Story Archive » Volume 25 » Issue 7 »

Good rains forecast for later this week

Storms may lead to flash flooding, cutting roads, says the Bureau of Metereology. FULL STORY »

Drug charges after East Side bust

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35-year-old man charged, say police. FULL STORY »

A talk about the oval on the oval? Ministers a no-show.

2592 Anzac Oval 5 SM



Last night’s closing party of the Masters Games was a great chance for government ministers to have a heart-to-heart with The People, on and about Anzac Oval. But alas, our political leaders prefer to “consult” with us through thousands of dollars worth of paid propaganda. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Woman not seen since October 7

2591 Sherreen Muscat SM


Police concerned to hear from or about a woman travelling with her two cats. – Police media release.   


UPDATE October 23: Ms Muscat was found alive and well south of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

NT Govt persists with push for Anzac Oval ownership

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Arts Minister Lauren Moss (pictured) does not explain how, and does not agree to an interview by the Alice Springs News Online at which she would have been asked about compulsory acquisition. FULL STORY »

OK from environment watchdog for Ammaroo phosphate mine

2591 Verdant Mineral 1 SM


Plans by Verdant Mineral Limited are nearer to reality for produce fertiliser 270km north-east of Alice Springs over 25 years: Up to 300 jobs to build the mine, 150 to run it. FULL STORY »

Is Adam Giles making a bid for top land council job?

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Adam Giles: From CLP CM to CLC CEO? FULL STORY »

Four charter flights from Japan to Alice Springs

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Series of four flights estimated to pump one to two million dollars into the local tourism economy, according to Northern Territory Airports Pty Ltd. FULL STORY »

Please answer my actual question first

p2546 Hiroshima Chris Hawke 230



“What do we have to do for you to stop fracking the NT?”  Chris Hawkepictured, asked Chief Minister Michael Gunner and his local member Dale Wakefield at their Todd Mall stall. They answered but not the question he asked. FULL STORY »

Street life celebrated in street art

p2572 Mackinolty Il muro di risata con bambini SM
When long-time Northern Territory artist Chips Mackinolty made his first paste-ups in Palermo, capital of Sicily, he was soon approached by business owners who wanted some for their premises. As Alice’s festival of street art gets underway this veteran practitioner is showing work, from Palermo and Alice, at Watch This Space. Kieran Finnane reviews. FULL STORY »

Council shoots Anzac precinct gallery down in flames

2589 council 15:10:18 SMTonight’s Town Council meeting passed unanimously a vote against accepting five propositions from Wakefield and Moss, including that council hand over Anzac Oval for the project. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


PHOTO: At tonight’s council meeting (from left) Councillors Catherine Satour, Jimmy Cocking, Matt Paterson and Eli Melky. In the gallery, Doris Stuart (light cardigan) and Harold Furber (with hat).


UPDATE Oct 17, 9.38am: Opposition Leader comments that the government’s heavy-handed approach has failed spectacularly and further plunged the project into uncertainty while South Australia is forging ahead with its plans. FULL STORY »

Grog price gouging: Fines up to $10m

Consumer Affairs warns traders not to blame the new floor price for prices higher than $1.30 per standard drink. FULL STORY »

Native Title extinguished over Anzac High School site

2533 Anzac Highschool SM


Culture Minister Lauren Moss says Native Title has been extinguished over the Anzac Hill precinct – the oval as well as the high school site (pictured) – the government’s “preferred site” for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice in thrall of week-long sports extravaganza

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Last night 4000 athletes and crew, locals and from around the nation, strutted their stuff in the Masters Games opening on a beautiful spring evening, suggesting a few more adjectives for the event that could be added to “friendly”: Try crazy, imaginative, cheeky. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Anzac Oval: hand it over, says NT Government

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The Territory Government will not discuss any alternative sites for its proposed national Aboriginal art gallery:  instead it has asked council  “to work with us on transitioning this site to one owner, being the Northern Territory Government”


UPDATE 5.05pm

Anzac Oval is freehold, owned by the council and the site was not included in the native title determination, says CLC.


UPDATE 5.50pm: The threat of compulsory acquisition of the land could lead to years in court, says Opposition Leader Gary Higgins. FULL STORY »

Six days in the saddle to tell the story of outback kids

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On a ride from Glen Helen 12 kids and three adults talked with hundreds of tourists in the West MacDonnells about the challenges and the joys of children in the nation’s most remote areas. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. The riders arrived in Alice Springs yesterday. FULL STORY »

Anzac precinct art gallery: Native title issues unresolved

2555 art gallery site SM



Lhere Artepe hasn’t been asked to say yes or no to the government’s choice of the Anzac precinct, and there has been no request to “extinguish native title for the purpose of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery.” ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: The approximate location of the government’s “preferred” site for the gallery.

UPDATE Oct 12, 5.20pm FULL STORY »

Govt spokesman hits out at Opposition over floor price



… but will not answer questions about the measure’s possible violation of the Australian Constitution. Under fire: Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (at left). Meanwhile Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Natasha Fyles (at right), says Territorians who feel they are potentially being price gouged by alcohol retailers should notify consumer affairs. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

10 years after a chopper disaster, Rob makes dreams come true

2588 Rob Cook rodeo SM 2588 Rob Cook & family SMDeveloping a leading edge way to fatten cattle, crossing the outback in a wheelchair and giving motivational speeches, pastoralist and former rodeo rider Rob Cook, with the help of a big family, is a man with a vision. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Al Strangeways wins Portrait of a Senior Territorian

p2571 Al Strangeways - Kathleen Wallace SM



Her portrait Hills: Kathleen Wallace and the Dancers has taken out the $7000 acquisition award. FULL STORY »

Alice Springs singer in immigration neverland

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Goodbye to being a target for assassins. Hello Australian immigration bureaucracy for South Sudanese singer and performer Nyapal Lul who now lives in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Rain: Yesss!

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The first real rain in six months. FULL STORY »

Ice Age in Alice

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From dealing with 90% alcohol and ganja the small drug organisation DASA in Alice Springs is overwhelmed by a substance far more insidious, taking up half of its case load now. From being mostly used by whites it is also spreading right through Aboriginal society, in town and country. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo courtesy Alice Springs police.


UPDATE October 8: Comment by psychologist PHIL WALCOTT FULL STORY »

Nott: Cattle industry faces greatest uncertainty ever

Chris Nott SMp2255-cattle-SM


The Gunner Government is seeking to introduce veto rights for Native Title holders which the Federal legislation has deliberately excluded from its Native Title Act, says Cattlemen’s Association president Chris Nott (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Alcohol floor price may breach Australian Constitution

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Cask wine, the favourite drop for grey nomads, who are vital to tourism in the NT, will “go completely” says industry leader. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Boundless downturn: retail and tourism figures decline

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Sharp drop in the usual boom month of August, writes Gary Higgins, Leader of the Opposition. FULL STORY »

NT the biggest climate change offender

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NT Government downplays the urgency of the situation and the role of government in leading climate action, says ALEC boss Jimmy Cocking (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Interest booms in solar power investment




Meanwhile the government will “develop over the next 12 months” a Northern Territory Electricity Market. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The Uterne plant being inspected during its opening in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Government-made dust bowl: What comes next

2588 Tony Stubbin



“Grassing is planned to coincide with the on-set of the rainy season,” land corporation boss Tony Stubbin (pictured) is told. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice tourism earnings drop 22%




Alice hit harder than The Rock. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

No further Stuart Highway road closures by Defence

Defence spokesman Trevor Seebohm has just announced that Defence will no longer be conducting Road closures of the Stuart Highway that were scheduled to take place between October 1 and 21. FULL STORY »

Land rich, jobs poor: Indigenous work around The Rock

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Migration from jobs-for-the-dole to mainstream work is slow although Docker River’s job numbers look a lot better than those of the playground for global tourists, 130 kilometres to the east. ERWIN CHANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Alice Solar Centre: a treasure out of sight

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Researchers, designers and manufacturers in Australia and overseas use data from the Solar Centre owned by Desert Knowledge Australia. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Fighter jets in Masters Games

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Well, they’re to scale and their aeromodel pilots will be among competitors in a great range of flying machines. FULL STORY »

Defence to close Stuart Highway for up to 12 hours

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Several closures between now and October 21: Department fails to answer vital questions. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO by Jason Wright of an explosion near Woomera in June 2017, taken from Lake Hart.


UPDATE Oct 4, 11.50am Minimal notice to Alice residents of closure from 3pm up to 11pm today. Passenger and freight trains not affected by the Woomera tests.




PLEASE NOTE October 8, 9.40am: We offered the Defence Department prominent space for paid advertising on this front page for its Stuart Highway closures, with express production (usually less than two hours). We explained that we don’t publish public notices as editorial matter. We emailed the department at 1.59pm on October 5. We have not yet received a reply. FULL STORY »

Changes to non-pastoral use will stifle development

2586 cattle SM



New obstacles for the pastoral industry that has been “a shining light in an otherwise poor economic climate,” writes Ashley Manicaros of the NT Cattlemen’s Association. FULL STORY »

Golf Club gets Masters liquor licence despite missing deadline


BREAKING NEWS: The Liquor Commission yesterday (Sunday) granted the Golf Club a license. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

UPDATE 4pm: Golf Club to have an emergency meeting to re-consider pulling out. Commissioner says both the Golf Club and the Apex Club missed deadlines, reprimands police about its comment.

UPDATE 10.40am Tuesday: Golf Club “working with the government”.

UPDATE 2.40am Wednesday: Golf Club will run the bar. FULL STORY »

Indecent assault witnesses sought

Girl grabbed in Bloomfield Street, manages to break free and run away, say police. FULL STORY »

Raindrops in Rangeview Estate

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BREAKING NEWS: Raindrops are falling on our veranda. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal art gallery: it’s spin or nothing

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Neither the NT Government nor the the native title organisation Lhere Artepe will release details of negotiations that would define the role of Aboriginal people in the multi million dollar project . ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Mark Crees, interim director of the project implementation team is pictured with Ministers Moss and Wakefield. FULL STORY »

Pilot academy for Toowoomba: why did Alice miss out?

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Flying conditions are better in The Centre but social problems and distance may have been a reason. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Opening musical roads for each other, with love

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A nine-woman singer-songwriter concert sold out two shows on the weekend – and no wonder, with its big-hearted celebration of the ways of women in the world, underpinned by artistry. KIERAN FINNANE reviews. FULL STORY »

Major Business Group discloses members, draws fire

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No Federal prison for Alice, says Scott McConnell (pictured), MLA for Stuart. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE: Brief CVs of the group’s members. FULL STORY »

Can government afford cultural discord gallery is creating?  

p2566 Oval rally Alison Furber 430
Without questioning the support some (mostly anonymous) Aboriginal stakeholders have given the national Aboriginal art gallery project, it is troubling that numerous identified local Aboriginal people continue to voice their objections to both the government’s preferred site and its process in developing the project. KIERAN FINNANE asks if  this is a consequence and a public image that the project, and the government pushing it, can live with?

UPDATED 10.10am, 1 October 2018, Minister replies (sort of).  FULL STORY »

Apex Club ‘fenced out’ of running Masters Games bars

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After 20 years of continuous incident free running of the Masters Games opening and closing ceremony bars, the Apex Club of Central Australia had to withdraw, finding unacceptable the option provided by Licencing NT of erecting a fence down the middle of the ceremony grounds, writes public officer Ben Crawford. The Club has for many years been running the iconic Camel Cup in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Subsidised electricity: the goose and the gander

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While the Granites gold mines get no help from the NT Government with it massive power bills, the Ayers Rock Resort  – the major competitor of Alice Springs in the tourism market – is subsidised by the public. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

‘Save Anzac Oval’ motion defeated

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Will the council’s Anzac Oval be ceded to the NT Government? KIERAN FINNANE will bring you updates during the evening. Stand by.

UPDATE: A majority of councillors have opposed a clear motion that would have taken the oval off the table. FULL STORY »

Wowser games?

p2358-masters-games-11-smp2351 Robyn Lambley SM



Only light and mid-strength beer at the opening and closing events of the Masters Games: Welcome to the nanny state, writes Robyn Lambley, MLA for Araluen. FULL STORY »

Tony Abbott sent packing on his first Aboriginal envoy trip

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“We told him we don’t want him as our envoy” say Borroloola elders. FULL STORY »

Council’s confidence in government severely shaken

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Even conservative Councillor Glen Auricht thinks the NT Government’s gallery process has been ‘a debacle’ and came close to supporting Cr Eli Melky’s late night ‘no confidence’ motion in the government. Meanwhile, Cr Jamie de Brenni says council can still say ‘no’ to acquisition of the oval. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Why aren’t people listening to us? 

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The mood in the packed council chamber on Monday night was overwhelmingly against any change of use for Anzac Oval. In the interest of a better informed community debate, KIERAN FINNANE provides a comprehensive record of the questions and comments that came from the floor during public question time, at the start of the meeting. FULL STORY »

Scullion and Price charged for PM’s reception

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The invoice for what was determined by council to be a campaign event for Jacinta Price as the Country Liberal candidate for Lingiari now includes labour costs for council personnel involved. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery: A great step backwards

2583 Banks Price Auricht de BrenniThe Anzac Oval issue was set to be resolved in a democratic process put in place unanimously by the nine elected council members. Are the majority councillors now discrediting what they had chosen to be the way of solving the question? ERWIN CHLANDA comments. PHOTO: Four of the nine councillors (from left) Marli Banks (in favour of taking the Anzac Oval “off the table” as a site for the gallery); Jacinta Price, Glen Auricht and Jamie de Brenni (in favour of leaving it “on the table”). FULL STORY »

Happy Birthday, Frontier Services

2583 Frontier Services Rachel Morgan & Keith Castle SM



Thirty volunteers from around Australia pay tribute to John Flynn’s Mantle of Safety by applying elbow grease to Adelaide House and Flynn Church in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PICTURED are volunteers Rachel Morgan from Victoria and Alice Springs local Keith Castle. FULL STORY »

Preaching ‘treading carefully’ then sending in the bulldozers

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Kilgariff expansion, the spin: “Natural ground cover is preserved wherever possible and disturbance of land not directly required for development is avoided.” The fact: Dozens of hectares graded barren. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Anzac highschool trashing no surprise

2584 Anzac highschool 3 OK

The government wants to demolish it to make way for the Aboriginal art gallery, but it is still a public asset, and as such deserves protection. COMMENT by ALEX NELSON. FULL STORY »

Town planning farce: Lawler dodges the hard questions

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Opening a park is clearly the extent of the abilities of the NT lands minister Eva Lawler. She is pictured at the microphone. The Development Consent Authority can do what it likes? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Not enough water for Yuendumu to grow

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And two drilling campaigns since 2015/16 have failed to find any, says the Power and Water Corporation. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Sleeping on the floor in over-crowded juvie

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The alternative is transfer to Don Dale in Darwin, though this may also result from “behavioural or safety issues”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Visitor centre without parking is like a pub with no beer

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Veteran tourism operator in The Centre, Trevor Shiell, says Alice should take a leaf from Onkaparinga’s book and move our visitor centre to the “welcome rock” near the Adelaide turn-off. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Town Council asked Anzac Oval owners who said ‘no’




The question has become, is the council a responsive government, or are they just another government? Hal Duell (pictured) is asking the question. FULL STORY »

Desert Song’s fire burns bright

p2564 Desert Song Women's Choir SM



With Desert Song  Morris Stuart has created a festival that is a reflection of what it aspires to – a peaceful, just and inclusive world – offering a richly mixed cultural experience in Australia’s heartland. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Video by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Gallery vital as starting point to our tourism paradise

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The Desert Song concert in Ormiston Gorge on the weekend was a powerful example of what an Aboriginal art gallery could do for Alice Springs, as long as it “gets people out on the road and connected to place,” says MLA for Stuart, Scott McConnell. FULL STORY »


2583 raindrops SM2583 raindrops 3 SM



The first raindrops (at left) on our rural residential block in 161 days, at 2.35pm today. By ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Police want parents to stop youth crime

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Know where your kids are, say police, as youth disturbances and antisocial behaviour in the CBD are on the increase.


UPDATE 1pm: “We have continually called for parents and carers to take responsibility,” says Opposition Leader. FULL STORY »

Crunch time in Anzac Oval standoff




The “Aye or Nay to Anzac Oval” vote on his motion on Monday will end the deadlock that has turned a desert dream into a nightmare, writes Councillor Eli Melky. FULL STORY »

Student boarding funding restored – for now

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NT restores Supplementary Boarding Fund for two years, allowing St Philip’s College “to continue to offer boarding so that any student in Central Australia, the NT and other rural and remote regions of the country has access to a quality education,” writes Jill Jansons, community relations director of the college, after discussions with Education Minister Selena Uibo (pictured). FULL STORY »

Breakthrough support for Alice Springs art space

p2565 WTS Priscilla Beck SM


After 25 years Watch This Space, Alice Springs’s ARI – Artist Run Initiative, as such spaces are called around the country – is going to be able to pay artists to show their work, instead of artists paying them. FULL STORY »

Indigenous Affairs Minister for fresh approach on gallery

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“I no longer feel comfortable in dealing with a confused Chief Minister and angry Ministers” on the gallery project, says Cr Eli Melky. His suggestion to involve Ken Vowles has been supported by Councillors Cocking, Satour and Banks. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Remains of missing man found near Yambah

Remains of Danny Jones, 48, found more than a year after he went missing, police report. FULL STORY »

Government withholds NATS crowd number

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People “through the gate” is deceptive spin. The number of tickets sold is suppressed. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The Dark State

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A clandestine process has plunged the Town Council into a state of near dysfunction, and the nine elected members, far from representing the town in an atmosphere of collaboration and openness, are in the shadows of distrust and fear of financially crippling litigation. Yet the Minister responsible for local government, Gerry McCarthy (pictured), is not available to give answers. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Mr McCarthy with a public housing tenant during a media event on September 12 when he neither ruled out nor confirmed that the NT Government would compulsorily acquire Anzac Oval. FULL STORY »

1 Territory slams Water Act recommended amendments




Recommended changes to the Water Act “betrays the trust of Territorians,” writes  Braedon Earley (pictured), of the 1 Territory Party. FULL STORY »

Super fund style measure to help cattlemen through droughts

2593 Chris Nott 3 SM



Self-help scheme for cattle industry similar to superannuation mooted at the drought summit in Canberra, says NT Cattlemen’s Association president Chris Nott (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Will Water Act give fracking companies OK to pollute water?




Proposed amendments would permit pollution “in the course of carrying out a mining activity or petroleum activity,” writes Naomi Hogan (pictured), of the Lock the Gate Alliance. FULL STORY »

Classroom cops back – but only in one Alice school

2456 Tabby Fudge SM



They will carry firearms and may use body worn vests: “This takes into consideration the current threat level, and also provides [police] with the ability to respond to emergencies,” say Ministers Manison and Uibo. Bringing back school-based constables, as they used to be known, was urged by Tabby Fudge (pictured), the president  of the NT Council of Government School Organisations. FULL STORY »

Booze ban sign: can they be serious?

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This “Welcome to Alice Springs” sign on a tourist route in the town’s south-west no doubt has some people puzzled. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gay fest for Alice: Priscilla comes back

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Organisers hope to leverage off the high international visitation to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, planning their festival to follow hot on its heels. More than half of these visitors extend their trip in Australia, at present mostly going to Queensland; Alice Springs could capture a slice of that market, they say. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Photo: Still from a promotional video for Broken Hill’s Queen of the Desert Festival. FULL STORY »

Gas-first government dodging urgent need to act on climate

24100 Harshini Bartlett 1 SM



The NT Government’s 10 Year Infrastructure Plan is missing the boat in booming large scale renewable energy project construction occurring interstate and the jobs that come with it, writes Harshini Bartlett, from RePower Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

One-hour community consultation on Albrecht Oval lights

p2577 Pettitt Albrecht light towers SM
Its conclusions amounted to a few sentences on a single page for a proposal that will put into the oval four light towers, 34.5 metres high, each at 750 Lux  – 250 Lux brighter than the lights at Anzac Oval.  Local residents are irate. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Business group may establish ‘federal’ prison in The Centre



The Alice Springs Major Business Group will be meeting with the Minister for Home Affairs in Canberra next week, says spokesman Dave Batic (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 1pm: Mr Batic provides the terms of reference for the Alice Springs Major Business Group. FULL STORY »

Kids behind razor wire, rural land misuse, gallery fiasco & more

2593 Juvenile detention 5 SM2463 Chansey Paech SM


Kids who “should not be behind bars” are behind towers of razor wire. The battle against creeping industrialisation of rural residential land goes on. And are the Aboriginal art gallery, the Aboriginal cultural centre and the new Youth Detention Centre all going to be in the Desert Knowledge Precinct? It’s all in a days work for Namatjira MLA Chansey Paech (pictured). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Gallery: Council did not say boo

2579 Anzac Oval SM



The Mayor and seven of the eight elected Town Council members met with the government over the Anzac Oval issue but did not make it clear that a decisive public poll had ruled out the use of the Anzac Precinct. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO from one of the government’s brochures promoting the government’s “Anzac Precinct” proposal. FULL STORY »

Coles Aboriginal employment promotion hits the spot

2592 Coles Aloysius Hayes 1 SM



43 people attend information sessions during the week after a lively promotion of careers for Aborigines last Saturday. Clontarf’s Aloysius Hayes (pictured) gave a hand with the BBQ. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

18 in a car with five seats

The youngest was five months old, report police. FULL STORY »

Wet spring for The Centre – but it’s hot!

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Wet spring for Centre – but it’s hot! IMAGE from Bureau of Metereology, cloud and rain at 4.45pm Monday. Alice Springs airport in the middle; Glen Helen in the west. FULL STORY »

Anzac Oval: Minister won’t rule out compulsory acquisition

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“As the Minister for Local Government I am a member of Michael Gunner’s team and we are very much looking forward to siting, to growing and to developing a national Indigenous art gallery,” says Gerry McCarthy pictured during a “media event” in Alice Springs this afternoon. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police attacked by 17-year-old

Youth being arrested grabs police officer’s gun belt, according to a Police media release. FULL STORY »

Gallery should be all set to go

The government should resume the Anzac Oval and get on with building the beneficial attraction that most people believe the gallery would be, writes Kevin Diflo, of Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Vowles should lead govt. on ‘all important matters’ – Melky




Cr Eli Melky (at right) reject’s the Chief Minister’s attack on the Town Council over art gallery issues, and claims Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ken Vowles (at left) should be involved in that and other issues. FULL STORY »

NT pipeline to make substantial contribution, says industry

2579 Northern Pipeline SM2579 Clontarf 1 SMMining: The NT pipeline to be a boon for south-east Australia; NT Government formulates gas strategy; Minerals Council to keep up support for Clontarf; but environmentalists in The Centre are concerned about the Titjikala salt mine and hazardous waste storage facility. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Police looking for escaped prisoner

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Prisoner Abel Pareroultja (pictured) absconds from work program, police say. FULL STORY »

Gallery at Anzac: Council has no position, says Deputy Mayor

2579 Cocking, Paterson SM


Is the council, having conducted a poll on the issue, obliged to act in line with its result? “We want to work with the government to make sure the gallery happens,” says Cr Paterson (at right in the photo, with Cr Jimmy Cocking). He was speaking with ERWIN CHLANDA.


UPDATE: Cr Eli Melky to move a motion for the Town Council to exclude the Anzac Oval site as a location for the gallery.

If you can climb Mt Everest and in Yosemite, why not Uluru?

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If deaths at Uluru are a logical reason for closing its climb, should the road toll lead to banning driving, asks Alex Nelson. FULL STORY »

Desert Mob’s dazzling reminder of gallery potential

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Works containing “a great deal of cultural power” created by “black-skinned proud Aboriginal people” have once again made their journey across the surrounding desert lands to the Araluen Arts Centre. The annual Desert Mob opened last night with this vivid image evoked by Rene Kulitja and translated by Linda Rive. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

UPDATED 6.38pm, 11 September 2018: More text, more images.  FULL STORY »

Phone scammers get smarter

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Online third-party technologies are used to spoof their outbound Caller ID, says the Australian Taxation Office, whose staff are being impersonated by fraudsters. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Listen to audio at FULL STORY »

Strong visitation and sales for Desert Mob 

p2563 Desert Mob crowd SM

Opening night sales were up by $50,000 on last year’s, with 110 works sold over the weekend, worth $405,070. FULL STORY »

Aboriginal gallery is bound to have a stone wall

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Chief Minister Michael Gunner lambasts the Alice Springs Town Council instead of giving straight answers to questions in Parliament from Robyn Lambley on compulsory acquisition. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The northern half of Anzac Oval. FULL STORY »

A whirlwind of stuff

– Kieran Finnane

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Colonising the Ilparpa claypans. Kieran Finnane visited the ephemeral artist’s installation. FULL STORY »

Design tenders called for West Macs cycle trails

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More than 200 kilometres of new trails for riders of all skill levels will link the Alice Springs Desert Park to Glen Helen. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Anzac Oval compulsory acquisition would be a first

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“There are no known records of NT Government compulsory acquisition of land owned by a NT Local Government Authority,” MLA for Araluen Robyn Lambley (at left) is told. The government would need to provide “just terms compensation”, says Town Council CEO Rex Mooney (at right).  ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Voter banned from Parliamentarian’s office

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A place for robust democratic debate? How robust? A one year trespass notice has resulted from one discussion in the electoral office of Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson (at left). Barred from her office: Constituent Bruce Francis (at right). Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.


UPDATE September 15, 9am: This is matter for the Member for Katherine, I will not be commenting, says the Speaker, Kezia Purick. FULL STORY »

Boundless Arrogance, says Opposition

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Gary Higgins (at left) and Lia Finocchiaro (at right) thunder about Government failures ranging from juvenile delinquency to population decline and the alcohol floor price. FULL STORY »

Anzac Precinct: govt declines to play ball, confusion reigns

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“We need to make a call on the site and move onto the next phase of the project,” say Dale Wakefield and Lauren Moss (pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Centre’s women top Senior Territorian portrait award

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Central Australian women, artist and subject, are the People’s Choice winner of the Portrait of a Senior Territorian. They are painter Julia Mayman, for a portrait of Daphne Puntjina, titled Proud Land. FULL STORY »

National Aboriginal gallery: Town Council’s action clear as mud

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There had been no mention of Anzac Oval and the dismayed public – some 30 to 40 visitors – were told there would be no further debate on  the matter tonight. KIERAN FINNANE reports.


Snooping bureaucrats, clinics for Aborigines only

Local woman who fought for freedom in Europe and Africa asks why do we still have apartheid in Australia. FULL STORY »

Anzac Oval ‘change of use’: council gives constituents the brushoff

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“It’s why you come in here to a council meeting, to listen, so we’re aware of all these things that are happening. You just don’t treat people as … stupid!” Brenda Shields was among those venting their frustration over the Town Council’s high-handed actions last night. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Red Centre NATS crowd numbers spin exposed

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The NT Government says more than 15,000 people went “through the gates” during the Red Centre NATS in Alice Springs this year. But only 6100 tickets were sold. ERWIN CHLANDA investigates. FULL STORY »

Gallery: Council has no choice but to accept public’s verdict

2577 gallery Advocate SM2577 gallery propaganda SMAs the Centralian Advocate turns over its front page to government propaganda, whose “engagement” stats are the inverse of the town council’s poll, the gallery options seem to be: Compulsorily acquisition of Anzac Oval and the government losing any support for Labor other than from the most trenchant zealots – or hit re-start button for the gallery which, run properly and located appropriately, has close to 100% support from the public. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Warm, candid telling of a long-lived life

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“While Margaret’s story shares an intensity of incident I’ve heard from others of her generation, never have I been gripped in literary form by such warmth and candour about what such events have meant to an individual,” writes ROD MOSS of the recently published autobiography of Margaret Heffernan. FULL STORY »

Government deception clouds gallery debate

2578 Advocate poster 1 SM2578 Advocate poster 2 SMThe bitter debate about the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery has long ago crystallised into whether it should be on the Anzac Oval site or not. The council, due to debate the issues in a few minutes, had no trouble understanding that and it formulated its poll accordingly. But the government conflated opposition to the Anzac option with opposition to the gallery, which flawed its “consultation” from the beginning. IMAGES: Read the fine print. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

It’s the economy, stupid (NT style)

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1 Territory likes its chances as Michael Gunner’s ballooning deficit and hapless policies such as the alcohol floor price mirror the Adam Giles fiasco. ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with the party’s vice-president, Sue Fraser Adams (pictured). FULL STORY »

Council poll says ‘no’ to gallery at Anzac Oval

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The result is the direct opposite of what Ministers Dale Wakefield and Lauren Moss announced as the outcome of their three months long “engagement” with the public. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

The spin-off could be greater than the actual Parrtjima

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Pick the best out of Parrtjima – four of its “spaces” – and instal them in the CBD, not for seven days a year, but 365. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. FULL STORY »

Gallery chicken before the egg under Labor: Opposition




Labor made an announcement, ignored the recommendation of its own advisory committee, botched the consultation process and then called for tenders for a business case a mere three weeks ago, after being in government for two years, writes Gary Higgins (pictured), Leader of the Territory Opposition. FULL STORY »

Street art: life cycle of the Yeperenye in giant mural

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A stunning mural, celebrating the life cycle of the Yeperenye caterpillar, one of the sacred totems of Mparntwe, is unfolding on the long blank wall of the Yeperenye Shopping Centre. FULL STORY »

New gallery committee to get no say on location

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Will the figures from the Town Council’s “survey” contradict the figures from the government’s “engagement”? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FROM LEFT: Mark Crees, Lauren Moss and Dale Wakefield this morning.


UPDATE: Fake consultation had pre-determined outcome, says Opposition. FULL STORY »

Planning an Aboriginal art centre without Aboriginal people

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Doris Stuart and Harold Furber (pictured), two prominent Arrernte elders, let fly at the members of the Town Council last night, minutes before their sensational condemnation of the NT Government’s “preferred” Anzac Oval site for the Aboriginal art gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery expert: Anzac site cannot work

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Can the Anzac precinct site be made to work? “Absolutely not in my view,” says Michael Lynch, member of the original steering committee for the National Aboriginal Art gallery and veteran arts administrator – chief executive in leading institutions, most recently the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and previously the South Bank Centre in London, and director of the Sydney Opera House among others. He speaks to KIERAN FINNANE.

Updated 10.15am, 10 September 2018, with additional reporting of this interview. FULL STORY »

The stubby, the bottle and the floor price

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The latest alcohol initiative seems safe from being in conflict with the Australian Constitution’s requirement for trade between states to be “absolutely free”. However, beer sellers may gain an illegal advantage from the sharply increased cost of cheap wines from interstate under the floor price law which came into effect in the NT this month. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

More spin, not facts on gallery

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Ministers Wakefield (left) and Moss after “consultation” are clouding the Anzac Oval issue even further. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


UPDATE 8:40am: Since when does a “coffee” and a “conversation” constitute a credible scientific survey, asks Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley (at right). FULL STORY »

Nanny state: Tennant alcohol restrictions for Alice?



Add these new restrictions to the BDR and the Alcohol Floor Price and you have the ultimate nanny state where the Gunner Government is telling us all what we can drink, how much we can drink and when we can drink it, writes Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen. FULL STORY »

$300m NT airports expansions

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility says the investment will help create up to 1,500 jobs and support the development of the NT’s export potential, particularly in agriculture. FULL STORY »

A look across the border at our gallery rival

2574 SA gallery 1 SM“The potential flow-on from cultural tourism opportunities is more promising than ever. With worldwide tourist arrivals increasing 4% to 5% annually, the European Commission reports 40% of tourists choose destinations based on cultural offerings,” writes art commentator Cillín Perera in In Daily. Meanwhile in Alice Springs the bitter dispute about the NT Government’s preferred location is coming to the boil with the evaluation of two surveys, and the Government is stumm on whether its new gallery committee will have a say in the positioning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image: Artist’s impression of the proposed Adelaide gallery.

UDATED 10.47am 6 September 2018 FULL STORY »

Five youths arrested after armed robbery

Man injured, robbed by two young males armed with shovels. FULL STORY »

Six not at all Grey Nomads

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The wide open spaces is what blew them away in The Centre. They shared their adventures with ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Mineral exploration expenditure up 43% in the NT




The Resourcing the Territory initiative will further encourage exploration, including the Geophysics and Drilling Collaboration grants program, which saw a record number of applicants this year, writes Ken Vowles (pictured), Minister for Primary Industry and Resources. FULL STORY »

SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins

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The proposal for the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is taking shape and may sound the death knell for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs, says Opposition Leader Gary Higgins. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

NATS: Petrol heads rule

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The skills, the man-hours and not in the least, the cash that locals have put into their startling creations, many beginning from no more than a rusty shell decades old, is amazing. But what can’t the government come clean on stats showing the benefit to the town’s economy? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Gallery: national reference group appointed

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A National Reference Group for the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery has been announced. It includes significant Indigenous and local representation, among them Phillip Watkins, co-chair of the initial steering committee, and Benedict Stevens, apmereke artweye for Mparntwe.

UPDATED, 1.26pm,  4 September 2018. FULL STORY »

Crime wave by juveniles

“Unlawful entry at a bank,” assault, stealing and a firearm offence – all in a night’s work for Tennant Creek cops. FULL STORY »

Gallery: What we need to know before we spend a cent

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The government’s amateurish approach to the National Aboriginal Art Gallery is jeopardising its major project for Alice Springs, says a consultant well qualified in the area. PHOTO: World renowned Aboriginal art from Central Australia in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. FULL STORY »

Stagnant CBD; industrial land, rental shortage; houses hold

p2575 Mall empty shop 4 SMp2575 Mall empty shop 7 SMActivity in the Alice Springs CBD is basically a “moving of deckchairs”: existing tenants relocating, not a lot of new business; rents falling. This was the unsurprising but stark picture of a stagnant CBD presented to the Town Council by the Real Institute of the Northern Territory. KIERAN FINNANE reports. FULL STORY »

Anonymous donation doesn’t fix conflict of interest for council

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In what looked like an extraordinary move to head off debate on the sensitive matter of the recent reception of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Town Council CEO Rex Mooney last night announced that a “concerned ratepayer” had paid in full the cost of the reception. KIERAN FINNANE reports the debate on the politicisation of council. FULL STORY »

The gallery fiasco (continued)

2530 art gallery SMThe tender 11 days ago for a business case was a false start. Mark II is not much clearer: “Nation-building project … the first of its kind in Australia … boost to local jobs, retail, and tourism”, you get the drift. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. FULL STORY »

Snouts who think their rightful place is in the trough

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Will Michael Gunner’s Territory trade delegation to China, which he describes as “one of the biggest ever,” bear more fruit than that of Marshall Perron nearly 30 years ago? ALEX NELSON asks the question, and he wonders if it is just a taxpayer funded junket for the ruling pigs as in George Orwell’s novella, Animal Farm. FULL STORY »

We need more police. True or false?

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Between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014, in NSW there was one homicide for every 51,905 people. In the NT there was one homicide for every 7424 people. FULL STORY »

Motion carried for former Prime Minister, Jacinta Price to pay for council party

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KIERAN FINNANE reports: The motion by Cr Marli Banks to charge the former Prime Minister and Cr Jacinta Price for use of the town council facilities for a party was carried a short while ago at tonight’s council meeting.


Updated 9.28pm, 27 August 2018. FULL STORY »

The NT Government’s problem with things national

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Still unresolved strife with the National Road Transport Hall of Fame means the NT Government is getting lots of practice making a mess of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. CEO Liz Martin (pictured) says Broken Hill is making a keen bid for what is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Alice Springs. FULL STORY »

Cattle stations need plan for after the drought

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There has to be a plan for after the drought which allows pastoralists to restock their properties, writes Chris Nott (pictured), President of the NT Cattlemen’s Association. FULL STORY »