Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 13 »

Finke’s fastest females

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Recipients of the Kay Wharton Fastest Female Category, honouring former race doctor and five-time Finke finisher Kay Wharton (from left) Danielle Foot, Bronwyn Aplin and Kellie Catanese, received their awards on Monday. FULL STORY »

Booze arrests but no ‘significant incidents’ at the Finke

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Police were dealing with alcohol offences but “despite the crowd number being in the thousands, police were not called to respond to any significant incidents,” writes Commander Bradley Currie (pictured). FULL STORY »

The Territory’s worst Treasurer, says Higgins




Shop local? Treasurer Nicole Manison’s own department used only two Territory businesses out of seven opportunities when it came to using consultants, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured). FULL STORY »

Fickle Finke: Walsh wins, Price DNFs

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“Last year, 2018, a second. 2017, leading, broke down. 2016 third. 2015 in second place, broke down. 2014 second. 2013 axed myself. 2012 second outright. 2011 first in class, 11th outright.” But now … ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Rod Moss: journeys of the artist

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Alice Springs author and artist ROD MOSS has launched a third volume of memoir, Crossing the Great Divide, looking back at himself as a young, aspiring artist and the experiences that shaped him, coming up to the present. This abridged extract reflects on a journey to Sicily in 2008 and its resonances with his life in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Keeping track of juvenile offenders

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Eight young people in Central Australia are wearing electronic monitoring devices while there have been no break-outs from the juvenile detention facility since mid last year. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Eyes around the world on the Finke

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Massive global recognition of The Centre from Tatts Finke. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE June 8: Volunteer Darren White awarded title of Finke Hero.


UPDATE June 8, 5.14pm Price not racing in bikes but fastest in cars prologue today. FULL STORY »

Painting new step in store’s growing links with Aboriginal people

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Two screen prints of a big painting by Utopia artist Janet Golder Kngwarreye are the newest initiative by Coles to express “significant acknowledgement of local culture” as the local store becomes the national supermarket chain’s biggest employer of Aboriginal people. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Drags inferno: Major Events, Car Festivals to spend $1.2m

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Cash for “activities that include providing safety equipment and building volunteer capacity with the aim of improving safety at NT motorsports events [and] building the knowledge and capacity of the volunteers and organisations running them” will avoid charges being laid, writes Melissa Garde, Acting Executive Director NT WorkSafe. FULL STORY »

15-year-old charged with rape in Todd Mall

Boy remanded in custody over allegations of sexual assault in Todd Mall. FULL STORY »

‘Cheating wife’ tracker could have found alleged Darwin killer




Gadgets to track “cheating wives” via their mobiles are offered online but a man out on parole wearing a government surveillance device (such as pictured) allegedly rampaged across Darwin, killing four people. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Architect of Katherine’s masterplan to be Alice council CEO

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Robert Jennings (pictured), holder of multiple degrees and the architect of Katherine’s master plan, will become the Alice Springs Town Council CEO in late August. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

A songman for his place and time

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In a new memoir, Outback Songman, TED EGAN looks back over the whole of his life, with a particular focus on his singer-songwriter career. In this extract he tells the story behind one of his most famous songs, ‘Gurindji Blues’. FULL STORY »

Grey Nomads in stage coach

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Aborigines from miles around came to witness the execution. The prisoners were brought forward before a hushed crowd. Murmurs circulated. Slowly the accused mounted the gallows. The bolt was shot and the prisoners hanged by their necks. The Aborigines who witnessed the scene were delighted and thought the performance was for their entertainment. The crowd cried out gleefully: “More fellow, more fellow.”By MARK J SMITH. FULL STORY »

Proposal to make Finke track an official recreation area

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Two Members of Parliament are working on a concept to create certainty of tenure for the nation’s top off-road race, and for other areas around the NT where bush drivers and riders can do their stuff. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Good-bye flies

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A thin sheet of ice on our bird bath this morning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police seek witnesses of alleged sexual assault

Suspect is of Aboriginal appearance and about 18 years old. FULL STORY »

Rates may rise 3.5% but no civic centre swap in draft budget

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Other town council charges are held to a 1% rise or less in the draft plan now open for public comment. Government is seeking sacred sites clearance for current civic centre location as talks about moving the council offices and library to the Anzac Precinct are still inconclusive. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Town Council: protect Alice water from fracking

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The entire Alice Springs water control district – an area of 8200 square kilometres around the town – should remain off limits to fracking. This will be the Town Council’s submission on fracking “no go zones”.  Meanwhile, Cr Jacinta Price has returned to council, after her failed bid to enter federal politics, but did not attend last night’s meeting. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

More than 6000 comment on fracking proposal

More than 6000 submissions have been sent in response to the first public Environmental Management Plan for an NT fracking site – a huge number for the Territory, and a sign the public is deeply concerned about the proposal, writes Graeme Sawyer from the Protect Country Alliance. FULL STORY »

Warren Snowdon declared winner in Lingiari




He says his increased bush vote was a “repudiation of failed LNP and CLP policies”. FULL STORY »

Feds’ new outpatients facility ‘fantastic’

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But it will add to car parking congestion, writes Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen (pictured). FULL STORY »

Great view of The Gap

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Is there another bench on Anzac Hill worth shifting, asks Trevor Shiell. FULL STORY »

Gunner stonewalls Lambley’s Opposition queries

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“Their arrogance is now equaling that of the former regime.” So says Independent Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley (at left), commenting on what she describes as the Gunner Government’s ongoing refusal to come clean on how the Opposition in the NT should be formed. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Mr Gunner is pictured at right. FULL STORY »

Volunteering, it’s a way of life in The Alice

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From donating nappies to thundering about fracking, locals love giving their time to make the world a better place. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Part of the crowd celebrating Volunteer Week last Wednesday. FULL STORY »

With ‘power over our destiny, our children will flourish’

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On the second anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, First Nations representatives from across the country met in Cairns and Yarrabah, to renew the invitation forged at Uluru –  including support for a Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the constituion. FULL STORY »

Four weeks to comment on fracking chaos

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Is it an opportunity for public comment? Or has the government already made up its mind? Will Aborigines decide on fracking their land – for or against – which makes up half of the NT? Chaos reigns, reports ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Salvos: The small acts of kindness, and the big

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“Unfortunately we do not have a magic wand that fixes everything. But we work hard to help people get back on track, provide a place of belonging which for some may be for a one off visit. Others will be with us for longer. We try to make sure when they leave they are a bit more hopeful,” says Alice Springs Salvation Army Captain Nari McGifford, as the annual Red Shield Appeal gets under way tomorrow. Pictured is the Waterhole, part of the Salvos’ big local network of assistance. FULL STORY »

Museums: First Nations demand to speak for themselves

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Impossible to go to the national museums conference, held in Alice Springs last week, without thinking about the agenda set by the NT Government for a national Aboriginal art gallery here. KIERAN FINNANE reports on the elephant in the room, and on what First Nations people, here and elsewhere, want when it comes to telling their stories. FULL STORY »

CLP could have won with a better candidate: Hanna

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“Jacinta Price is so very much disliked by a large proportion of Aboriginal people in the electorate,” and while his coconut meme was headline material for the Murdoch press, it remained silent on Price’s online “accusing Muslims about their private racial accords,” writes Greens candidate George Hanna. PHOTO: Greens campaign worker at Berry Springs. FULL STORY »

Car crashed into supermarket, alcohol stolen

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Police are seeking two men after Flynn Drive heist early this morning. FULL STORY »

Series of police pursuits overnight

Police are looking for a maroon coloured Toyota 4Runner with NT registration CC 38 ZE. FULL STORY »

New drive to make Pitchi Richi a public treasure

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Conservation group will use a new plan to push for funding in what has long been an on again, off again project. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The Kennett tragedy

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February 14 to 17, 1936 in Alice Springs were days of unbelievably searing heat in the middle of an Australian summer. It was against this backdrop that one of the Northern Territory’s saddest dramas unfolded. By JOHN P MD SMITH. FULL STORY »

Price bombs out in the bush

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Tina MacFarlane, the 2016 CLP candidate for Lingiari and a white pastoralist, performed much better in the remote area voting than her successor in the current election, Jacinta Price, whose campaigning relied heavily on her Aboriginality. By ERWIN CHLANDA. Now she’s going back to council, the ABC reports. FULL STORY »

The tree or the bench?

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Anzac Hill sunset viewing has an obstacle, writes Trevor Shiell, who took this photo. FULL STORY »

Cause for hope: notes from the NT Writers Festival

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‘Returning’ – in Arrernte, ‘lyapirtneme’ – something growing back, like new shoots after fire: this was the theme of the NT Writers Festival that took place over the weekend. But how much renewal can there be when the pressures are immense?  KIERAN FINNANE found some resilient and optimistic responses. FULL STORY »

Looks like Wazza’s back

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It seems certain that the out-of-touch Country Liberals, commonly know as CLP, have failed in their bid to stop Warren Snowdon from starting his fourth decade as the Federal Member for the vast Territory seat, albeit with a reduced majority. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Police search for woman convicted of manslaughter

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25-year-old Jasmine Raymond (pictured) allegedly removed her electronic monitoring device, causing her parole to be revoked on May 16.


UPDATE May 27:


Police have located Raymond at a Katherine residence yesterday morning. She will appear in Katherine Local Court today. FULL STORY »

‘Gas-addicted Gunner insults traditional owners’

The need for gas as a transition fuel has diminished, meaning there is no long term future for the industry in the NT. The Territory Government’s rush to get it out of the ground at any cost is madness, write Mudburra Traditional Custodian Ray Dixon and Graeme Sawyers, Protect Country Alliance. FULL STORY »

Society stops crime, not the police

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“Police cannot prevent the vast majority of crime; they simply respond to it. If we halved the number of police, crime would increase a little but not exponentially. Most crime is prevented by good economic and social justice policies, higher employment rates, good family solidarity, high rates of educational opportunities, and welfare assistance,” according to Professor Rick Sarre (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

On the job and on the hustings

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News from a dinghy is all in a day’s work for 1 Territory Senate candidate Braedon Earley: Fracking, PFAS, stopping high airfares by allowing overseas carriers into domestic routes, a marijuana industry and euthanasia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO (from left): Mr Earley, Mathew James and Michael Williamson, both from NSW. FULL STORY »

Rob de Castella allegations raised with Snowdon – again

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John Bell raises nine-year old battle with “Deek” over alleged debts for wages and use of public money. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Rod Moss ventures into the weird and comical

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Blue Moon Bay, as a pictorial description of decadence, is laced with flatulent characters, debauched people who keep chewing on the chicken drumstick even after the fridge has fallen on top of them, writes BILL DAVIS. FULL STORY »

Centre mountain biking gets global exposure

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A destination feature on is a stunning tribute to the NT, with the riders testing out trails in both the Red Centre and the Top End, says Sport Minister Lauren Moss. FULL STORY »

Tree death and the challenge of heatwaves

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Almost 1000 trees are dead throughout the town north of The Gap, 992 to be exact, and council has a six-line policy to deal with it. That won’t “cut it,” says Councillor Jimmy Cocking. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Whenever you need a cop … there are three

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The NT Southern Command has three times as many police officers, based on the ratio to the population, than the national average. Do we really need to supplement them with private security guards? Will the public debate about police recruitment switch from hysteria to a sober assessment of cost benefit? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

More than 1000 to perform in eight-day Eisteddfod

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In its 33rd year the Centralian Eisteddfod will have contests including news reading, mime, all abilities dance, rock groups, composing music and nursery rhyme recitals. Photo: Sinafoni Nauhafu. FULL STORY »

Anti-fracking Greens: Are jobs for the dole schemes legal?

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A big “no” to fracking tops the list of priorities for the Greens candidate in Lingiari, George Hanna <strong>(pictured)</strong>. He’s even putting anti-fracking candidate Hamish MacFarlane, an independent who is close to 1 Territory, in second place on his how to vote card. This is ahead of Labor’s Warren Snowdon who is giving the Greens his number two slot. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE Monday 2.30pm: About Safe Harbour. FULL STORY »

That’s why we all live here

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A late afternoon stroll we won’ forget in a hurry. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

We now borrow more than the total Budget

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Treasurer hands down $7.2bn Budget as borrowings $7.4bn. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured are Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Treasurer Nicole Manison as she delivered the 2019/20 NT Budget this morning. FULL STORY »

Back to the future with Warren Snowdon

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If the best time for seeing the Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon in Alice Springs is in election campaigns, that’s perhaps because he is “never at home”: Apart from duties in Canberra, he is getting around the vast electorate, as he has been for three decades. He is deeply familiar with the issues yet has few answers for the electorate’s thorniest problems. He discusses them with ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Metal and Macs: The contrast makes it so appealing

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The music that gives “loud” a new meaning and the magnificence of the East Macs: Combine them and get perfection. ERWIN CHLANDA reports from Blacken 2019. FULL STORY »

Cops nab drugged drivers

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Eleven motorists were apprehended for driving under the influence of a prohibited substance during a five day traffic operation in Alice Springs. File photo, police media release.


UPDATE May 10: Drugs can be detected considerable amounts of time after consumption. FULL STORY »

Imparja, CAAMA may part company

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CAAMA, the largest shareholder in Imparja, is thinking about selling its interest in the television station and this “may have some impact on the future operations of [Imparja] and the results of these operations,” say the station’s accountants. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

St Francis House: Excellence sought and achieved

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More than 50 boys, many of whom became national defenders of Aboriginal rights, high level public servants and outstanding sportsmen, lived at St Francis’ House in Adelaide from 1945 to 1959. Many came from Alice Springs and St John’s Hostel and other places in the Northern Territory. This is the final part of our series about this outstanding facility. FULL STORY »

NTG asks AAPA to consult with custodians on gallery & new site

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The proposed new site for the project – the Civic Centre block – could be ceded to the government in a land swap deal, with new library thrown in. Council is clearly tempted. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

UPDATE: 1 May 2019, 3.31 pm. 
Minister Moss does not answer our question one way or the other about whether other sites will be part of the discussions. FULL STORY »

Price family were sole complainants against Cocking & Satour 

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The complaints by the former councillor and Country Liberals candidate Jacinta Price and her parents were all dismissed, found to be variously frivolous, vexatious, lacking in substance, and misleading. Councillors Cocking and Satour have called for public apologies. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Jacinta Price’s bluster: parents not mentioned

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CLP candidate for Lingiari Jacinta Price is misleading her Facebook followers about three Code of Conduct complaints against members of the Alice Springs Town Council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 1.25pm: Facebook statement by Jacinta Price and our reply. FULL STORY »

Jacinta Price spits dummy

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A hysterical dummy spit by Jacinta Price, following publication of a report on Monday critical of her record as a town councillor, is unbecoming of a candidate for a major party in a Federal election. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Ms Price at a meeting of the Town Council from which she has resigned despite her pledge to serve a full term. FULL STORY »

Jacinta Price: 4 year commitment lasted 18 months

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The CLP candidate for Lingiari, as a member of the Town Council, contributed little to the running of a struggling town, her meeting attendance grossly inadequate. And Code of Conduct complaints – all found to have been vexatious or without foundation – that she or people associated with her had apparently lodged against three fellow councillors, had local government teetering on dysfunctionality for months. FULL STORY »

Rock, Alice: Widening the gap

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Tourism Research Australia figures show earnings increases Territory-wide for 2018 but in The Centre, the Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon resorts remain on the ascendancy while Alice Springs continues to slide. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Budget repair: Check out the cost of this load of rubbish

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Nine weeks and six days after a report to the police of the illegal dumping of a trailer load of rubbish on the road into the West MacDonells National Park, the lifeblood of our tourism industry, it appears nothing constructive has been done by the NT bureaucracy. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Satour & Price seeking legal advice in Code of Conduct saga

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All Code of Conduct complaints against Councillor Catherine Satour have been dismissed and she wants the complainants “held to account”. She has not named them, but Jacinta Price, who last night resigned as councillor, appears to confirm they are associated with her. Ms Price is a candidate in the upcoming federal election.  KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Developing a treasure: 10 year East Macs plan

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Jobs in mining, investment in tourism accommodation, pushing for re-discovering the gold mining town of Arltunga, developing Alcoota fossils as a place visitors can visit: It’s all part of the 10 year plan for the East MacDonnells by the Central Desert Regional Council. FULL STORY »

Campaign full of rancour still not over

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Murdoch press favours, Deputy PM praising hate speech, minders shielding candidates: Democracy in nosedive? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. McCormack, Scullion and Price pictured in ABC TV scoop of hate speech in the Lingiari candidate’s social media post. FULL STORY »

The heavy lifters are those who dropped the bundle



The Government snipes at the Opposition and Robyn Lambley over pay rises yet they keep them on the shortest of leashes when it comes to providing staff. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Gunner with lots more staff. FULL STORY »

Tell me what you think about fracking – for $100



Government fracking consultation by invitation: still, a tremendous level of distrust of the government was obvious, writes Bruce Francais (pictured), from Katherine. FULL STORY »

Quietly lending an ear, or saving a life



It’s all in a days work for the chaplains in town. Canon BRIAN JEFFRIES writes about people in Alice Springs who perform great deeds without fanfare. PHOTO: Induction last year of Rev’d Rob Weekes as the new Police Fire and Emergency Services chaplain (Southern Command). L to R: Commander Brad Currie, Rev’d Rob Weekes, Assistant Commissioner Michael White. FULL STORY »

Drug charges as large amount of cash confiscated



A 39-year-old man was arrested and refused bail. FULL STORY »

Art gallery, cultural centre: ‘Another day, another backflip’


No cultural Centre, no time frame for the art gallery – bad news from the government in the Estimates Hearings, says MLA for Araluen Robyn Lambley.


UPDATE 5.10pm: Minister Moss responds. FULL STORY »

Country Party seeks to stand candidates in all seats



Policies still on the back burner, but the economy will be a top concern while the government’s pay freeze has its problems, say Ian Britza (pictured) and Eli Melky, the party’s coordinator for in the NT, in a conversation with ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

US marines in Darwin could drag Australia into war



The marines remain within the US Marine Corps chain of command at all times which means that Australia would have no control over the situation, if it suited the interests of the USA to attack a country in our region, writes Kathryn Kelly for IPAN. FULL STORY »

More heat over Albrecht Oval lights, council digs in

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Town Councillors unanimously support going ahead with the light tower project for Albrecht Oval  in face of ongoing vocal opposition from some local residents. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured: View to the west taken by a drone-mounted camera above the oval at the height of the proposed towers. Photo supplied.


Mating odour to catch feral cats



Authorities are failing to use the obvious in controlling wild introduced species, writes Trevor Shiell, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Say no to no go, urge anti-frackers

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Territorians should defend their water and reject the NT Government’s planned no-go zone fracking maps, which place communities, high-value farmland and important cultural and ecological sites at risk, writes Graeme Sawyer, Protect Country Alliance spokesperson. FULL STORY »

Three town councillors in Country Party push

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Eli Melky (at right), Marli Banks and Catherine Satour team up with former WA parliamentarian in new right-of-centre movement. FULL STORY »

Making new tools for living 

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Almost a whole generation of younger men in the Western Desert have not been ‘given’ cultural knowledge due to substance use and criminal incarceration. They want to learn and the elders want to teach.  The Men’s Tjilirra Movement supports this important answer to intergenerational trauma.  PAMELA NATHAN with JAMIE MILLIER TJUPURRULA  write about this unique cultural healing program. FULL STORY »

Larapinta section 7 being moved north of range



New shelters for Ellery (at right), Ormiston and Redbank, writes Lauren Moss, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture (pictured). FULL STORY »

Stem tide of waste with craft and imagination

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It’s that time of year again, when Alice audiences are treated to the product of many hours of careful craft and myriad moments of imaginative inspiration, when a piece of wood takes flight as a mythical bird, when an old blanket transforms into an elegant suit. KIERAN FINNANE  previews. FULL STORY »

Alice to get first Aboriginal owned earth ground station

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It will be in the Heath Road complex of the Centre for Appropriate Technology. It will be built and owned by the Aboriginal not-for-profit science and technology company, according a media release this morning. FULL STORY »

Finke story: The front and the back of the field

2642 Finke Toby Price SM2642 Finke Jack Rhodes 1 SM“You’ve got the pros and the people with budget, the guys out there who want to win it. And then you’ve got the guys who want to just finish it.” ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with the TV reporters who were fighting their own battles with the nation’s biggest desert race. At left: Toby Price during his record run south on Sunday. His truck broke down yesterday. At right: Jack Rhodes and David Pullino airborne in their race to victory.   FULL STORY »

No use of real-time monitoring during shooting rampage

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The surveillance bracelet worn by the alleged shooter, Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, who killed four people in Darwin on Tuesday, provides real-time monitoring of the wearer’s location, but no use was made of that capability during his hour-long rampage. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo Commissioner for Corrections, Scott McNairn.


UPDATE June 7, 4.08pm FULL STORY »

Grog stats: No independent review




Claimed decreases in alcohol related assaults are based on government information: The massive size of the published drops suggests that they should be verified by independent reviews. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: PHOTO: In 1990, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress purchased a food outlet and an attached takeaway liquor licence, and allowed the licence to lapse immediately, pouring out booze in Gap Road. FULL STORY »

Ted Egan: Forget splitting hairs, counting drops of blood.

2640 Ted Egan 2 SM2640 Jones book woman SMAny person who can establish genetic link to Australia in 1787 may be acknowledged, honoured and respected, by official recognition as a First Australian. I make some hopefully positive suggestions on semantic issues, as the nation looks for positive ways to “close the gap”. It is a chasm. We certainly need to be thinking big, to allow meaningful interpretation of our history, going back centuries in reflection. By TED EGAN (at left). Young Arrernte woman at Alice Springs Telegraph Station, ca. 1895. FULL STORY »

Liquor laws may force convenience stores to close

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A cap on sales of alcohol at 25% of store turnover proposed for next year could have no impact on the total alcohol sales in Alice Springs, but would channel more trade to Woolworths and Coles. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

$10m upgrade instead of new youth detention centre

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Public opposition to the proposed siting of a new youth detention centre was a factor in the government decision not to build it, but $10m will be spent on expanding the current facility next to the adult prison, Families Minister Dale Wakefield announced today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Cops at bottle shops: expensive bluff?




How much does the Point of Sale Intervention – cops at bottleshops – rely on bluff? Is it working? Or is whatever gain it  produces offset by the harm done to our community by the racial profiling of which there is ample anecdotal evidence. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »