Story Archive » Volume 24 » Issue 2 »

New broom in youth justice training: Tasker no longer in job

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A case of perfect timing: Minister Dale Wakefield announces new six-week training for youth justice officers as Royal Commission hears of just how poorly trained they have been up till now. But is Derek Tasker still in charge? Until yesterday at least, he thought so. KIERAN FINNANE reports from the Royal Commission. FULL STORY »

How did a ‘loose cannon’ get his youth worker job back? 

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After a long history of complaints against him and an investigation by the Professional Standards Unit, he had been removed from direct contact with detainees; then he was back. KIERAN FINNANE reports from the Royal Commission. FULL STORY »

‘Jasper Jones was just too much for me’

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“The stultified, suspicious, aggressive atmospheres, the cars, the moods, the grown-ups doing forbidden things in the dark, the beer, the hangovers from the war,” writes Craig San Roque.


‘Totally inadequate’ security at Alice juvenile detention centre

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Recent escapee bitten by police dog and “should not have been put in that position”: Royal Commission hears from Derek Tasker who is not only still  employed at the ASJDC but is in charge of training its new recruits.   KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Former shift supervisor at Don Dale questioned on use of force 

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Trevor Hansen’s evidence included using arm locks and leg locks on 15 year old girls, in one instance while the girl’s outer clothing  was being removed by a female officer. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Choked, kicked, but no complaint ever responded to

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Former juvenile detainee Jamal Turner gives evidence in open session to the Royal Commission, holding hearings  in Alice Springs this week. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

‘Trespassers’ on Commonwealth land spray fracking graffiti

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Not us, says Frack Free Alliance. Police are seeking witnesses. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


AAPA no obstacle to emergency action on trees since 2013 

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Concerns regarding council’s own processes are another matter. These trees in Smith Street are under review but with what kind of urgency it is hard to say. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

CAAMA radio: questions on Hampton appointment

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Meanwhile Gman gets job in Melbourne vacated by former CAAMA employee, Jim Remedio. Karl Hampton pictured. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Murder accused Veleski appears in court




Accused over the stabbing death of a French tourist  on the Stuart Highway last year, Pande Veleski (pictured) appeared in the Alice Springs Local Court by video link from Darwin.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

1.6b mining projects inching towards reality

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… but so far it’s still just words from the Chief Minister about projects north of Alice Springs. PHOTO: Magnetite in drill core trays, Mount Peake project.


In the company of birds: Iain Campbell

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In the wilds of Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, a young Iain Campbell made an important discovery – an incomparable solace in the company of birds,  which he would rediscover in Alice Springs, writes MIKE GILLAM. FULL STORY »

Old tree danger: council was told two years ago

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The advice got lost in the system, appears to never have been actioned. Council apologises. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Fracking: The nays have it

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Locals raise large number of risks at crowded meeting called by the hydraulic fracturing probe after activists stage well-orchestrated stunt. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE March 10, 2:20pm


Centralians contribute to national thinking on recognition




The day-long symposium  in Melbourne on 25 March, featuring Senator Patrick Dodson and a contingent from The Centre, will provide a forum for contributions to the national conversation around “breakthrough recognition”. FULL STORY »

Dwellings starts still in slump




“Uptick” likely next year, says Neilia Humphries (pictured), of the Housing Industries Association.


Government still mainly in the ‘gunna’ phase

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Michael Gunner talks in Alice Springs: Seven months into his government, no shortage of enthusiasm but work on problem solutions still have a long way to go. ERWIN CHLANDA reprots.


Landmark tree drops third heavy branch in two weeks

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The tree is protected under Sacred Sites legislation but this does not prevent immediate emergency work on the tree if there is a public safety issue involved. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Karl Hampton CAAMA boss amidst ‘Aboriginalisation’ row

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Former Labor MLA and CAAMA board chairman (pictured) gets the broadcaster’s CEO position. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Clay pans mob: Gathering trash can be fun

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Making a favourite spot for locals a cleaner place.


Shock resignation as radio station ‘Aboriginalises’

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CAAMA station manager quits after 16 years. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Wheels grind slowly for road with ‘national priority’

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Huge rains make a mess of the Tanami Road while Infrastructure Australia is in no hurry to seal it.


Extreme variability: local climate change right now

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While melting ice caps have become the universally recognised symbol of climate change, we ignore the impacts closer to home at our peril. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Hetti Perkins on the legacy of ‘Australia’s artistic heritage’

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Welcome initiatives that are “long overdue: the Namatjira Legacy Trust supporting Hermannsburg Watercolour artists, including by restoration to his descendants of Namatjira’s copyright; and a national Indigenous art gallery in Alice Springs. Hetti Perkins speaks to KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

‘Game-changing project’: committee heads announced

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The Territory Government’s project to build a national Indigenous art gallery in Alice Springs will have a steering committee headed by two prominent Aboriginal Central Australians. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

UPDATED, Monday 27 February 2017, 10.44am & Tuesday 28 February 2017, 3.40pm: FULL STORY »

Moss challenge: Find Centre alternative to barra

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Competition pumped $9m into the Top End, says Tourism Minister Lauren Moss. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Farewell, Iain Campbell

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Much-loved Alice Springs artist Iain Campbell has died. There will be no more paintings of this place from his penetrating yet warm and humorous eye, from his skilled, well-trained hand. KIERAN FINNANE pays tribute. FULL STORY »

Senator seeks answers from ABC on shortwave shut-down




Where is the “evidence of consultations and evidence of engagement with NT stakeholders,” asks Malarndirri McCarthy (pictured).


Mining remediation bonds fall massively short



$8 billion mine puts down $250,000 for clean-up, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine.


Did Wilfred and Gisela Thor have to die?

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Can we do more to keep our visitors safe? Could the search for the two Germans have started earlier? Is world-wide news reporting of such tragedies harming out tourism industry? Do we need better mobile phone range, and why don’t we use cutting edge technology? By ERWIN CHLANDA.


On the ground, in the sky, 1 Territory seeks sporting excellence

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The Centre is ideal for combined heat and altitude training, says the political start-up’s president, Braedon Earley. He is pictured in a glider cockpit at Bond Springs. The region is one of the world’s best heat soaring areas. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Woman’s narrow miss as sacred tree sheds branches

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Councillor Brown says lopping to reduce risk to public is hampered by bureaucratic “absurdity” from sacred sites authority. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE Tuesday 3:13 pm


Company refutes new allegations on jobs for the dole scheme

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Phantom workers, inappropriate record keeping, participants short-changed: A new scandal erupts as a Senate enquiry starts looking at the perennially troubled jobs for the dole scene. Meanwhile, My Pathway refutes allegations against its work in the Sandover region “in their entirety as false and mischievous”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The My Pathway store at Ampilatwatje.


What the open letter didn’t say

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Alice Springs get its fair share of praise but how justified are the international travel warnings? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


NT last in population growth, first in booze & fags use




Our population growth is the slowest in the country, we’re pretty well behaved so far as drugs go (unless we live in Darwin) but we’re streets ahead in alcohol and tobacco consumption, recent reports show. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Town gets a say in its economic future as $2b cut hits home

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The $2b shock from Canberra added a sense of urgency for Michael Gunner’s economic summit in Alice Springs today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.



UPDATE 2:30pm March 25.


How to cope with a 40 degree Sunday

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You can be cool on a hot day: Drive a Mustang, a Chevelle or a 1956 souped-up F100 to Ross River. Or ride a Harley. ERWIN CHLANDA was green with envy.


Climate change strains systems for remote living

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Local government and cattle station people are grappling with the fall-out of massive summer rains. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Incompetent Labor Government deserves $2b cut: 1Territory




There are 11 reasons why the NT deserves being shafted by Canberra, writes BRAEDON EARLEY, of the 1Territory Party.


Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity




Salt mine south of Alice: Community benefit or fly-in, fly-out troubles are the options, writes Steve Brown.


Note UPDATE: Comprehensive explanation of the project from Tellus managing director, posted 5:30pm on March 22.


Parrtjima to cost $2m, half will go interstate

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The NT Government will again spend $2m and half of this will go out of town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


An invitation to Alice Keith Palmer won’t be able to follow

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A link between Alice locals and a tragedy on the other side of the world is a sad reminder that we’re living in a global village.


Melanka development break-through: Work starts next week

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Surprising project takes place of ill-fated residential and business complex. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Something’s back and Somewhere’s different

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After its sell-out inauguration last year,  the international film festival homegrown in Alice will be back in April. Kieran Finnane takes a look at the program. FULL STORY »

Juvenile detention: Pool sex in Don Dale

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The Royal Commission rakes over the multitude of failures during the Henderson Labor government and its refusal to build fit-for-purpose juvenile detention facilities while spending half a billion dollars on a gaol for adults in to Top End. Former Corrections Minister and current front-bencher Gerry McCarthy (pictured at the hearing) gives evidence in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Kadaitchaman makes trouble in juvenile detention

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The process of initiation should be allowed to continue in detention, inmates should be able to attend ceremonies including funerals outside the prison, and psychologists or psychiatrists should be on hand to deal with distress such as being strip searched, according to Associate Professor John Rynne (pictured at the hearing). He gave evidence to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in Alice Springs on Friday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


What next, Lord Adam?




The NT Labor government signed off on honorific titles for Adam Giles (pictured) and Willem Westra van Holthe, writes Bruce Francais of Katherine.


Crime stats up in Alice, through the roof in Tennant

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Crime in several categories are up substantially and the recent summer months were worse than a year before, writes Robyn Lambley, Member for Araluen (pictured).


Grandson and grandmother come before the Royal Commission

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Don’t put all Aboriginal kids in the “one box”, a detainee’s grandmother says. It is assumed her grandson comes from a broken home. Not so. She described a “close family” with both his parents “workers, home buyers”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Mutitjulu celebrates ‘community-driven model’ of leasing



Our model keeps decision making in local Aboriginal hands, but also acknowledges the need to build community capacity and strong governance, writes David Ross, Central Land Council director. PHOTO: Income from lease payments will go to projects such as the pool.


Dylan Voller ‘no comment’ on kill list

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“Slice his throat” and “stab him in the neck” are comments Mr Voller allegedly made in a list written by him. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.



Elders appeal to respect sacred sites

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Damage by fire on Billygoat Hill: The stories need to live on, writes Amelia Turner Kngwarreye. PHOTO: Tourists enjoying Billygoat Hill.