Story Archive » Volume 21 » Issue 40 »

December 13, 2014

Give Alice a thought over the holiday season



It’s that time of the year when the Alice Springs News Online, over Christmas and New Year, brings you opinion pieces from locals from all walks of life, reflections on all that’s good (and not so good) in our region.


UPDATE December 5. Statement from Chief Minister Adam Giles on fracking report. FULL STORY »

Keep MVR open, says Opposition



The Government is closing the Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) in the last week of the year, from Monday 29 to Wednesday 31 December, and as a result shutting down car sales for local traders, writes Natasha Fyles
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability.


Reshuffle: Giles takes tourism, health to Elferink




Robyn Lambley (at left) is switching from health to corrections and Adam Giles is taking over the crucial tourism portfolio from Matt Conlan in yesterday’s cabinet re-shuffle. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Another Kronan. How disgusting.

Suzanne Visser



There is another Kronan in town. It’s brand new, bright orange, and it belongs to a male. How disgusting.


Titjikala: new rubbish service, booze sign




Community scores another Tidy Towns win, offensive booze sign is replaced, write Chief Minister Adam Giles and Local Government Minister Bess Price.


Single Female Bicycle Rider: I shall be released

Suzanne Visser


It was raining cats and dogs suddenly and I was on my bike in front of Brand A employment on Gregory Terrace. So I decided to have a look at their job board to get out of the rain. The rest is history. FULL STORY »

Being a cowboy: not all it’s made out to be



Mount Riddock Station, 100 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs was one of the first cattle properties in Central Australia. In 1959 I was headed there for a job as a ringer. PETER LATZ, botanist, author, continues his recall of adventures in the bush and with traditional owners. Mr Latz, at left in the photo, is pictured with TV personality  Costa Georgiadis.


Full steam ahead on gas while tourism languishes




While Adam Giles is gambling our money on resource ventures, his government’s massively funded tourism promoter has little more to offer than poolside cocktails. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Escapee recaptured




Alice Springs police have recaptured 22-year-old escapee Andreas Bush. See story update.



Education funding doesn’t add up: COGSO

Our schools are not better off under the global budget allocations, as promised by the Minister of Education Peter Chandler writes Gerard Reid, President NT COGSO. FULL STORY »

A new railway station, hotel in Whittaker Street?




Chief Minister Adam Giles is looking for expressions of interest to build a commercial complex in Whittaker Street that may include a new railway station and a hotel.



Giles, Conlan reduce Alice Springs to a mere dot




Tourism promotion: Giles, Conlan reduce Alice Springs to a dot on the map (we put in the arrow). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Tomcat and Turpentine Bush: adventures in the Tanami



Where in the hell have those old men disappeared to? An important question, because there we were, hundreds of kilometres from anywhere, deep in the middle of the Tanami Desert, only to find that our three Aboriginal guides had just vanished into thin air! PETER LATZ, botanist, author, recalls adventures in the bush with traditional owners.


Sensible infrastructure for the NT?

With the fire sale of TIO having proceeded, local CLP supporters are agitating for Adam Giles’ government to invest in what they call “sensible infrastructure”. Haven’t we seen it all before? GUEST COMMENT by BOB DURNAN.


The Big One that could end the gloom

If it comes off it will be nothing like the town has seen since the hospital was built in the mid-1970s: a $100m project, eight storeys high, 170 dwellings, an 85 room hotel, professional office space, restaurants, cafes – even a 110 place child care centre – all that adjacent to the CBD, on the empty Melanka site, now a painful symbol of the town’s economic malaise. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. 


Release fracking report before pipeline deals: ALEC

Chief Minister Adam Giles should immediately release the findings of the NT Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry handed to him late last week, write Jimmy Cocking, Director Arid Lands Environment Centre, and Tanya Hall, Central Australian Frack-free Coordinator. FULL STORY »

Mining may trigger urban drift: national freedom meeting




Urban drift of bush people, a new ATSIC emerged as a major issues in the national meeting of black activists in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Release full fracking report, says Opposition




The Giles Government needs to immediately release the full Hawke Report into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NT rather than hiding it from the public, writes Nicole Manison, Shadow Minister for the Environment.


TIO sale: Hip pocket vote may loom




Will the sale of TIO trigger a new hip pocket vote? COMMENT by ALEX NELSON.


The fertile space between us



Alice Springs is often seen as a town beset by racial division and conflict, but its creative culture, looking back over three decades, can tell a different story, writes KIERAN FINNANE.

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4 




Central Australia, police state?



Recent NT Government spending on law enforcement suggests we’re heading towards becoming a police state. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police ‘pre-emptive strike’ against trouble makers

New legislation has passed through the Territory Parliament giving police new powers to quickly remove trouble makers from our streets before problems escalate, write Chief Minister Adam Giles and Attorney General John Elferink.


Firebrands United: Block gas, oil production, says Anderson


The meet and greet of Aboriginal people this morning, in town for a two-day national convention on sovereignty, was star-studded and animated. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Perkins in trouble again?



The Alice Springs company owing substantial amounts of money to suppliers of the Mbantua Festival in Alice Springs in August last year appear to be in deep water again, this time over the Australian Indigenous Fashion Week in April this year. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Ms Perkins (left) with fashion designer Sophie Nixon pictured in Deadly Vibe.



Anna’s debut album




Local musician Anna Hebblewhite is about to launch her first album. ANDREA JOHNSTON reports.



Go figure – Town Council wants to give away its art collection




For almost 50 years the Alice Springs Art Foundation and the Central Australian Art Society have been building an art collection of national scope. They donated it to the Alice Springs Town Council, to be held on behalf of the community. Now the council wants to get rid of it.  KIERAN FINNANE reports.


The weapon police cannot find is sometimes a car

p2177-Erwin-hit&run-TennSMSloppy procedures in transferring ownership of cars are an obstacle to investigations of serious crimes, including hit and run which is endemic in the NT and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail. ERWIN CHLANDA reports – partly from his own experience as a victim. PHOTO: Police searching crime scene of fatal hit and run near Tennant Creek. (Pic courtesy NT Police.) FULL STORY »

High risk drug lab in Alice suburb



Police say they have uncovered in a suburb of Alice Springs the Territory’s biggest clandestine laboratory for the production illicit drugs.


National indigenous culture centre: think big!




A national indigenous cultural centre for Alice Springs? Something like the planned Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi (pictured) might be a little ambitious, but thinking small ain’t going to get us anywhere, comments STEVE BROWN.


A climate of local opportunity for 2015



2014 was the hottest year on record and 2015 is likely to trump it. Despite this, the NT government remains committed to its economic agenda but is failing to recognise the signs of the times. COMMENT by JIMMY COCKING (pictured with TV personality Tanya Ha). FULL STORY »

Volunteers help build $2m Streaky Bay sports club




Streaky Bay’s $2m sports club, built by the district council and assisted by volunteer workers, was opened on Friday. RAE BREWSTER reports.



$500m university, ‘techno’ plans for Desert Knowledge




A member of the Alice Springs Hatzimihail family, Alex, says he is pulling together investors for an educational and technical complex worth more than $500m in the Desert Knowledge Precinct. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.



Inspiration from the roads of a big country



There’s one thing we’re doing exceptionally well: Having a great time with mates. Time to apply that fabulous gift to our tourism industry, in our country of sunsets and wide open spaces, recommends ERWIN CHLANDA, from a trip half way around Oz. PHOTO: Sunset on the Barkly Tableland, ahead of big storms. FULL STORY »

Whitegate: nation born under a tin shelter?



Meeting under a tin shelter at 40 degrees, Whitegate residents decided to take their plight to the United Nations, the USA, UK, Russia and the European Union. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Learning from the hunter-gatherers




Jim encouraged Jacob and his mates to make him a traditional kangaroo-skin waterbag. This was a unique object, one which I had never seen before and in fact before that time, didn’t even know existed. Botanist and author PETER LATZ continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners. FULL STORY »

More bike, car places in the 40th Finke



The Tatts Finke Desert Race 2015 will have 110 places in the car section and 600 places in the bike section, writes Antony Yoffa, President. PHOTO: Last year’s winners, Victorians Ian and Shannon Rentsch. FULL STORY »

Giles snubs Alice Springs on TIO and flood risk



Chief Minister Adam Giles has announced the NT Government will commit $50 million to flood mitigation works in Rapid Creek, Katherine and Darwin’s Rural Area if a decision is made to change the ownership of TIO, but he has announced nothing about Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE: Mr Giles released the following statement at 6pm on November 21: “The Territory Government has prepared TIO asset realisation investment strategies right across the Territory, including Alice Springs, which if TIO were to change hands, would be announced at a later date.” FULL STORY »

Local firms short-changed by government: councillor



An Alice Springs Town Councillor and CLP supporter has hit out at government-sanctioned practices which disadvantage local businesses tendering for public works. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Virgin to fly Adelaide – Alice – Darwin

Virgin Australia begins flights between Alice Springs and Adelaide next year. Today’s announcement follows last month’s news that Virgin will commence flying the Darwin – Alice Springs sector. FULL STORY »

Dining like kings with a bushman of high degree



To get to the Wessels we managed to hitch a lift on the barge that carried supplies to settlements further to the east. As soon as we had finished transferring our gear from the barge to shore, on our two dinghies, Tiger patrolled the beach with his spear. Within ten minutes had had procured our lunch, spearing two nice big fish. PETER LATZ, botanist and author, continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners.


Housing boost, with help from the government



Until recently anyone to get this one right went straight to the top of the class: Who’s going to live in the 100-plus or so flats, units and other dwellings under construction now in Alice Springs? The answer is getting easier, reports ERWIN CHLANDA.


Alice’s Anna Miers tops the Territory



The Territory’s top scoring NTCET student is Anna Miers, from the Centralian Senior College, and four students (pictured) from St Philip’s College made it into the NT’s Top 20.


Culture: Alice sells itself short

WTS Coles mural 2sm



There’s not too much evidence around Alice Springs of its character as a place where two very different cultures meet and – in their better moments – aspire to get along.  What matches, for instance, the bicultural breadth of vision expressed in the 33-year-old Coles mural facing Railway Terrace? asks KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Crime again where it was when CLP came to power



The NT Police Crime Statistics ending October 2014 reveal that it has taken no less than 797 days for the CLP Government to get violent crime down to around the same levels they inherited them in 2012, a far cry from their promise to reduce crime by 10 percent each year, writes Lynne Walker, Shadow Minister for Police.


Alice business set to turn global competitor




Good-bye boneyard, hello aircraft storage facility. Our dry climate, where corrosion is minimal, is crucial and ideal for keeping old planes alive. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Awash in money, not success

p2171-West-MacDonnells-SMThe cost benefit Queensland is reaping from its government tourism promoter is more than five times greater than that of its Northern Territory counterpart. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The West MacDonnells should be a much greater tourism drawcard. FULL STORY »

Desert council money push leaves questions open



Go and get funded for getting on with one-another. That’s the objective. And the subtext: If the public purse doesn’t cough, up we’ll be costing it a great deal more. ERWIN CHLANDA reports on a campaign by the Central Desert Regional Council for funding the Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Program (members pictured).


Melanka building would obscure unequalled backdrop



The Committee of Heritage Alice Springs Inc. has deep concerns about the proposed development of an eight-storey building at the former Melanka Lodge site.


Strong interest in north east gas pipeline

We have received 14 expressions of Interest from companies interested in building the proposed gas pipeline, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles. FULL STORY »

Your role in beating a global scourge



Buying a steak sandwich from a Rotary Club in Alice Springs may put you in the loop of a charity which is spanning the world, stamping out of one its great scourges. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Close shaves in the Top End




In 1962 I’d landed a government job and was transferred to Darwin. With the grand title of Stock Inspector Buffaloes, I was sent out to a small government reserve on Marraki Station, 70 kilometres south-east of Darwin. Botanist and author PETER LATZ continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners. FULL STORY »

Alice: Little town with lots of brains



Alice Springs is a significant base for science. For a town of our size there exists a cadre of scientists and scientific institutions of unusual number and influence – indeed, no other small, regional community in the nation possesses such a concentration of effort. By STEVE MORTON.


Big projects: Done deals and wriggle room

Hal Duell Vision



The aftermath of the TIO sale has put big money in play, and there’s nothing like the whiff of big money to get hands in the air. The call is for sensible, sustainable infrastructure to form the NT’s future, and what have we heard so far? FULL STORY »

What he said about the rape, murder of which he was convicted

Picture taken 2012



The Central Land Council says in an obituary about a former chairman, Kwementyaye Stuart (pictured), that “he always maintained he did not commit” the rape and murder of nine-year-old Mary Hattam near Ceduna in December 1958. This is incorrect. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.