Story Archive » Volume 22 » Issue 2 »

January 17, 2015

Deputy Administrator asked to retire today as CEO of CAALAS

A source in the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service says CAALAS has requested its CEO, Patricia Miller, to retire today, and rejected rumors circulating about the service’s board. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Deputy Administrator stood down, not sacked: CAALAS

Deputy to the Administrator Patricia Miller (pictured) has not been sacked as the CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS), but stood down pending an inquiry, the service said today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Armed robber wanted: Seen this hoodie?




An offender in a hoodie is wanted in relation to an armed robbery at a service station in Alice Springs earlier this week.


A new minister for Flynn Memorial Church




Dr Steve Bevis (pictured) will be commissioned as Minister for Flynn Memorial church in Alice Springs in a special service on Sunday February 15, writes Barbara Deutschmann, of the Uniting Church.


Deputy NT Administrator sacked as CEO of CAALAS

Deputy of the NT Administrator Patricia Miller has been sacked as the CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS), according to reliable sources and the Facebook posting of a relative, Katrina Bloomfield. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Oz Day: New citizens, awards for achievements




This Australia Day the Alice Springs Town Council will confer 72 new citizenships and announce the winners of the 2015 Centralian Awards at a civic ceremony, writes Mayor Damien Ryan.


Yipirinya row: Will 160 kids have a school?



With just one working day left before school starts, it is still unclear what will happen next Tuesday to the 160 children, most of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, of the Yipirinya School. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Chief Minister backs McRoberts investigations




I reassure Territorians that the conduct of the former Commissioner of the Northern Territory Police will be vigorously investigated, writes Chief Minister Adam Giles.


Giles’ failure adds fuel to farce




The CLP Government immediately should at the very least conduct an independent Judicial Inquiry under the Inquiries Act into serious allegations of interference in a criminal investigation that led to the resignation of former Police Commissioner John McRoberts, writes Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie.


Yipirinya School principal locked out



The principal of the Aboriginal Yipirinya School, Ken Langford-Smith, has been locked out of its grounds in Lovegrove Drive. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: School committee chairman “Jungala” Kriss. FULL STORY »

NT gains from Japan trade deal: Scullion



Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with Japan will be a big boost for Territory cattle producers and car buyers, writes NT Senator Nigel Scullion.


Police Commissioner resigns



Police Minister Peter Chandler says the Government has lost confidence in Commissioner of Northern Territory Police, John McRoberts, who resigned yesterday. FILE PHOTO: Mr McRoberts (right) inspects Australian warship.



Is Chandler carrying the can for Giles?



Adam Giles must answer questions about when he became aware of the former Police Commissioner’s conflict of interest – before or after he gave the police portfolio to the Deputy Chief Minister, writes Lauren Moss, Labor Member for Casuarina (pictured). FULL STORY »

Intending Desert Knowledge investor blasts board


Local entrepreneur Alex Hatzimihail, who is promoting a massive educational and industrial development in the largely defunct Desert Knowledge precinct, says its board is blocking the project despite support for it by Chief Minister Adam Giles. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Click and leave a message

a2201-charlie3 FULL STORY »

Changes in the air: landrights


“I suggested to the assembled council members that returning to the traditional Aboriginal practice of frequent mild fires would be a good idea. The worst thing I could have possibly said, and I regretted it for years after. How stupid of me, it was just not on to suggest that ‘ignorant blackfellows’ knew what they were doing!” PETER LATZ, author and botanist, continues his account of adventures (and learning) in the bush with traditional owners. FULL STORY »

Govt job goes to head of liquidated firm



The NT Government has awarded a contract to an Alice Springs firm whose principal, Brendan Ross Peterkin (picture from his Facebook site), is linked to a company that was wound up in 2012 with debts of $1.5m. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Income management misses mark: Report


Income Management, with the BasicsCard as its major tool, has made little difference to alcohol sales, and “rather than building capacity and independence, for many the program has acted to make people more dependent on welfare,” says a government commissioned evaluation. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Yuendumu store, where the basics card can be used.


Kilgariff flood not as bad as it looks: Govt



A government spokesman says the Kilgariff subdivision, although it looks more like Lake Kilgariff, has weathered its first major rains well. PHOTOS by Suzanne Visser.


If bogged stay with your vehicle: Police

Police are urging motorists bogged in the current treacherous road conditions not to leave their vehicles: “Walking off to get help often results in people getting lost or dehydrated which may have fatal consequences,” says Senior Sergeant Potts. FULL STORY »

4GX for some as much of Alice in mobile stoneage



Telstra is introducing its 4GX mobile service to sections of Alice Springs, while extensive areas – especially south of the range – are still on 3G with no firm commitment to an upgrade. ERWIN CHLANDA 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 »

Is there no law in The Alice?

I witnessed a lady coming out of the Alice Plaza with her lunch and she was struck down by a young lad on his pushbike on the footpath, writes Bronte Zadow, of Alice Springs.


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 »

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 »

Alice CLP branch solidly behind Giles government




The CLP branch will send a “please explain” to ex-front bencher Robyn Lambley (Araluen), asking for an account of her role in the failed coup attempt on Monday, says branch president Jenni Lillis (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Giles government best of a poor bunch



The Giles Government should be doing everything they can in their remaining 18 months to make us want them returned, however unlikely that may presently seem.


Alice in spin land



Born again Chief Minister Adam Giles may be dismissing yesterday’s outrageous events as a bit of a tiff in an otherwise happy family, but the long knives in the CLP are far from sheathed. PHOTO: Mr Giles and Mr van Holthe in an ABC TV news broadcasts whose presenters displayed amazement at the events. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Police Association calls on Giles to show the evidence




We call on the Chief Minister to substantiate his claims about an unnamed senior police officer, writes Vince Kelly, NT Police Association President (pictured).


Giles dumping terrible mistake – Alice Springs CLP




“They have made a terrible mistake,” says president of the Alice Springs CLP branch, Jenny Lillis, about the dumping of Chief Minister Adam Giles, replaced by Willem Westra van Holthe (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Katherine needs an independent, not van Holthe

The Member for Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe, has consistently put his party’s interests, and hence his own personal interests, ahead of Katherine’s and those of his constituents, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine. FULL STORY »

We don’t publish rumours. This is an exception.

A week is a long time in government? Try one hour. FULL STORY »

Government money for young people




The Government is set to invest an additional $4.2 million to support youth services across the Territory, write Chief Minister Adam Giles (pictured), and Peter Styles (Minister for Young Territorians).


Opposition calls for general election




A general election to end the dysfunctional CLP circus is needed, writes Delia Lawrie, Leader of the Opposition.


Giles, van Holthe, police: The goose, the gander



The bitter row between the police and Chief Minister Adam Giles is exacerbated by his arch foe turned deputy now stonewalling questions over allegations similar to those that have forced ex-police commissioner John McRoberts to resign: Interference in an inquiry. By ERWIN CHLANDA. PHOTO: Government mugshot of Mr Westra van Holthe, all smiles.

Patricia Miller accepts retirement as of two days ago




Patricia Miller (pictured) has accepted her retirement as the CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) as having come into effect two days ago – January 31. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Burn, not bury rubbish: Incinerator plan


An incinerator meeting most NT needs is planned by businessman Darren Burton at Brewer Estate. By ERWIN CHLANDA.


Yuemdumu community sticking together after alleged murder

Police have charged two men, aged 16 and 18, over the death of 53-year-old pool manager Jupurrula Berry in Yuendumu last Thursday, but an elder has denied media reports that locals are fleeing the community in fear of further violence. FULL STORY »

Stars in the making




Performance artist Melissa Kerl has an answer for parents wanting an outlet for their children’s acting talents. ANDREA JOHNSTON reports.


McDouall Stuart, aboooouuuut turn!




The controversial John McDouall Stuart statue has done an about-turn, and is now facing south where he should be going, as one local wag puts it. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Would be political assassin’s past with the police

Two investigations found Mr Westra van Holthe had acted wrongly as a policeman. Now he is member of a Cabinet that effectively ended the career of the Territory’s highest ranking police officer, on the basis of UNPROVEN accusations of unlawful actions, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine.

Bittersweet truth about sugar in film fest opener




Discover the bittersweet truth about sugar in the first documentary by Australian actor Damon Gameau, of Underbelly and Love My Way fame, which will open the Travelling Film festival in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Back to the Tanami, with Engineer Jack



“After supper several Aborigines stepped apart from us and ‘talked to the country’– this involved them spreading their arms and loudly exclaiming with statements like, ‘Hullo country – sorry we have been away so long – it’s so good to be back’.  A most enlightening custom and one I have since taken up myself.” Author and botanist PETER LATZ continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners.


Power Water not saying what’s in overflowing sewage




The Power Water Corporation (PWC) is not saying what is contained in the partially treated sewage that flowed to the new Kilgariff suburb during the recent rains. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


The Rock: To climb or not to climb




“I climbed the Rock.” That was the proud boast of hundreds of thousands of people who, over the years, bought T-shirts with this inscription, fondly remembered their adventure and were part of a world-wide promotion of Australia’s greatest natural wonder. Today climbing the Rock is a No-No. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Climbers ignoring the closed sign.


Take kids out of schools: Yipirinya’s new head



“Deschooling” will apparently become the objective of the Aboriginal Yipirinya School, a process that, by “the rule of thumb,” takes “one month for every year a child was in school. Some kids ‘detox’ sooner, but it’s rare,” according to Lance Box (pictured) who appears to have been appointed head of the school. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Tall poppies don’t thrive in the Red Centre




As in summers past, the question now being asked is why are there teenagers running amok? Even, horror of horrors, young teenage girls!


Traders join forces to tackle gang of girls



Managers of shopping centres and stores have joined forces to protect their staff and businesses from a gang of girls who have threatened them, stolen merchandise, damaged cars of workers and broken into premises. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


What will it take for the government to act in Alice?



After a horrendous summer of crime the NT Government needs to show the same urgency about Central Australian youth issues as they are in the Top End town of Katherine, writes Cr Chansey Paech, of the Alice Springs Town Council.


Match our works with our wonders



Fuel retailers in Alice Springs have – belatedly – fallen in line with pricing around the nation, although service stations in the bush are maintaining much greater margins. It’s a disincentive for tourists we’re seeking to attract to our nature’s magnificence, but there is a litany of reasons for businesses on our highways charging extra, as they fill the gaps left by state and local governments. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Budgies along the South Stuart Highway, having a morning drink. FULL STORY »

Time in the Gulf country




“Immediately the whole atmosphere changed as they realised that I was not just another ‘city’ whitefellow, and in fact, because he was my ‘brother’, Johnnie was obliged to tell me all I wanted to know.” PETER LATZ, author and botanist, continues his account of adventures in the bush with traditional owners.


Grief for a free spirit taken by a wild river



The river brings life to the desert and it can take it away. Rowley Hill was born in Alice Springs – a Yipirinya boy – and died in the wild waters of the rising Todd, not far south of Wigley’s Gorge, on January 8. He was 23 years old. A painting of the warm brown river pushing down its rocky course adorned his coffin as he was laid to rest in desert ground on Friday. FULL STORY »

Plans for $70m rebirth of Johannsen bush mine



From a tungsten mill in the bush cobbled together 40 years ago by legendary road train inventor Kurt Johannsen, to a planned $70m venture by listed company Thor, it’s jut a logical step in the world of mining. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Bush miner Lindsay Johannsen with a lead glass window he created for the Alice Springs Catholic Church.




Budget gets thumbs up from interest groups. Reply by Gunner ignores health spending in Centre.

NT Budget 2015.

Tourism: let the battle for the big spenders begin. First in a series by ERWIN CHLANDA.

Parks authority controls people, not weeds.



School of the Air: Show and tell or being there.

A day in the sun for Alice Springs.

Land grab, but no dying pillow.

Discount fuel 8 cents cheaper.

Tourism recovery? The proof will be in this year’s pudding.

Playing race relations for laughs.

Gunfire brekkie after moving ceremony.

Anzac Day dawn service, 2015.

Anzac links by hands, hearts and hard drives.

Keyboard vigilantes.

Pat and Norma Brennan: 50 years devoted to each-other, and tourism.

Comic take on clash of cultures.



Needed youth services missing from Budget: Councillor.

Thoughts on war and peace from a cyclist in Alice.

HAL DUELL: Banning lightning carnival won’t work as a quick fix.

Rock throwing kids already in care. Minister should scrutinise his own department.

Alice oval to get top athletics track.

Nearly all stage one blocks sold in Kilgariff. FULL STORY »