Story Archive » Volume 20 » Issue 23 »

September 9, 2013

Taking down Snowdon, little chunk by little chunk


As the nation turned its back on Labor, Warren Snowdon held Lingiari – how come? Has there been a convincing emphasis, in the CLP campaign, on the opportunities of leasing Aboriginal land? And does the Alice Springs Country Liberals branch need new blood? These were some issues raised by ERWIN CHLANDA with the president of the Country Liberals, Darwin architect Ross Connolly (pictured). FULL STORY »

MacFarlane concedes in Lingiari





Country Liberals candidate Tina MacFarlane this morning conceded the Lingiari election to long-time sitting Member, Warren Snowdon. He is pictured being interviewed by Radio 8HA at noon yesterday. He claimed victory in Lingiari late yesterday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Scullion: outback economies answer to bush welfare mess



Creating outback economies that provide jobs is the way out of the current passive welfare structure that doesn’t match the needs in the bush, says Australia’s new Indigenous Affairs Minister,  NT Senator Nigel Scullion. He spoke this morning with Alice Springs News Online editor ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

No need to beef up by-laws: public behaviour better

Council look set to knock on the head a move to double the penalties for some public places by-law breaches, initiated by Councillor Geoff Booth (pictured, at his induction) a year ago. Cr Booth said his aim was not to increase revenue through fine collection but to “change habits”, while Mayor Damien Ryan, Crs Jade Kudrenko and Liz Martin, and Director of Corporate and Community Services Craig Catchlove were all of the view that there has been a marked improvement in the town’s public places. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


No Lingiari result before end of next week

The election result in Lingiari – all of the Territory except Darwin – is unlikely to be known before the end of next week, according to a Federal Electoral Commission spokesman. FULL STORY »

Police seek man in relation to an indecent assault





Police have released this comfit of a man they would like to speak to in relation to the indecent assault of a 24-year-old woman. Meanwhile police are also searching for a male who assaulted a 19-year-old girl as she was walking to work just after noon today. FULL STORY »

No Lingiari result yet

There is no Federal election result yet in the sprawling seat of Lingiari – all of the Territory except Darwin.

PHOTO: MacFarlane supporters in Alice Springs last night reacting to an announcement on the ABC about the see-sawing fortunes of the count. The candidate was not there. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Camps cottage industry stalls as Coke prevaricates




All blacks do is collect sitdown-money, right? Wrong – at least so far as a number of residents in Alice Springs town camps are concerned.  They, including Glenda Hayes (pictured), are collecting drink cans – or at least have been, until the NT Government and the multi-nationals who make the stuff failed to put in place something as simple as a workable container deposit scheme. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fresh, relevant, moving, funny: 24 Hour Theatre

Three one act plays, written, rehearsed and presented all within 24 hours: it may not sound like it would reward high hopes, let alone exceed them, but it did. The stories were fresh, relevant, moving as well as funny at times, the performances committed, the theatre-craft well on the way. This was Red Hot Arts Central Australia’s 24 Hour Theatre, an early exercise of the organisation’s InQbator and presented as part of the Alice Desert Festival program. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Outback Highway commitment: seal could start 2016/17

The Outback Highway Development Council says the commitment of $11m a year for three years from the Coalition would bring the $512m project on track for the start of full sealing in 2016/17, according general manager Helen Lewis. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 1:30 pm

Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan, who is the deputy chair of the highway council,  says the huge difference in construction cost in the NT, when compared with WA and Queensland, could be an argument in favour of re-introducing road construction into local government works departments. FULL STORY »

The risk in going risqué




Tits, bums, fart jokes, striptease right down to the cliché of breast tassles  – whatever happened to Cat’s Meow? From the audience response to the Nine Lives Cabaret last Saturday night, I know mine is a minority view, but for me this entertainment was one-dimensional. The talent was there but story, ideas and wit were mostly missing. There were laughs to be had, for sure, but they mostly weren’t for anything clever or simply zany. It was as though in deciding to become more risqué, more of a burlesque, most of the creators had regressed to adolescence. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.


MacFarlane water allocation – rigorous and followed due process, says expert



The controversial water allocation to the family property of CLP candidate for Lingiari, Tina MacFarlane, has been made in a “rigorous process” and “due process has been followed”. This is the opinion of John Childs (pictured), before his retirement in 2008,  spent a decade as the delegate of the Territory government’s Controller of Water Resources in the southern half of the NT. He has a doctorate in civil engineering. The doctorate work was on the modelling of water resources. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Framptons: reprimand slap on the wrist, says victim

UPDATED 5:30pm Monday, Sept 16

The Alice Springs News Online has received the following statement from Detective Superintendent Brent Warren: “Southern Investigation Detectives have completed an investigation into the conduct of Framptons First National Real Estate and liaised with the Department of Public Prosecutions. At this time no criminal offences have been identified against Framptons.”


UPDATED 12 noon and 4:48 pm

The Agents Licensing Board has issued a reprimand against Framptons for publishing misleading advertising and so breaching of a rule of conduct under the Agents Licensing Act. Chair of the Board Suzanne Philip said such a finding by a disciplinary board is a serious sanction, however victims of the collapsed housing scheme, Framptons New Homes, present at the hearing, were not satisfied. In the hearing and without being invited to speak, victims Alan Fisher and Denyse Thornton (pictured today) expressed their frustration.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Snowdon’s backing for ‘high cost exclusive group’

 Part of $2m project ‘poor value for money’ in view of department panel


“Select and train a small group of Indigenous distance runners who will compete in a series of distance running events around the world.”

Nice work if you can get it. Someone did – former world champion marathon runner Robert “Deek” de Castella, and the rest is history. Well, not quite. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Picture by Dan Himbrechts, Adelaide Now. Robert De Castella with (left to right) Charlie Maher, Juan Darwin and Caleb Hart. FULL STORY »

Government still obstinate on take-away alcohol supply



Twelve months after the Coroner recommended that the NT Government should commit to all available, reasonable measures to reduce the supply of excess alcohol from take-away outlets in Alice Springs the NT Government has failed to do anything new in response, writes Dr. John Boffa, of PAAC. FULL STORY »

Man wanted on sexual assaults, say police




Police, in a media release, say they are seeking public assistance in locating 18-year-old Alice Springs man, Graham Club (pictured). FULL STORY »

Aboriginal men ‘need to reinvent’ themselves: forum

Half of the inmates in the Alice Springs gaol are men who are there for having assaulted their intimate partners. Justice Jenny Blokland is one of the people gaoling them. It gives her no pleasure, she told a public meeting in Alice Springs last night, attended by hundreds; it’s a protective measure, often short-term, and doesn’t solve the problem. She acknowledged the “very difficult” social issues in Alice but said this does not explain the “gendered nature” of the violence: 80 to 90% of perpetrators are men. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


Finding the songs left to sing


Art or cunning?, a contemporary sculpture show at Watch This Space, is a pleasure to behold, like the sight of a wide deep bay or river after leaving the desert. To walk into the gallery animated by objects of intrigue, there in the space like other bodies that engage yours, to make your way around them, to feel the attraction of their forms, their varied materials, the push and pull between them, is to realise that you’ve been missing this kind of experience.

What is immediately striking is the distinctness of the works on show, particularly in relation to materials and construction. There’s a phrase in the title of one that suggests something about the artists’ processes: “Everybody can’t have thought of everything.” So they set out in search of the “song left to sing”. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

Pictured: “There’s gotta be some left to sing, everybody can’t have thought of everything” Gillian Welch by Sia Cox.  FULL STORY »

Bright kids to be victims of teacher cuts, say protesters



Time to take a break from Federal issues? Here’s a Territory one that teachers and students reckon is hot enough to take to the doorstep of NT Chief Minister Adam Giles. The main prop of the protest was a coffin in which elements of local education may be buried soon, says Senior Secondary School teacher Penny Whiley (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Heritage under fire






The Pitchi Richi Sanctuary just outside The Gap survived a deliberately-lit fire earlier this week, thanks to the quick action of on-site volunteers and up to eight firemen from our local fire service. But that’s not the only fire in heritage protection. COMMENT by DOMENICO PECORARI.


Land use emerges as big issue in Centre



Candidates spruiking repetitive and uninformative platitudes is an irritating feature of Australian elections which always result in the victory of one major party that is only marginally different from the other. We quickly get over it. Lingiari is different: Here the election is a matter of life and death. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

No hard feelings for Giles, says Anderson


Dumped Minister Alison Anderson says she is looking forward to her time on the back bench and has no hard feelings for Chief Minister Adam Giles. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Land lease payments – nice little sit-down earner

An initiative by the Howard government in 2006 to stimulate commercial activity, private enterprise style, by Aboriginal people on their land has been turned into yet another source of sit-down money. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The Central Desert Shire office in Yuendumu: a public asset for which lease payments will need to be made. FULL STORY »

Cabinet: Anderson out, Price in. Elferink rejects Lawrie allegation.


UPDATED, 6.39pm: Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie comments, claiming Ms Carney “is known to have a deeply damaged relationship with her new Minister, John Elferink.” Mr Elferink a few minutes ago rejected that allegation. See FULL STORY.


Children’s and Families Minister Alison Anderson (left) has been sacked from the NT Cabinet and the portfolio has gone to Justice Minister John Elferink. MLA for Stuart Bess Price (right) has been elevated to the Cabinet, to take on a new portfolio of Community Services, as well as Parks and Wildlife, Statehood and Women’s Policy. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Political junkies: a quiz from ALEX NELSON

Here’s a challenge for those who can’t get enough of politics … FULL STORY »

Never ending story: Desert Mob 2013






From Aboriginal art centres across the deserts comes one of the most significant interfaces between Central Australia and the rest of the world. KIERAN FINNANE reports from Desert Mob, the exhibition and the symposium.


Pictured: Warmurrungu by Nyarapayi Giles, Tjarlirli Arts. FULL STORY »

‘Centralised government not fit to deal with outback’





Episodic policy announcements about regions and northern Australia are evidence of political concern about non metropolitan Australia but will not solve the problems endemic across remote Australia because government arrangements are not fit for purpose, writes Fred Chaney, Chairman of Desert Knowledge Australia. FULL STORY »

Residency is at risk, says heritage group



The NT Government is planning to call for “Expressions of Interest” from the public for leasing the heritage-listed Residency building, thereby opening up the highly likely possibility it will put to commercial use, such as offices, cafe or restaurant. This should be opposed, writes Domenico Pecorari of Heritage Alice Springs Incorporated. PHOTO:  Libby King (red hat) and Lilly Jodson, keen gardeners, dressed up for the flower show in the historic Residency yesterday.


Taxi disgrace: $24 fare Trucking Yards to CBD



Come on, taxi drivers, a review of your personal and professional ethics is in order, writes Jodie Clarkson of Alice Springs.


Moving the dump will be discussed by council …



Councillor Steve Brown has taken the first step to get discussion on the table of an alternative to future expansion of the landfill west into the beautiful Ilparpa Valley. Officers will provide a report but will it be discussed in open? KIERAN FINNANE reports.


The Boys who made the Big Time



Some of The Boys who came from the bush and made their mark in the nation, with TLC from Father Percy Smith and Mrs Smith: Bill “Buckshot” Espie (2nd from left). Middle row: Vince Copley, Charlie Perkins, Ernie Perkins (the other two unidentified). Front row: Brian Butler, John Smith (unsure). Help us fill in the gaps! Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.


PHOTOS UPDATE: Readers have now provided more names! See comments.

Being away from Alice: the scream


I’m studying Buddhism & meditation in Melbourne. It’s awfully interesting. But man, do I miss Alice. FULL STORY »

Black jobs: are we really just starting to ask the questions?




Su McCluskey (pictured) heads up a think tank that rates Central Australia amongst the least competitive regions in Australia, on a scale of five (see map FULL STORY). Last week she spoke to a forum at Desert Knowledge Australia, the organisation which has been charged, for the past 15 years, to find ways for arid inland of Australia to be a better and more productive place: so far the results are slim. Editor ERWIN CHLANDA put to Ms McCluskey that The Center has a million square kilometers of land, lots of water we know of, and doubtlessly more that we don’t, lots of idle labour, as well as backloading freight opportunities, both on road and rail, which could take produce to Alice Springs or south. How come we’re not rolling in money? FULL STORY »

Dancers take over after dark


FULL STORY MODIFIED to include more photos, September 16, 2013, 10.15am.


It must rank among the best things the Alice Desert Festival has put on in its 13 years, for its key idea of enlivening our central public spaces after dark, erasing their normally anxious, shuttered and desolate state with sensual exuberance, open-hearted humour and welcome. The event was Dance Jam After Dark. It began at the entrance to the Fan Arcade where at the start of the 7pm performance last night a crowd of 50 or so spectators gathered round. By the end they’d been joined by hundreds. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. Video (click FULL STORY) by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Circus of madness and magic

“Running away to the circus” – the image is of escape, overthrow of the strictures of the adult-governed world. But what if the adults are completely on side? If they’re convinced that here lies the path to “truth, wisdom and knowledge”? This is the delightful prospect of joining  Circus Dust. Story by KIERAN FINNANE. Photos and Video by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Councillor Booth director of new Alice escort agency




UPDATED: On council website, he is a “family man, proud resident of Alice.”


A town councillor, Geoffrey John Booth (pictured), is a director and secretary of an escort agency being set up in Alice Springs, and the CEO of Imparja television, Alistair Feehan, is a shareholder. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Letters, comments 11/06/12 to 30/09/13

Letters to the Editor We welcome your letters and comments: What you say. See also at the bottom of this page the comments posted direct. One punch homicide law equals one punch policy POSTED Sir – The Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory opposes the Country Liberals’ pledge to enact the Criminal Code… FULL STORY »

Street parade ushers in festival



Down-sized but definitely not out: the Alice Desert Festival sprang into life last night with the opening night parade restored to its joyful role in Alice Springs street life. The evening was warm and filled with the scent of flowering white cedars. People young and old, but especially those with little children, arrived in the mall from all directions to the sounds of a brass band drifting on the breeze. KIERAN FINNANE was there. FULL STORY »