Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 29 »

July 17, 2014

Council to NTG: hands off our public holidays



Alice Springs could not afford to lose the May Day, Queen’s Birthday and Picnic Day public holidays: the community events that are held on all three are essential to the town’s economic and cultural life. So say the Town Councillors who last night voted to write to the NT Government to express this view. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Buffel, the canetoad of the plant world



Is buffel the botanical canetoad, only worse? Will it displace our iconic wildflowers such as the perennial daisy (pictured)? That’s the question PETER LATZ is raising. Central Australia’s most prominent botanist, widely published, gives a troubling account of short-sightedness and government incompetence – and a glimmer of hope. FULL STORY »

Drugs found on bus from Adelaide



A 24-year-old man will appear in the Magistrates Court today charged with drug offences following a routine search on a bus traveling from Adelaide. FULL STORY »

Carbon farming for Top End, not The Centre as yet



The national headoffice of the Aboriginal Carbon Fund (ACF) is located in Alice Springs but benefits from the initiative to The Centre are some way off. The main method for making money through carbon farming is savannah burning but at the moment there is no corresponding scheme for rangelands. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PLEASE NOTE changes to this post made at 11am on Wednesday, July 16. FULL STORY »

Young people in Alice Springs: pawns in political games?



Youth advocates are saying the latest round of cuts to youth programs at the beginning of the year are now being felt on the ground. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. PHOTO: Youth activities arranged by police at town camps during the school holidays. SEE update at the bottom of the FULL STORY page.


White Gums: new plans for rural suburb




The Brown family at White Gums, in the south-western corner of the Alice Springs municipality, is having its fourth shot at an ambitions real estate development. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Super Raelene Bros’ Revolution Day has come



In a sweltering 40 degree January the unique  acoustic dance hall duo Super Raelene Bros (aka Basil and Derek Schild) laid down their first full-length album – 10 tracks – in the Redhouse rammed-earth studio in Old Eastside, Alice Springs.  Now it’s ready for launching, at Monte’s Lounge on July 19. LIAM CAMPBELL has been listening. FULL STORY »

Government shifts from media minding to media monstering





PHOTO: Business event planners from around Australia taking part in a mini Henley on Todd organised by Rotary competing in bottomless boats against the Drum Atweme kids on a glorious winter’s day at the famous Telegraph Station. (Redacted.) FULL STORY »

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Unhappy with TV interview about Harold Liddle and Wanting to help accident victims.


Stuart is holding the wrong rifle





Just as you thought the row over the Stuart statue is all over, gun enthusiast Des Nelson has discovered the weapon the explorer is holding – the subject of so much criticism – is the wrong one.


ABC story celebrates NAIDOC Week by omissions




An ABC TV report last night about activist Geoff Shaw (image at left from ABC footage), and in connection with NAIDOC Week, was devoid of balance and unfairly dumped on Alice Springs. This is an issue in the public interest, comments ERWIN CHLANDA.


Annual Collectors Fair

Depression glass, harps, Pat Elvin statuettes, Walkabout Magazines and old hand tools. These are some of the items on display at this year’s Collectors Fair at The Residency on Sunday, writes Tara Leckey, of Heritage Alice Springs Inc. FULL STORY »

‘Born & bred’ Renee worked her way up to bank manager




Alice Springs Community Bank branch manager, Renee DeMarco (pictured), has a tendency to downplay her success. At 26, she has worked her way up to become one of Alice’s few born and bred female bank managers. RACHEL McFADDEN reports. FULL STORY »

Alice Show: top attractions go up in smoke



No smoking rules at the Show led to the cancellation of the annual fixture’s most spectacular events, the rodeo, the campdraft and the bronco branding. Meanwhile, exhibits in some of the sections looked a treat. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Stuart statue competes against a light pole



It’s up – but not quite. There’s still a bit of work to be done. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fracking key to immense NT resource wealth: Santos


Fracking can play a critical role in making the Northern Territory one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters, unlocking an estimated 240 trillion cubic feet of gas, 10 times more than the Ichthys project and Mereenie combined. This much cleaner energy source would replace the need for 30 million tonnes of coal, says mining giant Santos. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Protest at last night’s council meeting.


Put town planning into the hands of the people




Public comment on the latest White Gums land development proposal close tomorrow. Similar projects have stalled, including Ron Sterry’s in Ragonesi Road (at left). Have we learned? FULL STORY »

Interim board for Desert Knowledge Australia?




The NT Government is in the process of appointing an interim board for the troubled Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA), according to a source asking not to be named. One member is said to be Ken Johnson (pictured).


Racial vilification law change: Council adopts policy




A stance on proposed changes to racial vilification laws, approving $25,000 for a master plan for public arts such as the Gathering Garden (pictured) and Cr Melky being coy about a motion of confidence in the Mayor – all in a night’s work for the town council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Are there a better ways to spend $24m?




The construction of a $24m railway overpass 12 kilometres south of Alice Springs will start next month, replacing an existing level crossing with a new 40 metre bridge over the rail line. Is this money well spent, we are asking our readers. FULL STORY »

Enigmatic, present in the moment, with grunt on Thursday nights



It’s a Thursday evening and as Todd Mall prepares to close for trading, Anthony ‘Tilla” McIlwain and local musician Darcy “D-Day” Davis (at right), set up for a new venture, Thursday’s Late Night Shopping. RACHEL McFADDEN reports.


Territory growth – it is mostly the Top End’s Inpex




Today’s CommSec State of the States report showed worrying signs on the horizon for the Territory economy, writes Gerry McCarthy, Shadow Treasurer (pictured). FULL STORY »

Fracking company says it has deals with Central Land Council



The Norwegian oil company StatOil says agreements it has with the Central Land Council disprove claims by the Arid Lands Environment Centre that the firm has “no fracking social license in the NT”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: StatOil facility in North Africa.


For heaven’s sake, it’s Rock’n Roll





Your guess: He’s a man of the cloth. He writes Rock’n Roll. He’s a high energy live music performer. He has The Centre in his DNA. Who is he?
ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Go to FULL STORY and watch the video.


How delicious is Spam?



A central metaphor for My Desert is Delicious, a performance in development by the Dusty Feet Dance Collective, is tinned Spam and tinned food more generally. It seemed to be a way of acknowledging that the perspectives being presented on this place – Alice Springs, the central desert – were imported. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. See also video at FULL STORY. FULL STORY »

Telstra service horrendous, says Alice farm area resident




Telstra’s service in the southern part of Alice Springs is clearly close to collapse as internet browsing, increasingly, is mostly slow or not available at all. PHOTO: Using Tourism NT’s free WiFi in Todd Mall as Telstra service in the farm areas is letting locals down. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Work starts on 250 affordable housing dwellings


A program is under way to create 250 “affordable housing” dwellings in Alice Springs, within about three years. Construction has started on the first project, 11 units in Gillen, obtained from a private developer. The first 50 are scheduled to come on stream next year. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Bring in open and fair planning appeal rights

Here is an outline of what we’re proposing to Planning Minister, Peter Chandler, in a bid to to have planning regulations changed in favour of open and fair planning appeal rights. He answered quickly and reassuringly that he was looking into the matter, write Diana Rickard and Greg Chapman.


Why do we not think BIG about tourism?

Steve Brown comment



I attended another token forum recently which had the publicised intention of gathering local ideas on future development, facilitating infrastructure for the Central Australian Region. I was once again disheartened not only by the tokenistic pretense at listening to local ideas, but most of all I was struck by the lack of imagination, adventure, forward thinking or just plain guts that was on display in that thinking. FULL STORY »

Central Land Council retreats deeper into its bunker


The Central Land Council (CLC) is dealing with the bitter conflict between chairman Maurie Japarta Ryan and director David Ross by retreating deeper into its bunker. According to a document (partly shown above) leaked to the Alice Springs News Online people making statements to media on the issues face expulsion. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. 


Thunder in The Alice




Alice Springs was treated to a revhead’s dream this weekend at the Drag Strip where competitors of all ages battled it out in front of some very impressive crowds. CHRIS CORDERO reports. FULL STORY »

Canberra, Darwin – hand in hand getting it wrong



The railway overpass outside Alice Springs and the Arlparra (Utopia) police station (pictured) have three things in common: They are useless (given far more pressing needs), are paid for by Canberra yet are touted by the Giles spin doctors as something which the NT Government is doing for the local economy. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Mantle of mental health care withdrawn


p2129-Craig-San-Roquep2034SnowdonTWO LETTERS TO EDITOR

The Abbott Government has cut the funding for an essential mental health program that is delivered by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, writes WARREN SNOWDON, MHR for Lingiari. Responding to the news DR CRAIG SAN ROQUE, psychologist, says the move – dismantling a primary mental health care service that was working – is unforgivable, but that NT Medicare Local has also had a role to play. FULL STORY »

Government cuts to curtail family daycare



Families in Alice Springs could feel the impact of funding cuts to family day care, as the far-reaching consequences are realised around the country, writes Erica Johansson of Alice Springs Family Day Care.


Electricity prices coming down: Tollner





Territorians will pay less for their power with today’s axing of Labor’s Carbon Tax, writes Treasurer Dave Tollner (pictured).


A big trek for a big cause




As the world capital of swags Alice Springs is a fitting place for three people to embark on an epic journey – and so is their mode of transport. They are setting out to raise money for swags to be donated to homeless people around Australia, and they’re doing it in a camel wagon. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Artists bring landscape into Alice Plaza



A mural in the Namatjira tradition will soon grace a wall inside the Alice Plaza and is bound to become a drawcard for art lovers and tourists. Work began yesterday with Ngurratjuta Many Hands artists Peter Taylor and Mervyn Rubuntja outlining the scaled-up forms of a landscape painted by Taylor. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Global travellers meet at the crossroads of the world



Where does a man walking around the world meet another one doing the same thing on a bicycle? In Todd Mall, Alice Springs, of course. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PICTURED: Pushkar Shah (left) and Nicolas Queune in Todd Mall yesterday.


Necks tucked in on Racial Discrimination Act

p2128-Race-post-frThe culture divide on the Town Council was clear last night when the majority voted down Councillor Chansey Paech’s motion on the Federal Government’s mooted changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Culture, people appealed to event organiser

p2128 Vanessa Fleming-Baillie


The range of activities available and “the diversity of cultures and people” were what Vanessa Fleming-Baillie (pictured) found very appealing in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


30,000 Territorians not on the electoral roll


According to ABS estimated population figures there are about 30,000 Territorians who are not on the electoral roll, writes Iain Loganathan, NT Electoral Commissioner.


Medicare: We can’t spend money we don’t have

The letter from Dr Craig San Roque (18/7/2014) in relation to mental health services to the Western Desert requires a response. It is inaccurate in relation to circumstances and fact, writes Dr Andrew Bell, Chair, Northern Territory Medicare Local. FULL STORY »