Story Archive » Volume 24 » Issue 4 »

Police concerned about family of four

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Caravanners not heard from since May 9.


UPDATE 9:50am: Contact made. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal woman from NSW to curate Parrtjima

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Rhoda Roberts AO (pictured) is the Head of First Nations Programming at Sydney Opera House, says the NT Government’s Major Events Company.


Federal Budget: Stand on your own two feet, NT!




Time to get out of the welfare mindset and raise money from the Territory’s assets, such as gas, says Chamber of Commerce head Kay Eade (at left). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


No Brainer # 3: Stott Terrace renameded? Tourists in swags. Playing chicken with cars.




Where’s the money, running cattle or tourists? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Alice identity Maya Cifali remembers her girlhood in Egypt

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Alice Springs News Online presents two responses to Maya Cifali’s memoir, The Silver Bracelet, launched last weekend, an introduction by RUSSELL GOLDFLAM and a review by KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

All talk no action on ankle bracelets

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Despite urgency motion two months ago, still none have been fitted, writes Deputy Opposition Leader, Lia Finocchiaro.


Man sought for indecent assault

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Man sought following indecent assault, say police.


Lambley, Gunner slugging it out




She said he’s using low tactics, he said she’s selling out the people of Alice Springs.


Former Turf Club manager charged with stealing

More than $30,000 allegedly stolen by former manager Graham Smith last year. FULL STORY »

Spending big – but when?

2440 Guggenheim Bilbao SM


Is The Alice may actually beat Darwin in the government spending stakes this time ’round. The Guggenheim museum (pictured) turned Bilbao form a grimy industrial city into super destination for tourists. Will art make Alice great again?ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Boy, 12, accused of ram-raiding. Woman assaulted.

Offender 1 Gillen assault SM

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On Saturday, three young men (one is pictured) allegedly assaulted a woman in her home and a child has been charged with having been on a crime spree on the same day, with a repeat performance by other perpetrators in Sadadeen this morning. (at right).


UPDATE May 9 at 2:20pm and May 15, 11am.


Fossils display will be in former Westpac building

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EXCLUSIVE: Government to spend $1.5m. Likely to be open by mid next year. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Experience Aboriginal culture in the heart of the CBD

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A small group of people are not waiting for multimillion dollar centres to offer it: they’re delivering the kind of experience so many crave on the smell of an oily rag. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Fracking inquiry gets two sub-inquiries




No economy nor social impact experts are on the inquiry panel, so some will  be hired. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Fracking chairperson provides clarification

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Fracking inquiry chairperson, Justice Rachel Pepper (pictured), responds to “Fracking inquiry gets two sub-inquiries”.


Just in case the postie gets lost!

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The latest laughable addition to Bunny Court building.

The Budget’s $20m CBD puzzle



What deal is Alice getting in the 2017/18 Budget for the “revitalisation” of the CBD? The $20m promised could be a long way away, reports ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: The Mall when it’s buzzing.


UPDATE 2:30pm


Indigenous gallery, museum, CBD ‘revitalisation’ not in Budget




The National Indigenous Art Gallery and the Indigenous Art Museum for Alice Springs are not in the 2017/18 Territory Budget of $6.7b, being announced this morning by Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured). Its record $1.3b deficit will result in interest payments of $69.7m in 2017/18. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Budget fails to create wealth, unlock investment: Higgins




The government’s infrastructure spending will not unlock private investment and private industry, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured) after his Budget speech in reply.


For 1 Territory, no fracking means no fracking




No deals recognised, no compensation paid, writes Braedon Earley (pictured).


CBD revitalisation: no need to reinvent the wheel


Less than a decade ago extensive community consultations were held to establish direction for revitalising the centre of Alice Springs. Very little of what was put forward at the time has been implemented, including very little of what had the strongest level of support – a focus on people and activity. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

A bones-led recovery?

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A display of mega fauna remains in the Mall will kick off Michael Gunner’s version of Jobs and Growth – or will it? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.


No fracked gas in pipeline?




Ken Vowles (at left) gives the Tennant Creek to Mt Isa pipeline the green light. Will Michael Gunner follow Labor Party policy of not permitting it to carry fracked gas, asks Naomi Hogan (at right), from Lock The Gate NT. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Native title rights declared south of Alice




Aboriginal people will gain rights on four cattle stations, says Central Land Council chairman Francis Jupurulla Kelly (pictured).


Kids and fast machines thrill huge Bangtail crowd

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This morning’s Rotary fund raiser proves it again: Alice loves a parade. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Open to those wide spaces

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“It’s like a family dinner, where everyone is invited. It may not be pretty, but we hatch it out.” RONJA HONEY MOSS on Wide Open Space, now in its ninth year. FULL STORY »

I cannot recall, Giles tells the Royal Commission

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Unprepared former Chief Minister doesn’t contribute much to the multi million dollar Royal Commission he started. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Juvenile detention was starved for funds: Elferink

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Does “tough on crime” work? Was the government demonising young people? Former Corrections Minister John Elferink (in the centre of the photo) answered tough questions from Peter Morrissey (pictured) and other lawyers in a marathon session at the Royal Commission. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Elferink attacks ABC’s Four Corners: Royal Commission

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The former NT Corrections Minister had made available to the ABC a “warts and all” account of what had occurred and was occurring in the detention system, yet most of the interview did not find its way into their report. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


UPDATED, 27 April 2017, 5pm: Full statement criticising Four Corners now released. We publish main points. FULL STORY »

‘Punitive NT society wants pound of flesh’: Royal Commission hears from former Corrections Commissioner Middlebrook

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“Tough on crime” policies demanded by a “very punitive society”, wanting its “pound of flesh” drove the crisis in the Northern Territory’s  corrections systems, including juvenile detention, former Corrections Commissioner Ken Middlebrook told the Royal Commission today. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

10 ideas for revitalising the Alice Springs CBD

p2351 Robyn Lambley SM



While the government is still scratching its head about how to spend $20m it has announced, the Independent Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley (pictured), isn’t backward in coming forward.


Fossil museum set to return to the CBD

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The eight million year old fossils recovered from Alcoota – once upon a time on display in the museum located in the Alice Plaza – will make their way back to a CBD venue in a $1.5m initiative announced by Braitling MLA Dale Wakefield. FULL STORY »

Freedom of the road takes bikers to Alice

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500 believers in Harley Davidson registered so far – may grow to 700. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


‘Chinese company does better in Budget than locals’

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Opposition Leader writes Gunner needs to come clean on a hotel and apartments deal with the Darwin port lessee.


Grant for Alice fest delayed in town council confusion

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Business man tells council about waste disposal incinerator at meeting flawed by confusion on festival funding. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Mother of girl ‘denied education’ contacts Children’s Commissioner




The school principal at the centre of the scandal tried to stop truant children from taking part in government provided sports and recreation activities, says a former youth worker at Wilora. Ministers Lawler and Wakefield (pictured) did not respond to requests for comment. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


2017 Anzac Parade

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This morning’s parade in pictures.


People power versus the state & big business

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“Unforgettable images were the mayors  ‘manning’ the barricades, quite literally (except that some of the mayors were women). It’s hard to imagine this happening in present-day Alice Springs!” KIERAN FINNANE on The Bentley Effect, about  resistance interstate to coal seam gas, shown in Alice by the Something Somewhere film festival. FULL STORY »

Darwin port, Kidman stations: Selling the NT, bit by bit




As we remember the fallen on Anzac Day, are we on track to become the poor white trash of Asia, asks BRUCE FRANCAIS, of Katherine.


Making the CBD vibrant, again: Detail, please.




While Alice hasn’t got it thinking cap on yet about how to do it, Darwin’s agenda is on the board. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. PHOTO: The empty Mall.


Town artists extend a hand to visitors from APY Lands

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Over summer, when art centres out bush are generally closed and artists coming to town are vulnerable to being exploited, a new partnership provides the visitors with a safe haven, being celebrated by a new exhibition. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Gunner’s land management on back burner

p2427 industrial rural bloc k SMLabor promised to fix the flagrant misuse of rural residential land, but eight months later the Planning Commission has a stand-by crew and does nothing of substance. Disenfranchisement of the public introduced by Giles continues. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

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).


Fracked gas our only hope: Northern Institute professor




Boosting employment by giving gas the green light, and not doubling the “tradies’ subsidies” are recommendations by local economist Rolf Gerritsen (pictured).


Kids focus of Show but government will be a No Show

Show kicker



Trade display bookings so far are well down on last year, and government departments will need to make they own bookings, Show Society is told. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Voller’s cross-examination compounds picture of failing system

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When Dylan Voller (pictured) was remanded in custody to Aranda House in Alice Springs for the first time, it was for a number of criminal charges over a period of four months, including property damage at the school he was attending and assault on a classmate. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


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.


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 »

They must be joking!

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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 »

Six-year-old banned from bush school: Grandmother

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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


Milk and honey or fracking battle field?

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


CDU oval a public place no longer

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A fence and CCTV costing a quarter of a million dollars continue measures around town to restrict public access to sport and recreation grounds of schools because of vandalism and anti-social behaviour. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Arsonists invade town centre

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Vacant Melanka block ablaze. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


‘Historic agreement to strengthen SA-NT bond’

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The two administrations will focus on transport infrastructure, international trade, tourism and disadvantaged children, say Chief Minister Michael Gunner (at right) and Premier Jay Weatherill (at left). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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 »

NT-SA agreement hardly historic




There have been several agreements and the links between the Northern Territory and South Australia are many and varied, including the railway developments. COMMENT by ALEX NELSON. 


Protect our icons from fracking: Tourism operators

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


Government to pay $30m plus in rent for court

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It amounts to three times the initial government estimate, plus $3m for fit-out. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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

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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 »

Call for help with roads disaster

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His bush council needs $50m to bring roads up to scratch following disastrous rains early this year, writes Adrian Dixon, President of the Central Desert Regional Council.


No-brainer # 1




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


The Book of Revelations  (on zines and strange careers)

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CRAIG SAN ROQUE welcomes “a cloud of black ink, crows feet trotting along the tarmac, swooping in from the south side of town” to be seen on the walls of Watch This Space. FULL STORY »

Protect NT’s 457 visa privileges, says Higgins




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


Greens on Pine Gap: Move towards non-aligned foreign policy

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Greens Leader Richard Di Natale (pictured), in The Centre for his party’s national conference, speaks with ERWIN CHLANDA about the US spy base in Alice Springs and what he regards as the shortcomings of public services for Indigenous people.


Medical training gets shot in the arm




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


NT Writers Festival salutes the ‘lifelines that join and cross’

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“This is what the world aspires to have,” said Abe Nouk,  Sudanese-born now Australian spoken word artist, one of the festival’s guests. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived

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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 »

The Centre should be a major player in the power game

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India is developing a massive thorium (contained in monazite, pictured) / nuclear waste / molten salt electricity facility capable of powering the whole of Australia from a single source and you are standing and living in the country which has the largest thorium resource in the world, with much of it just behind the Aileron roadhouse! But we are spending $75m upgrading obsolete technology, writes Trevor Shiell.


Geocachers – they’re all around us

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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.


How did Alice Springs respond to the 1967 referendum?

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An interesting small exhibition at The Residency in Parsons Street draws attention to the fact that we don’t really know. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Finding home through metal: Blacken Open Air festival

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“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 »

Advocate: Getting it wrong on their big day

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Cheap shot at the Alice Springs News Online editor.


Bangtail beats bureaucracy




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


Slow gains on exploding youth crime

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Dealing with bail breaches is still a work in progress as ram raids are mounted and kids are playing chicken with cars on the highway. Minister Dale Wakefield speaks with ERWIN CHLANDA. 


Missing Turf Club money still a mystery – UPDATES

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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 »

A long lunch for a good cause

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The sun shone and so did the Mall, as a great entertainment venue, when the Hamilton Downs Youth Camp, with help from a lot of friends, staged its annual fundraiser. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Council gets roasting on pool delays and sugar ban

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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 »

Cattle prices high again at today’s Alice auction

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Bullocks went for up to $1600 a head, says stock agent Jock McPherson. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Crime, vandalism huge worry for business

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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 »

Donations to Salvos stay in town – and then some

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The Red Shield appeal is the Salvation Army’s big fundraiser, says Captain McGifford pictured with salesperson Letetia Berends in the Thrift Shop this morning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Keeping an eye on your house from afar

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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.


PM’s Alice office ‘downsizes’ to Supreme Court building

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As a downsizing, the relocation will save the taxpayer, says a spokesperson. Meanwhile a little sandwich board has made its appearance out front of the brand new building, to show people where to go in. ERWIN CHLANDA and KIERAN FINNANE report. FULL STORY »

‘If you treat youth like animals …’

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… 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 »

‘Inheritors of our ancestors’ voices’: writers festival opens

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Writers take their inspiration from the theme of “crossings” – two roads meeting that “neither block nor erase one another but travel together”. KIERAN FINNANE  reports. FULL STORY »

Vinnies in Alice barely surviving

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


See UPDATE Friday 10am


Council: one third of budget still unspent

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Council’s financial performance came under close scrutiny during last night’s meeting, principally by Councillor Eli Melky. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

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.


Councillor fumes over power station job losses

p2443 Owen Springs SMp2443 Ron Goodin SMIs the government turning Alice into a FIFO camp, asks Steve Brown. Talks are under way about running the $75m Owen Springs plant (at left) remotely from Darwin. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Higgins calls Budget an enduring burden but builders are happy




Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured) canes government for “wild spending” but the construction industry praises the first the Labor Budget for stepping in where “private investment has evaporated in recent times”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


The gaolers and the gaoled: new exhibition

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What’s it like to be in gaol? What’s it like to be the gaoler?  How is it that, in a town that has destroyed much of its built heritage, we saved a gaol ? A new exhibition explores answers to these questions and more. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Mum to represent Alice at world triathlon meet

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Kate McIntyre (pictured) needs $8000 but having overcome depression and being hopeless at sport, it ain’t going to be a problem, she reckons. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Labor’s mixed messages on fracking

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Katherine’s Labor MLA Sandra Nelson (pictured) scored a narrow win on anti-fracking preferences. Now she has to toe Michael Gunner’s apparent pro-fracking line, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine.


Minister Vowles ‘sucks up’ to fracking bosses




We don’t want to lose the best of our Territory lifestyle, tourism and outback industries because we peg false hopes on risky fracking, writes Naomi Hogan (pictured), Lock the Gate NT coordinator.


Making the most of The Rock challenge

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The Ayers Rock Resort has flipped the tourism card but Alice can make it work, says industry leader Dale McIver (pictured at Uluru).


Dick Kimber: premier scholar of Central Australia

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His contributions in the fields of ethnography, history, the deep past, linguistics, rock art, and contemporary Aboriginal art were recently acknowledged and celebrated by scholars in all these fields and others who have known Mr Kimber professionally and personally. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Supreme Court – the inside story

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How should the community interpret the attention to its needs in the interior spaces of the new Supreme Court building? asks KIERAN FINNANE.


Court placing itself above the community?

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“Any such impression would be entirely mistaken,” said Chief Justice Michael Grant, presiding over the ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court that inaugurated its new Alice Springs facilities today. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »