Story Archive » Volume 23 » Issue 6 »

Opposition of Independents still possible

p2351 Parliament chamber SM

Advice from the Solicitor-General refers to “convention and practice rather than law”, says MLA Robyn Lambley, and the situation confronting the 13th Legislative Assembly is anything but conventional. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

With no Opposition, the people will need to do the talking




“We look forward to continued and thorough consultation on key industry topics, policy and legislation,” writes Neilia Ginnane (pictured), of the Housing Industry Association.


Above and below, big things are happening

p2351 dead thorny devil SMp2351 cloud band SM



Reptiles rise early, and there’s that streak in the sky! Nature provides diversion from politics. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Independents move to form Opposition

p2351 Robyn Lambley SM



With the possibility of as many, if not more Independents than Country Liberals in the Territory parliament, the Independents have already begun discussions on forming a coalition to take on the role of Opposition. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


Election shock: the person bringing change may well be you

p2350 supreme court, residency SM



Symbol of the past four years – the five-storey Supreme Court building, a temple to crime and commercial space that isn’t needed, towers over The Residency, part of what the locals and visitors from the world over love about Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

CLP: Reform, new party or branch of Liberal Party?

p2350 election 1 SM2


Soul searching begins as the CLP may be reduced to just three of Parliament’s 25 seats. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Dale Wakefield who may unseat Chief Minister Adam Giles, Scotty McConnell who trounced Bess Price in Stuart and Adam Finch, whose preferences got Independent Robyn Lambley over the line in Araluen.


Truckies at Alice reunion predict big changes

p2350 Transport Hall SM 1


Glasses that will keep drivers awake and real-time monitoring from satellites of speed, location and engine temperature – these will help to ensure a long life for road transport, say Industry Icons Gary and Steve Radford. ERWIN CHLANDA reports from the National Transport Hall of Fame reunion in Alice Springs.


Instagram boost for Kangaroo Sanctuary

p2350 kangaroo SM



In half a decade, from sleeping rough and back-breaking work, to world fame and running a tourism icon in Alice Springs, now Instagram crowns Kangaroo Dundee’s success.


Doubts remain about independent monitoring of fracking




CLP stance of “leave it to the EPA” falls short of advice from international expert advising the government, Tina Hunter. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


We spend more on debt than under Labor

p2350 Darwin Correctional Centre Prison SM



The new Darwin prison pushed interest on debt repayments under Giles beyond the level of Labor’s in 2011/12. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Giles, still the King of the Castle, backs Brown’s plan

p2350 election protest SM



… but getting through the blockade can be a bit of a mission. The Chief Minister’s betting odds for holding the seat are getting longer, while he claims that polls would show the CLP is still the front runner in The Centre. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


The Greens Senator and that four-letter-word: Work.

p2350 Greens SM


Is the solution for the Territory’s problems Guaranteed Adequate Income? ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with Greens Senator Rachel Siewert about it and other ideas her party has for Central Australia. PICTURED are Senator Siewert in Alice Springs, with Vince Forrester and Dalton Dupuy (Greens candidates for Namatjira and Braitling, respectively). FULL STORY »

CLP secretly signing Territory away, say Greens




Deal was signed the day before government went into caretaker mode, writes Greens candidate Dalton Dupuy (pictured).


UPDATE 3:10pm


NT poll – only one more sleep




A $10,000 bounty on drug dealers, movies made in the NT, sharp drop in housing approvals, parks to be opened to trailbikes, 4WDs, and wind power beats gas power in our southern neighbour: Food for thought before you vote. FULL STORY »

Crime: Spin and reality




Police were told who the bag snatchers are but more than three months after the crime, they still haven’t been dealt with. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Teen killers of man who tried to help them sentenced

p2350 Rick Berry pool Sm



Richard Berry, pool manager at Yuendumu, was brutally killed in January 2015, then “cruelly abandoned” by “two young fellas he trusted and had given so much help to”, recalled his mother. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Dept of Children & Families toxic, repressive, say staff

p2349 Dept of Children and Families SMThe death, believed to have been a suicide, of a colleague triggers whistleblower revelations of “yelling at staff, imposing unreasonable workloads, isolating staff, spreading rumours, putting people down” and a string of other allegations by a “repressive gang” in the Alice Springs office. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA. Image from the DCF website.


Ground-breaking Territory play on the local stage

p2350 Broken PAZ_TASSONE_Dress_Rehearsal_DFEST_2016  (9 of  152)



Territory writer Mary Anne Butler’s play Broken made history when it won this year’s Victorian Prize for Literature – a first for a play.  After a sold-out run at the Darwin Festival it has been touring the Territory. KIERAN FINNANE reviews . FULL STORY »

Henley on Todd: Big kids, small kids, a ball for all

p2349 Henley 2016 battle 3 SM



Gunpowder smoke from broadsides of warring vessels (see video) and the pitter patter of little feet: It’s all part of the town’s longest lived crazy tourist draw card. ERWIN CHLANDA was there.


Uber vs taxis: brawl over Labor’s proposal

p2349 taxis 1SM



Brawl over Gunner’s planned introduction of Uber ride-for-pay: Taxi lobby says this is “un Australian”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Youth on the street at night: moving beyond ‘the pointy end’



How can young people on the streets at night be more constructively “engaged”? Police double “youth engagement”. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

MODIFIED 19 August 2016. FULL STORY »

Trouble in Alice – why is government failing?




The political power of industries unduly influences the decision-making within government, argues PETER TAIT in a response to reading  Kieran Finnane’s book, Trouble: On Trial in Central Australia FULL STORY »

High and dry but having a ball




A regatta that turns grown-ups into kids as 4500 people are watching in amazement.


Could boardwalk degrade riverbed?

p2349 Boardwalk construction SM



The boardwalk around Annie Meyer Hill completes an ‘Alice in 10’ goal, but has there been any environmental impact study? asks ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Alice solar future needs facts and figures

p2348 Lyndon Frearson SM



Feel good or facts, and where lie the loyalties of a local NGO? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: CAT’s Lyndon Frearson at last night’s solar power meeting.


Larapinta trek runners finish, mountain bikers start

p2348 Redback SM



The bikers will also take part in the Henley on Todd on Saturday.


Braitling preferences ‘not a get Giles exercise’

p2348 election poster SM



Braitling voters are too informed, too aware, to be tricked into preference schemes, say Greens. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Govt. should finance private housing: CLP candidate

p2348 Kilgariff homes SM


Make government pivotal in providing and financing homes for young, workers, says Steve Brown. Exclusive by ERWIN CHLANDA. Medium cost houses under construction in Kilgariff are pictured.


UPDATE August 29, 9am. FULL STORY »

Boardwalk now a permanent blight on the landscape

p2348 Annie Myers Hill SM


The choice of materials, its heavy form and clutter of lines means it cannot sit lightly in the landscape, surely a bottom-line criterion for a structure like this. KIERAN FNNANE comments and seeks the views of design professionals. FULL STORY »

WA communities profit from camels, not here

p2348 camels SM



The Central Land Council blocks development of a camel industry, writes Alan Keeling, Independent candidate for Namatjira.


Labor draws first spot on ballot paper in Chief Minister’s seat

p2348 voting paper draw SM



Dale Wakefield drew first position in Braitling with Mr Giles third in a field of seven. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Candidates and supporters at the draw in Alice Springs this afternoon.


Gutsy questions on gas and economy

p2347 forum all candidates SM OK



Has Adam Giles been pork barrelling Alice? Yes, I have, says the Chief Minister. ERWIN CHLANDA reports from Tuesday’s forum.


Grog gets grilling as election’s top issue

p2347 PAAC Goldflam etc OK SM



But the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition had already made up its mind. Pictured are Russell Goldflam making a point, behind him, Dr Keshan Satharasinghe, and at right, Janet Brown. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


What use DVOs? Inquest hears the evidence

p2347 Jeanette Kerr SM



First offence cases aside, in 60% of  Intimate Partner Violence offences, a Domestic Violence Order is in place. KIERAN FINNANE reports. PHOTO: Jeanette Kerr.


Coroner refers case back to police and DPP

p2346 McCormack's grave 2 OK


“I am of the belief that a crime has been committed” said Coroner Greg Cavanagh of the death from a stab wound of N. McCormack. Meanwhile, NT police will soon be wearing body cameras when attending disturbances and recording could become part of Evidence in Chief.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Multi million dollar Alice Redtails plans advance




The Redtails movement spearheads plans for a massive redevelopment of Blatherskite Park, with broad social and commercial values. Exclusive by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Domestic violence inquest: police investigation examined

p2346 McCormack's grave 2 OK



Important evidence against the key suspect in the death of N. McCormack seems to have been compromised. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Inquest probes reasons for ‘out of control’ domestic violence

p2346 Coroner's Court 1 ok



It seems certain that the Coroner will recommend that the case around the death of Kwementyaye McCormack be  re-investigated. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Police, courts, gaol could not save women from violent husbands

p2346 McCormack's grave OK



Their deaths have prompted the NT Coroner to hold a double inquest looking at issues of “extreme domestic  violence” – considerably worse in Alice Springs than in the rest of the NT. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured: The grave at the Alice Springs garden cemetery of one of the women. FULL STORY »

Census: Tell them you’re Indigenous, says academic




The Territory’s Aboriginal Territorians will benefit, writes Professor Rolf Gerritsen (pictured).


Giles commits $7.8m for petrol heads spectacular




Giles dusts off figures that didn’t stack up last year to justify funding for motoring fixture. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Youth detention: The full story not before the election

p2345 Abu Grahib SMp2343 Four Corners SM



And the fundamental issues aren’t even on the agenda, comments ERWIN CHLANDA. Media are making comparisons with abuses by US forces in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison with events in the Don Dale correctional facility.


All that jazz

P2346 Darcy Davis band SM



Home town gigs for cash to send rising muso to top college. JULIA WINTERFLOOD reports.


‘Not all guards are bad’: Dylan Voller

p2352 Dylan Voller



It may not be a message that people want to hear right now but Dylan Voller told his case worker to “make sure people know, it’s not everybody”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Harts Range may give Birdsville a run for its money

p2345 Harts Range 1 SM



As they turn 70 next year, the Central Australia’s legendary bush races, like the Finke organised by volunteers, may take a slot in the major event tourism line-up. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Tear-gassing of juveniles: probe versus gloss

p2345 Four Corners Roper SM


The Giles government’s official review, in contrast to the report by the Children’s Commissioner, contained no account from the detainees, and no knowledge of the CCTV and Handicam footage, now infamous around the world. KIERAN FINNANE compares the two reports. FULL STORY »

Street kids at risk can be detained at police station




Commander Danny Bacon explains the duty of care provisions under which police operate. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Booze rehab funding falls short




Women in jail while treatment beds are mothballed? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Election fever to rise next week

p2345 electorates SM



The horse trading for preferences will start after the allocation of positions on the ballot paper on Friday next week. Enrolment closes Wednesday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Larapinta Child and Family Centre opens

p2345 Larapinta centre SM



$5.5 million Larapinta Child and Family Centre, opened this week, provides 70 long-day-care places. Image from Mr Giles’s Facebook Page.


Government power suppliers ‘luddites’

p2302kerbside-rubbish SM



Rancid fridges, wasted food result from outdating billing system of Power Water, writes PAUL LEWIS.


Brian Martin steps down from Royal Commission

p2344 Brian Martin 1 SM


Northern Territory Aboriginal peak organisations welcome the announcement; call for a genuinely independent  appointment as well as two Indigenous co-commissioners.


UPDATE: Mr Martin not prepared to run the risk of compromising the commission.


UPDATE 2: Aboriginal Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda and former Queensland judge Margaret White are replacements.


UPDATE 3: Mick Gooda’s appointment as co-commissioner welcomed. FULL STORY »

Namatjira is as big and diverse as candidate’s family

p2344 Chansey Paech 5 SM



Not yet 30 and focused on a seat in the Assembly, Chansey Paech (pictured in the middle of the back row with part of his family) believes in well funded NGOs and responsible government working together as the ideal problem solvers. He spoke with editor ERWIN CHLANDA.


Eli Melky to stand against Adam Giles

p2343-Eli-Melky SM




… and joins a growing list of Independents in Braitling. ERWIN CHLANDA reports


UPDATE August 2


Actions of guard found to ensure ‘safety of Dylan Voller’

p2344 Voller SM



Who knew what when? KIERAN FINNANE reports on crucial details of a youth incarceration event in Alice Springs that is now being shown around the world and is among those that have triggered a Royal Commission.


In mining, too, from little things big things grow

p2344 Molyhil SM



From “some fifth hand corrugated iron, bush timber and an inordinate amount of fencing wire” to a multi-million dollar mining operation: LINDSAY JOHANNSEN tells the story.


‘Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted’


Thucydides on the state of politics in his times shows that everything changes yet nothing changes, writes CRAIG SAN ROQUE in a Letter to the Editor.


An island home or youth detention?

p2343 Andi Bracy SM



1Territory candidate for Stuart Andi Bracey (pictured), mother of five and ex-president of the NTICPA, looks back on her volunteer work with young delinquents sent to an island for answers to the current youth corrections scandal.


Youth detention Royal Commission ‘compromised’

p2344 Brian Martin 1 SM



Brian Martin (pictured) presided over all judicial officers who sentenced young Aboriginal offenders to detention, and after resignation as Chief Justice was paid by the NT Government for a report, says prominent Aboriginal spokesperson, Olga Havnen. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Royal commission appointment lacks good faith




The commission should not only be independent but be seen to be independent. COMMENT by KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Bulldoze vile, medieval Don Dale centre: CLP candidate




The NT has a “deeply ingrained systemic attitude towards punishment that clearly has its roots buried somewhere in the dark ages,” writes Steve Brown (pictured), candidate for Araluen.


Congress says Canberra should sack NT Government





The NT government “has led a concerted and sustained campaign to demonise young people without attempting to properly understand the social determinants causing the problems these young people face,” says Donna Ah Chee (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Dylan Voller’s mistreatment started in Alice Springs

p2343 Four Corners SM



“The lid is off and it should be off – we have been constrained for too long.” KIERAN FINNANE speaks to Alice Springs youth justice advocate Antoinette Carroll following the airing of last night’s Four Corners program.


Royal commission should be at arm’s length from NTG




Because the Giles government is part of the problem under investigation, say the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the NT in a letter to the PM. Pictured: Priscilla Collins, CEO of NAAJA, one of the signatories to the letter. FULL STORY »

Treatment of youths in NT prisons makes national, world news




Why has there been no action on a 2014 report about the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, asks Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Territory Senator, Nigel Scullion (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Street kids refuge: Now you see it, now you don’t.

p2343 Brown de Brenni SM2


The collective town council, including Cr Steve Brown and Deputy Mayor Jamie de Brennie (pictured) got cold feet over an initiative to deal with juvenile delinquency, passing the buck to the government and NGOs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Government punishes those it sidelines

A government that prioritises policing and incarceration in response to psychological and social dysfunction creates more opportunities for brutality than for change, compassion or community, writes SALL FORREST. FULL STORY »

Stories from the Centre acclaimed in literary awards

A Central Australian teacher and an Alice Springs poet are among the winners of literary awards for Territory writers. FULL STORY »

Poetry festival for a poetic town




“Rebellion, resistance, revolution” are its themes. KIERAN FINNANE speaks to festival director, Laurie May (pictured). FULL STORY »

Plan for auxiliaries to replace cops at bottlos




This would give “front line police” more time to fight crime, says Chief Minister Adam Giles. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


When the world’s conflicts come to Alice

p2342 China demo 1 SM



Melbourne and China are a long way  from Alice, but the Darwin port and Pine Gap are not.


$75m power station the wrong decision: WA experts



How we can spend part of the money on solar, get the same power, avoid grid crashes, and how a citizen-based electricity system can turn consumers, now at the mercy of the government, into private energy traders. ERWIN CHLANDA investigates.


Street kids ‘agency’ refuses to disclose numbers


… but Adam Giles says it’s OK to release them. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Town Council CEO Rex Mooney and Cr Jade Kudrenko, chairperson of the Council’s Community Services Committee which on Monday passed a unanimous vote for a comprehensive approach to the problem of street kids.


August poll: Giles promises on housing, tourism, gas



In Letters to the Editor the Chief Minister promises billions for outback dwellings, says NT gas can meet much of the nation’s energy needs and canes Labor over its tourism policies as the NT election draws near.


Just stop doing that, will ya?




Did the kid irritate the eagle? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


‘Terrorists will not stop our laughter’



The Bastille Day dinner will go on tomorrow in Alice Springs, says Coralie “Coco” Petit, despite the attack in Nice killing 84 last night. She organised the candle light vigil in November last year (at left), when the terrorists had struck in Paris.


Tollner on SA power costs: Too much gas or not enough?




The current Big Freeze is lending credibility to either. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


New control plan follows buffel grass outrage




… and now read the fine print. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Buffel in iconic Palm Valley.


Pine Gap may sell homes as housing starts drop



Light at the end of the tunnel? Election, Brexit, low interest rates and high dollar will shape the future. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Council to take charge of street kids at night



The town needs a place where street kids are “fed, entertained and put to bed, a drop-in centre not a drop-out centre, an overnight boarding house”. PHOTO: Crs Brown and De Brenni last night. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


NOTE comment from Cr Brown. FULL STORY »

The world’s marvels at his feet




Frenchman Killian has the answer to the tedium of jet travel. He spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA.


What the Bomb would do to you




A one megaton bomb being detonated one kilometer above Pine Gap would inflict maximum damage within 15 km of ground zero, writes Bevan Ramsden of Lambton, NSW.


Coming eye to eye with the meaning of home and country



What happens when you have to work at being at home? The quest for answers has taken artist Jennifer Taylor into a deeper relationship with Arrernte people and back to the land of her birth, Aotearoa / New Zealand. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Missing link: no Minister for Local Government




An Assistant Minister for A Vibrant Darwin CBD yet no defined focus on Local Government? Mayor Damien Ryan is concerned. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »