off she goes
again, right in front of me. I got through a couple of songs with a
nervous smile fixed to my dial, waiting for her to give it a rest and
go away for a while but she stayed for the whole set.
We took a break and I thought that would be the end of it. Nup, as I
headed to the mic, there she was, limbering up like Usain bloody Bolt
before the 100 meters. My freaked-outness must have been plain to see
'cos after the first song some wag called out, “Take one for the team
Shaun”, and the whole room laughed. Bastards.
The next night she was back in her position down the front but this
time she was in a bright pink satin dress that was too small for her,
bulging in strange and not entirely flattering places. Security dubbed
her “the busted arse hot dog woman” as she resembled a frankfurter that
had been on the boil for too long and the name stuck. This went on for
a couple of weeks until I finally went to see Chris and pleaded my case
for having her removed once and for all. When he finally stopped
sniggering he pointed out that she hadn’t actually done anything wrong,
made no attempt to speak to me and generally was pretty entertaining
for the rest of the punters. Back to the trenches.
A couple of nights later I went in to Bo’s for a catch up drink when we
weren’t playing and imagine my surprise. There was poor old Phil
singing away with his eyes screwed shut and the B.A.H.D.W gyrating
madly in front of him. It wasn’t about me after all, whoever was up
there was fair game. What a relief. I sat with Chris and the boys at
the back of the room and had a good giggle. Then she disappeared and I
never saw her again.
MOZZIE BITES with RONJA
MOSS: Proper desert boogying.
Feet Dance Collective –
the name speaks for itself. Wild and enthusiastic movement here in the
centre of Australia, proper desert boogying! Everyone can get down and
dirty, when the Dusty Feet Flash Mob spring into town!
OK! OK! Before I get too ahead of myself, let me explain. Set up by two
local dancers, Miriam and Sila, about two years ago, Dusty Feet is a
dance company for professional and amateur dance artists. Their styles
include Indigenous-inspired dance, cabaret, Broadway, musical theatre,
jazz, funk, contemporary, and hip hop. I'd been hearing all kinds of
confusing titles for this group of groovers over the past year – The
Collective, The Crew, Flash Mob. “What? What? What?!” I wanted to yell.
“Who is who? Is it all the same thing?” Luckily I had to write this
article, so I actually did some research and found out!
There are many parts to the company's whole and the reason for this is
the creators wanted all Alice dancers to have a situation where they
would be able to progress at their own level. So they came up with an
ingenious system of having individual groups and classes of skill, but
all under an umbrella title. Firstly there is Dusty Feet Collective,
the professionals who choreograph pieces for corporate happenings like
the races, Convention Centre events and the Alice Desert
There are also Dusty Feet Kids who perform at occasions such as The
Eisteddfod, and the Dusty Feet Crew who perform hip hop pieces all over
town. Then there is the Dusty Feet Flash Mob, a particularly
interesting branch-off in my opinion.
After the death of the great Michael Jackson, the movement of flash
dance to the tune ‘Beat It’ launched all over the world (Stockholm and
Tokyo just to name a few cities involved.) Members of the public met in
secret to practice the dance and then organized a surprise public show
where they could perform on mass to honor the King of Pop. Dusty Feet
Flash Mob was created to bring Alice up to speed with the demands of
the global dance community!
For years now I've wanted to be able to express myself through the
movement of my body, but I’d never had the guts to join a class. Born
with two left feet and an uncanny disposition to move whatever I’m
being told not to, the idea of stepping in front of that too closely
mirrored bar, and trying to frolic with grace brings tears to the eyes.
However, I had been told that The Dusty Feet Adult Beginners lessons,
at the Alice Springs Youth Centre, were totally approachable and easy
to step into. So on Tuesday I decided to stop being such a scaredy cat
and joined the inclusive class. I did not regret it! Elspeth Blunt, the
class coordinator cheered me on, “Don’t worry! This is the class for
the wall flowers!” By the end of the night I felt comfortable. I think
at one point I was even in time to the music!
The Adult Beginners classes are held always on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm.
They run in four-week themed periods. This past month was dedicated
again to MJ, King of Pop and the next session, starting on April 12,
will be a Beyonce special for woman and girls only. If you have a drive
to learn dance, but have always felt too unco, or embarrassed here is
your opportunity to live out your dreams!
Dusty Feet Crew will also be performing at Harmony in The Youth Hub on
the April 1, so keep your eyes peeled and shoes a-tappin’ for that!