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Home Alice Springs News, Issue 24, July 21, 2011

Alice Springs News, Issue 24, July 21, 2011

When pettiness gets out of hand



Given the lavish provision of recreational facilities in The Alice,
mostly publicly funded, you'd be inclined to think that playing sport is
a great way to build a harmonious, happy and healthy community.

You'd be wrong – in at least one case: the Alice Springs Tennis Association.

It has about 200 members, mostly white and middle class.

Amongst them is a part-Aboriginal 12-year-old boy, Zoltan Ross (pictured),
who wants to be a tennis star. He's happy to train hard and has some
runs on the board in interstate competitions. But that's no thanks to
the club nor, apparently, to its manager and coach, Craig Gallagher, who
is said to have told Zoltan, in front of other children, that his "feet
stink" and refuses to give him singles coaching.

Mr Gallagher's partner Pat, allegedly said to Zoltan, also in front
of other children: "You smell."  This prompted the boy, described
as shy by his parents, to withdraw from all junior club activities. So
says Zoltan's mother, Angela Ross, a school teacher and a member of a
prominent local Aboriginal family.



Sir – I cannot understand why this young man has been subjected to
the shame and unacceptable behaviour of the coach. Great to hear Matt
Roberts is returning - he will sort out the association and continue of
the fantastic work he did years ago. Zoltan stay strong and ignore the
ignorant people.

Trevor Read, Darwin


Corp, Gaff get gaol for "vicious joint assault"

A "callous, calculated, vicious joint
assault" in which the victim suffered "serious harm" earned the
perpetrators, Jason Corp and Benjamin Gaff, sentences of three years and
nine months imprisonment from Justice Judith Kelly last Friday.

The "sustained, unprovoked and unexplained" nature of the attack,
aggravated by the two perpetrators being in company and by the use of a
weapon (a shovel), put the offending in the "middle to serious end of
the range for offences of this nature", said Justice Kelly.

In her judgment, the perpetrators bear criminal responsibility for
the violence they personally visited on the victim, and for the violence
visited on him by one another. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

Flat tourism season due to big picture factors, not to negative publicity, say operators


Offering more for visitors to do: nocturnal tours are
regularly booking out at the Desert Park. A guide helps visitors spot
any of the following creatures of the desert night: the Bilby, Mala,
Spectacled Hare-wallaby, Burrowing Bettong, Brush-tailed Bettong,
Stick-nest Rat, Short-beaked Echidna, Bush Stone-curlew, Golden
Bandicoot. Photo courtesy Desert Park.




The current tourist season may be "a bit flat" but it's a cyclical business and it will "come back".

That's the view of Michael Toomey, manager of commercial and retail operations at the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Alice.

He believes big picture national and international factors are a much
greater influence on the current flattening than specific factors such
as the Tiger grounding and negative publicity about the town's social
problems.  Violent incidents and anti-social behavior in town get
"blown out of all proportion" in the media, says Mr Toomey, and are
"insignificant" compared to what happens in the capital cities.

There must be two airlines into Alice Springs and Mr Toomey wants to
see the NT Government working on persuading another operator to service
the town. But if people were intending to visit, the Tiger grounding
would not have been enough to stop them coming, he says.

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