Story Archive » Volume 20 » Issue 11 »

May 23, 2013

Alice’s heart of commerce battles slump




Not all is well in the beating heart of industry and commerce, Alice’s Industrial Area, according to its big players and small, saying business is in a slump. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Taps Tubs and Tiles is taking a glass half full approach. Saleswoman Janet Svikart explains kitchen and bathroom items attracting Alice Water Smart rebates. FULL STORY »

What the Mayor doesn’t want to talk about




Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan is trying to keep the lid on events within the council which occurred since last Friday. Information about the draft Budget was withheld – unnecessarily – from the public for three days, and there are indications that a serious rift has developed between the Mayor and the majority of the councillors. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The draft Budget document – kept under wraps for three days.

6% town council rate rise proposed





Alice Springs Town Council rates are proposed to go up 6%, lower than last year’s rise which was 7%. The proposed minimum rate is $1083. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Mayor Damien Ryan at this morning’s announcement to the media of the proposed 2013/14 town council budget. FULL STORY »

Police review investigation into homes fiasco

Police are reviewing the investigation into the failed Frampton New Homes scheme in the wake of the trial of Randal Carey, ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Framptons were Carey’s ‘bosses’, took ‘secret commission’, says his lawyer




Framptons First National real estate agency received a “secret commission”, the “lion’s share” out of the first instalments paid by Alice Springs home buyers in a scheme which had Randal Carey as the builder, said Mr Carey’s lawyer Peter Maley (pictured) in the Supreme Court this morning. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


UPDATE, 14 May 2013, 3.51pm: Mr Carey has been remanded for sentencing until next Tuesday, May 21. See FULL STORY.


Further update. FULL STORY »

‘Sentenced to a job and a future’ program needs iron will

Max and Jim (we’ve changed their names) are clearly not the kind of prisoners for whom the visionary “sentenced to a job and a future” scheme of Correctional Services Minister John Elferink is designed. He sees it as a step-up into the broader community for people, mostly Aboriginal, who’ve never worked before. Max and Jim are white and had significant backgrounds in employment and small business before their respective offences, which are in the mid-range of seriousness. But both have embraced the scheme so whole-heartedly that they seem set to have a major impact on its success. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: “Jim” in the supermarket where he now works, serving Clifford Tilmouth. FULL STORY »

Secure care facility opened in Alice



The secure care facility initially intended to be built on the Ross River Highway, sparking an outcry of nearby residents, has now been completed near the Alice Springs gaol on the South Stuart Highway. Photo: Yard with gazebo. The cylindrical top of the fences rotates, making climbing over it more difficult. FULL STORY »

Aussie tourists ‘hassled, disappointed, fearful’ in Alice, Uluru

An Australian tourist, a member of a group, emailed Mayor Damien Ryan and all councillors, saying he would be “embarrassed to recommend Alice Springs and Uluru to anyone” and stating in part: “We feared for our safety many times. You may be used to it, but the smell of many of the locals was unbearable. We left shopping, and we left the Casino because we could not bear the smell of some the people. Before you declare us racist, we would be concerned by any people with these issues.” COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: Drinking and fighting in the town centre. FULL STORY »

Money gets Camel Cup over the hump




Camels will be racing for money for the first time on Camel Cup Day in Alice Springs next month, and their owners are loving it. They will be coming from three states. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Trophies won by Peter Hodge on the Queensland circuit. The jockey is Rachael Woodham who lives in Gembrook, Victoria, and will be coming to race for Mr Hodge in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Budget: Low-key thumbs up from Alice leaders



Chamber of Commerce head Julie Ross and Mayor Damien Ryan had a low-key but positive reaction to the NT’s $5.7 billion Budget handed down by Treasurer Dave Tollner (pictured) today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Town camp artists do it their way

They are a group of people about whom much is said and written by others, but here is chance to see residents of the Alice Springs town camps express themselves in their own images and words. They tell us about daily life, spirit life, memory, reflection, aspiration. There is humour, affection, yearning, delight, pride. Two Alice Springs art centres, Tangentyere Artists and Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, have combined to present this exhibition, Our Way, Their Way, at RAFT Artspace. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

Pictured: No Trouble Here? by Sally Mulda. FULL STORY »

Haunting excursion into Alice’s psyche

The cover of The Long Weekend in Alice Springs suggests that the story between its covers will be road trip. And it is one, of sorts. You won’t find these roads on any map but they will lead you into the byways of this desert place, reaching back through history into stories of origin, reaching out through darkness, real and metaphoric, into stories of now. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Builder Carey pleads guilty to reduced charges, talks to police





Randal Carey (pictured), the builder in the failed Frampton New Homes scheme, will today be interviewed by police about “other matters”, having pleaded guilty this morning to nine charges of obtaining benefit by deception. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Builder Carey gets 3 years in gaol, suspended after 12 months

Discount given for cooperation with authorities on further enquiries


Randal Carey, the builder in the failed Frampton New Homes scheme, was sentenced this morning to three years in gaol, to be suspended after 12 months. Mr Carey, who has been in custody since last Tuesday, did not show any visible emotion as guards led him away. He appeared to have no friends or family in court. His lawyer was appearing by video link from Darwin and said he would talk his client through the sentence by phone. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Photo: Victims of the scheme, Amanda and Trent Abbott, and the youngest two of their six children, Ruby, 2, and Ashton, 4, were in court this morning. FULL STORY »

Housing scheme victims speak after Carey is sentenced





It’s been a long time coming – three years – but there was only partial satisfaction for victims when Randal Carey was sentenced to gaol this morning. KIERAN FINNANE reports. PHOTO: Victims Alan Fisher and Denyse Thornton leave the court.


LETTER: Alcohol mandatory treatment Bill up for comment

The draft Bill prescribing the Government’s alcohol mandatory treatment reforms has been released for public scrutiny and will be introduced into the Territory Parliament this week and debated during the Estimates sittings on 27 June, writes John Elferink, Leader of Government Business. FULL STORY »

MLA Bess Price on ‘the killing of our women, abuse of our kids’

Bess Price, the Member for Stuart, is a full blood Warlpiri woman, married to a white man, Dave Price, and they have a daughter, Jacinta, who is proud of her mixed ancestry. Ms Price made Territory history last August when she clinched the former blue-ribbon Labor seat for the Country Liberals. Yesterday she made national history when, in the adjournment debate, she crashed through the politically correct barriers, speaking no holds barred about her grief-torn life, and the brutality which remains around her, her day in, day out.

Here is what she said, as reported in the yet uncorrected NT Hansard, to her electorate – and the people of Australia.

She is pictured with Warlpiri elder Tommy Jungala Rice, her brother-in-law. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Alcohol Protection Orders a new tool for police

Orders will be introduced under the Liquor Act which will support the Government’s target of a 10 per cent reduction in crime and further strengthen the tools available to NT Police in responding to alcohol-related offences, including domestic violence, writes David Tollner,

Minister for Business.

[See rebuttal by the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition.] FULL STORY »

Centre 4th out of 7 in per capita capital works spend

Central Australia is in fourth place among the Territory’s seven regions when it comes to per capita expenditure for capital works in the 2013/14 NT Budget. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. More and detailed table at FULL STORY »

Booze brawl: Old BDR was better than new APO




The government are not being truthful in how they are explaining the new Alcohol Protection Orders (APOs), claiming that the previous Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) only banned people from purchasing take-away alcohol, says John Boffa (pictured), of the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Prickly invaders in the Telegraph Station put up a fight



A new assault on prickly invaders into the Telegraph Station National Park is under way.
The coral cactus (Clyindropuntia fulgida), also known as the boxing glove cactus, has infected about 12 hectares of the park, and a treatment trial has brought limited results. The kill is taking twice as long as a similar treatment in Queensland, where the method has been pioneered. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

2013 Bangtail Muster VIDEO: Are you in it?

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it’s missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe. This error may appear if the URL path to the embedded object is broken or you have connectivity issue to the embedded object. Powered BY XVE Various Embed. FULL STORY »

Carey Builders, Frampton New Homes scheme: systemic failure

On December 10, 2001 Randal Carey, a builder with a long record in construction in remote areas of the Northern Territory and Queensland, was declared bankrupt. It was the start of an unravelling that led to his conviction of nine counts of deception in the Alice Springs Supreme Court last Tuesday, leaving major losses to local families in his wake, including Trent and Amanda Abbott and their children, pictured in 2010. KIERAN FINNANE reports the chronology of a local disaster. FULL STORY »

Debate is on again: A cable car, a restaurant for Mt Gillen?


A restaurant on top of Mount Gillen and a cable car to take people up there are being discussed informally, as part of a wish list, by members of the town council, the Alice Springs News Online has learned. The idea has been raised many times in the past 40 years. This time the suggestion has been made to have the starting point at the Desert Park, reliable sources are saying. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The visitors’ centre, with photoshopped gondola, at the Desert Park, suggested to be the lower terminal for the cable car.

UPDATE Monday, May 6, 2pm: Cr Geoffrey Booth says it was he who raised the idea and explains why. FULL STORY »

$160,000 residential blocks at Kilgariff: Giles

Housing blocks will go on the market for $160,000 to $180,000 average in the new Kigariff suburb and its development is 18 months ahead of the former Labor Government’s schedule, Chief Minister Adam Giles told the Chamber of Commerce budget luncheon yesterday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Kilgariff – the lock will come off 18 months sooner. FULL STORY »

Local men work on $3.2m learning centre

PHOTOS: Top – Local and visiting women from Yuendumu celebrate the opening (from left) Janet Gordon, Maisie Kitson, Wendy Leichlitner, Ann Grace Kitson, Lisa Gordon, Serena Shannon, Julie Kitson and Janelle Ross. Below – the new centre.


Four Willowra men worked on the construction of the $3.2m Wirliyajarrayi learning centre for adults and pre-school children in their community of Willowra, north-west of Alice Springs, clocking up 1400 working hours and picking up skills including brick laying and plaster board fitting.


Treasurer quizzed on 000, booze, buying locally, power & water

Given that the Territory’s two most powerful men were in the room, question time at the Chamber of Commerce Budget luncheon yesterday was a sedate affair. The most prickly query came from a builder, Paul, who asked Treasurer Dave Tollner why the government was negotiating with an interstate firm about the $10m redevelopment of the old police housing in Allchurch Street. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The Chamber of Commerce Budget luncheon yesterday. In the foreground is Chief Minister Adam Giles. FULL STORY »

Pedestrians ignore new $300,000 crossing at The Gap

The Federal Government has spent $300,000 on a bid to remove a fatal “black spot” on the Stuart Highway just south of the The Gap. Yet some nearby residents ignore the facility, and cross the highway just a stone’s throw to the south, where they have no protection. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Will compulsory rehabilitation stand up in court?

Lynne Walker, Labor Shadow Attorney General, writes she called on Attorney General John Elferink to release the legal advice that his alcohol laws will stand up to an appeal. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Hot showers, quality food on Larapinta Trail

There will be architecturally-designed semi-permanent campsites on the remote Larapinta Trail. The camps, which are the brainchild of tour company, World Expeditions, provide an oasis in the desert for trekkers – hot showers, quality food and a place to rest after exploring the spectacular red centre, writes Matt Conlan, Minister for Tourism. FULL STORY »

Law enforcement: The bracelets that could save us money


The NT Government, while taking law enforcement to new heights, is moving to make it cheaper, in terms of time as well as money.
Scaled-back paperwork will keep cops on the beat rather than in front of a keyboard.
Defence and prosecution will need to stick their heads together before putting matters before the court.
And tracking bracelets are “a whole lot cheaper than $214 a day” – the cost of banging up people in gaol. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Police keep crowd in check outside the courthouse during the Liam Jurrah trial. FULL STORY »

LETTER: Garrett admits Indigenous education defeat

School Education Minister Peter Garrett has admitted today that the Gillard government has failed to close the gap in indigenous education, writes Senator Nigel Scullion, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs. FULL STORY »

LETTER: The kindness of Alice Springs to a stranger

My overwhelming sense of Alice Springs will be that it is filled with kind strangers – you should be proud, writes Di Websdale-Morrissey of Melbourne. FULL STORY »

NT a ‘bully state’ with new criminalisation of drunkenness

No government politicians came to face their critics at today’s grog issues rally in Alice Springs. Russell Goldflam, speaking as President of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory, said the government was “hell bent on jamming as many of its citizens in the slammer as they can”. Particularly in his sights were the proposed new “Alcohol Protection Orders” (APOs) that Minister for Business Dave Tollner announced on Friday. Mr Tollner said the orders will further strengthen the tools available to NT Police in responding to alcohol-related offences. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


Pictured: Donna Ah Chee, Congress CEO, addresses the rally of around 80 people.    FULL STORY »

Tollner’s Budget measure to stop mining royalties minimisation

It’s going to net the Territory Budget only $10m but it seems to be the kind of measure that could have delivered to Julia Gillard the motza in revenue she isn’t getting from the mining industry. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: A Crossland uranium exploration crew in Central Australia. FULL STORY »

Going through the motions and loving it



A pushbike and a bar fridge – who needs more? FULL STORY »

Consultants with 40,000 years on the job

2499 Ted Egan singer SMp 24100 Ted Egan tracker SM



Ted Egan, the singer, historian and former NT Administrator (at left) calls for retaining a team of skilled Aboriginal trackers to save lives and maintain incomparable skills, such as those in which Ted Egan the tracker (at right) excelled. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Keith Lawrie Flats – people have had enough!

24105 Keith Lawrie flats, Jan 2006 B SM



Relentless violence, drinking and rowdy conduct: The answer from the government is a lick of paint and more lighting, comments ROBYN LAMBLEY, independent MLA for Araluen. PHOTO: The flats in 2006, by ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Alice Beat Festival no longer wanted?

p2499u Kuchenbuch, Markus SM
As Artist in Residence with the NT Music School choral program and leader of the Alice Beat Festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Markus Kuchenbuch bids a regretful farewell, one that he did not seek. FULL STORY »

Centre art stands out in SA festival

p2499s Tarnanthi Turnbull SMp2499s Tarnanthi YA face 350
Like familiar faces in a crowd, the works of Central Australian artists jump out as I visit Tarnanthi, billed as a Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »