Story Archive » Volume 24 » Issue 1 »

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.


Big dip in housing starts




Decline turns home building into a buyers’ market, writes Neilia Humphries of the Housing Industry Association Executive – NT (pictured).


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.


Festival funding, take two?

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Alice Desert Festival – will they apply for Federal funds this time ’round? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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 »

Federal fest funds: does anyone know what’s going on?

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Is the Alice Desert Festival eligible for Federal funds from the pool given to four applicants in the Top End? And if so, why did the festival not lodge an application?  ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from the 2013 festival.


What price democracy?

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Cost-cutting measures proposed for next local government elections. KIERAN FINNANE reports on Town Council news. 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.


$6.25m centre takes netball out of the sun, rain

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After five decades netball can move inside. 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.


Alice visitors information service tops nation – again

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Self service tour booking facilities, website, online support for members and strong marketing tipped the scales for Tourism Central Australia, writes CEO STEPHEN SCHWER. PHOTO (from left): Chairperson Dale McIver, Susan Silvester (visitors services manager), Paige Nguyen (publicity), and Mr Schwer.


Fracking probe: Part risks raised, part industry pitch

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Idyllic billabong or insidious fracking site? The panel will examine 66 “risk themes” but seems to accept industry claims that shale gas production is more benign than coal seam gas, despite both requiring drilling through the water table. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


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.


Pssst, here’s something hot




Whistleblowers now have a place to go, courtesy Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Barkly’s largest employer under special administration

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Julalikari is solvent but “had experienced a significant breakdown in its relationships with members, key stakeholders and commercial partners,” writes ANTHONY BEVEN, Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.


Youth crime: Sack judges, asks 1Territory




The problem can be rectified by the present Labor Government taking a tougher stance by amending the Bail Act and the Sentencing Act and maybe even the Criminal Code, write 1 Territory president BRAEDON EARLEY (pictured) and vice-president SUE FRASER-ADAMS.


Public asked for views on fracking (protests aside)

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Only views expressed at hearings or by written submission will be considered, says judge heading up the the Scientific Enquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NT. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Canberra to hear Arrernte plans for a Living Culture Centre

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Booked in with top echelon federal government advisors, Akeyulerre Inc will present their plans for a centre where Arrernte families can host visitors, locals and tourists alike, who want to learn about Arrernte culture directly from Arrernte people themselves. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

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


Land councils acted behind our backs, say pipeline TOs

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In a move against fracking, of which they say they weren’t informed, Traditional Owners are seeking a halt to the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa gas pipeline by disallowing land clearing. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Members of the Wakaya Land Trust.


National Indigenous gallery: what should come first?

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Is a design competition the best way to build a national Indigenous art gallery? Should thinking about a building come before the project establishes roots in the community? And what community is that, how and when will it be involved? KIERAN FINNANE explores some answers. FULL STORY »

Independent assessment of government funding still in future

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Government funding: We still depend on what the donors and the recipients tell us, but the Commonwealth says it is gearing up for independent and transparent assessment. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE from the CAAC 2014/15 financial report.


Crime wave laws – no hurry?

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No Parliamentary debate now till next month, writes Lia Finocchiaro, Deputy Opposition Leader (pictured).


Canberra money for festivals all goes to Top End




Nigel Scullion announces Commonwealth festivals funding: Top End $188,560. Central Australia nil. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


See UPDATE February 28.


Illegal black market trading in taxi licences

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Lambley gets full support for Parliamentary investigation.


TOs seek to block pipeline. Hendo in the gas business.

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Never a dull moment in the fast lane: As traditional owners seek to block the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa gas pipeline, ex Labor Chief Minister Paul Henderson (at right in the picture) and former Liberal Opposition Leader Alexander Downer (next to him) are offering “discreet advice” about how to do business in the Territory. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Millions spent, youth gets four hours a week

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The youth centre gets a new name and millions of dollars, but election promises notwithstanding, “youth” is becoming an afterthought. The place where young people of all races forged friendships over decades has become a monument to the view that bricks, mortar and corrugated iron can solve complex social problems. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Action on trees, climate, arts & culture

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Council will ask Power and Water Corporation to remove and replace savaged street trees; commits to climate action; and adopts broad vision of local culture. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Adam Giles, Gerry McCarthy: Bib & Bub on power station




Labor sings from CLP songsheet on new power station running 100% on fossil fuel. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Film festival of stories close to home and far afield

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Opening is Jasper Jones, a new film from Rachel Perkins, her fourth. Local emerging film-maker Dylan River also gets an outing in this smorgasbord of films from around the world, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Most comprehensive overhaul of youth justice system: Gunner



There will be more boot camps, improved sentencing and diversion, bail conditions to protect the public, individualised support, options for accommodation and victims’ conferencing to stem growing juvenile delinquency, writes Michael Gunner.


Opposition Leader Gary Higgins says the measures are not tough enough, and the worst offenders will take advantage of the slack bail arrangements.


Indigenous art gallery centrepiece of Gunner’s plans for Alice

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He puts dates on the next steps to be taken in preparing to build “an architectural symbol of remote Australia”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured is an artwork at the entrance of Te Puia, the Maori arts and crafts institute at Rotorua, NZ. Choice of illustration is ours.  FULL STORY »

Cart before the horse on gas pipeline?



Environmental Protection Authority says two major issues are still unresolved as it’s all systems go in Tennant Creek. Resource Minister Ken Vowles (pictured) says his government “is currently working through the appropriate approval processes”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Middle School ‘monstrosity’ to stay: Minister



Education Minister Eva Lawler won’t move basketball roof, writes RON KERN.


Where is Wally?

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Adam settling into new job, doing noddies for Gina. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Buffel busting turnaround in parks? Not really.

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After driving through the sea of buffel grass that is most of Alice Springs at present, my heart lifted at the sight of swathes of dead buffel and couch at Simpsons Gap, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Qantas to trial satellite WiFi serving the outback

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Satellite WiFi is still a rocky road but NBN is getting there for people in the outback, writes John SimonChief Customer Officer.


Gunner extends Home Improvement Scheme



Territorians who have already received a $2,000 voucher can access it again. Top is now $4000, writes Chief Minister MICHAEL GUNNER.


UPDATE 9:30pm

Opposition Leader Gary Higgins applauds the move but asks: “What took them so long?”


Sick of the weather? Join the club.

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What’s the forecast? Don’t ask. IMAGE: Clouds at 4:30pm today (Feb 6).


Work started on national Indigenous art gallery for Alice

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Short-list of sites for community consultation before the end of the financial year and a steering committee sooner, says Chansey Paech, Assistant Minister for the project. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured is the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, one of Mr Paech’s benchmarks. FULL STORY »

NT Government: Where have all the dollars gone?

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The NT Government, per head of population, spends about three times as much as the states and the ACT. Part One of the series on about that F-word – funding – by ERWIN CHLANDA.


Fight crime, says Opposition Leader undaunted by defeat

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Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured) says the loss has jolted the local CLP branch into action, opening its meeting to outsiders in search of ideas. And the Member for Daly found crime to be the number one concern in The Centre, and is urging that diversion programs such a boot camps get much more funding. He spoke with editor ERWIN CHLANDA.


Careening toward an abyss



Tired of the oligarchs? Use the vote to fight them, writes HAL DUELL.


Scullion to spend $40m to find out what $1b achieved




National Audit Office slams the running of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy for which the buck stops with NR Senator Nigel Scullion (pictured), the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs. ERWIN CHLANDA comments.


Govt taxi levy unfair

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People outside Darwin won’t get ride share but will be slugged with the charge to cover government losses caused by Uber, writes Independent MLA Robyn Lambley (pictured).


‘Extreme vetting’ and Pine Gap

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Malcolm Turnbull thinks he has a deal but he concedes it’s all up to Donald Trump. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Royal Commission will return to Alice

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March hearings will focus on the detention system, while during the next fortnight the Commissioners will visit New Zealand to see first-hand their alternative approach. FULL STORY »

Social media no way to alert police to crime

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Commander Danny Bacon tells  the Town Council he is very concerned about  social media generating “vigilante activity”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Outback lobbies concerned over telephone services

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Transferring telephone voice services in the bush from copper wire to satellite may not be a good idea, writes Teresa Corbin, CEO of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.


Alice mountain biking classic turns 10

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Now one of Australia’s most significant riding destinations, writes race director  John Jacoby.


Public acknowledgment a condition for govt funding

p2404 carpark opening 2SMAfter speeches and a sausage sizzle, the Albrecht Oval carpark extension is officially open – but car parking elsewhere in town remains a vexed question. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Centralian Citizen of the Year ‘sells the message’ on Alice

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Receiving her award at the Town Council last night, Andrea Mason described Alice Springs as “Australia’s little secret”. KIERAN FINNANE reports on this and other council business. FULL STORY »

School zone blitz nabs speedsters

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Driver clocked at 61 in 40 km/h school zone, says police.


Youngsters, too, got Oz Day awards

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Leadership starts early for some as they receive recognition on Australia Day. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Plans to turn Memo Club into Aboriginal ‘health hub’

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Bowling green will become a car park if the application is approved, reports ERWIN CHLANDA.


90 become Aussies in Alice on Australia Day

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The weather held off, the Town Council opened its doors, the flag was raised and 90 people from 25 countries became Australian citizens.


‘No comment’ from Adam Giles on his new mining job




Anti fracking group puts “plum” job for ex Chief Minister with Gina Rinehart under spotlight.


Boys in early teens on 153 criminal charges

Property crimes in residences and businesses keep courts, police on the hop. FULL STORY »

Alice police station to stay open 24/7

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“People have spoken loud and clear. It is their belief that having on officer at the front counter 24/7 makes them feel safer. We respect that,” says Commander Danny Bacon. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Government disappoints on economy, crime fight: Higgins




Government disappoints on stimulus as commercial break-ins shoot up, writes  Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured).


Chinese New Year tourist market worth chasing?

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More than 11,000 Chinese visitors a day to see the 12 Apostles over the next fortnight – a market we’re missing out on? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The West MacDonnell Ranges start at the council dump




$30m in council savings are looking for a place to go: Would a car park bring tourists? Editor ERWIN CHLANDA suggests alternatives in our Rest & Reflection series.


Telling the stories of war: we could do so much better

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After visiting an Anzac Centenary exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia  KIERAN FINNANE reflects on the approach taken at Anzac Hill, where the local experience of war and conflict is entirely absent.

A contribution to our Rest & Reflection series. FULL STORY »

‘We are Australian’ new anthem?

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Inclusiveness should be the spirit of Australia Day, writes STEVE BROWN in his contribution to our Rest & Reflection summer series. And he suggests the Seeker’s hit would, as the national anthem, better describe what Aussies are all about.


“Dangerous brinkmanship” from Trump: Pine Gap opponents

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Fraser, Keating urged review of ANZUS, writes peace activist ALISON BIONOWSKI. IMAGE of Pine Gap by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff.


Summer crime calls for thinking outside the box

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Alice Springs may well find the elusive solution to its summer crime spree, triggering the usual Facebook fury, in Columbia where clowns succeeded and cops failed, writes Richard Bentley in our Rest & Reflection series.


Caterpillars as big as a mountain are starving

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Alice Springs has been described as caterpillar country but where are the caterpillars now? asks Dr FIONA WALSH in this contribution to our Rest & Reflection series.


UPDATE, 20 January 2017, ‘Lost’ 4th totemic caterpillar sighted. FULL STORY »

Images from our rich history: collection is growing

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Harry Williams with friends building Ted Strehlow’s house at Jay Creek: One of the thousands of historical images in the public library collection created by BARRY ALLWRIGHT. He writes in our Rest & Reflection series today.


Holidays in a bog no tall order for Yuendumu cops




Being stuck in the mud was a challenge met with aplomb by outback cops, Sgt Anne Jolley and Const James Rose, writes Mark Roots.


Tomorrow is Neighbour Day

The community you want starts at your front door, writes Jonathan Pilbrow, of Larapinta. FULL STORY »

Three absconders: Then there was one …

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Two youths who absconded from the juvenile detention centre have been caught but Jacob Long (pictured) is still at large.