Story Archive » Volume 24 » Issue 3 »

Banned drinkers actions faster, tougher

p2405 Lea Finocchiaro SMp2379-michael-gunner-sm



Banned Drinkers Register: Secondary supply will be a crime, says Mr Gunner (at left). Why is it taking so long, asks Ms Finocchiaro (at right). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.


No-brainer # 2

p2424 burning trees SMNo-brainer


Trees that don’t have a chance. Araluen exhibits the backs of people’s heads. And while many in Queensland and NSW lose homes and some their loved ones, our flood mitigation planners are in no hurry.


UPDATE 12 noon Monday.


‘A feast of art, a spread of characters’



From 33 works on show in the annual Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award, only three could be winners. KIERAN FINNANE reports the judges’ short-list of six and the many tributes paid to the late artist Iain Campbell (his last self-portrait pictured). FULL STORY »

Small business workshop in Warlpiri




Local, NT governments collaborate on issues are when two worlds collide, write Adrian Dixon (pictured) and Cathryn Hutton from the Central Desert Regional Council.


Town pool problems: No end in sight

p1937pool SM



No time table yet for fixing “significant tile damage,” says the council.


Meeting at the crossing

p2424 Writers Dani Powell SM



Talking of story rather than writing opens up the possibilities of a genuine meeting of minds at the annual NT Writers’ Festival, to be held this year in Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE speaks with festival director Dani Powell (pictured). FULL STORY »

More community grants to boost small business: Treasurer




$10m community grants program boosted to $30m, writes Treasurer Nicole Manison.


150 mountain bikers plus supporters to head for Alice




Three day event to be race with greatest number of interstate entrants and women riders, writes Paul Darvodelsky, of the CARR-Alice Springs Mountain Bike Club.


Median house prices still on the rise: Senior real estate agent




Gillen popular, one home goes for $1.1m but hardly any action on industrial, says L J Hooker boss Doug Fraser. (pictured).

And pollies should cut red tape: It’s slowing down issuing of titles.


$2b cut: Gunner should have seen it coming

p2422 Rolf Gerritsen SM



Population trends over the years signalled the inevitable. The Territory now should spend less on the public service and more on infrastructure to keep builders and tradies in the NT, says Professor Rolf Gerritsen, pictured in an award-winning portrait by Al Strangeways. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Melanka block development: Scouts made it happen

p2423 space station SM



Immobilised Droid (at left in the photo) awaits instructions as outer space Rebels attend a space wars council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Biggest deficit in Territory history: Opposition Leader




The government that has slammed shut the door on private investment and Territorians will be paying off this debt for years, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured).


Cool weather ahead after hottest March for some

No rain since February 7 and below average rainfall for the next three months, says the Bureau of Metereology. FULL STORY »

A shield against suicide

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Three Aboriginal people are lost to suicide every week. A crowdfunding campaign for an app is now trying to bring relief. FULL STORY »

Tourism numbers: Territory ‘standout performer’

p1943-Fred-Pruckner-&-Erika SM



In the last three years the NT visitor numbers increased 69%, streets ahead of number two, WA, at 47%. The Territory growth in spend and nights was more than four times the national result. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Austrian tourists Erika and Fred Pruckner at Chamber’s Pillar.


Sitzler closes Alice office: Why the fuss?

p2427 Federal Police


The firm will be back in town when there’s more government work, says long time local builder. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from the Sitzler website: The Australian Federal Police Building in Darwin.


Company refutes new allegations on jobs for the dole scheme

p2422 Ampilatwatje My Pathway SM


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 will Royal Commission do with Dylan Voller’s evidence? 

p2427 NTRC Brownhill SM



How will his allegations be tested  and will the commission make findings about the truth of them? asked NT Solicitor General Sonia Brownhill SC (pictured) who will cross-examine Mr Voller on Thursday. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

What the open letter didn’t say

p2422 open letter SM



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


They must be joking!

p2426 Supreme Court rabbit 2 SM



No, it’s not an Easter bunny gone astray from a nearby shopping centre. It’s ‘public art’ and it’s staying, marking the entrance to the reopened thoroughfare which provides the main access to the new Supreme Court building.  Comment by KIERAN FINNANE.  FULL STORY »

Open letter: Tangible action or shooting the messenger?


Shooting the messenger or providing tangible help for the Alice tourism industry – that is the question, comments ERWIN CHLANDA. The view west from the top of Mt Gillen. You can get there via one of the spectacular ravines on the southern flank of the ranges. The base of the closest one is a few minutes’ walk from the tourism precinct.

See UPDATE March 30, 3:15pm

Six-year-old banned from bush school: Grandmother

2425 Santayia Namatjira SM


Aboriginal Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion wants bush kids to go to school but the bush school where this kid is meant to be going doesn’t want her, according to members of her family and friends. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 4:35pm


Love thy neighbour

p2422 neighbourhood day SM



“The community you want starts at your front door” was the motto for Sunday’s Neighbourhood Day.


Milk and honey or fracking battle field?

2424 fracking SM



Petroleum exploration applications, lodged or granted: Where they are and what that means. A little jigsaw puzzle for the Easter break.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.


Arsonists invade town centre

2425 Melanka block fire 1 SM2425 Melanka block fire 2 SM



Vacant Melanka block ablaze. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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

p2421 summit SM



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.


Gas, fracking: potential benefits to Aborigines enormous




At a conservative estimate, 500 wells producing one million cubic feet of gas a day would generate $1.75b a year. But Aboriginal land owners under Land Rights could veto. The money or the land, that will clearly become the question. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

How to cope with a 40 degree Sunday

2422 Sunday drive 3 SM



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.


Protect our icons from fracking: Tourism operators

p2427 Uluru fracking SM



Attractions such as Uluru (pictured), the Mataranka Hot Springs and Roper River are largely surrounded by permits for fracking gas fields, say industry leaders.


Climate change strains systems for remote living

p2421 road bog SM



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


Developing gas in the Territory, as seen by an industry leader

p2422 David Close SM



Even if the current fracking enquiry gives the green light, it will take up to eight years until it’s known how much gas we have. The industry’s future will depend on much more exploration, the market and politics, and some current claims about the reserves are inaccurate. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Origin’s David Close (pictured), who was at the Geoscience Exploration Seminar in Alice Springs this week. FULL STORY »

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.


No-brainer # 1




Tennant Creek sets world record for cops. Bullet train to Titjikala?


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.


Protect NT’s 457 visa privileges, says Higgins




The NT’s special workforce needs must be preserved, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins.


Parrtjima to cost $2m, half will go interstate

p2420 Parrtjima SM



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


Medical training gets shot in the arm




A boost for getting more doctors into rural areas, writes  Nigel Scullion (pictured)Senator for the NT.


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

p2421 killed policeman SM



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.


Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived

p2425 Easter Catholic mass SM


The Catholic Church in Alice Springs, from spiritual outpost to the faith of the movers and shakers, to a multicultural hub. ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with parish activist for half a century, Fred Twohig. FULL STORY »

Melanka development break-through: Work starts next week

2420 space station SM 2



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


Geocachers – they’re all around us

p2425 Geocaching SM



More than 500 people are bringing a global pastime to The Alice. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Sonia and David Dougherty on their hunt for small treasures.


Something’s back and Somewhere’s different

p2421 SS Fest Two Worlds 1 450p2422 SS Fest Black As 450
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 »

Finding home through metal: Blacken Open Air festival

p2426 Blacken RM pair 350p2426 Blacken RM couch 430
“The thump of thrashing drums and shrieking guitars exploding from the Gap View Hotel would have been enough to  bring all of the MacDonell Ranges alive!” writes RONJA HONEY MOSS. FULL STORY »

Juvenile detention: Pool sex in Don Dale

p2420 Royal McCarthy 1 SM


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.


Bangtail beats bureaucracy




Rotary members become traffic controllers to save thousands which now can go to charity. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Kadaitchaman makes trouble in juvenile detention

p2420 Royal Rynne 2 SM


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.


Missing Turf Club money still a mystery – UPDATES

p2424 turf club SM

Seven months after it went missing, and on the eve of the Club’s major event, the taxpaying public is none the wiser about where a portion of its grant money has gone. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from the club’s website.


Most recent UPDATE 1:33pm Wednesday: “The committee of the club is responsible for the management of grants.” FULL STORY »

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.


Council gets roasting on pool delays and sugar ban

P2425 ASTC Cy & Dona SM



Why doesn’t council use local skill and labour to get the job done, asked a fed up Judith Dona, who also attacked their ‘nanny state’ approach to canteen food. Meanwhile council looks set to improve on the entry to the mall, at present cluttered by unwelcoming ‘NO’ signs. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Crime stats up in Alice, through the roof in Tennant

p2351 Robyn Lambley SM



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).


Crime, vandalism huge worry for business

p2424 ice springs SM


Chamber of Commerce survey amplifies distrust in law and order responses. Break-ins and thefts discourage investment. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: A pointed example of vandalism, as reported by the ABC. FULL STORY »

Grandson and grandmother come before the Royal Commission

p2419 NTRC BY SM



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 »

Keeping an eye on your house from afar

p2424 jaws of life SM



Police and ambulance personnel staged a dramatic rescue of a car accident victim but the star of Saturday’s safety expo was a gadget to catch burglars. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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.


‘If you treat youth like animals …’

p2422 NTRC welcome SM



… you won’t get safer communities. In a nutshell, that is what the Royal Commission can conclude after its first eight months.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Dylan Voller ‘no comment’ on kill list

p2418 Voller demo SM


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



Vinnies in Alice barely surviving

p2423 Vinnies 1 SM


The sharp decline in services follows a takeover by Queensland management. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


See UPDATE Friday 10am


Elders appeal to respect sacred sites

2417 Billygoat Hill SM



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


Youth crime: screams for help




Youth crime: There is no such thing as a bad child. Does a baby who cries because of an unmet need get labelled a bad baby? write Chris Warren and David Pugh from Anglicare NT.


Problem drinkers to be banned again, bottlo cops to stay




The banned drinkers regime will come back with 1000 people on it initially, expected to grow initially by 500 a month, writes Health Minister Natasha Fyles (pictured).