An Alice Springs labour hire company says business is down compared to a year ago and job seekers outnumber available positions about five to one, says Chris Jackson, of Centre Labourforce and Recruitment NT.
Before the downturn 150 people a week were contracted through the firm, she says.
That figure is now down to between 80 and 100. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
The "unpaid professional assistant" of Bess Price, the Country Liberals' candidate for Stuart, says her opponent Karl Hampton has sent electioneering materials to friends of hers who don't live in the electorate.
The assistant, Ms Price's husband Dave, says it appears Mr Hampton has used a mailing list belonging to Ms Price without her permission.
The whole thing is a bit of a family affair but tempers are rising.
Mr Hampton did not respond to our invitation to comment – but one of his minders gave a snutty reply. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
UPDATE JULY 30, 12:15pm
Hampton email recipient will "take this issue further".
"When we're all alone 'cause our family's gone drinking, we get bored 'cause there's nothing to do.
"We're not excited about tomorrow, every day's the same, we got to find a new way, a new direction to break the cycle."
Their names are (from left) Danielle Breaden, Katrina Drover and Shania Austin, aged 14, 13 and 11 years; they live at Amoonguna, some 20 kms south of Alice and part of MacDonnell Shire; and these are the lyrics of a song they wrote and performed as part of the "Stay Strong, Live Long" project conducted by the shire council's youth development team.
So, how do the girls think the cycle will be broken? Not by "going into town and roaming around, looking for some trouble". They say they've got to "think about the future, got to work and stay at school, got to make a change". – Kieran Finnane.
UPDATE July 30, 2012: See the fruits of this project for yourself.
An Alice Springs architectural practice has been included in the Australian display for the 2012 International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in Italy. Tangentyere Design – Tangentyere Council’s architecture enterprise – was selected from among more than 100 architects on the basis of its unique ‘practice formation’.
The Biennale is one of the most important events on the International contemporary architecture calendar. Thousands of architects, designers, planners and critics visit the Biennale, in addition to the thousands of tourists. Over 93,000 people visited the Australian pavilion at the 2010 Architecture Biennale.
Pictured: One of Tangentyere Design's buildings, the Centre for Appropriate Technology, located in the Desert Knowledge precinct in Alice. The exhibition in which Tangentyere Design features is focussed more on the nature of the practice – the kind of work that's done, the locations, the clients – than on the buildings.
Evidence in this week's committal hearing of charges against Liam Jurrah, Christopher Walker and Josiah Fry, painted yet again a picture of Alice Springs town camps awash with alcohol, even though drinking is supposed to be banned there. When the grog wasn't being consumed in the camps, it was being drunk "down the creek", where drinking is also supposed to be banned.
There was no suggestion that this day – March 7, 2012 – was special. It was a Wednesday. Only one witness said it was his pension day.
For one man, drinking started before noon; for most of the others, it began mid-afternoon, after the take-aways opened. KIERAN FINNANE summarises the evidence of each witness in relation to alcohol consumed on the day.
The doubtlessly biggest news story in Alice Springs was when – as it is now official – the dingo took baby Azaria Chamberlain.
The Liam Jurrah story is also pretty big but there are other significant differences.
If we manage to leave aside the unspeakable stupidity of Territory officialdom, and the almost biblical pain it inflicted on the Chamberlains, we can observe that their story put The Centre, The Rock, The Alice into the public view. That had its good side. A lot more is now known about our patch.
The Jurrah media coverage, albeit much smaller in scale, was different in message, volume, speed and reach. Unless you take the show biz view that any publicity is good so long as they spell the name right, you'd have to conclude that Alice just got another hammering. ERWIN CHLANDA comments.
Eastside resident Charlie Carter says locals are up in arms about the Alice Town Council's apparent plans for turning another section of Ross Park into a carpark.
He says there has been no consultation with any of the residents adjacent to the park although the area (see photo above) has already been opened up for cars and sections have been roped off.
But council Director of Technical Services Greg Buxton says discussions "with all parties" – including residents – are under way and the use of the area is, at this stage, only a trial till the end of the season.
This is contested by park user M'Lis Scott who says she took this photo of the car park on the south eastern end of Ross Park on Saturday, June 23 at 12 noon "when soccer and netball was in full swing. I am there every Saturday as my daughter plays soccer at this time." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
The decision is "unrelated to guilt", says his defence counsel.
Report #7. First posted 1:00pm July 25. Updated 3.28pm July 25. See earlier reports below.
Liam Jurrah has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court on a charge of assault causing serious harm, as well as three further counts of assault on three separate victims.
This is also the case for his co-accused, Christopher Walker and Josiah Fry.
Mr Walker's lawyer, Tania Collins, told the court Mr Walker will be pleading guilty to the 'cause serious harm' charge.
Mr Jurrah's family and supporters in the courtroom and waiting for him in the lobby accepted the news quietly but appeared downcast.
Outside the court defence counsel Jon Tippett QC told media that moving the case from the Court of Summary Jurisdiction into the Supreme Court is "unrelated to guilt". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Liam Jurrah leaving court after he had been committed to stand trial. Ahead of him is Melbourne Football Club official Craig Lees.
Report #5. Posted 6:45pm, July 24. See earlier reports below.
Basil Jurrah, alleged victim of an assault causing serious harm, with which Liam Jurrah and his co-accused are charged, in his evidence today mostly stuck to his guns that he had no intention of fighting at Little Sisters camp, and was unarmed.
However cracks appeared when the trouble underlying the on-going feuds amongst the Warlpiri families of Yuendumu was mentioned.
He went to Little Sisters for "smoke and grog", Basil Jurrah told the court. He denied getting weapons before he went.
Was it a lie that he had a machete in his hand, asked Jon Tippett QC, representing Liam Jurrah, in cross-examination this afternoon. Yes, said Basil Jurrah, who is at present in custody.
He agreed a fight took place and that he had seen Liam Jurrah and his co-accused Christopher Walker at Little Sisters, but to the proposition that he tried to fight Liam Jurrah, he said "I had no weapon".
However final witness for the day, Douglas Watson, said Basil Jurrah was armed with a nulla nulla when he went to Little Sisters along with five cars full of other people armed and intending to fight. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Report # 4. Posted 2:30pm, July 24. See earlier reports below.
As the court adjourned for lunch on the second day of the committal hearing of charges against star footballer Liam Jurrah and two others, cross-examination had begun of Basil Jurrah, the alleged victim of their assault causing serious harm charge.
Judging by their demeanour, this testimony is of critical interest to the defendants. Liam Jurrah, for the first time, was leaning back in his chair, craning to see the witness and intently listening to his answers. His co-accused Josiah Fry did the same. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Photos: Top – The grassy knoll opposite the courthouse, where yesterday an angry crowd had gathered, was a scene of peace and quiet this morning. Middle: Liam Jurrah. Below: Interstate camera crews from the three commercial TV networks had a quieter day until tensions between feuding Warlpiri familes built this afternoon.