Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 17 »

June 7, 2014

The Horror comes to cinema, live & on screen


Be scared, be very afraid: Today is Friday the 13th AND full moon. Celebrate with Trasharama a-go-go and local band The Horror with members Jo, Junt, Tully and Munts, and mascot Sindee. PHOTO: Oliver Eclipse. FULL STORY »

Ministers mum on threat to West MacDonnells, tourism promotion fiasco




Two ministers with key roles in The Centre’s troubled tourism industry have declined to be interviewed about their failure to get visitor numbers up, and to arrest a major threat to the West MacDonnell Ranges national park. Tourism Minister Matt Conlan relied on a written statement, short on specifics, from a minder to respond to questions from the Alice Springs News Online. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Trekker thigh-deep in the weed buffel on the Larapinta trail about, three kilometers west of Ormiston Gorge last week. Parks Minister Bess Price, the custodian of the tourism industry’s majors asset, the West Macs, is sitting on her hands. FULL STORY »

Salt mine near Alice planned to be region’s biggest private employer


The company Tellus Holdings says it wants its planned salt mine at Titjikala, 120 kms south of Alice Springs, to be the region’s bigger private employer. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. PHOTO: A salt mine in Germany (courtesy Tellus). FULL STORY »

‘Gift’ costs ratepayers $75,000



p2140-Stuart-statue-base-frIt was supposed to be a gift to the ratepayer from the Freemasons. Now the John McDouall Stuart statue is going to cost the town $75,000. Work has begun on the base: the concrete needs to cure for 28 days before loads can be applied. KIERAN FINNANE reports.



Time to hold the line on carbon.




Claims that carbon pricing will crunch our economy when there is so much evidence to the contrary should be judged harshly by the electorate. Central Australia, with abundant sources of renewable energy, stands to be a significant beneficiary of carbon pricing which will encourage solar energy harvesting and carbon farming. FULL STORY »

Shopping for a hijab can be fun





While walking between tour agents one afternoon comparing their prices for a sunrise trip to the top of the local volcano, my eye was caught by the sign over a hijab store in Malang, Java. FULL STORY »

Thumbs up for two Finke winners and 300 volunteers

When Victorians Ian and Shannon Rentsch (pictured) blasted home to win the Tattersalls Finke Desert Race this morning, they got a well-deserved thumbs up. But the other half of the story is the sensational effort by hundreds of local volunteers, performing tasks ranging from cleaning dunnies to operating the Finke website, year after year, without pay. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Meeting suspending director not valid, says land council




A statement from the Central Land Council (CLC) today says “no valid meeting of the Executive” has taken place and the “purported dealing with the employment of David Ross” is of no effect. The statement follows the leaking to the Alice Springs News Online of a letter from CLC chairman Maurie Japarta Ryan to Mr Ross (pictured), the director of the CLC, suspending him “effective immediately”. (See report posted yesterday.) 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 »

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 »

A lesson from mining that went bad




I was picked up this morning from my hotel under the Surabaya airport’s flight path and taken to the mud flats at nearby Lapindo. There’s a lesson in those flats for prospective miners who do not take sufficient care. It seems a company was drilling for gas and managed to puncture one of our planet’s membranes. FULL STORY »


a2037suicide 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 »

Land Council executive moves to suspend CEO






Members of the Central Land Council (CLC) have moved to suspend David Ross as the CEO of the council, according to a letter dated May 30 and leaked to the Alice Springs News Online. 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 »

Who will benefit from Utopia’s new police station?



Who is going to benefit from a new police complex at Utopia, now called Arlparra, estimated to cost $7m? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The existing demountables which seem to be adequate. FULL STORY »

Taxpayers happy in 2014





Those who spent Friday afternoon behind the wheel may have heard news (ABC Radio) that a majority of Australians are now happy to pay their taxes, writes our new columnist, RICHARD BENTLEY. 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.


First youth boot camps get underway




The first group of young Territorians to participate in the Government’s new early intervention youth boot camp programs will tomorrow take their first steps towards getting their lives back on track, says Minister for Correctional Services John Elferink (pictured) in a media release. FULL STORY »

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 »

Noise ‘deafening’ from school basketball court


Sir – I have some unanswered questions regarding the shed structure for the basketball courts at Centralian Middle School. The noise generated is deafening, writes local resident Ron Kern.

See update with the reply of Minister Chandler. FULL STORY »

Telstra to fix mobile reception, but it will take a while




Telstra, for now at least, is adopting a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude to the mobile phone fiasco at the Finke and the recent Ulysses meeting (pictured), and the ongoing problems with slow internet connections and call drop-outs south of the MacDonnell range. 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 »

Building contracts: Giles govt. should stand up for small business

Steve Brown comment



With the Giles Government now halfway through a term it was with some disgust this week that I discovered that the very mechanism used to rort the SIHIP funding for Aboriginal Housing is still in play. 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.


Yarning around the campfire? Not here, mate.

Steve Brown comment



I was disturbed to hear on ABC radio this morning, as reported by the Alice Springs News Online last Saturday, a story about Territory Parks and Wildlife demanding that hikers on the Larapinta Trail cease lighting camp fires and carry gas cookers. FULL STORY »


a2142outbackfineryOK FULL STORY »


a2106airflightsOK FULL STORY »