Story Archive » Volume 18 » Alice Springs News, Issue 30 »

August 25, 2011

Alice turning into a fly-in, fly-out mining camp?

A Darwin business has set up a fly-in, fly-out operation in Alice Springs, according to industry sources.

Quality Plumbing & Building Contractors has put dongas on an industrial block corner Smith and Priest Streets apparently to accommodate staff flying in from Darwin.

It appears the dwellings are in conflict with the zoning – General Industry – of the 5000 square meter block, and no planning and building applications have been made so far.

The owner of the business, Stavros Kantros, declined to comment.

Earlier this year the company won a $4.4m contract from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services to carry out repairs and maintenance of Territory Housing dwellings for 12 months.

The Alice Springs company previously doing that work has laid off staff.

Alice Springs based electrician Steve Brown, who had sub-contracted to the previous operator, says he made an approach to the Darwin firm, which was rejected, and Mr Kantros refused to take his calls.

Meanwhile Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, has announced the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia would inquire into and report on the use of “fly-in fly-out” and “drive-in drive-out” workforce practices in regional Australia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photos above and below: Apparently unauthorized dongas on the industrial block.


Camel and campfire: iron chef, bush style

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Camel meat cooked over a campfire: that was the challenge for two apprentice chefs from leading hotels in Alice Springs when they entered the Wild Bushfoods ‘iron chef’ competition last Sunday.

Rajeev Chhefri, from the Chifley Resort, and Jeff Campbell from the Crowne Plaza produced two dishes: Rajeev, a camel roulade and a camel stir-fry; Jeff, a camel tapas and a dessert – date and wattle-seed tiramisu with lemon myrtle popcorn. The sweet-toothed judges gave Jeff the win.

Domestic cooks again showed their flair in the first heat of the Recipe Competition. In the dessert category first-time entrant Ronja Moss (of Mozzie Bites fame) took out the heat, with her Full Desert Moon flan (pictured), featuring quandongs, macadamia nuts and wattleseed. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Desert shrinks get global gong


If the term psychotherapy conjures for many the image of a bearded Sigmund Freud in early 20th century Vienna putting his patients on the couch, the Sixth World Congress for Psychotherapy has a mind-expanding surprise in store. Aptly titled World Dreaming, the event in Sydney on August 26 will honour with its Sigmund Freud Award the contribution to the field of psychotherapy by Aboriginal ngangkari (traditional healers) from the Pit Lands in Central Australia. Pictured are ngangkari Iluwanti Ken, Naomi Kantjurin and Maringka Burton (photo by RHETT HAMMERTON) and Toby Ginger, Rupert Peter and Andy Tjilari (photo by ANGELA LYNCH). Both courtesy NPY Women’s Council. FULL STORY »

What leads to people thinking about suicide?

Patterns of behaviour emerge from the sad stories of suicide. In the wake of the recent tragic deaths by suicide of five young Aboriginal people in our region, the Alice Springs News spoke to Craig San Roque, a psychotherapist and member of the steering committee of Life Promotion, Central Australia’s suicide prevention program. He has had experience over many years of collaboration with Aboriginal people, in particular with traditional healers. He speaks of the problems using the image of the hand.

“For some people suicide is structural, like the back of their hand, with them all the time as a meditated, premeditated action, though it may be disguised, covered over with a skin.” KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Long moment in the sun for artists from The Lands

Photo: Painting by Telstra Award winner for 2011, Dickie Minyintiri.

All year Alice Springs has had its window onto the Aboriginal art of the moment, that outpouring of cultural affirmation and expressive brilliance coming from ‘The Lands’ – home to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara peoples. Apart from his stockroom shows, the astute Dallas Gold of Raft Artspace has had his eyes fixed firmly on the south-west. The timing for his current show from Ernabella Arts couldn’t have been better. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

SLIDE SHOW: Kapi Tjukula (Waterholes) by Dickie Minyintiri • the artist with his Telstra winning work, Kanyalakutjina (Euro tracks), photo courtesy MAGNT • ceramic workshop at Ernabella, from left Gordon Ingkatji (his piece is not in the Raft show), Andy Tjilari, Dickie Minyintiri in his favoured policeman’s cap •  Tali – sand dune, ceramic by Pepai Jangala Carroll • Kapi Tjukula at Ilpili, ceramic by Pepai Jangala Carroll • Kapi Tjukula, ceramic by Dickie Minyintiri • Walungurru by Pepai Jangala Carroll. All photos courtesy Ernabella Arts and Raft Artspace, unless otherwise indicated. FULL STORY »

Burnin’ ring of fire

I remember watching the introduction of a Seinfeld episode once where Jerry, in his usual stand-up mode, was explaining his theory on why people smoke. He made smoking sound like a craving sustained due to primitive, caveman mentalities. The line went something like, “People like to have smoke near their faces to show that they have power. ‘Look. I have fire. I am mighty.’”

If you’ve never been on that back road between King’s Canyon and Hermannsburg please, for your own sake, do. I’m fairly sure it has been rated amongst the top ten four-wheel drive tracks in Australia, although this would probably be for visual reasons as the road – other than some corrugation – is fairly light going. On either side of the track there is amazing shrubbery and the wide sloping hills caress in a valley that looks like it was made for a path to some secret land. Photos by Oliver Eclipse.