Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 18 »

More to come?


From Alice Springs historian ALEX NELSON, 2.47pm yesterday. FULL STORY »

Warlpiri don’t want Zachary Rolfe murder trial to be in Darwin



“We already feel left out. As it is, moving the trial to Alice Springs, when [the alleged murder]  happened in Yuendumu, already places a heavy burden on community members. We are always left out of things,” says Ned Hargraves (pictured), chairperson for Warlpiri Parumpurru (Justice). FULL STORY »

To mound or not to mound?



Planting into raised mounds is a good idea in places where drainage is an issue. Not often the case in our neck of the woods. Noted green thumb Alex Nelson advises on a much better approach. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

The sign says it all



But will the message be heeded?  FULL STORY »

Learn Arrernte language online


“Now it’s on your phone and you can learn it!” Margaret Kemarre Turner (MK) told young people at the launch of a new online Arrernte language resource, writes ANGELA HARRISON. FULL STORY »

$88k grant all so far from $89m jobs fund: Higgins




For the Gunner Government to say they are focused on growing jobs, it is laughable at how little they’ve delivered, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured). FULL STORY »

Police dogs assist arrests of alleged youth offenders



Aggravated assault in the Mall, rocks thrown at cars on Stott Terrace Bridge. FULL STORY »

Town Council considers $50m art gallery options

Ideas around how to make two locations work for the proposed national Aboriginal art gallery are being presented by Town Council CEO Robert Jennings to the council members today. “Parties involved” are the community of Alice Springs, the NT Government and the council. Traditional owners are not specifically mentioned. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Council: Gallery at Anzac precinct, no to curfew


The Town Council last night unanimously expressed its preference for the Anzac precinct as the location for the national Aboriginal art gallery provided the NT Government has received consent from the traditional owners. So far there is no evidence that it has been given. In another decision the council voted against the introduction of a youth curfew, proposed by Cr Eli Melky for the fifth time, but now with the support of Deputy Mayor Matt Paterson. MORE LATER. FULL STORY »

A living connection with the past



JOSE PETRICK OAM recalls her earliest experience of the School of the Air, as governess to two of its students in 1951, its very first year. A room at the school has now been named after her. FULL STORY »

Claire Hockridge found dead


The search has relied heavily on choppers although once the location of the car became known, trackers could have followed footprints on the soft ground. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE December 4 at 2.15pm: Formal identification of Claire Hockridge (pictured) is yet to be conducted and police will prepare a report for the Coroner. FULL STORY »

Life’s basic questions prompt answers to the hard ones



Our hos­pi­tals, cour­t­hous­es and jails are filled up, he says Michael Liddle (at left, centre). Codes 4 Life, which he heads up, is doing something about that. FULL STORY »

Youths in two alleged robberies

A man had his wallet taken, and a woman her bag and backpack. FULL STORY »

65 years of history now a pile of rubble


Today marks the 65th anniversary of the official opening of the former Anzac Hill High School campus. Little of it is left now, with only the western half, or stage two, of the original building (completed at the end of 1953) being demolished on its special anniversary – it will probably be completely destroyed by the end of the day. By ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Old schools, hearing difficulties concerns for COGSO



President Tabby Fudge (pictured) calls for schools to be brought up to Australian standards and more assistance for Aboriginal children with hearing problems. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Pastoralist finds alive the second of the three missing

Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52 (at left) will be treated for for dehydration and exposure.


UPDATE 9.45am: The search for Claire Hockridge and Phu Tran continues with further aerial searches today.


UPDATE 10am Dec 3: Phu Tran (at right) is found by a pastoralist. FULL STORY »

Kids ‘jumped, bashed’ numerous people: reports.



Some needed hospital treatment, says Araluen MLA Robyn Lambley (at left) who is renewing her call for a curfew. However, she says Families Minister Dale Wakefield (at right) claims the government’s youth initiatives are working. FULL STORY »

Country, people, cultures come together to heal a sick man



Two Arrernte men, Angangkere (traditional healers) cared so gently for a white man whom they did not personally know.  KIERAN FINNANE reports.  FULL STORY »

All Quiet on the Western Front: Not, say media.



“I read a lot, yet in all the time I’ve lived here, this is the first time ever I’ve read Yuendumu being described as volatile,” writes FRANK BAARDA (at left), long time resident of the remote community, mining company manager, store keeper and author of comments about the region which are as funny as they are insightful. FULL STORY »

Miners claim change of heart about nuclear power



New polling has shown that more Australians support lifting the ban on the use of nuclear power than oppose it, according to Tania Constable (pictured), the CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). FULL STORY »

Braedon Earley to stand for Parliament



Mr Earley (at left) is standing down as the president of the of the Ban Fracking Fix Crime Protect Water Party to contest the seat vacated by Ken Vowles (at right). FULL STORY »

Damien Ryan’s youth curfew dilemma



Will Mayor Damien Ryan (at left), now that he is also CLP candidate, reverse his long-standing opposition to a youth curfew in Alice Springs? This week Opposition Leader Gary Higgins called for such a curfew, a sure sign that this is now a major plank in CLP platform for the 2020 NT elections. Mr Ryan’s opponent in Araluen, Robyn Lambley (at right), seems to be on a winner, at least politically. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Three people missing since Saturday


Air searches at Stuarts Well and Owen Springs yesterday failed to find them. Photos: Tamra McBeath-Riley aka Riley Tam and Claire Hockridge. Phu Tran, from South Australia.


UPDATE November 29, 11.50pm: The search continues.


Reader comment: Does a 2014 conviction for Tamra McBeath-Riley point to a drug connection? FULL STORY »

Land planning favours developers, says residents group


Land planning activist Margaret Clinch (pictured) says it’s clear the government wants to use planning to crank up the economy by endorsing applications from developers and creating work for builders at the expense of the lifestyle of people in the neighbourhoods. At right: Demolition of Anzac High in Alice Springs.


UPDATE November 30: Ms Clinch says the department has extended the time for submissions to Friday, December 6. FULL STORY »

Councillors: do we need Federal intervention on ‘crime wave’?

Councillor Eli Melky revealed a certain ignorance of Australian history at last night’s council meeting, suggesting that appeals be made to the Governor-General  to help Alice Springs deal with its “crime wave”. Since 1975, the year of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s dismissal, the intervention of the G-G in our politics and governance has been a sore point for many Australians. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

CLP calls for youth curfew in Alice Springs



A curfew would give police a tool to prevent crime, identify abusive and neglectful households, and act as a trigger for Territory Families to match youth and their families with the services and support they need, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins. FULL STORY »

Garnet mine in administration – again




Some 30 people are understood to be losing their jobs in Harts Range mine. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image courtesy The West Australian. FULL STORY »

Imminent proliferation of prostitution: Christian lobby warns




The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed dismay about laws “decriminalising” prostitution, saying women should never be bought and sold: “Decriminalisation of the sex trade is a win for pimps and a win for brothel owners. The women in prostitution lose.” Meanwhile Opposition Leader Gary Higgins says the Bill does not achieve the balance of public welfare with the rights and freedoms of individuals. FULL STORY »

Rolfe bail application under exclusion of the public


And the Police Federation of Australia – representing all the police unions around Australia – “condemns the recent charging of Constable Zach Rolfe” apparently suggesting that police are above the law. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Const Rolfe pictured in The Australian. FULL STORY »

Summer tree-watering plans? Hmmm, take that on notice



Has council acquired more watering infrastructure, for instance another watering truck? Councillor Jimmy Cocking was asking the question, looking ahead to the summer and the fate of the town’s street trees. KIERAN FINNANE reports.  FULL STORY »

Vital police service to be withdrawn



There will be massive costs and inconvenience for pastoralists as bush cops will discontinue vehicle registration services, writes Ashley Manicaros, CEO, Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association. FULL STORY »

TGen need sacking: No, they don’t. Yes, they do.


Another blackout late yesterday: A fallen tree on wires should not have shut down electricity in two-thirds of the town, says the Electrical Trades Union. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: The old Ron Goodin power station had to be pressed into service again yesterday, according to the Electrical Trades Union.


UPDATE 1.30pm: David “Strawbs” Hayes, of the Electrical Trades Union, has provided a detailed account of an extensive shut-down of Territory Generation equipment in Alice Springs yesterday evening.


UPDATE 8.10pm November 24 from Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen: “I stand by my comments last week. What a shimozzle.”


UPDATE NOVEMBER 25, 4.10pm: Territory Generation CEO Tim Duignan says until Owen Springs satisfies stringent operational requirements Ron Goodin will remain on 24/7 standby. FULL STORY »

‘Consummate creator’ wins annual Lofty


Accolades abounded for four “art warriors” at the annual Lofty awards, recognising high endeavour in the arts in Central Australia, held last Saturday at Watch This Space. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Defence industry to Alice: get a slice of the action

$20 billion over 20 years, $8 billion of that within the decade, will be spent on the defence industry in the NT, but how much of that in Central Australia? And what kind of activity is involved? KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

UPDATED, 22 November 2019, 4.30pm: What’s happening at Jindalee?



NT is biggest loser in nation’s renewable energy race


Expansion of the Territory’s gas and fracking industries is “incompatible with achieving net zero emissions”, says the Climate Council in new report. Pictured is a solar farm in Townsville, Queensland. Photo by Sam Lumley.


UPDATED 25 November 2019, 1.40pm. Minister Wakefield’s response.


UPDATED, 4.11pm. Minister Lawler responds. 


$20bn Sun Cable has national security risks, expert warns

The world’s biggest solar array planned in The Centre Central could launch Australia as a energy superpower, but China is lurking in the background. EXCLUSIVE by MARK J SMITH who spoke with former diplomat, major energy project and China business expert, Dr John Saunders (pictured). FULL STORY »

Desert Knowledge: 20 years later a new start

New CEO  Dan Tyson regards it as a “business, first and foremost, capable of demonstrating its worth to the government, and to the commercial sector”. He is eyeing off corporate retreats and immersion in The Centre’s lifestyle for senior private and public sector people to turn a dollar, and heads up a solar power initiative while encouraging Michael Liddle’s successful Codes 4 Life to expand. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Chronicle of the latest tree fiasco



Trees had to go for an entrance, water pipes. ALEX NELSON reports. FULL STORY »

Progress for $20bn Sun Cable



Two prominent private investment firms are backing Sun Cable, the proposed Australia-Singapore Power Link worth $20 billion, writes Chief Minister Michael Gunner (pictured). FULL STORY »

Yuendumu alleged murder: ICAC commissioner steps aside


The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Ken Fleming QC (pictured in the Alice Springs News video of Friday’s rally) will step aside from the Office of the ICAC’s continuing involvement in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding a Death in Custody in Yuendumu, according to an ICAC statement released this afternoon.


UPDATE November 20, 3am: Decision to step down “entirely appropriate,” says Police Association. FULL STORY »

Oz burns, NT Government dithers


As Australia is reeling under its worst fire season, NT Government departments responsible for preventing bushfires in the West MacDonnell National Park, about half of which was destroyed in a 17 day blaze in January, are “conducting a review [which] will inform ongoing fire action plans”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Burned tree at Ellery Bighole. FULL STORY »

An Indigemoji will make your point Centre-style



Designing emojis relevant to the participants’ lives and culture is a way of increasing their digital skills and working to decolonise the internet, says Indigemoji creative director Leigh Harris: “Many had never used a tablet or any kind of design software before.” he says. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Another blackout: Sack TGen board, says Lambley.


After the horrendous blackout on October 13, yesterday most of the rural area of Alice Springs saw a power outage in 41 degree heat, lasting about 45 minutes in the middle of the day. Alice Springs people have had a gutful of this incompetence and degradation of their lifestyle, writes Robyn Lambley MLA (pictured), Independent Member for Araluen.


UPDATE November 22, statement from TGen: The power interruption on November 20 was not related to Territory Generation which in the 2018/19 financial year made an $8.5m net profit after tax and paid the NT Government a $4.25m dividend. FULL STORY »

High Court case may affect deals in Aboriginal land

Can decisions about Aboriginal land be “delegated,” or do they need to be made by the “representative bodies” –  76 elected people in the case of the Northern Land Council, 90 for the Central Land Council. The Federal Court has said they cannot be delegated, and that decision is being appealed. If upheld, could the decision be relevant to Centrecorp which for decades has been dealing with Aboriginal wealth derived from requirements of land rights legislation? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice group says ‘no’ to extradition of Assange



Julian Assange (pictured)  “is enduring solitary confinement and harsh conditions. His family and friends fear for his physical and mental health, and even his life,” says Alice Springs group. FULL STORY »

Mass rally shows fury, distrust for police, government

What must be the biggest demonstration the town has ever seen was mostly a chilling manifestation of the fury and distrust harboured by Aboriginal people – not only Warlpiri –  for the police, the justice system and white governments generally, in the wake of the alleged murder by a police officer of 19-year-old Kumunjayi Walker in Yuendumu. Text and video by ERWIN CHLANDA. Image at left by ROD MOSS. FULL STORY »

Kumanjayi Walker’s families assemble legal team

Interstate barrister Andrew Boe was requested by the families, supported by senior community elders, to provide initial pro bono support and advice, says a statement from the families. FULL STORY »

Seeking equality as Indigenous distrust of government peaks


The Uluru Statement from the Heart will end Australia’s “cult of forgetfulness … the great Australian silence” when it comes to Aboriginal sovereignty, says film maker Rachel Perkins in her Boyer Lectures. MARK J SMITH reviews. Photo: Ms Perkins with an image of her father, Charlie Perkins. FULL STORY »

Govt should run ambulance service: Braedon Earley


The public would get more bang for buck for the $400m it spends with St John now, writes Braedon Earley (pictured), president of the Ban Fracking Fix Crime Protect Water Party. FULL STORY »

Police in ‘serious custody incident’

Man in hospital with head injuries after “collision” with police car. FULL STORY »

Proposed planning changes likely to hurt you

In the proposed changes, where are the clauses referring to amenity which the Development Consent Authority (DCA) must consider currently: Those things which can affect our lifestyle and the value of your property. How our streetscapes look, and how they support everyday community life and wellbeing, writes Nick Kirlew from the Planning Action Network Inc. FULL STORY »

Bush police station broken into, damaged

In Alice Springs windows of six of businesses were broken and a parked vehicle had its windows smashed. FULL STORY »

Three killed in road crash


Police say it appears the driver of one vehicle evaded an attempted police traffic stop, drove away at speed and later crashed.


UPDATES 2.12pm December 26 and 6am December 27.


UPDATE 2pm Dec 30: Police are seeking drivers and occupants of two cars who may have witnessed the crash. FULL STORY »

Yuendumu murder charge update

A 28–year old male Northern Territory police officer has been granted bail in an out-of-session Local Court hearing to appear in Alice Springs on the December 19, according to a media release from the police headed “Police Officer charged – Yuendumu shooting”.


UPDATE: The Police Association says it “is continuing to support our member who has been charged with murder.


FURTHER UPDATES, 14 November 2019, 5.03pm: “The police officer “will vigorously contest the charge”. 


Government fails bush on health, police: McConnell



Armed police in Alice Springs are making sure that the wrong person doesn’t buy a sixpack while health staff are fleeing remote areas where they don’t feel safe. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Meanwhile Independent MLA Scott McConnell is calling for an investigation “at the highest level”.


UPDATE, 13 November 2019, 8.27pm: A 28-year-old male Northern Territory police officer has been charged with one count of murder in relation to the Yuendumu shooting. 


Gallery and library: political game vs solutions

The doors have opened a crack on the ongoing machinations about the possible location of the proposed national Aboriginal art gallery and are set to open wider with Town Councillors pushing for  all correspondence between council and the NT Government on the issue to be brought out of confidential. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

See UPDATES: Further comment from Minister Wakefield; response from former council CEO Mooney.


Wakefield, Ryan star in the Phantom of the Art Gallery


The art gallery, public money, dealings behind closed doors, a historic pub – the curtain goes up on the next act of the town’s comic opera. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Kids & cops: All roads lead to Wakefield



Assistant Commissioner Narelle Beer explains initial interventions by the police are usually diverted to Territory Families and its Minister, Dale Wakefield (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Gunner needs to be impartial about investigation of police



The Chief Minister (at right) is encouraging to the public to pre-empt the outcome of the coroner’s investigation of the Yuendumu shooting, writes Paul McCue, President of the NT Police Association (at left). FULL STORY »

Big role for tiny Boulia in Outback Way project

The Outback Way traversing the continent east-west will be a boon for Alice Springs. But for the tiny Boulia, population about 250, this road is vital. ERWIN CHLANDA took the trip along the Plenty and Donohue highways to meet the outback battlers, on a path to the future that most local governments would fear to tread.


UPDATE December 28, 2019 FULL STORY »

‘Cop will be labelled for the rest of his life as a blackfeller killer’

UPDATE:  Police say the officer was “stabbed with an edged weapon”.


Otto Jungarrayi Sims (at left) a prominent senior man in Yuendumu, describes the reaction of the community to the fatal shooting by police of a 19-year-old. Meanwhile the police association says “our brave officers … have encountered what was evidently a very volatile and unpredictable situation”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. At right: An angry crowd outside the Yuendumu police station last night.


OTHER UPDATES: The Central Land Council is calling for “an inquiry without delay that is independent of the NT police” and wants to see to see the body camera evidence • Reports that the dead man was on parole were in error. FULL STORY »

Street kids: What cops can do


Moving children to a safe place, engagement with parents and families, referral them to Territory Families via identified referral systems or direct engagement with Territory Families, says Assistant Commissioner Narelle Beer. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Questions of scale and artful answers

Towards the end of her three-year odyssey to bring The Visitors series to its current state of realisation,  artist Franca Barraclough embarked on a fund-raising drive to allow her to print two of her photographs at billboard-size scale. So I walked into this show alert to what that scale delivers beyond immediate visual impact. In both cases, it is significant, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Government corporation bids for Kilgariff Two



Government’s Land Development Corporation bids for Kilgariff Stage Two. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image  from the Alice Springs News archive. FULL STORY »

Blackout witch hunt


Workers crucial to restoring electricity during the system black event of October 13 are being victimised by Territory Generation, claims the Electrical Trades Union. PHOTO Ron Goodin power station.


UPDATE: TGen replied that it is unable to comment on matters that are under investigation. FULL STORY »

CLP candidate Mayor puts demands to Labor CM



Mayor Ryan’s demands for measures “to ensure the short and long term safety and healthy future of the community” may have a stronger impact if it had come from a more independent or impartial local government leader rather than one who has declared his hand as a candidate to run against the current Gunner Labor Government at the 2020 election, writes Mark Smith (pictured). FULL STORY »

Yuendumu shooting: ICAC starts independent investigation



The ICAC has powers to investigate improper conduct, including corruption, misconduct and unsatisfactory conduct by public officers, including NT Police, says the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Ken Fleming QC (pictured). FULL STORY »

Transport Hall: No details of the cost for appointed manager



Government silent on details of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame statutory management, but no public funds are being spent. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Thor finds more tungsten, copper



Thor says the key driver for drilling at Bonya is to expand the Molyhil area mining inventory with an objective of a minimum of 10 years total open pit mining and processing. FULL STORY »

Government grant for Todd Tavern, Alice Plaza development

UPDATE 11.50am November 8: Owners of Todd Tavern land, building not consulted by the government nor the lessees about any development.


Plans were apparently delayed or scrapped following the town council’s rejection of Anzac Oval as a site for the national Aboriginal art gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 6am November 8: The general manager of the Todd Tavern says its plans are confidential.


UPDATE 5.15pm November 8: The Master Plan for Alice Springs Plaza and Todd Tavern has been shared with the Northern Territory Government and was completed as per the funding grant agreement. The contents of the Master Plan are commercial in confidence and cannot be shared at this time. Department of the Chief Minister.


UPDATE 7.10 pm November 8: Statement by Councillor Eli Melky. FULL STORY »

Gas and solar: Still uneasy bedfellows



The current upheaval in the Territory’s electricity business clearly has some of its roots in the drawn-out and largely inconclusive pursuit of getting 50% of the power we consume from renewable sources by 2030. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fire, climate change: Where are our leaders?

Increasing climate change disaster is becoming ever more obvious:  Do our political leaders have the required social nous to act sensibly?  Aye, that’s the rub; and our disquiet, writes Dennis Nicholls of Scullin, ACT. FULL STORY »

Top secret ‘master plan’



There are apparently multi million dollar plans for the top end of the Mall but the public is getting the mushroom treatment. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Increased fire prepared? Not the NT Government.



Use of big water bombers still ruled out and the review of how the 17 day blaze in the West MacDonnells was handled last January is still not public. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Town Council: New dawn for transparency



Robert Jennings (centre), the Town Council’s new broom, is sweeping  up behind the closed doors where the heavy stuff has been routinely dealt with “in confidential” and away from public scrutiny. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Sex work would devalue people’s homes



It should be carried out only in industrial areas, says Sue Shearer of the Council on the Ageing. FULL STORY »

Vast electorates, poor participation in our democracy



While the NT accounts for less than 1% of the national roll we account for over 5% of the electors not enrolled, says the NT Electoral Commission. That and the sheer size of remote electorates raise questions about the functioning of our political system. FULL STORY »

Minister Fyles gets her facts wrong on sex industry



Putting an end to the exploitation of prostitution of women is the primary standard for measuring the compatibility of the NT Sex Industry Act with human rights. The NT law fails even to aim at this standard, writes Simone Watson (pictured), National Director, Nordic Model Australia Coalition “NorMAC”. FULL STORY »

Cattlemen ask: Where’s our drought aid?

Working group needed to “refine priorities.” FULL STORY »

Curfew: What else could fix youth crime?


The Town Council has rejected Cr Eli Melky’s fifth attempt to introduce a youth curfew. One reason: Police say there is no law for such a move and so their hands are tied. Now Cr Melky is looking at introducing a curfew as a council by-law which would bring the cops into play. Meanwhile fellow councillor Jimmy Cocking is doubtful a curfew would work. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Australia’s medical researchers in Centre for rural health



This is the birthing of a new health research ecosystem in regional Australia writes Professor Brigid Heywood (pictured), University of New England Vice-Chancellor. FULL STORY »

Gallery: Anzac Oval still the sticking point



Government welcomes council’s support for Anzac precinct location but insists the rugby oval is still part of the “vision”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Now that the Rock can’t be climbed, visiting it will cost more




While you can’t climb The Rock any more, the fees to enter the national park will climb – a lot. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Bearing witness to a mostly invisible world


Leni Shilton’s Malcolm “is a remarkable book, in both portraiture as well as plot. Every word counts and every poem builds character and community, at the same time feeding the unfolding narrative,” writes DANI POWELL. FULL STORY »

Most money for mining, military


Half a billion dollars earmarked for US forces to play war in the Top End, mining pushing ahead and some roads are getting built: But where is private investment in the Territory’s economic development? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gunner’s gas offset policy ‘flimsy’



The Chief Minister is attempting to avoid scrutiny by releasing this contentious policy, which lacks critical detail, on a Friday close to the Christmas holidays, writes Lauren Mellor (pictured) of the Protect Country Alliance. FULL STORY »

The Territory: It’s a gas!


A gas bonanza expected following the lifting of the fracking moratorium, says NT Resources Minister Paul Kirby in a duet with his Federal counterpart, Matt Canavan.


UPDATE 10.35am: Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyers says the NT should follow the UK’s lead placing an unlimited moratorium on fracking “after the latest in a series of fracking-linked earthquakes”. FULL STORY »

Areyonga students graduate from Year 12 at Unity College


Four students from Areyonga have graduated from Year 12 at the Unity College at Murray Bridge, South Australia. Pictured from left are Tarna Andrews (Areyonga Teacher), students Jimmy (Mick) Doolan, Selinda Hopkins, Claudia Coulthard, Christopher Doolan and Jonty Fernando (Areyonga School Principal). FULL STORY »

The elusive goal of deep shade in Alice



“One morning this week I counted 42 dead or dying big trees along this lovely walkway, non-natives. So are we to abandon non-native trees and the dense shade canopies they afford in the face of long summers which appear destined to be hotter and drier?”asks PIP McMANUS. FULL STORY »

Is government fumbling our solar future?

Moves towards solar must go beyond being an opportunity for making money: Communities, the broad population must be involved, says the Arid Lands Environment Centre, willing to lead the development “but we will not accept that shale gas fracking has a role in this future”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Unchecked fracking may create salty wasteland




Lake Woods, Roper, Hodgson, McArthur and Daly river catchments at risk as “Gunner government is ignoring perhaps the most important piece of the Pepper Inquiry,” writes Graeme Sawyer, of the Protect Country Alliance. FULL STORY »

Another nail in the Anzac High coffin


For the second time NTCAT has knocked back an injunction halting demolition works at the former Anzac Hill High School. Although the walls and roofs are still intact, they are set to come down from next Tuesday, 5 November, the tribunal was told. KIERAN FINNANE reports.  FULL STORY »

St Philip’s College students shine in NTCET




Tryphina Reu (pictured) is in the NT’s top 10, and the college was named as one of five schools in the Territory to have the highest number of students complete the NTCET, writes Jill Jansons, St Philip’s College Director of Community Relations. FULL STORY »

Camps leader Shirleen Campbell, Local Hero


Proud Warlpiri and Arrernte woman, she is a third-generation resident of Alice Springs Town Camp, Lhenpe Artnwe – or Hoppy’s Camp. The 38-year-old is also the co-ordinator of The Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group (TWFSG), which gives women in the camps a voice in family and domestic violence and leads action against it. FULL STORY »

PowerWater, Territory Generation CEOs sacked


“There was an unacceptably low level of preparedness by the Power and Water Corporation and Territory Generation” to the system-wide power outage in Alice Springs on October 13, says Dale Wakefield (pictured), Minister for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services.


UPDATE 15.45pm: Comment from the Electrical Trades Union. FULL STORY »

Council: no interest in heritage; tiny leak from confidential

Not one councillor put up their hand last night for nomination to the Heritage Council. Meanwhile, an inadvertent question made it clear that council’s rejection of the government’s offer for the Civic Centre site was not unanimous. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Power problems: Reporting inadequate, warnings disregarded




Firing bosses won’t fix root cause of power problems, writes Monica Tan from Repower NT Manager for the Environment Centre NT: “Solar energy is not to blame here.” FULL STORY »

Anzac High: No plans yet for what will replace it


“Clearly, we think the Anzac Oval site is the best site for the national indigenous art gallery project,” says Minister Dale Wakefield. She was speaking at the launch of a youth action plan at the St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre this morning. Students cooked lunch for the function. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Have a look at what’s being demolished



“Even by today’s standards, opening a place of this magnitude would be a major ribbon cutting ceremony. Demolition is the height of ignorance and stupidity, a shocking, staggering waste of money and resources,” writes MIKE GILLAM. FULL STORY »

What they were going to say when he’s no longer there



When in doubt, have a party: Last Saturday Alice Springs was at its best, with one of its best at the centre. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Salt mines and tourism: bread and circuses


“I cannot believe that [Tellus] can gain a genuine social license or consent to dump toxic waste in country, out of sight and out of mind. Beyond the questions around type, volume, source and security of the proposed waste, the project raises bigger questions about extractive industries and their consequences,” writes Jennifer Taylor. FULL STORY »

Tourism, salt and toxic waste, 780 metres below


Plans to get Alice Springs and Titjikala involved in a giant mining project 110 km south of town. Some express doubts. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE October 29: Town Council CEO Robert Jennings, when asked to comment, said he is waiting for more information on the Chandler mine before expressing any view or comment. FULL STORY »

I climbed Ayers Rock



Millions of T-shirts with that inscription are now relegated to history. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Blackout: ALP backs call to keep old power station on standby



Next time there could be deaths from heatstroke or disease. The risk is too great. Resource and maintain Ron Goodin Power Station now or face the consequences, writes Dave “Strawbs” Hayes, Electrical Trades Union Territory organiser, after the Labor Party NT Conference unanimously back the union’s stance. FULL STORY »

Council cemetery: Seven years of planning, no conclusive result


The Memorial Drive Cemetery could tell a spellbinding story about The Centre but the Town Council is unable to put a coherent plan for its development, says Dave Mortimer, a long time member of the council’s cemetery committee. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE Oct 28: Town Council CEO Robert Jennings looks forward to public comment on the issues. FULL STORY »

Hermannsburg Mission: questions of survival



“This massive work is bound to be labelled contentious, but there is no doubting its quality and value,” writes TED EGAN AO of John Strehlow’s  The Tale of Frieda Keysser, Volume II. FULL STORY »