Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 16 »

May 31, 2014

Visions of Utopia


Stories and pictures you won’t see in John Pilger’s film 


Priorities are shifting at Arlparra, also known as Utopia. Traditional owners did not want it to develop as a community, but to rather be a resource centre, delivering services to people living on their homelands. But in a visit to the area this week Member for Namatjira, Alison Anderson, was told that the push from locals is now for “housing, housing, housing” at Arlparra. KIERAN FINNANE travelled with Ms Anderson ahead of the heavily promoted broadcast of Pilger’s Utopia on SBS this Saturday. FULL STORY »

The Centre’s winning literature




Alice Springs author Rod Moss has won the Chief Minister’s Book of the Year Award for his memoir, One Thousand Cuts, while the graphic novel, The Long Weekend in Alice Springs, by Craig San Roque and Joshua Santospirito won the Non-Fiction Book Award. FULL STORY »

Ask Lisa for the secret of growing a business in Alice


Message to the “we’ll all be ruined” brigade: There’s plenty of scope in Alice Springs for growing a business – and quite without government handouts. Just ask Lisa Perry. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO by TAYLOR CHALKER.

Dogs to scare kids as cops are busy at bottleshops




Bottle shop watch takes cops from street patrols – and do the kids know it! COMMENT by HAL DUELL.


Huge budget cuts for environmental lobby



Governments have inflicted “significant” budget cuts on the Alice Springs based Arid Lands Environment Centre, says its CEO Jimmy Cocking (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Mysterious interference with Alice mobile calls



A mystery source of interference is causing disruption to mobile phone calls in Alice Springs and also to internet users linked to 3G and 4G access for browsing and emails. FULL STORY »

Ryan’s agenda to reform land council: broad support from members?

UPDATE May 24, 9:30am: Major comment from challenger Michael Liddle in comment box below this report.


The re-election yesterday of Central Land Council chairman Maurie Ryan indicates that his agenda to reform the organisation has broad support from its members. A letter (excerpt pictured) to Senator Nigel Scullion, which sparked Mr Ryan’s recent standing down, has been leaked to the Alice Springs News Online. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Public drinking: town council staffer stands his ground




Town council Community Services Director Craig Catchlove (pictured) stood his ground last night when he came under fire over statements on illegal public drinking. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Chief Minister: ‘Not enough investment in culture’


Aboriginal culture “is the heart and soul of the Northern Territory” and “I don’t think we put enough into investment in culture”, Chief Minister Adam Giles told the Arrernte traditional owners, their families, friends and well-wishers who gathered on Wednesday to launch a book and a short film about the work Akeyulerre Inc is doing. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured: Arrernte elder Amelia Turner with children at the launch. FULL STORY »

Can you get mining royalties plus the dole?


Do people receiving mining royalties, whose distribution are high points in the lives of local used car salesmen, have their Centrelink payments canceled or suspended? The Department of Human Services, doesn’t keep records of that, ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: A “powder monkey’s” rig underground in the Granites mine north-west of Alice Springs, source of millions in mining royalties. FULL STORY »

Desert Parasite?






Desert Knowledge indeed! It appears that despite all the early promise the only expertise DK has mastered is in the art of filling out grant application forms and the gross over production of supporting propaganda, writes STEVE BROWN. FULL STORY »

Tollner gets a free lunch in more ways than one





Budget: Treasurer Dave Tollner gets it easy as in Alice the movers and shakers don’t move nor shake. PHOTO: Four star wilderness lodge at Redbank Gorge: Wouldn’t it be nice! COMMENT by  ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Alison Anderson: rebel with a cause




Alison Anderson has long operated under the motto: If you can’t join them, beat them. She gave an exclusive interview to ERWIN CHLANDA. She is pictured with Kathy Satour (left) in Alice Springs this morning. FULL STORY »

CAT: ‘We’ll grow again once the chaos subsides’


In the shadow of the federal Budget, friends of the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT), board members and staff, past and present, gathered last Friday to celebrate the publication of Alan Mayne’s Alternative Interventions, a book that charts CAT’s history to 2010, when it had 130 staff on the books and was turning over $25 million. Today the picture is somewhat different and their survival strategy can be summed up as this: “Pull business back now and grow again once the chaos subsides.” KIERAN FINNANE reports.


Mining royalties and welfare payments: the government view


Rent, royalties and other land related payments are treated as income for social security purposes if the monies are paid to a member of an Indigenous community, according to information obtained by Tina MacFarlane. Royalty issues are also likely to be raised in a meeting of the Central Land Council (CLC) which will consider the future of CLC chairman Maurie Ryan (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Dave’s dilemma



Who’s in charge: Treasurer Dave Tollner or fatcat bureaucrats? That is the question. FULL STORY »

Government handing out water licences at alarming rate: Labor




The CLP Government is jeopardising the future of developing Northern Australia by handing over water licences at an alarming rate with no regard for future planning or science, writes Kon Vatskalis, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure & Transport (pictured). FULL STORY »

Sitzlers win Kilgariff subdivision contract






Alice Springs based company Sitzler Bros has been awarded the multi-million dollar tender for subdivision works at Kilgariff, and local company Patrick Homes is the first to have put their hands up to take five lots, according to a media release from Chief Minister Adam Giles. FULL STORY »

New post office shed to cope with online shopping parcels


A large shed is being added to the southern side of the post office building to cope with the increase in mail order posting. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

5% council rate rise proposed





The Town Council is proposing a 5% rate rise largely to cope with increases in electricity costs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Mayor Damien Ryan. FULL STORY »

Massive drop in crime, Ministers claim

Assaults have been reduced by almost 20% Territory wide and 32% in Alice Springs by “tough new alcohol policies including Alcohol Protection Orders and intensive Temporary Beat Locations” outside bottle shops, claim Chief Minister Adam Giles and Minister for Justice John Elferink in a joint media release. FULL STORY »

Fiddling while buffel is burning


Under the shrubs and trees of the West MacDonnell National Park lurks thick, dense buffel grass, square kilometers of it, healthy and in seed, a tinderbox in the making. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The glorious view from the Larapinta Trail about three kilometers east of Simpson’s Gap: bottom left of the photo shows buffel grass.

Bye, bye bikers!


“Missing you already” is bound to be the message of Alice Springs to the 2500 departing Ulysses Club members who spent $5m in town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Desert Knowledge: Return on investment – a second look



The Don Zoellner review of Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) reports a “return on investment” at the rate of $19.90 gained for every dollar spent on it by the NT Government, conjuring up the impression of an ingenious product on the open market resulting in a sensational windfall for the Territory taxpayer. But this would be a misinterpretation. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. PHOTO: Dr. Zoellner. FULL STORY »

Want to be a bigot?






Bigot strikes me as a lousy word to hang one’s hat on, although if worked into a political slogan it might have legs. FULL STORY »

Amanyi’s story

p2138-amanyi-gun-smThis righteous desert babe left us 10 days ago. Her life was not a procession of unparalleled, certifiable, gold medal, high-achieving wins, but an impressive battle scar and zesty tribute to the vitality of soul-force, writes BETH SOMETIMES. She was seventy-five, and taken out suddenly by a massive stroke. While she was in hospital five years ago after the first stroke, we hung out and talked extensively and I wrote something of a story of her life. Here is a much abridged version, published with the permission of Amanyi’s daughter, Linda Stanley. She also gave permission for photos of Amanyi to be published. FULL STORY »

No need to declare interest: Paech

Cr Chansey Paech says there was no need for him to declare an interest as a paid adviser to Senator Nova Peris when he moved a motion in town council opposing changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Part of a letter from Sen Peris with a message very similar to Cr Paech’s motion. FULL STORY »

Tollner exploiting other people’s misery, says Anderson

Local Government Minister Dave Tollner has been accused of gross insensitivity by Alison Anderson, the head of  the Palmer United Party (PUP). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Skinny latte with daring texts and probing photos



Owner Kam Buckley (at right in the photo), owner of KafeGonzo which in its new location still has the same trendy vibe. But it is now packed to the rafters with paintings, pictures, books, novels and magazines in organised chaos. Kam is pictured with artist James Tudor. JENNIFER RAJHER reports.


Skatepark ‘mudmap’ is not a final design

The existing drawings for extending the skatepark in Speed Street are only a “mudmap”, says Alice Springs Town Council Director of Technical Services, Greg Buxton. Asked by councillors to review his costing for that “basic concept”, he has gone to the skatepark specialists CONVIC Constructions and asked them to “estimate a price for our two options”. At this stage he says CONVIC have not been asked to do any design work. Right: What’s possible: the skatepark at the small inland town of Collie in WA, built by CONVIC. 

Beyond beauty



The brilliant white bark of the ghost gum, its apparent smoothness, and the grace of its limbs are what immediately catch our eye as we move through the bush, but in Ghost Gums, an exhibition by Mel Robson and Elliat Rich at Araluen, the trees are not approached in the singular. We enter the gallery space as if entering a grove. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Federal Budget to hit Centre hardest



NT Labor Senator Nova Peris says the Federal government’s “broken promises” and budget cuts will hurt particularly the Northern Territory and Central Australia. FULL STORY »

Youth activist, businessman joins PUP



The opportunity of being in on the ground floor on policy formulation is a strong reason for him joining the Palmer United Party (PUP), says youth activist and businessman Matty Day, pictured doing a skateboarding trick in the CBD. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Immersed in metal


Central Australia is making a serious name for itself in the metal music scene. Leading the way is Uncreation, who come under the Black Wreath label, a local outfit, five larrikin lads all hailing from Alice Springs. JULZ WILLSON got an earful – and liked it. FULL STORY »

EXCLUSIVE: Desert Knowledge: management, board to be replaced after crushing report




The hype was huge when nearly five years ago, a $10m Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) project linking businesses across the outback was launched in Alice Springs with a video link across much of the nation.
Not much is left of that today as a report commissioned by the NT Government has little good to say about the organisation that, the report claims, “myopic optimism that … is further demonstrated in the self-referential nature of the Board, the senior management and those with whom it decides to engage.”

In September 2009, DKA CEO John Huigen (blue tie) and NT Minister Chris Burns (on the screen at left) in Darwin joined Federal Parliament and nine towns in Desert Australia via a video link on Monday to launch an initiative that will make the buck stop in the outback. Joy Taylor, DK Network Development, did the talking in The Alice. Ron Saint (seated at right), from project partner Telstra, was in the launch audience. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

More than a driveway, it’s a story


In a town bent on ever hardening its face with lowest common denominator concreting – filling garden beds, roundabouts, median strips – at 8 Hele Crescent owners Mike Gillam and Maria Giacon show what is possible with thought and imagination. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured from left, the  team: builder Matt Hablethwaite, Mike Gillam, Maria Giacon, builder Jamie McKnight and concreter Richard Castine.


Advertising Tank City

a2139-tank-city FULL STORY »


a2106airflightsOK FULL STORY »