Story Archive » Volume 20 » Issue 31 »

November 28, 2013

What makes a patch of dirt a place?



What makes a patch of dirt a place, is that it has been traversed, crossed, marked … RUSSELL GOLDFLAM, President of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association of the NT, opened the Alice Springs outing of the traveling exhibition roads cross: contemporary directions in Australian art. FULL STORY »

Tiwi deal to boost pastoral, agricultural & tourism sectors






The Territory Government and the Tiwi Land Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding recognising their shared vision for economic development and jobs on the Tiwi Islands,  writes Chief Minister Adam Giles. PHOTO: Mr Giles and Gibson Farmer Illortaminni, Chairman Tiwi Land Council. FULL STORY »

‘The greatest welfare measure we can offer anybody is a job’


Veteran of Indigenous affairs in the Northern Territory, BOB BEADMAN, looks back on the issues arising in Indigenous policy over the last 50 years and questions its progress.  “I remain slightly uncomfortable about talking about the lives of others,” he writes, “but better me than yet another armchair expert from the eastern seaboard who has never spent serious time in the Northern Territory, let alone with Aboriginal people.” This is the text version of his Eric Johnston lecture, presented at the Northern Territory Library on November 14 2013. FULL STORY »

More sit-down money, fewer answers, as millions accumulate



Communities affected by the Granite Mines (pictured) get $3m a year from their royalty corporation to spend on projects of benefit to their members. Employment doesn’t seem to make the wish list. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

New bid to wrest native title group assets worth millions



The fierce struggle for control of assets owned by Alice Springs native title owners seems set to be resolved, according to a reliable source, speaking on condition of not being named. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Northside IGA is among the assets. FULL STORY »

Questionmark over funding for Desert Knowledge

Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) is in “in discussion” with the NT Government about its funding. Both the chairman, Fred Chaney, a former Coalition Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, and CEO John Huigen are confirming this. Pictured: The Desert Knowledge precinct in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.




Mr Huigen announced today that the NT Government is undertaking its first review of DKA since it began operating under the Desert Knowledge Australia Act in 2003, saying: “This is a timely opportunity to actively demonstrate our practical achievements since we began 10 years ago as part of the Alice in 10 project.” FULL STORY »

Andrew Doyle did not hand out how-to-vote cards for Eli Melky


Councillor Eli Melky, via an Alice Springs firm of solicitors, has told the Alice Springs News Online that Framptons First National principal Andrew Doyle did not hand out how to vote cards for Cr Melky during last year’s town council elections. We regret the error and apologise to Cr Melky. We made the statement in a report headed “Frampton New Homes: the dream breaker” which was accompanied by the photograph shown here, picturing Mr Doyle on the left and Cr Melky on the right, outside the council chambers polling booth on March 24, 2012. FULL STORY »

Writer acknowledged for ‘significant contribution’ to local creative culture

Alice Springs News Online arts writer Kieran Finnane is the recipient of the third annual award of The LOFTY, acknowledging “an individual who has made a significant and longstanding contribution to the creative culture of Alice Springs, by inspiring others, supporting their creative projects and helping to make it all happen in one way or another”.

Pictured: Kieran Finnane accepting her award from Adelaide via a Skype connection. Photo by OLIVER ECLIPSE.  

Teachers wait on Fair Work decisions

The Fair Work Commission is conducting a hearing today on the situation of 500 permanent teachers across the NT who may not have a job next year due to the NT Government’s cuts to its education budget. Permanent experienced teachers, some of whom have been teaching in the Territory for many years if not decades and who have found themselves not attached to a particular school, now face an uncertain future. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Aborigines should be free to use their land for creating jobs





The Opposition Leader should explain what she has against Aboriginal people using their land to create jobs, writes Adam Giles, Chief Minister.



Pandora’s Promise: go nuke or not?

For a small town Alice Springs occupies a prominent place in the nation’s nuclear debate: We’re surrounded by uranium deposits. Our massive power consumption, driven by climatic conditions, suggests a low carbon emission source for electricity would be a good idea. That’s the setting for the provocative film Pandora’s Promise to be shown here on December 11. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: Electricity cabling in a Brazilian slum. FULL STORY »

CLP pursue Tiwi Islands ‘land grab’



Chief Minister Adam Giles announced at the Property Council luncheon that the Government is on the verge of signing off a deal to secure a 99-year lease over 10,000 hectares on the Tiwi Islands. I have deep concerns that traditional owner consultation hasn’t adequately occurred and have called on the Chief Minister to disclose all details of this secret deal to ensure Government transparency and accountability, writes Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie. FULL STORY »

Santa trades sleigh for ute, delivers Icy Poles



The Icy Pole Treat, in its 40th year, is aiming to give every kid in Alice Springs, including the kids at the hospital and the town camps, a visit from Santa at Christmas time, write Ben Crawford and Steve Langdon, of the Apex Club Central Australia. FULL STORY »

Bonanni has strong lead in council poll




Kylie Bonanni (pictured), with 4223 first preference votes, has a convincing lead over Matty Day (2253) at the close of primary votes counting for the Alice Springs Town Council by-election yesterday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Review into IBA and ILC: Scullion






The Australian Government will commence an independent review into Indigenous Business Australia and the Indigenous Land Corporation, writes Senator Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs. FULL STORY »

By-election campaign takes the pulse of the town


Preference deal jockeying aside, the by-election campaign is a chance to take the pulse of the town mid-term of the current Town Council. On the eve of the vote the Alice Springs News Online asked candidates what they had learned about local concerns and what impression they have taken from the campaign of the mood of the community. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Jobs not programs, growth not talk: Bonanni

Alice backed a council candidate who gives young people jobs, not programs; who stands up for the local construction industry and tradies staring into an abyss of no contracts, and who has runs on the board as a player in small business. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Kylie Bonanni. PHOTO: Cr elect Bonanni with husband Fabio and their children (from left) Jacob, Gemma and Tessa.

Editor injured in hit and run

UPDATED, November 23, 2013: Operation successful ….


Alice Springs News Online editor Erwin Chlanda was injured in a hit and run accident on Tuesday night. He was evacuated to Royal Adelaide Hospital yesterday where he will be operated on for a broken femur and pelvis. FULL STORY »

Alice named as destination on the rise




Alice Springs is one of the top 10 destinations on the rise in the South Pacific named by leading travel review website, TripAdvisor, writes Matt Conlan, Minister for Tourism. FULL STORY »

Lively week for alcohol reform movement


The alcohol reform movement is moving nationally with a flurry of reports and press statements released in recent days. Let’s take a look at some of them. RUSSELL GUY‘s Alcohol Watch.

Image: Exposing children to alcohol before birth exposes them to serious harms. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was the focus of a conference in Brisbane on Tuesday. FULL STORY »

The public system is being decimated, say striking teachers

Striking teachers gathered outside Centralian Senior College early this morning to bring their protest against school staffing cuts to the attention of motorists heading to work. They got plenty of honks in support before later joining colleagues in a rally in the town centre. KIERAN FINNANE asked them about the impacts of the proposed cuts, especially in the middle and senior schools. The teachers returned to work this afternoon despite the “lockout” by the Commissioner of Public Employment.


Commissioner revises teacher EBA offer




Commissioner for Public Employment, Ken Simpson, today revised his offer for an agreement covering Northern Territory Public Sector (NTPS) teachers and educators,  give the union an opportunity to secure a pay increase for teachers from 21 November. FULL STORY »

Purple House wins Ethical Enterprise Award 2013



Alice’s Purple House, which spearheaded remote community renal dialysis in the Western Desert, has won the inaugural Ethical Enterprise Award 2013.

Left: The famed Western Desert artist Patrick Tjungurrayi having dialysis in the Purple Truck’s mobile dialysis unit at his home community Kiwirrkurra in WA. FULL STORY »

Climate: bicycles, umbrellas, stirring placards, fuzzy feeling

It was a lovely morning: The medium-sized crowd had pedalled from the Old Eastside to the council lawns. Some had umbrellas, as had been suggested for the local manifestation of the national Climate Change GetUp Rally yesterday. The clothing was colourful, the placards stirring and the speeches generated that warm, fuzzy feeling in the tummy. ERWIN CHLANDA today spoke with ALEC’s Jimmy Cocking, one of the event’s organisers. FULL STORY »

Review of the Aboriginal sacred sites authority?


UPDATED, November 29, 2013, 6.37am and again at 9.27am. See FULL STORY.


The Opposition describes government intentions for the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) as “a dangerous plan to scrap” it. However,  Bess Price, as Minister for Community Services, says the Opposition’s statements are an “hysterical beat-up”. The controversy follows recent conflicts between the AAPA and the Mbantua Festival about the use of the Old Telegraph Station in Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Another reason to love Alice



Sir – On Saturday night I underwent emergency surgery to remove a seriously infected gall bladder at Alice Springs Base Hospital. I am now writing this letter from the comfort of my home four days later, writes Tim Rickards, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Redtails in high-scoring thriller


Tiwi Bombers defeated Central Australia by nine points in a high-scoring thriller at TIO Stadium on Saturday in what was arguably the game of the season to date, scoring 22.11 (143) to 20.14 (134). FULL STORY »

Costs savings for tracking crims





The NT Government will introduce electronic monitoring technology to locate and track an offender’s movements, writes John Elferink,

Minister for Correctional Services. FULL STORY »

From Somebody Everybody, with artistry and love


Without the love, the artistry might have felt abstract; without the artistry, the love might have felt sentimental. As it was Somebody Everybody, a theatrical performance by the StArts with D ensemble, united both in a deeply satisfying and moving experience. Members of StArts with D are people with disabilities and, as the show reveals, unsuspected depths of ability, writes KIERAN FINNANE. Photos by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Artist remembered in annual award night


An annual award, The LOFTY, named in honour of the late Pamela Lofts, accomplished artist and founder of Watch This Space (pictured), is the centerpiece of the local Artist Run Initiative’s end of year celebrations on December 6 from 6pm. Work by Lofts is also included in two exhibitions currently on show at Araluen, including a recent  acquisition, not previously shown in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

‘Sculpture can be personal’


Sculptor Sia Cox’s exhibition Good Friends, recently shown at RAFT Artspace, was a wondrous survey of contemporary portraiture. A room of soft sculptures, in the form of puppets, figures and still life, celebrated the artist’s dearly held relationships with both family and friends. It was impossible not to be drawn into the multitude of emotions expressed both plainly and subtly by this eclectic gathering of characters and in a peculiar, yet intimate way to, at least for a moment, become a part of their world. LUKE SCHOLES reviews. FULL STORY »

Centralian College: opinions were shared and listened to



“Centralian wasn’t a system where the staff taught and students learnt. Instead I found myself in an unfamiliar environment where opinions were shared and actually listened to.” Year 12 graduate ISABELLA  SAN ROQUE looks back at her experience of Centralian Senior College. FULL STORY »

Drink Up!

It’s official.  The NTG can justly issue car registration plates under the moniker ‘Drink Up!’, or perhaps more to the point, ‘What goes around, comes around’. Plus other booze news in ALCOHOL WATCH #3 by Russell Guy. Picture: In the 1980s, images of multiple road trains importing grog into the NT don’t seem to have had any effect.  Forty years on, the latest figures reveal the equivalent of 115,000 slabs sold, Territory-wide each week. That’s about one slab a week per man, woman and child.

No to nuclear? Renewables need a wriggle-on.




Having watched Pandora’s Promise last night I am a bit haunted by the reports currently coming out of China telling of the air pollution being experienced up there. FULL STORY »

#2: The only Kronan in Alice



Half of the Dutch population owns a Kronan, a sturdy simple bicycle from Sweden. I think I have the only one in Alice Springs.


Alcohol is the new heroin


Anyone who believes that alcohol is not as addictive as heroin is riding their armchair.  In the weeks since the last Alcohol Watch, there have been some interesting developments.  Let’s take a look. ALCOHOL WATCH #2 by Russell Guy. PHOTO courtesy PAAC: Booze litter collected in the Todd. FULL STORY »

Preference votes confirm Bonanni victory





Following distribution of preferences last night Kylie Bonanni has maintained her decisive lead to be elected to the Alice Springs Town Council, filling the vacancy left by Geoff Booth. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »