Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 19 »

June 21, 2014

New player in aged care

Australian Regional and Remote Community Services (ARRCS) begins operating aged care services in the Northern Territory today, including the Old Timers in Alice Springs, all of whose staff have joined the new company.


Busy Mayor Ryan: Benefit for the town?




Does Mayor Damien Ryan have conflicts of interests with the large number of positions he holds outside of his Town Council position? Do these jobs take up too much time, detracting from his mayoral duties for which he earns $100,000 a year? And do the fees he gets for these outside positions create obligations for him that may not be in the interest of the town and the ratepayer?ERWIN CHLANDA reports.



Government mum on pay for Mayor Ryan

Neither Mayor Damien Ryan nor the Alice Springs Hospital will release details of the remuneration Mayor Ryan receives for being the chairman of the Central Australian Hospital Network Governing Council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Alice native title organisation out of administration

The four traditional owner corporations based in Alice Springs, including Lhere Artepe, which holds the native title rights of the Central Arrernte people over Alice Springs, are no longer under special administration, writes Anthony Beven, Registrar of Indigenous Corporation. FULL STORY »

Alcohol Mandatory Treatment review: absconding may remain offence




I have released the six month review of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act which recommends that legislation making it an offence to abscond from AMT more than three times should be changed. However, we will have to consider this recommendation very carefully before making a decision, writes Robyn Lambley, Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation.



Hop-on, hop-off bus tour into a world of art



On my first weekend in Alice I visited the art galleries in Todd Mall to start my exploration. I’d already put aside money to purchase my first Aboriginal artwork, but no impulse buys from me – I wanted to get to know Alice and her surrounds before I purchased her art. The opportunity came when I got on the Art Bus leaving at regular intervals from the Beanie Festival last Saturday. The initiative is a great one, Alice Springs’ not-for-profit, Aboriginal-owned art centres working together to further promote their work. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. FULL STORY »

‘Alice water plan out of sight & mind of locals’





We are concerned that changes to the Alice Springs Water Allocation Plan (ASWAP) as prescribed by Councillor Steve Brown are being developed in Darwin, out of sight and mind of Alice Springs residents, writes JIMMY COCKING (pictured) of the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC).


Thumbs down for nuke dump: time for rethink?




The decision last week by the NLC to withdraw from the court action to secure a home for our nuclear waste needs to be turned to advantage. While the NLC is hinting at an alternative and no doubt considering a steady income to the benefit of all their constituents could there be a better solution?


Squeeze on jobs: not necessarily a bad thing



Gone are the golden days when just about anyone could walk into a job in Alice Springs. Although the unemployment rate is low here compared to the national rate, the job market has become more competitive. It’s not that there are fewer jobs, there is more competition from an interstate and overseas workforce and this is not necessarily a bad thing, says Kay Eade, Executive Officer at the Chamber of Commerce. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. FULL STORY »

NT pays back to mining industry almost all its royalties

The Northern Territory taxpayers are providing massive assistance to the mining industry, a staggering $407 million over six years, which is enough to fund 799 doctors, according to The Australia Institute (TAI).



Mad hatters come out to play in Alice



Here’s a Mad Hatter’s riddle for you: Where’s the world’s largest festival celebrating the art of keeping your head warm? No, not in the frigid climes of Scandinavia or Alaska but here in Alice, centre of the desert heartland of Australia. This year’s Beanie Festival was the 18th and Friday’s opening night at the Araluen Arts Centre was attended by thousands sharing in the head-warming festivities, catching a glimpse of the mad hats on show and sipping wine, chai and coffee with old friends and new. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. FULL STORY »

The joy of an Hour of Power



From years of teaching dance, Melissa Kerl has learned that many people just want to dance without being limited by choreography. She and collaborator Franca Barraclough are hosting just such an opportunity with their Hour of Power sessions on a Tuesday night. More a celebration of people’s everyday desire to move than a class or rehearsal, this is mostly a freeform experience, but Kerl and Barraclough bring to it a few embracing rituals. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

From gorgeous to outrageous

p2141-Couture-Sinead-orangeIt’s recycling at its most refined and at times most playful. From heirloom lace, vintage kimonos, linens and silks to old tablecloths, curtains, jumpers, unpicked, cut up, restructured, even boiled to make “fashion statements” from the gorgeous to the outrageous. The name of the process, Sustainable Couture, is also an event and once again it packed out the Aviation Museum last Thursday, the opener of a five-day celebration of textile arts. KIERAN FINNANE reports.  FULL STORY »

Stop skimping on WiFi, Alice




I will admit to an expectation of easy and nearly universal access to free Wi-Fi before starting this trip into Java. Previous trips to SE Asia had given me some idea of what to expect, but even with those recent experiences, I was still not prepared for what I have found.


Alice Springs ED was initiative of Federal and Territory Labor





The NT Government’s Minister for Health Robyn Lambley said that the Alice Springs Hospital’s new Emergency Department was a success.  I welcome this and am proud that I could get $13.6 million of Federal funding to partner with the former Territory Labor Government to get this facility built, writes WARREN SNOWDON, Member for Lingiari. FULL STORY »

NTG should release Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act review




Now that the NT Health Minister Robyn Lambley has come clean that the purpose of Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT) is to get drunks off the streets, the Government should release the findings of its review of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act that closed four months ago, and get rid of the inequitable offences of breaching either an AMT order or an Alcohol Protection Order. It is high time that Minister Lambley released the results of a review of the Act, writes Dr JOHN BOFFA for the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition. FULL STORY »

CSIRO staff in Alice Springs protest over funding cuts



Local CSIRO Staff Association members and supporters are joining with other regional laboratories across Australia holding a day of protest tomorrow, Tuesday 24 June.We do not yet know whether our Alice Springs CSIRO office will lose any of its staff but we are deeply concerned at the impact of federal government budget cuts, which will result in the loss of 700 staff across Australia over the next twelve months, writes Dr JOCELYN DAVIES and local Staff Association members. FULL STORY »

New Emergency Department delivering results




The Alice Springs Hospital community is celebrating the first anniversary of the new Emergency Department, which has has recorded more than 43,000 attendances since the Country Liberals Government built the larger facility in mid-June last year. This is more than 3000 patients than the older facility was able to treat in the previous 12 months, writes Minister for Health ROBYN LAMBLEY.  FULL STORY »

Boot camps could be what troubled youths need



The Northern Territory Government’s first ever Early Intervention Youth Boot Camp has been held in Central Australia with seven male youths completing the 10 day course. The program is aimed at youths who have been identified as at risk of entering into the justice system and could be the intervention that troubled youths need to turn their lives around. Ten males aged 12-14 were identified for the first boot camp, writes Minister for Correctional Services JOHN ELFERINK.

Ryan earning more from govt. jobs than for being Mayor





It appears Damien Ryan is making more money from serving on government boards than he is paid to be the Mayor of Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Assaults and alcohol-related assaults down Territory-wide




The Northern Territory has experienced a dramatic drop in assaults over the four months that tough new alcohol policies have been in effect. Territory-wide there has been a 16% reduction in assaults in the four months to April 2014 compared to the same period last year. Assaults are down by 25% in Alice Springs, write Chief Minister ADAM GILES and Attorney-General JOHN ELFERINK. FULL STORY »

Cost of living in Alice: Who’s feeling the pinch?




The cost of living in Alice has long been a source of angst amongst locals with food prices across the board higher than in coastal capital cities. Still, on some weeknights Alice’s restaurants are near capacity. The same could be said for Friday’s fish and chip night – you have to be strategic when making your booking to avoid the rush. RACHEL McFADDEN reports.


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 »

A show of ‘quiet and intriguing discoveries’



A show of “light and dark”, of “quiet and intriguing discoveries”, that “answers questions and poses them”, is how Helen Maxwell OAM, art consultant and valuer, described Groundrush, an exhibition at the Araluen Arts Centre that opened last Friday. It grew out of the work of six artists who took part in a residency at the Groundrush mine in the Tanami Desert in 2007. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Image: Dancing on the Scats by Pamela Lofts and Nic Hempel. FULL STORY »

Todd Mall: Butt out!

p2105-Mall-al-fresco-frontCouncillor Jade Kudrenko is calling for council to enforce its smoke-free policy in Todd Mall and Todd Street North: “I find it quite frustrating that people can smoke in the Mall when it is very packed. In this day and age it is something we should not accept. If people wish to smoke that’s fine but they shouldn’t do so in those extremely packed areas.” RACHEL McFADDEN reports.  FULL STORY »

Water for 300 years, at current consumption: What if we want more?

p2145waterbasinsMereenieSMThe Amadeus Basin Groundwater System, from which Alice Springs draws its water, should continue to sustain current extraction rates for about 300 years, says a spokesman for the Department of Land Resource Management. He says “increased extraction” is now under consideration “in the course of further consultation and discussion with the Alice Springs community about a review and possible revision of the plan.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Stuart statue update: Break-down of the $75,000.

The Town Council has responded to doubts about the cost of $75,000 for the relocation of the controversial Stuart statue by releasing the break-down of the costs. FULL STORY »

Has missing third offender in rape case been found?

A 19-year-old man has been charged by Southern Investigation Detectives in relation to the sexual assault of two women in Alice Springs in May 2012. Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Malley says police allege the man, who was 17 at the time, and two co-offenders robbed and sexually assaulted the two women who were asleep inside their vehicle. While the police media release does not specify, this arrest would appear to be of the alleged missing third offender in the gang rape at gunpoint of two European tourists to which two young men pleaded guilty in September last year.


Bess Price unable to explain her policies, says Opposition




CLP Minister Bess Price was unable to explain her comments calling for changes to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in the estimates hearing,writes Ken Vowles (pictured) Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy. FULL STORY »

Multi-faith openings of council meetings are a good thing





With people from all around the world living in Alice, what better way to start council meetings than with prayers from many religions? FULL STORY »

Sequins to satire: life at The Totem

p2142-Totem-5SMCommunity spirit is alive and well in Alice Springs, with close to two-dozen volunteers attending a working bee at the Totem Theatre last Saturday. It was many a young girl’s (and boy’s) fantasy: piles of tutus, flamboyant gowns, stage props scattered across the lawn. The volunteers, lending hand and muscle, got in the mood, draping themselves in sequins and tulle. But theatre  can also be the vehicle for exploring more pressing concerns. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. FULL STORY »

Royalties & dole? No further comment from Centrelink

Centrelink will make no further comment on an Alice Springs News Online report raising questions about the suspension or cancellation of welfare payments to people receiving mining royalties. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Javanese eyes on Alice



In the Javanese city of Jogjakarta, where Akiq Abdul Wahid comes from, “everything happens in the street”. In Alice Springs, which he is visit on an exchange residency, he has noticed that the street is a place for getting to what is happening. If there’s something to observe in the street – apart from our mostly lack-lustre urban environment – it’s the social tension. How he has interpreted that is on show at Watch This Space. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Black is beautiful on the fashion runway



Local Aboriginal models – women and men, girls and boys – took to the runway in a first for The Centre, the Yapa Style Fashion Festival, organised by designer Hannah Nungarrayi Trindorfer. She has made a name with her Woo Woo Yiljirli designs for nail art, clothing and accessories, especially men’s ties and is starting to be invited to national fashion shows. She sees the runway as another way of putting Aboriginal achievement into the limelight.


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 »


a2147-catholic-care FULL STORY »

Catch up with the whole town at the Show


Yesterday the big Show arena at Blatherskite Park was all wide open spaces, with just Carreene Groves on JD (centre) and Tanya Gardiner on B being put through their paces by trainer Jamie Murray. Tomorrow it will be bustling with life as the 55th Annual Show becomes the focus of the town: there will be horse events from dressage, hack, harness, show jumping and Western sections as well as traditional stockmen events including Maiden Draft, Team Penning and Stockman’s Challenge and the Bill Hayes Memorial Bronco Branding. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.







a2106airflightsOK FULL STORY »