Story Archive » Volume 18 » Issue 34 »

September 22, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: $2.5m owed by liquidated firm linked to Native Title organisation



While Lhere Artepe remains tight-lipped about the Mt Johns development, an industry source says the subdivision is “at practical completion now”.
It is entering the phase when service authorities – mostly the Power and Water Corporation and the Town Council – are carrying out final testing.
The source says the services such as power, water, sewage, roads and drains are ultimately taken over by these authorities who then guarantee their adequacy.
Once they are ticked off titles can be issued.
The source says it is normal for some deficiencies to be discovered in this process: this was the case with Stirling Heights and the Golf Course Estate, for example. These deficiencies are fixed prior to the issue of titles.
LAE Nominees Pty Ltd – an entity linked to the native title organisation Lhere Artepe – is the majority shareholder in the now defunct CDE Civil Pty Ltd, as well as the holder of the development lease, granted by the government, at Mt Johns Valley. They are two separate entities.
Meanwhile the CDE Civil website, alive earlier this week, comes up with the message “account suspended”.


CDE Civil Pty Ltd, which is linked to the Native Title organisation Lhere Artepe, owed $2.5m to 56 creditors when it was put into liquidation on Friday last week. Alice Springs News Online learned this from a reliable source today. The company was involved in the still unfinished Mt Johns residential estate which followed a native title deal between the NT Government and Lhere Artepe. According to our source, the list of creditors is headed by the Tax Department ($1.6m), a pipe laying company, a plumber and an electrician. A local clinic is owed $200. FULL STORY »

Police seek information about suspicious death of woman


Alice Springs police have arrested Donathon Williams (pictured) as a person of interest in relation to the death of a 25-year-old woman whose body was found in the dry bed of the Todd River between the Wills Terrace and Schwarz Crs causeways on Tuesday. Detective Acting Superintendent Travis Wurst says an autopsy “supports our view that the woman’s death was suspicious”.

He said today (Thursday): “Further information led to [Williams] being located and he has been arrested in relation to an assault on a man in the early hours of Monday morning. He will be interviewed concerning that assault later today and is also expected to be spoken to in relation to the suspicious death.” FULL STORY »

More bushfire “vollies” – and we’ll need them!

There has been a massive increase in the number of volunteer bushfire fighters in Alice Springs.

“Vollies” captain Shawn O’Toole says until earlier this year there were about five or six volunteers. Now there are about 40, taking part in training.

Meanwhile warmer weather and winds are creating dangerous fire conditions although Grant Allan, of Bushfires NT, says close to three quarters of the town’s periphery are secure now because recent blazes have already consumed the extraordinarily high fuel load there.

And the Department of Lands and Planning says it will not prosecute for a loading infringement of a truck driver taking a grader to a blaze north of town to stop a fire advancing towards buildings in a quarry.

The department has not yet responded to questions from Alice Springs News Online about any liability the government may have for fires starting along roads it has responsibility for, and that may enter pastoral land, causing losses of fodder, man-hours fighting the fires and expenses for the use of graders and possible damage to them.

Members of the Hayes pastoral family say of the multitude of fires they had to fight this year, all but one had come from public roads. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured getting the low-down from Shawn O’Toole (second from left) on the pump mounted on an “operational vehicle” are “vollies” (from left) Diane Chanut, Wayne Phillips, Alan Leahy, Katherine Hastie and Nikolas Sestokas. FULL STORY »

Garden of delight



We live in a landscape full of drama – its grand forms, rich and changing colours, its dazzling light deepening at dusk, softened at dawn, its ancient stories imprinted in the sand and rocks, its spaciousness and then its more intimate folds. No genius of stagecraft could ever equal it – all credit to the team behind The First Garden for recognising this and risking the challenges for the presentation of their play.

The gods were with them on Saturday evening for the premiere of the play, written by husband and wife team, Chris and Natasha Raja. It tells a story about Olive Pink and the creation of the botanical garden that bears her name and is staged right there, where she once lived, at first in a tent, later in a rudimentary hut. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. PHOTO: Natasha Raja as Miss Pink. Courtesy Ben Convery. FULL STORY »

Creative drive in the desert goes deep

SLIDESHOW     From the on-going brilliance of artists from The Lands, in the far north of South Australia, to the delightful evolution of the soft sculpture coming out of Larapinta Valley town camp in Alice Springs and the many shades of achievement in between, Desert Mob shows once again that the drive to creativity amongst Aborigines of the desert is unabated.

The exhibition, in its 21st year, keeps with its firmly established tradition of huge diversity: dazzling paintings of the highest order, drawing on ancient sacred traditions and knowledge, alongside naive works that charm with their view of contemporary Aboriginal life; fine art alongside crafts; refined crafts alongside those more simply, even crudely yet expressively fashioned. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.


Opening night (above): the soft sculptures of the Larapinta Valley town camp artists were much admired. In the background are the dazzling paintings from Tjala Arts, based at Amata in the APY Lands.

Slideshow: Wanampi Tjukurpa by Tiger Palpatja • Wati Wilu-Ku Inma Tjukurpa by Dickie Minyintiri • Soft sculptures by Yarrenyty Arltere artists • Hermannsburg Potters celebrate country music • Bush Pig by a Greenbush artist • Ngaanyatjarra Council’s 30th Birthday Party by Jean Yinalanka Burke • Malilanya, ceramic by Renita Stanley • Walu by Carol Maanyatja Golding • Images courtesy Araluen, the artists and the art centres. FULL STORY »

Spoof, irony, angst and affection in Souvenir show

SLIDESHOW      In colloquial speech, to souvenir something means to steal it. This is the drift of some of the objects created for Souvenir, an exhibition at Watch This Space, the Space’s show for the Alice Desert Festival. It “explores the wilds of central Australia via the imagery of keepsake”. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

Pictured above: Shaken, Rattled and Rolled by Jane Leonard – souvenirs of life-changing moments instead of geographical places.

Slideshow: Alice Springs – Bleeding Heart Central, detail of map by  Franca Barraclough and  Beth Sometimes • Cultural AppropriApron by Hannah-May Caspar • The Sorry Souvenir Phenomenon, detail, by Beth Sometimes • Toile de jouy – The fabric of life, detail, by Mel Darr • Littel Well by Jane Young • “I’ve been to Alice Springs but I’ve never been to me” by Jane Leonard • Shaken, Rattled and Rolled by Jane Leonard • A Keepsake for the Local by Kim Webeck • No Snow Dome – The East Side Pole (left) and No Snow Dome – Flynn’s Grave, both by Dan Murphy. FULL STORY »