Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 4 »

The Mushroom

Gunner2539 mushroom SM


The Gunner Government has developed the Mushroom Treatment to an art form – keeping people in the dark and feeding them bullshit. In this column we are publishing enquiries that weren’t answered or were evaded, with links to our stories where appropriate.


UPDATED July 12, 2018. FULL STORY »

Youngsters shine in cattle classes at the show

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Thursday’s sale scored good prices for heavy cattle, but heifers and light stock were had to sell. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Jack Frost great beanie salesman

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Huge crowds and cold weather hint at Beanie Fest record. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE July 5, 7.30am: A record $193,000 was raised. 70% goes to the makers. FULL STORY »

Convention Bureau appointment raises questions

The new director will live interstate but has spent four years in Darwin and the main contacts are down south, says the Department of Tourism and Culture. FULL STORY »

10 years of treasures from, well, very cheap stuff

2555 sustainable Jen Standish White SM



Sustainable Couture turns 10 with a sparkling evening of creativity by 10 artists with needle and thread. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Six bush bands will bash in Alice




Four of them to star at the Telegraph Station in September are from The Centre. South East Desert Metal are pictured in 2015. FULL STORY »

At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council

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Council has unanimously supported Cr Jimmy Cocking’s motion to carry out its own consultation, with full public participation, on the fate of the oval. Better late than never. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Vale Paul Darvodelsky, 1961 to 2018

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His cancer helped him to focus on what was most important for him: “His love for Cath, and his family, and his Alice Springs mountain biking family” who celebrated his life today. FULL STORY »

Banks and Melky vote against council’s budget

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This has no material effect but speaks to difficulties on reaching consensus within this council after the exhaustive (and no doubt exhausting) budget process. KIERAN FINNANE reports. PHOTO: Kerbside recycling is postponed because of fluctuations in the international recycling market. FULL STORY »

$5m government owned youth camp still unused: Lambley

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The camp was operating until July last year when the NGO Bushmob terminated an agreement with Territory Families over inadequate funding and security issues. Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen, says neither Families Minister Dale Wakefield nor her CEO Ken Davies have ever been to the camp.ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 3.30pm: Response from Minister Wakefield. FULL STORY »

Sustainable Couture turns 10 and celebrates

p2538 Sustainable Chifley Girls SM
A decade on Sustainable Couture – a creative event that’s about changing mindsets – is celebrating  its own longevity. To mark the anniversary there’s an extended (free) public program, including a story-telling session in the style of the Antiques Roadshow (1 July)  an arts trail (8 July). FULL STORY »

Mayor comments on code of conduct, Anzac Oval




People making allegations of code of conduct breaches are hiding “behind the skirts” of the Alice Springs News Online, says Damien Ryan, and the Town Council is still seeking a meeting with the Chief Minister about the Indigenous art gallery to clarify whether the Anzac Oval is involved. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Judge castigates police over death of young woman

2551 Judge Greg Cavanagh SM



Unlawful killing, inexperienced investigators, inadequate investigation, inadequate supervision by senior police, continued inability by some investigators to adequately assess evidence, continuing destruction by police of vital forensic material: These are the catchwords which head up the findings by Judge Greg Cavanagh (pictured) in his inquest into the violent death of a 25 year old woman in Tennant Creek. FULL STORY »

Time to sleep, little ones – Arrernte way

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It seems likely that all peoples have in common the need to help young children go to sleep at night and it is charming to experience this by the fireside with Arrernte story-tellers  in ICTV’S series, Our Bedtime Stories, launched locally last night, writes KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Woman killed on Sadadeen Road

The 52-year-old male driver was arrested, charged and bailed on the offence of drive with a mid-range alcohol level. FULL STORY »

Indigenous gallery location done and dusted, says Lambley



Ms Lambley (pictured) says she had no specific talks with the Town Council about the Anzac Oval site which is owned by the council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery: Gunner sticks with ANZAC Oval

2551 Michael Gunner SM



“Every consultation we have done shows the CBD location is the preferred location,” disregarding what his government’s own steering has recommended, which was the Desert Park, and no other location. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Confusion over gallery leadership: government’s fault

p2459 Lauren Moss (2411 ) presser CU SM
Tourism and Culture Minister Lauren Moss is still in charge of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery project for Alice Springs. Who would have known? ask ERWIN CHLANDA and KIERAN FINNANE. FULL STORY »

Estimates: Gallery location questions remain

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Will Gunner pay $50m only if the gallery is on ANZAC Oval? Clarity lacks also on school based constables. Should bailed kids be fitted with monitoring bracelets? What is the Children Commissioner’s role? What about more facilities for young people? The minimum floor price profits will go to the liquor retailers. More Q&As this week. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Eisteddfod is match day for young artists

2550 Eisteddfod Madeleine Luey SM



Parents, schools, clubs pitch in for a two week spectacular with 515 stars – groups and solos. ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with volunteer Allison Huhs. <strong>PHOTO: </strong>Studio B. AT LEFT: Madeleine Luey. FULL STORY »

Cops nab alleged grog runners



Police say they will seek maximum penalties and forfeiture of the vehicle. FULL STORY »

No sign of council playing ball on Anzac Oval

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As the government continues to push the Anzac Hill precinct as the site for its proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery, the Town Council has invited the Chief Minister to meet with them in person to discuss the project. There’s no sign that their views have changed, however. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Photo: Anzac Oval rugby in August 2003. FULL STORY »

Albrecht oval lights a boon for sport, town: Cricket boss

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Light spill outside the oval is minimal, says cricket president Bruce Walker. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal treaty in time for the Federal election?




1 Territory Party president Braedon Earley (pictured) speculates about fresh promises – from those who can make it happen and even those who don’t. FULL STORY »

Support starts to flow to 24/7 youth centre

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The proposed service will have an arm run by youth professionals and one by volunteers, say the promoters. And the dialogue started at the meeting last week with existing services will continue and be expanded. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

‘You can make fracking better but you can’t do it well’

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The Chief Minister’s reference group is a cynical attempt to drag community organisations and stakeholder groups into implementing the government’s disastrous policy decision to frack the Territory, writes Lauren Mellor (pictured), from Frack-free NT. FULL STORY »

Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority

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What the public prefers is totally different to what the NT government prefers. And the minister (pictured) is fabricating reasons why the Feds will deny us funds unless we do it their way. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Shannon, Ian Rentsch in stunning 17 minute Finke victory

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Toby Price’s trophy truck breaks down to end his dream of becoming the dual King of the Desert. Shannon and Ian Rentsch (pictured) snatch their sixth victory, a staggering 17 minutes ahead David Fellows. But Price easily takes out the bikes race. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Price may not make the double Finke crown

2549 Shannon & Ian Rentsch SM



Shannon and Ian Rentsch (pictured) are likely to win the car section – again – of the Finke, denying Toby Price the dual crown but he seems likely to take out the bikes section after getting into Finke today, way ahead. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO courtesy Tatts Finke Desert Race / Samantha McLaughlin. FULL STORY »

Shannon Rentsch, Toby Price fastest in Finke prologues

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90 media personnel are taking the race to the world, including extended live streaming on the web. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo from the prologue yesterday. FULL STORY »

The Finke: 616 bikes, 132 cars

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Toby Price (pictured) is back on a bike and in a car: In 2016 he had a podium spot for both. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

24/7 youth centre: bridge between us and them?

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The first meeting brought together a lot of the right adults if not the kids themselves and too few of their families. There were as many ideas as people and occasionally tempers frayed. How many stay on board for the long haul will be crucial. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Congress probe: ORIC will only outline process

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CEO Donna Ah Chee says the regulator has assured Congress the audit does not arise as a result of any complaint or any other compliance concerns of ORIC. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

First electric car in the Finke

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A female crew will race the first zero-emission car in the desert race starting Saturday. FULL STORY »

The beauty of things around us, every day

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Lost & Found joins the fascination with things that are neither new nor expensive. ERWIN CHLANDA went to the opening last night. FULL STORY »

BESS jumps in when the sun doesn’t shine

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Smoothing out the peaks and troughs of sunlight with clouds around, and allowing the shut-down of polluting gas motors instead of keeping them idling in “spinning reserve” is the job of the new $8.3m battery (pictured) at Territory Generation’s Ron Goodin power station in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA went on a look-see organised by the Arid Lands Environment Centre. FULL STORY »

Three men escape from gaol

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Lock your homes, don’t give them a lift, say police.


UPDATE 12.50pm: Randall Dixon and Herbert Young have been arrested. Only Manfred Connelly (left photo) is still at large.


UPDATE 3.45pm June 7: Police have arrested the third man “within the area of Alice Springs”. FULL STORY »

The millions and the misery

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Will the 24/7 Youth Club get a look-in by Congress which wants to use the Memo Club for “non clinical programs” instead of kids at risk? Meanwhile, the regulator of Congress want to examine its books. Keep your calculator app handy in case you head starts to spin over tens of millions of dollars at the meeting on Thursday, in the Andy McNeill room, at 5.30pm. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE June 5, 2.10pm FULL STORY »

59th Show: Making a community icon even better?




The annual Show has been an enduring crowd pleaser. As a mirror of the town a bit of tweaking could make a great community effort even better. ERWIN CHLANDA comments. FULL STORY »

Harts Range to Stuart Highway to be “all bitumen”

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Harts Range to Stuart Highway to be “all bitumen”. It’s part of the Outback Way, linking east and west via Alice Springs.



Solar battery for Alice, more hybrid systems out bush

Remote areas will save 15% on diesel as more power comes from the sun. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Fewer pokies, help for gambling addicts




Natasha Fyles (pictured) winds back the number of gaming machines “dramatically increased” under the Giles government. FULL STORY »

Gas reference group will have a hard time

2543 Bruce Francais SM


If the new gas industry reference group wants to establish trust and confidence in the government and in the on-shore gas mining industry, it will have a hard time considering that two thirds of our elected representatives were excluded from the decision making process, and the decision was made behind closed doors, writes Bruce Francais, of Katherine. FULL STORY »

Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?

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It is suitable and close enough to the CBD, says promoter Steve Brown. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Minister’s blinkered view of US fracking sites

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If the Gunner Government will be basing its fracking regulations on what Mines and Energy Minister Vowles brought back from a fact finding mission in the USA, Territorians should be alarmed. If this is world’s best practice regulation, then it shows that regulation is incapable of preventing harm, writes Lauren Mellor from Frack-free NT. FULL STORY »

Martin Luther King III ‘disheartened’ by what he saw in Alice

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“You being here … honours our struggle, it bears witness to our truth, it gives rise to our voice.” At today’s moving Reconciliation Week gathering William Tilmouth thanked Martin Luther King III for his visit to Alice Springs, before both men, like the women before them, spoke of the challenging situation in The Centre. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Mr King is pictured receiving flowers of welcome. FULL STORY »

Police concerned about welfare of boy

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They say they would like to talk to people in a white vehicle.


UPDATE 1.44pm: The boy has been found safe a little while ago. FULL STORY »

Big solar prospects but can the network take it?

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The NT Government’s Territory Generation is working on a major deal with community organisation RePower Alice, reports ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: Members of the group in high spirits. FULL STORY »

Cemeteries could be turned into parks

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New legislation will allow for modern methods for the disposal of human remains and applications to use closed cemeteries as parkland. KIERAN FINNANE reports from the Town Council meeting. FULL STORY »

Problem kids: The whole town must help




“You can’t stop kids from violent neglected backgrounds with rules, threats of dire consequence or incarceration, an outcome for them that is probably much better than being at home,” says Steve Brown (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.


UPDATE May 26, 5.40pm: Steve Brown will be calling a public meeting. See readers’ comment box. FULL STORY »

Uluru Statement: A year later the debate goes on

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“Native title, the race to get funding to run your NGOs, all that stuff has divided our people. The Uluru Statement is a visionary thing. The divisions in our communities have been caused by the government. Therefore they have an obligation to deliver on this one national consensus,” says Thomas Mayor, who is taking the original of the controversial manifesto around the country. He spoke with ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Dance, lost and found

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“I couldn’t imagine that they would dance in this pot-holed, dusty carpark, but I knew to expect the unexpected. This was a production by Madeleine Krenek and Frankie Snowdon, who, with their collaborators, are carving out a space for a more challenging experience of contemporary dance in The Centre.” KIERAN FINNANE reviews The Lost Dance Project. FULL STORY »

A big drought would kill buffel, too

p2310-buffel-2-SM2544 Des Nelson 1 SMIn the big drought: “The stocked areas of the Todd River station had been denuded to such an extent that the Hereford cattle were climbing high into the hills searching for feed, or, as told to me by the station owner Sandy Pye, walked out as far as 22km from a watering point, looking for feed.” DES NELSON (pictured) recollects. AT LEFT: Buffel thriving. FULL STORY »

‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’




Neglected kids “commit property and other crimes as they seek food, shelter and attention wherever and however,” writes Michael Liddle (pictured), Chairperson of the Central Australian Alcohol Programs Unit. FULL STORY »

Buffel grass legacy started under Canberra rule

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“My purpose in providing this information is not to defend CSIRO from suggestions that it was responsible for the spread of buffel grass in central Australia but to illustrate, as Des Nelson did, that the story is much more complex – and interesting – than this,” says Margaret Friedel. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE May 27 Dr Friedel expands on experiments in The Centre with grasses. She is writing a history of weed invasions in arid Australia. FULL STORY »

Sheep live export ban – cattle next?




The Northern Territory cattle industry should be very concerned. They know they can’t trust Labor, the Greens or the ABC and now they can’t trust the Liberals, writes Braedon Earley (pictured), of the 1 Territory Party. FULL STORY »

Putting a dollar figure on volunteering

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… but the cheque is not in the mail. ERWIN CHLANDA was among 110 local volunteers, for canapés, drinks and a big thank-you. FULL STORY »

Where has Cr Melky been all these years?




Councillor Eli Melky (pictured) flogs a dead horse over a youth curfew. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

To save a dying language

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There are less than 20 fluent speakers left of Southern Arrernte, or Pertame, the language that belongs to the country south of Alice Springs, around the Finke and Hugh Rivers. That puts it into the category of “severely endangered”. But its speakers are taking action. FULL STORY »

‘Government’s secret decision making’

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Only eight out of 25 MLAs got a say on fracking, writes Bruce Francais (pictured), of Katherine. FULL STORY »

Gallery at Anzac consult: council hurries to meet govt deadline

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If the Town Council wants to consult the community over the future of Anzac Oval it had better get a move on: this was essentially the message from Tourism and Culture Minister Lauren Moss after council met with her and Braitling MLA Dale Wakefield on 5 July. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Territory tourism playing catch-up

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Tourism in Australia is going gangbusters with 6% growth average across all states. But in the Territory it’s half that, 3%, with serious dips in the last couple of years. And will internet platforms, as they have done to print and electronic media, stand traditional government visitor promotion on its head? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

No youth hub at Newland, but it’s not the end of the story

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Local residents rejected out of hand a bike and skate facility at Newland Park, but council is open to hearing ideas about alternative locations for a youth hub. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

The turning point: Marshall Perron’s rise to power

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Trouble in the ranks of the Country Liberal Party isn’t new, writes ALEX NELSON in part one of a series, on the 30th anniversary of Marshall Perron becoming Chief Minister, arguably the most significant leadership change in the political history of the NT. Mr Perron (at right in the photo) at the CLP Annual Conference “Galah Ball” at the Verdi Club in August 1988. From left: Unknown, Cherry Perron, Mike Reed, Federal National Party leader Ian Sinclair. FULL STORY »

Art gallery: Govt keeps major Alice lobbies in the dark

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What benefit will Alice Springs get from the National Indigenous Art Gallery? “It’s one of the questions we’ll be asking as the government re-commences its consultation process,” says Chamber of Commerce boss Dave Batic (at right). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

She lived where life is what you make it

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Mining, nursing, delivering babies, shopkeeping and reading bureaucrats the riot’s act – it was all in a day’s work for Joan Johannsen (pictured). From information provided by husband Lindsay Johannsen. FULL STORY »

Desert town in springtime: new look festival



A springtime festive season across six weeks, with two to three events each week, delivered in existing venues along Todd Street and mall: this is part of the new approach to the Desert Festival. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Two escape from youth detention centre

2560 escapee Arnold Walker SM2560 escapee Tony Gibson SM



It is believed Arnold Walker, 17 (left) and Tony Gibson, 13 (right) escaped the centre around 11pm, police say.


UPDATE 11.50am.


UPDATE 4.30pm.


UPDATE 3.30pm, July 18, 2018: 2nd escapee arrested. FULL STORY »

Keeping youth in sight

2537 street kids 5 SMDisengaged youth gravitate to the CBD because they yearn to receive acknowledgment from the adult community. That’s why the the Town Council’s proposed “family bike and skate facility” should be right in the town centre, writes youth worker RAINER CHLANDA.  The kids will be keen to exhibit their talents, it would breathe life and excitement into the CBD whilst sending a message to the youth that they are welcome and valued.


Turf Club mounts have humps

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Bigger crowds may mean the new venue may become the home for the Camel Cup, one the town most celebrated annual events, and run by volunteers. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice town camps need not be places of misery

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More than a dozen lease holding association could turn town camps into profitable enterprises and low rent housing. We ask NT Senator Malirndirry McCarthy for her views. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Because of eight grandmothers we can

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Eight feisty grandmothers pulled no punches when they declared, at yesterday’s rally to end NAIDOC Week, that out of control kids and NGOs more interested in chasing public money than doing their jobs need to be on top of the town’s agenda. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gunner rewrites the record on gallery consultations

p2514 NIAG Philip Watkins, Hetti Perkins SM


The Chief Minister says the gallery steering committee “put up two sites” for this development— the Desert Park, and “at the bottom of Anzac Hill”. The steering committee (co-chairs pictured)  did no such thing. It put up only one site, the Desert Park. Mr Gunner also seems to be unaware of initiatives his Cabinet colleague Dale Wakefield is taking on the project. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Artist’s Woomera warning: live bombs

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“Like most Alice Springs residents, I suspect, I have travelled the south Stuart Highway for years without knowing that the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) is still a live weapons testing range, open for business.” KIERAN FINNANE reviews Kristian Laemmle-Ruff’s exhibition, Woomera. FULL STORY »

‘Our’ gallery: Will Gunner, Ryan slay the dragon stealing it?

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If Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, aka Michael Gunner and Damien Ryan, want to save the National Indigenous Art Gallery for Alice Springs, they had better get a wriggle-on: Adelaide is breathing fire, reports the city’s online newspaper, InDaily. By ERWIN CHLANDA.    FULL STORY »

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee

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Upstairs – downstairs: While the high and mighty celebrate the Aboriginal flag flying on Anzac Hill, at its foot kids continued to riot, sparking a toxic social media outburst. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Tourism, pubs, history and today’s Alice Springs

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The world over, hotels and pubs can enhance a town – or destroy it. By RUSSELL GUY. The historic Lutetia Hotel in Paris is pictured. FULL STORY »

Visions from the Centre to light up the Sydney Opera House

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Western Arrernte watercolourist Mervyn Rubuntja (work at right) and Central Arrernte/ Mudburra painter Patricia Ansell Dodds are among six First Nations artists whose art work will be projected onto the Sydney Opera House every night for the coming year. FULL STORY »

Red Dirt Poetry Festival turns international




It will include a heat for the Australian Poetry Slam, writes director Laurie May (pictured). FULL STORY »

Pitchi Ritchi: Nobody home




Cross promotion with a sister sanctuary in the Dandenongs would be a good idea, writes Lee Kidman.

National Aboriginal art gallery in the wide open spaces?

2557 Sterry east view 3


As the government’s top-down attitude is causing uproar, is the solution to our town’s make or break project on our doorstep? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Flag on the Hill: When No became Yes

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A snapped buckle couldn’t stop history from being made: Aboriginal flag flies from Anzac Hill. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Show Day Two: Quilts, snow peas and sausage tying

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Dr Anna Madabushi and son Adi scored in the agriculture section. ERWIN CHLANDA reports from the Show.


UPDATE July 17, 2018: New attendance record. FULL STORY »

Dream of home

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“Walking and travelling is a human habit and so is the making of shelters and dreaming of a safe place to call home.  A place from which creation might emanate.” CRAIG SAN ROQUE reflects on Dream of Home, an exhibition by by Jennifer Taylor. FULL STORY »

Some creatures in The Centre used to be big

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Remains from eight million years ago of the Alcoota megafauna give a glimpse into The Centre’s distant past in the museum opened in Todd Mall today. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

At Show time, cattle bring out sales, skills and stories




Herd cattle to be auctioned tomorrow, bulls on Saturday and in between townies and bushies will test their skills and swap their yarns. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Will more consultants get tourism out of the mire?



A gaggle of players – contracted consultants – will advise Tourism Minister Lauren Moss (pictured) about the “record $103m Turbocharging Tourism“. Will it be a matter of too many cooks spoiling the broth? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 10.55am: Tender details.


UPDATE 1.40pm: Partial response from Minister Moss. FULL STORY »

Govt tourism spend: The figures may be a real shocker




Questions to Minister Lauren Moss: For our apparently vast expenditure, how many bums in seats do we get? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Prof Rolf Gerritsen who wonders whether the engagement of consultants is prevarication on the part of the government. FULL STORY »

Farm area needs better broadband: Paech

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NBN could fix it with a fixed wireless connection on top of the MacDonnell range. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Juvenile detention ‘incident’: Don’t mention assault.

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The softly, softly talk by the Territory Families Department media release notwithstanding, the juvenile detention facility is surrounded by razor wire. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 6.10pm: Three young people charged. Full response by Territory Families. FULL STORY »

Slow road to wealth for NT’s biggest land owners




More than 40 years after land rights and a quarter century after native title, three pilot projects in The Centre over four years starting in 2019/20 will identify opportunities and provide “a roadmap for development”. Meanwhile 350 km north of Alice Springs, a plantation at Ali Curung, once touted as a landmark Indigenous project, turned into a dismal failure but now produces 10,000 tonnes of watermelons (pictured) a year for an interstate lessee, relying mostly on labour from backpackers. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal-led ‘from the bottom up’: cultural centre

p2539 NICC Cole & Furber


“If it’s going to have credibility … it’s got to be led by Indigenous people” and “We’re going to do it the right way … not from the top, but coming from the bottom up.” Owen Cole and Harold Furber updated the Town Council on a National Indigenous Cultural Centre for Alice Springs, a project quite distinct from the government’s proposed art gallery, in focus and process. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Terrible child protection statistics: Finocchiaro

Estimates told 12 staff have more than 80 cases to manage each, writes LIA FINOCCHIARO, Deputy Leader of the Opposition. FULL STORY »

Council code of conduct questions not answered in public

p2538 ASTC right SM
Mayor Damien Ryan blocked an attempt by the Alice Springs News Online at last night’s council meeting to cast light on reports – still undenied – that there are code of conduct disciplinary actions in progress against some councillors. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


Alice among nine cities on pilot academy shortlist

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Uncongested airspace, lots of clear weather days and infrastructure to support and accommodate up to 100 students in the first year of operation should put Alice well into the running. FULL STORY »

Northern development is getting cracking – slowly

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Defence and minerals will drive the economy of the nation’s top end, and the locals gear up to get a slice of the action. ERWIN CHLANDA reports from the Developing Northern Australia conference in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Pine Gap’s new role as a war fighting command centre

2551 John Blaxland SMHalf a century ago the space base was put near Alice Springs because hostile powers could be prevented from putting receivers near it, and hack into the broad communication beams coming down from space. These signals are now finely targeted and can even travel from satellite to satellite. But now the facility has become a node in a global network of command centres, says defence expert John Blaxland (pictured), who was at the Developing Northern Australia conference in Alice Springs this week.



Department, council mum on code of conduct questions

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The department’s response seems to go against the spirit of transparency in the Local Government Act. EXCLUSIVE by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Turn rock-throwing into backflips: how community can help

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Rather than go into competition with what is already operating – such as a brand new youth drop-in centre at Brown Street – the 24/7 THIS WAY  youth centre initiative should work out where the gaps are and how best it can contribute to bridging them, argues youth worker RAINER CHLANDA. FULL STORY »