Story Archive » Volume 18 » Issue 35 »

September 29, 2011

Pearce sole director of failed company: native title spokesman wants answers on Mt Johns real estate development

A “special director” of the Antulye estate group of native title owners in Alice Springs, Ron Morony (pictured left), says yesterday’s Centralian Advocate newspaper report about the Mt Johns Valley residential development omits a crucial detail about the defunct CDE Civil group.

He says the newspaper neglects to point out that its main source, Darryl Pearce (pictured right), identified in the report as “native title holder Lhere Artepe’s CEO”, is also the sole director of the company now in liquidation, defaulting on significant debts to local contractors.

Alice Springs News Online reported Mr Pearce’s position within CDE Civil earlier this month. 

This is confirmed by an ASIC extract, dated September 19, when the company had gone into liquidation.

Mr Morony is a financial consultant based in Canberra. As the CEO of Indigenous Business Australia between 1993 and 2010 he raised the asset base of the organisation from $40m to $1b.

He is in Alice Springs for meetings with Lhere Artepe interests who say they are keen to restore the influence of native title holders on their organisation.

Mr Morony says he is concerned about the impact of the management failure of CDE Civic.

“I am constantly being asked by my relatives and local native title members about what is happening in their name and they ask when will accountability and common courtesy be extended to them.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Northern mall and Parsons Street get top priority in revamp of town centre

It’s official: the northern end of Todd Mall is definitely intended to be opened to traffic – two-way – down to The Sails and left into the eastern end of Parsons Street opening onto Leichardt Terrace. The road will be narrow, the speed 30kmph, and the footpaths wide; at Parsons Street on the southern side, as wide as 7.5m.

This will create space for pedestrians, for future al fresco seating in front of commercial premises, and also for a “bio-diversity corridor”. The idea is to make a connection between the majestic red river gum, known as the Grandfather Tree or Knowledge Tree, that stands just west of The Sails, and the Todd River. The bio-diversity will come from a water feature – a slender stream, fed by periodic flood irrigation, running the length of the street, and plantings, including “dancing trees”, coolabahs with their writhing limbs, planted in human-like clusters.  These in turn will attract wildlife, such birds and butterflies. Pictured: from top – View east from the Knowledge Tree through The Sails to the river: de-cluttering will be a first step to improving this area. • The Knowledge Tree from Parsons Street west: the works will restore it to pride of place. • Yeperenye hawkmoths, detail of photograph by Mike Gillam: the moth wings have inspired the design of new shade structures. KIERAN FINNANE reports.



Treat firebugs as major criminals – call by chief bushfire fighter

Map above: fires today. Note color code bottom right of country already burned this year.


Police should treat firebugs as major criminals, says Matt Braitling, of Mt Doreen Station, the chairman of Bushfire NT, southern region.

He says except for the blaze at Numery Station, set off by lightning, all the massive number of bushfires in Central Australia in the past weeks were deliberately lit.

Meanwhile South Australia is sending fire fighters, and MLA for Braitling Adam Giles lashes out at the lack of preparedness for the what was long known would be a catastrophic fire season.

“It’s usually easy to pinpoint where fires start,” says Mr Braitling.

“Police need to set up crime scenes at these locations.”

They should deploy forensic teams, check for things like tyre marks and discarded rubbish, fingerprint items, use trackers and seek the assistance of people who have local knowledge.

“It’s attempted murder,” says Mr Braitling. “People will die.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. 

Posted Oct 4, 2011: Interesting story on the ABC about concerns in South Australia about buffel grass invading from the NT. The introduced grass species is a major contributor to the seriousness of the current bushfires. Today rain is providing relief. Search the Alice Springs News Online archive for articles about buffel grass. FULL STORY »

The wicked flee when no-one pursues

My unit adjoins a garage that accesses a public laneway at the rear of the property. At 2:15pm on Thursday, 22 September, I was in my unit when I heard the rattle of a spray paint can followed by a hissing sound just outside the garage roller door.

As I stepped out into the laneway I noticed the distinct smell of wet paint. Two big teenage lads – both taller than me – were already some distance away, walking towards the Todd River. Neither was Aboriginal. ALEX NELSON wonders about the merits of a night curfew while daylight vandalism, including by whites, is rampant.

UPDATE: Police have informed Mr Nelson that the youths were identified from the photo by their school principal. They ran but they couldn’t hide! FULL STORY »

Come close

Students at Acacia Hill School were working this week with guest artist Kat Worth to develop their theatre project, Close to Me.

Through talking, writing, drawing and dancing the students had arrived at a theme for the piece of personal space – who to let come close, when and how, how to set boundaries.

Their thinking  started with defining what’s important and precious to them. The answer was family, friends, and home and the work grew from there.

Kat devised tasks to get their performance ideas flowing, for example, by creating their own ‘countries’ on the floor, bounded by masking tape, then inviting people in and pushing them out. Pictured: Kat Worth with, front row, Chris and Tiffany, and at rear, Jasmine and Harishma. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Whacky clothes? Be a devil!

This Sunday that I attended a “clothes swap” held on the restaurant rooftop of Soma. Everyone present brought along old goodies and what was trash for some became treasure for others. I watched vibrant, gaudy and multi-hued fabrics swishing over people’s absorbed faces and felt a warm tingle from my toes to my palms. The way I see things: life is too short to wear boring clothes, and this moment is just too special for us to hide what we really want to wear in face of the ever-gazing social eye. Pictured: Try outfits like these at work next Wednesday! Kali Kennedy and Stephanie Harrison sporting winning entries at last year’s Wearable Arts Awards. MOZZIE BITES puts out a challenge. FULL STORY »