Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 5 »

Panel of just two for controversial Ilparpa decision

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Four day count-down to the Ilparpa “transport terminal” decision which is being made by a skeleton panel. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


Photo: The crucial public meeting on Wednesday. The chairperson and just two Development Consent Authority members were there, David Koch and Alistair Feehan. Marli Banks (at left) was barred soon after this photo was taken. Jamie de Brenni and Jimmy Cocking were at a social function for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.


UPDATE: Dashcam footage provided by a reader showing a vehicle having to get off Ilparpa road due to a “donga truck”. FULL STORY »

Indigenous gallery: Show me the money!

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The interest repayments on the Territory debt will be more than $10m PER WEEK in 2020/21. For our tiny NT population of just 245,000, this is not sustainable, writes MLA for Araluen Robyn Lambley. FULL STORY »

Kindness and fun all rolled into one

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Young and old meet at the fete, brought to you by volunteers, that can’t get any better. ERWIN CHLANDA went for a look and lots of chats. FULL STORY »

Larapinta competitor number keeps growing

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Two and four stage running races in the magnificent West MacDonnells will draw more than 170 entrants. FULL STORY »

NT cops handcuffed, says Opposition Leader




Police union not in the loop of discussions about budget cuts, says police union president Paul McCue (pictured). FULL STORY »

Rotary gives Purple House new wheels

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A 2WD hatch and a 4WD dual-cab, both brand new, are replacing a 1959 Morris Minor in the small fleet of Western Desert Dialysis, better known as Purple House. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Purple House staff with local and interstate members of Rotary, which donated the vehicles, during their handover on Friday. FULL STORY »

Harts Range: Four legs or three, it was on for young and old

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A bet between cattlemen and a police officer 71 years gave the Territory its Picnic Day, and in The Centre that means a bush weekend that couldn’t get any better. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photos by NIKKI WESTOVER. FULL STORY »

Ilparpa dongas depot: Will Tony Smith get a permit?

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Attitudes harden on both sides of the creeping industrialisation of the farm areas: 90 write submissions to oppose a depot for 130 demountable buildings in Ilparpa while the applicant is pushing to get Development Consent Authority approval. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. ABOVE: Disputed land use also in Chateau Road. FULL STORY »

NAPLAN a flawed measurement, review needed: COGSO

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The Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority is not able to compare paper and online results and the test data may be invalid. The government also needs to deliver quality internet services and capacity for remote NT schools with low or no bandwidth, writes Tabby Fudge (pictured), President of the NT Council of Government School Organisations. FULL STORY »

National Aboriginal art gallery: The horse and the cart




The Alice Springs make or break project, the Aboriginal national art gallery, has the town – breathlessly – waiting for the NT Government’s basic research: “We have been advised this information is being compiled and will be made available shortly,” says the Chamber of Commerce chairman Dave Batic (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Realistic Re-Power Alice plan for 100% solar

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How many renewable electricity sources are there? And how many ways of storing it? How much time have you got, asks RICHARD BENTLEY.  FULL STORY »

Training facility for cattle workers to be launched

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A facility for training fledgeling workers in the cattle industry will be launched this morning and will be named after prominent pastoralist Grant Heaslip, says NT Cattlemen’s Association president Chris Nott (pictured). FULL STORY »

‘A memoir of finding things, not just losing them’

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“Frank Byrne was removed from his family by the Western Australian government on his sixth birthday. Recalling watching his parents recede into the distance, he tells the reader: ‘I think I went mad.’ That bewildered boy grew to be a very sane and reflective old man, and with the help of Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford, he polished his memory of childhood until it is a little gem called Living in hope.” TIM ROWSE reviews this winner of Best Non-Fiction in the 2018 Territory Read awards. FULL STORY »

Tennant Hotel cops 48 hour licence suspension




Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw (pictured) gives a string of incidents as reasons. This follows the suspension of Piggly Wiggly’s licence in Alice Springs last week. FULL STORY »

PM’s visit poorly planned political stunt: Snowdon




Turnbull failed to address issues of education funding, family violence and money for implementing recommendations of a Royal Commission he called for and part-funded, writes Warren Snowdon (pictured), MHR for Lingiari. FULL STORY »

No ‘mitigation’ of major dust hazard for road users

2567 dust Col Rose SMSt Mary's Creek floodout SMMuch of the country is in the grip of a drought, yet an NT Government department denudes a large tract of rural residential land and causes a major dust hazard for traffic. UPDATE 8.40am August 7: Comment and photos by ALEX NELSON.


UPDATE August 9: “No comment” from the department. FULL STORY »

Pine Gap polarises town on push for peace

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Hiroshima Day, August 6, is the occasion for many around the world to push for a nuclear-free, peaceful future. Among the challenges to building momentum on this issue in Alice Springs is the polarisation created by the presence of Pine Gap: “People don’t want to offend their friends and neighbours” who work at the military base. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Police use drone in finding assault suspects

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Remote piloted aircraft used to find two men in Anzac Hill precinct after assault in The Mall. FULL STORY »

Escape, car thefts keep cops busy

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Prisoner Rodney Turner, 20, (pictured) escaped from the hospital. In an unrelated crime a hospital nurse’s handbag was allegedly stolen, containing the keys to her car, which contained her wallet. The alleged thieves did the rounds of the town, using her credit card in several shops. (Police media release).


UPDATE August 5, 11.40am: Escapee arrested. FULL STORY »

Interstate contractors, consultants costing Territorians dearly

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IR advisor was paid $2800 a day for a year and delivered nothing to the NT Government’s electricity companies, writes David “Strawbs” Hayes, Electrical Trades Union NT organiser.


UPDATE Saturday August 4, 4.50pm: Power and Water responds. FULL STORY »

Remote phones, web: Time for action not more reviews



There are 21 remote communities with no mobile phone service, 33 with no fixed internet service and 37 connected to the NBN via unreliable or unsuitable satellite services, writes Lauren Moss, Minister for Corporate and Information Services. FULL STORY »

Cr Melky breaks silence on Code of Conduct complaints 

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Multiple allegations against him have been either rejected or dismissed, he told council in a prepared statement.  Alleging “an abuse of process”, he said the strategy of issuing Code of Conduct complaints “may not have been done in isolation”. However, he would neither confirm or deny that actions had been taken involving other councillors. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


UPDATE, 11.26am 1 August 2018: CEO provides further comment. FULL STORY »

Picnic Day is Hiroshima Day too

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This year Hiroshima Day – August 6, the day in 1945 that the US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city – coincides with the NT’s Picnic Day. It will be marked in Alice Springs by two events. FULL STORY »

Is Rock getting solar power at price of fossil?

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency says a solar deal at the Ayers Rock Resort demonstrates that “renewable energy can be commercially competitive with fossil fuels in remote, off-grid locations”. But it is not clear on what electricity rates that claim is based. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

What Ilparpa farm area residents are facing

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“The transport terminal will cater for heavy vehicles including prime movers with 13.7 metre trailers … not exceeding 53.5 metres in total length and light vehicles including body trucks and utes … typically be no more than three prime movers and three light vehicles onsite at any one point in time.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from one of our readers: NT Link road train blocking Ilparpa road. FULL STORY »

Economy worsens: Higgins




The NT desperately needs a population growth stimulus, writes Gary Higgins, Opposition Leader. FULL STORY »

Council survey makes gallery confusion complete

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The way the poll is structured raises the question: Does it fail to comply with a council motion carried on June 25? PHOTO: Approximate position of the Anzac precinct site as seen from the top of Spencer Hill. FULL STORY »

The living pre-history of the OT Line: Gillen’s Modest Record

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By his editing, Philip Jones has created out of Gillen’s modest record, a masterpiece of Australian and World literature, writes R.G (DICK) KIMBER. . FULL STORY »

Bikers to bring black dog to heel

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Feeling Blue? Hit the road with mates, writes Fiona Duffield, of Black Dog Ride Australia which is heading for Alice Springs soon. FULL STORY »

Ilparpa furore: Business as usual despite ‘cease’ notice

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The landholder, NT Link owned by Tony Smith, acknowledges the development application is “retrospective” as the use of the land has gone on for some time. Meanwhile, a survey is finding public has scathing views about government land management but the pollies are sitting on their hands. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Part of the land owned by NT Link. FULL STORY »

Car keeps getting damaged near girl’s work place

Perpetrators must be held to account, writes Leanne Usher. FULL STORY »

Old but fast: Rally cars criss-cross The Centre

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Classic and modern, rally cars strut their stuff and bring 400 visitors to Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE AUGUST 27: Andrew and David Travis win. FULL STORY »

Lots of help for woman, none for the man

Support agency admits it’s a massive problem, writes distressed Alice Springs man. FULL STORY »

Pilot academy: Alice tipped to be in top three

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A great pitch by Alice airport, CDU and NT Government, and superb weather for flying, may land a big prize for the town. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. At right: David Batic, general manager of Northern Territory Airports Pty Ltd. At left: Eddie Connellan, founder of Connair. FULL STORY »

Paech ‘vehemently opposed’ to Ilparpa transport hub

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A new row is brewing over industrial use of land in the rural area, and Local Member Chansey Paech is fuming. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Girl taken to hospital after bashing at Yirara College

A girl who suffered a broken nose was removed from the college and the family is now looking for another boarding school for her.

UPDATE 5:15pm: Responses from the NT Department of Education. FULL STORY »

Young pranksters trigger art landmark

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When the janitor of a bush school grew tired of whiting out graffiti sprayed on its doors, he and his fellow traditional artists turned them into paintings that now are masterpieces and have pride of place in the South Australian Museum. ERWIN CHLANDA reports how senior curator Philip Jones (at left) told the story at the Residency last week. FULL STORY »

Police use spikes to stop children driving car ‘dangerously’

Four girls aged 15 or under arrested, one remanded in custody, one bailed and two being considered for Youth Diversion, say police. FULL STORY »

When grown persons become kids. No worries.

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It’s not useful to be mad to take part in the Henley on Todd. It’s obligatory. ERWIN CHLANDA videoed the proof. PHOTO: Close quarter combat in the battle boats. WATCH THE VIDEO. FULL STORY »

Pitchi Richi work slow because of money shortage

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Asbestos out, dunnies in are just two tasks until the sanctuary famous for its sculptures can open again for the public, writes Faye Alexander, Chairperson, Heritage Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

‘Largest, most representative’ collection gives SA gallery edge

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Adelaide’s “largest and most representative, comprehensive collection on display in the world” will give Alice Springs a race for it money in the contest for the National Indigenous Art Gallery and the Cultural Centre. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The Yuendumu Doors in the South Australian Museum. FULL STORY »

Onshore gas not the solution Tennant Creek had hoped for

Prime Minister and NT Government turn back on Tennant Creek community, writes Jesse Hancock from the Frack Free NT Alliance. FULL STORY »

Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’

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Two years in power, the government is only just seeking tenders for making a business case for a project Michael Gunner inherited from his CLP predecessor. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 4.50pm: The tender requirements are for ANZC Hill precinct, in direct contradiction to assurances by government official Scott Lovett two days ago that no decision on the site for the gallery has been made.


UPDATE August 20, 6.30pm:

The Opposition says this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build an iconic national landmark; “We would expect that the Labor government communicated the full details of the proposal to the community, prior to making a decision on the location for the gallery.” FULL STORY »

Making good our dreams of home

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The many ideas, memories, emotions brought into the room in Jennifer Taylor’s exhibition, Dream of Home, create a common ground around something that is fundamental for each one of us here in Central Australia, a sense of being at home here with one another, Aboriginal and other Australians – on our best days, our collective dream. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Armed police auxiliary liquor inspectors start work in Alice

They will today take over from police officers at bottle shops. FULL STORY »

What is the police policy on pursuits?

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A large number of road users were at an extreme risk when a sedan was being chased by police at high speed. PHOTO: Police vehicles used in pursuits.


UPDATE July 23, 2018, 3pm: Police respond. FULL STORY »

Ilparpa row: 430 hectares available at Brewer Estate

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The argument by Local Member Chansey Paech (pictured) that there is plenty of other land available seems to be borne out by information from the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice club a powerhouse of charity work

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Financial support for young students is a key objective for the Rotary Club of Alice Springs, 40 years old and a collaborator with the other two Rotary clubs in staging the iconic Henley on Todd “regatta” (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Electric supercar at Henley on Todd

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The fuel might be cheap but the cars are not: The Tesla Model X at the Henley on Todd on Saturday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. At right: Greg Partridge, National President of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association. FULL STORY »

In Oz, the wide open road is the place to celebrate

2562 Trull car SM2562 Malcolm Trull SMRemembering wife and mum in a charity event that celebrates our vast distances. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photos: Malcolm Trull and the Muscle Car in which he and son Mick will be paying tribute to “Sam” Trull, while raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation. FULL STORY »

24/7 youth centre push continues but no location yet

2570 24:7 centre crowd SMp1913brownsteveThe group called This Way, aiming to set up a 24/7 youth centre, is promoting the concept, and gauging public views, talking to the community “from the Prime Minister down,” says member Steve Brown (at right).  However, a suitable location is still elusive. FULL STORY »

Lhere Artepe director on aggravated assault charge

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And on leaving the courthouse assaulted a journalist. See video.  ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE July 24, 2018, 10.35am: Lindner chairman of Lhere Artepe. FULL STORY »

Yirara College silent on report of student hurt in big brawl

Yirara College is not responding to requests for information but police say they had reports of a “large disturbance”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The gallery drama: Will there be a happy ending?

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The Town Council is moving centre-stage in the farce that the planning for an internationally renowned Aboriginal art gallery has become. Will the eight elected councillors and the Mayor reverse the plot and be triumphant in the drama that could make or break the town, or will they just mutter a few lines given them by the government and slink off stage in ashen clothes. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona, above) outside Hobart and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, are art galleries that have made a big difference to their cities, and are pictured in the report of the Initial Steering Scoping Committee for the gallery planned in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Town Council riven by conflict, lack of leadership

p2550 ASTC Banks & Ryan SMThe Mayor and the CEO, far from helping council to move on, have  introduced new levels of scrutiny at a time when three councillors are already feeling under demoralising pressure from Codes of Conduct complaints. They also allowed last week’s civic reception of the Prime Minister to be politicised, giving over its organisation, including invitation list, to Senator Nigel Scullion in tandem with Cr Jacinta Price, while council picked up the tab. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

UPDATE, 2.30pm, 15 August 2018: Catering cost and invitation list, including some media, excluding others.

UPDATE, 2.30pm, 16 August 2018:The media section of the Office of the Prime Minister expressed regret to have inadvertently omitted our email address from its media alert. FULL STORY »

Yet another escape from youth detention centre

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16-year-old Denzel Limbiari (pictured) escaped last night, police say.


UPDATE 5.30am July 20, 2018: Youth arrested. FULL STORY »

Chin up, says tourism pioneer: Go and sell it

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There are no grounds for pessimism in the tourism industry, says Keith Castle (pictured): “The friendly people, the hospitality, the natural beauty – they’re all still here.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. 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 »

Gallery at ANZAC Oval decision has not been made

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It’s the government’s preference but remains an open question subject to public feedback, says senior official Scott Lovett in an address to the Rotary Club of Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The service club’s president, Michael Potts, is flanked by guest speakers Mr Lovett (at right in the photo) and James Christian, from the Cattlemen’s Association. FULL STORY »

Youth crisis: council wants to take lead

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The Town Council will look to setting up its own youth services division with an emphasis on community safety. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Coniston Massacre remembered

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We draw attention to these tragic events, 90 years after they occurred, by highlighting a series of reports by outstanding historian of The Centre, Dick Kimber. IMAGE: A painting courtesy of National Museum Australia by M. Joseph between 1974 and 1977 when she was a student at Yirara College. 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 »

Lambley gets hype not dollars on gallery

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Michael Gunner gives no details to the Araluen Member where “this huge amount of money” will come from. “Can you guarantee the people of Alice Springs that the national Indigenous art gallery and national Indigenous cultural centre will proceed?” she asked. 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 »

COGSO: Still waiting to be heard

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Nigel Scullion and the Federal government remain deaf to the pleas from more than half of remote students who are hearing impaired, writes Tabby Fudge (pictured), president of the NT Council of Government School Organisations. FULL STORY »

Two escape from youth detention centre

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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 »

NBN: Higher cost for less speed in Lingiari




Lingiari customers could pay 44% more than someone in the city for the same 50 Mbps speed under the new NBN plan, writes Warren Snowdon (pictured), MHR for Lingiari. FULL STORY »

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 »

Four councillors walk out of tonight’s Town Council meeting

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The action was intended to “push back” at the “fear and misinformation” affecting the current council. Cr Melky invited those councillors affected by Code of Conduct complaints to join him. PHOTO: Councillors Satour and Melky rise to leave the council chamber tonight. KIERAN FINNANE 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 »

Thumbs down for dongas depot at Ilparpa

A well informed source is saying the Development Consent Authority has determined to refuse the application for the controversial project.


UPDATE 4pm: It’s official. 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 »

Desert Festival: The CBD will be the stage

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Desert Festival 2018 season to be extended to October 13. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Craig Mathewson’s Dusty Feet Dance Collective used Todd Mall locations for his 2013 festival production. 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 »

No ‘comprehensive business case’ yet for gallery

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No comprehensive business case yet for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, a spokeswoman for Dale Wakefield (pictured) admits. 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 »

Leaving school: what are the options in Alice if you’ve got a disability?

Leaving school is a challenging time for any young person, but the future looks more limited when you have a disability, especially if your needs are high. It’s a problem around the country and Alice Springs is no exception. A A number of local schools, government departments, organisations and individuals are working together to try to change that, writes Jonathan Pilbrow.  FULL STORY »

Beer and the tax man’s triple tipple

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It’s beer drinkers who are paying the most in alcohol tax despite imbibing a fraction of the alcohol. Why, asks Brett Heffernan, CEO, Brewers Association of Australia. 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 »

Four dogs suspected poisoned with 1080

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Three died an agonising death as it appears a dog baiter – or the dog baiter – is active again. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from the “Stop the use of 1080 poison campaign” in Menangle, NSW. 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 »

Allegations, no proof on bottlo shut-down

2564 Piggly Wiggly SMNew owners cop first police order to “suspend a licensed premises from trade for a period of not more than 48 hours” brought in on June 20, about the date when new owners took over Piggly Wiggly. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Pitchi Ritchi: Nobody home




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

Prof Gerritsen: We got it wrong from the start

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“We need to start thinking about fundamentals. Are we locked into a path where we can’t really change and we can’t see the alternatives?” asks the town’s top academic, CDU Professor Rolf Gerritsen. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Barry Abbott (with microphone) and leading Aboriginal people at a protest about the Whitegate camp at the eastern edge of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

National Aboriginal art gallery in the wide open spaces?

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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 »

And now, your friendly neighbourhood prison

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Tall perimeter walls, lots of CCTV cameras, windows covered in heavy mesh: All that in the middle of a residential suburb. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 3.31pm from Territory Families: It’s ‘bail support accommodation’. 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

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“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

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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 »