Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 32 »

August 19, 2014

Jailing the poor helps NT manage economy




The Territory’s rising prison population has served as a long-term mechanism for managing the economy, according to a Charles Darwin University academic Don Zoellner who will speak at a national conference in Alice Springs next week. FULL STORY »

Adam Giles, not Aborigines, raised nuke dump near Alice



It was Chief Minister Adam Giles, not Aboriginal land holders, who raised the possibility of a nuclear dump near Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PICTURED (from left): Matthew Palmer, Benedict Stevens, Russell Bray and Lesley Tickner reveal details.

See update Wednesday 7:30am


OneSteel to close



The town’s biggest steel supplier, OneSteel, will be closing, ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Pilot in Alice balloon disaster goes to gaol again



One of the two pilots in the balloon collision which killed 13 people in Alice Springs on August 13, 1989, received a five year sentence for fraud in the Gympie District Court last week. PHOTO: Image of balloon flights in Alice Springs on the web today.


Western Desert mental health service to continue


The Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas program is set to continue in the Western Desert region of Central Australia following mutual agreement on funding arrangements between the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Australian Government Department of Health and the Northern Territory Medicare Local. FULL STORY »

Native title owners don’t want nuke dump, have brawl over land



A nuclear dump is not wanted near Alice Springs and the Aboriginal people promoting it do not have native title rights to land north of town, says Lhere Artepe, the town’s native title organisation. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


When adults turn into kids who make the town famous


Once a year in Alice Springs, dozens of grown-ups turn into kids again and have a ball: they transform into Vikings, pirates, captains, commodores, midshipmen, petty officers, sailors and dozens of other fantastic characters. It’s the Henley on Todd, of course, one of those made-in-Alice events that have made the town famous the world over. ERWIN CHLANDA was there. For story, photos and video


Race relations: where from, where now, where to?



Race relations in The Centre – where we have come from, we are at now, where we are heading. That’s the focus of a conference in late September being organised by author John Strehlow and linguist David Moore. This is no policy digest, nor does it approach the subject as a set of problems. The program suggests that this can be an area of rich encounter and exchange, that it has been that at least in part from the outset and is at present in a phase of unprecedented change. Left: T.G.H. Strehlow with Arrernte informants including Moses Tjalkabota. Courtesy Strehlow Research Centre. FULL STORY »

Two years CLP government: The Mayor’s view


On August 25 it will be two years since the CLP government came to power after 11 years in Opposition. In the first of a series of interviews with community leaders, Editor ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with Mayor Damien Ryan. He is pictured last night with Ian Yarker, vice-president of a Gold Coast Rotary club that meets online. 35 of its members were welcomed at a Council reception. They are in town to help local Rotarians to stage Henley on Todd tomorrow.


Maurie Ryan: ‘I am going to sue’



Central Land Council chairman Maurie Ryan says he will demand a Federal Government enquiry into the council, and sue to maintain his position, so he can continue his mission for transparency of multi-million dollar property deals and the management of the statutory body representing 24,000 Aboriginal people. He spoke this morning to ERWIN CHLANDA.  Mr Ryan is pictured with supporters in a  previous leadership tussle, Marie Elena Ellis and Frank Ansell. FULL STORY »

Watercolour artists earn ‘highly commended’


A work by artists painting in the Hermannsburg watercolour tradition has been highly commended at this year’s Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. Knara Nunaka Tjurretja (detail at left) brings together in an innovative collaborative collage individual paintings by artists from the Alice Springs based Ngurratjuta Iltja Ntjarra, Many Hands Art Centre.  FULL STORY »

Mbantua Festival firm suspected to be insolvent, owes $500,000



A firm that staged the Mbantua Festival last year has debts of nearly half a million dollars, according to a report by the Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations. Film maker Rachel Perkins (pictured on the set of Bungalow Song, one of the highlights of the festival), is pressing for legal action against the firm’s directors.  ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


NT tour bus industry self-regulates on fatigue



The Territory and WA, unlike all other states, do not have fatigue management regulations for drivers of tour buses. But Wayne Thompson (pictured), who chairs the transport sector of the industry body Tourism Central Australia, says NT Work Safe requires operators to provide a safe work place for their staff. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Rock tour report stirs hornet’s nest


The magnificent West MacDonnells: Central Australia’s beauty spots, how do we get there and what should it cost?

We are right and our paying customer is wrong: is that, judging from the reaction to issues we raised last week relating to a tour company, the bizarre business model of our tourist industry? ERWIN CHLANDA follows up.


Giles got Alice included in northern development: Chamber

p2143-office-northern-austThe Giles Government must be given credit for the work done in promoting the Territory to potential investors as part of the Northern Australia Development Plan, says Neil McLeod, vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce. ERWIN CHLANDA reports in our Two Years of CLP Government feature. FULL STORY »

Tollner resigns as Deputy and from Cabinet



Dave Tollner has resigned as Deputy Chief Minister and from the Cabinet. This comes in wake of homophobic comments he made to a staffer. Chief Minister Adam Giles, under intense pressure inside the parliament and out since the comments were revealed on Thursday, has accepted his resignation. FULL STORY »

In Centre, roads, energy dominate development report



Improvements of road, rail and natural gas infrastructure in Central Australia are prominent in the final report of the Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia tabled by MHR Warren Entsch (pictured) in Federal Parliament yesterday, but under the headings Water Capture and Storage Infrastructure, Aquifer Management and Agricultural Development Schemes, The Centre doesn’t rate a mention. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Northern development: Alice off to hesitant start



The Giles government hanging by a thread and the town being far from assertive, northern development is off to a hesitant start. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Alice Mayor Damien Ryan (left) and Chief Minister Adam Giles at Friday’s information session in Alice Springs.


Let the festivals multiply!





These are the last days of grace before Alice gets frantic with festivals. FULL STORY »

Tollner rejected, Anderson says Giles phoned PUP



Palmer United Party leader Alison Anderson says she would not comment about any coalition with Labor before consulting with her two colleagues, Larisa Lee and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu. She was speaking after Dave Tollner failed last night to regain his position of Deputy Leader. Mr Tollner has gone on a two-week break, leaving the future of the Giles Government in limbo. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: Unjustified division




Every Australian, no matter what their origins, should view their flag with pride feeling free to view it, parade it, and even wear it, in the full confidence of belonging, of having that egalitarian right.


Work for the dole at golf club: sounds good on paper only



The Abbott Government’s work for the dole scheme, due to be rolled out nationally, will make a hilarious script for a sitcom if the trial at the Alice Springs Golf Club is any indication. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Lowest number of August property crimes in four years

Alice Springs Police continue to crack down on property related crime, recording the lowest number of unlawful entries in August for the last four years, writes Leith Phillips, Detective Acting Senior Sergeant. FULL STORY »

‘Fracking pipeline – road to regional inequality’



We are concerned that statements by Federal Industry Minister MacFarlane will drive intensive shale gas fracking across Northern Territory basins and into the Kimberley in WA, writes Jimmy Cocking (pictured), Director, Arid Lands Environment Centre.


Native title meeting invalid?



The Bray family was not acknowledged as a member of Ilpme, one of the three estate groups making up Lhere Artepe (LA), the native title organisation for Alice Springs, at a LA meeting held today, according to a source speaking on condition of not being named. But Russell Bray (whose outstation at 16 Mile is pictured)  says the meeting was “stacked” and invalid. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Changing school holidays? It’s a hard one.

Peter Chandler



We’ve been asking Territorians whether or not school holidays could be reconfigured to achieve better outcomes for students, but although a majority want something other than the status quo, there is no clear alternative at this stage, writes Peter Chandler, Minister for Education.


Death from alcohol: is the industry culpable?

An inquiry examining the harmful use of alcohol will be called upon to explore the culpability of the alcohol industry, examining the alcohol supply chain and its role in providing alcohol to communities where harms are most significant, writes Michael Thorn, of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.



Flagging harmony or controversy?


A symbolic gesture to further acknowledge Anzac Hill as an important place for Arrernte traditional owners: an easy one for the Town Council? Not so. Councillor Jade Kudrenko wants to “engage stakeholders” in a proposal to fly the Aboriginal flag, but Cr Steve Brown says that Australians all fought under one flag and Indigenous Australians should not be considered separately. KIERAN FINNANE reports from last night’s council meeting.


Law & order success; less Rock in tourism pitch



Full marks for law and order, but the tourism promotion focus needs to be shifted from the Rock to the Alice, and lots more work is needed on cranking up the economy. That’s the view of Daniel Davis, vice-president of the CLP. ERWIN CHLANDA reports in our Two Years of CLP Government feature. PHOTO: Police officers checking people entering the Todd Tavern bottle shop.


Rewarding innovative Indigenous leadership



The Alice-base organisation Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi is one of the eight finalists in the Indigenous Governance Awards, to be decided by October 30, organised by Reconciliation Australia and co-sponsored by mining giant BHP Billiton. But amongst the eight finalists picked from 113 entrants are no commercial firms producing goods or services for sale. ERWIN CHLANDA reports


Community-based handymen to save money



A new housing maintenance officer based at Papunya, also delivering services to the communities of Mt Liebig and Haasts Bluff, is helping to deliver quicker response times for housing repairs and maintenance in Central Australia, writes Matt Conlan, Minister for Housing.


Ryan: CLC members ready for breakaway



Maurie Ryan, the chairman of the Central Land Council, under threat of being sacked, says the majority of its 24,000 members are ready for a break-away land council. He says he discussed the issue with Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion in Canberra today, where he had gone at his own expense. Sen Scullion suggested awaiting the outcome of a special general meeting of the CLC next month, to be called to decide his fate, Mr Ryan says. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Bradshaw school girl back from Japan with gold



Eight-year old Ffion Jones returned with a gold medal to Bradshaw Primary School this morning from the 65th Shukohai Karate Anniversary Championships held in Kobe, Japan, where she topped the Under 9s Kumite division.


Small is good in boosting Alice economy



Jimmy Cocking, CEO of the Arid Lands Environment Centre, says Alice Springs should start a string of eco-style small enterprises to give the local economy a shot in the arm, and residents should generate their own electricity as a buffer against inevitable price rises. ERWIN CHLANDA reports in our Two Years of CLP Government feature. Mr Cocking is pictured with environmentalist and science journalist Tanya Ha. FULL STORY »

Not so happy birthday for CLP government



Speculation that its second Leader in as many years may get the chop will mark the CLP Government’s birthday tomorrow. As uproar over remarks seen as homophobic forced the Treasurer to resign and the party is in turmoil, we publish today the views of community leaders about how Alice Springs has fared since the August 25, 2012 election (scroll down to separate reports). And ERWIN CHLANDA comments on his reporting on a government that promised transparency but is too often palming off enquiries to minders, and is led by a Chief Minister increasingly thin-skinned and short tempered.


Cops at bottlos a winner, says Congress



Cops at bottle shops have contributed dramatically to a reduction of alcohol consumption, according to new data collected by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress CEO Donna Ah Chee (pictured). But, she says, the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) should be brought back. ERWIN CHLANDA reports in our Two Years of CLP Government feature.


‘Giles government worst in nation’



The CLP Government is the most dysfunctional administration anywhere in Australia, writes Ken Vowles (pictured),
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability.


‘Felicity ain’t moving’

p2142-Whitegate-Rod-1SM“She is not moving. She is fighting mad.” She is Felicity Hayes (second from right), and the place she’s not moving from is Whitegate where her extended family has lived for generations although by white law it is still no more than a squat. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Rod Moss.


‘What holds you, the beauty or the damage?’



A show at Raft Artspace takes us on a depth journey into landscape painting in the hands of a fine artist, Jennifer Taylor. Her enquiry over three years, conducted in Eastern Arrernte country around the present-day Ross River Resort, led her to think about the possibility of painting landscapes as portraits. Could a landscape painting be “as searching and intimate, as full of life and empathy as a good portrait”? KIERAN FINNANE  reports. FULL STORY »

Giles evades question on Alice nuke dump



Chief Minister Adam Giles (pictured) yesterday evaded a question from Namatjira MLA Alison Anderson about a proposed site for a nuclear dump near Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Residential land needs to get cheaper, much cheaper



The myth that the provision of affordable land will in some way have a negative effect on those who own existing property is much to the detriment of our community, its economy and the future of its children. Ask yourself this: What would your house be worth if Alice Springs turned into a ghost town, a FIFO mining camp, or a mere welfare institution? FULL STORY »

We were tricked into signing letter: Native title holders



Two directors of Lhere Artepe (LA) say they were tricked into signing a letter by the native title organisation’s chairman, Noel Kruger. LA is denying the allegation. Benedict Stevens (left) and Matthew Palmer (right) signed the letter to Chief Minister Adam Giles, with copies to Senator Nigel Scullion and MHR Warren Snowdon, as directors of LA. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.