Amidst the crusty truckies at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame reunion in Alice Springs last week was one quite unlike the rest: she is a petite blonde driving the rig of the year, a 50 tonne Drake low loader pulled by a 550 horsepower Western Star – total value more than half a million dollars.
Perhaps the only hint there may be a woman driver behind the wheel is the prime mover's colour: pink.
Julie Gavin transports earthmoving and mining equipment all around Australia.
Does she know what the future will hold for the industry she loves? "Good question. What's next week's lotto numbers, Erwin?" ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Crocodile meat and bush tomato were the "mystery" ingredients. Sun, smoke and dust went without saying.
The third annual Bushfoods "iron chef" competition was held last Sunday, at the Quandong Farm in Ilparpa Valley, where picnickers were welcomed by the Scales family. It was a somewhat challenging induction into cooking on an open fire for UK chef Chris Messenger, who'd never done it before. Suren Perera had, but often looked like he was longing for the cool stainless steel of his kitchen at the Barra on Todd.
They were both commended by judge Bec Gooderham, a former organiser of the competition, for doing "an amazing job" in the conditions. Her fellow judges Lisa Perry (Reality Bites) and Raelene Brown (Kungkas Can Cook), both experienced chefs, commented on the difficulties of cooking with crocodile meat as well as cooking over a fire or in a camp oven. "Regulating the heat is a challenge," said Brown, "it depends on the wood you use." KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Chris Messenger (foreground) and Suren Perera sweat it out in the Bushfoods "iron chef" competition. Event coordinator Clare Woods lends a hand with the fire.
Though the veteran designers of the Alice Desert Festival's Wearable Arts Awards have all but bowed out, the arts and the show live on. Certain names are now establishing themselves as ones to watch out for – such as Simone Kilian and Tina Tilhard – while names associated with different roles – such as Jen Standish-White and Mary Menotti – have emerged to reveal unsuspected talent. Edginess, provocation and humour were not to the fore this year, but refined skills were – in design, execution and performance. Many models did much more than strut – some expressed moments of intense drama and emotion, others revelled in the sensual experience of the adorned body and pulsating music. WORDS by KIERAN FINNANE, PICTURES by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Photo:Deliberately Lit by Clare Whitcombe (designer and model), inspired by last year's bushfires, winner of the Fantasia Award.
Video, in order: It's in the Bag by Alex Stephens; Tealirious Sirena by Tina Tilhard, performed by Sally Balfour; The Upside Down Tree by Kate Yoffa; Aquila Marirosa by Mary Menotti and Henry Smith; Coffee Anyone? by Simone Kilian, performed by Hamish McGauchie; Hot Head by Philomena Hali, performed by Melissa Zahoruijko; Top End Coast Line by Carol Phayer, modelled by Jaimee Eaton; Beneath the Surface by Leonie Oakes, performed by Courtney Summers; Angled by Simone Kilian, performed by Jasmine Ahwah; Duprada Dance Company; final parade of award winners.
Sir,- We, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, have questioned the Federal Government over its decision to shut down the Bureau of Meteorology in Tennant Creek and along with it, the weather radar.
The Country Liberals party has won a convincing victory in yesterday's Territory elections, ending an 11 year rule by Labor.
The ABC says the party is likely to have 15 seats, with nine for Labor and one in dependent.
The change was mostly in the bush – previously supporting Labor.
In the huge electorate electorate of Stuart, the CL's Bess Price (1004) is likely to unseat Karl Hampton (892) with First Nations Political Party candidate Maurie Ryan on 394 votes. Preferences will decide.
Ms Price said this morning that Mr Ryan had directed his preferences in Stuart to her, although elsewhere First Nations preferenced Labor.
She is confident to have won the seat and is overjoyed about the result: "It hasn't really hit me yet that I will be part of the team that governs the Territory.
"Today I'll be with my family, rejoicing, relaxing and preparing myself."
In Central Australia's other huge bush seat, Namatjira, the indomitable Alison Anderson was re-elected as a conservative candidate in the electorate which she had first won for the Labor Party.
By this morning's figures she had 1690 primary votes, more than double her Labor opponent's Des Rogers (740).
The CL's Robyn Lambley, Adam Giles and Matt Conlan comfortably retained the three urban seats in Alice Springs.
Voter turnout in both rural seats was poor – just over 50% on current figures, with absent, early, postal and declaration votes yet to be counted. PHOTO: Party supporters for the CL (left in the picture), the ALP and Greens at the racecourse polling place in Alice Springs.
UPDATE, August 25, 10.41pm: With 95% of the ballot counted, Alison Anderson (Country Liberals) has been returned in Namatjira with 64.5% of the vote. Des Rogers (Labor) has 28.3% and Warren H. Williams (FNPP), 7.2%. Ms Anderson's win is part of a historic swing to the CLP in the bush, which has given them government.
Nicholas Williams (at left) was in Hermannsburg this morning, handing out how-to-vote cards for his father, Warren H. Williams, while stationed in front of Alison Anderson's campaign vehicle.
"I'm campaigning for both," he said, "Warren is my father, Alison is my aunty. I'm doing it for family."
In practical terms that meant telling prospective voters to put his dad at number one but to give their second preference to Ms Anderson. This went against his father's how-to-vote, where Ms Anderson was in the last spot, with second preference going to Labor's Des Rogers. Nicholas said he didn't mind who won the seat, out of his two relatives.
And the most important issue in his home community? Families have to change and become "role models" for kids, he said. KIERAN FINNANE reports from Hermannsburg.
Sir,- I'm currently running THE TRUCKIES DANGER MONEY PETITON to have danger money incorporated in our award system as we have the highest rates of death for any occupation in Australia. My phone number is 0409619838 and my email address is email@example.com
This week the media reported that the NT government was going to spend over $400,000 to subsidise a ferry service between Darwin and the Tiwi Islands – to the tune of over $10,000 per trip. A scandalous waste of money. The Labor Government must be worried about holding the seat of Arafura and so applied some last minute grease to its campaign. We have seen several commitments of that type from both major parties during this election campaign. All this is par for the course.
More serious is that the election campaign has revealed that the real scandal in the NT – the diversion of general purpose (GST) monies from Aboriginal purposes to propping up the lifestyle of Darwin residents – is not only alive and well, but unchallenged by either major party. Whoever is elected this weekend will continue this deeply unethical practice. COMMENT by Rolf Gerritsen, Charles Darwin University. PHOTO: Prof Gerritsen.
UPDATE Tuesday, August 28, 5.30pm: Detective Senior Sergeant Travis Wurst of the Southern Investigations Division said the 25-year-old handed himself in to police this afternoon.
Police are calling for public assistance to locate Gregory Abbott (pictured), believed to be responsible for three assaults in the Northern Territory this year.
Detectives believe the man is currently residing in or around the Alice Springs region.
It is alleged the offender assaulted a visitor at a Darwin residence in March 2010 and seriously assaulted two visitors at two separate residences in Alice Springs in June 2012.
Police advise the public to not approach him and phone 000 immediately.
"If you have any information on the whereabouts of Gregory Abbott, contact Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000," police say.
More information is on the Territory's Wanted page.
On the one hand we have Labor which has removed any doubt about its disdain for Alice Springs by promising to spend as much on footy TV lights – to be used maybe once or twice a year – as it would on the town centre's facelift.
And the Country Liberals are proposing to spend a corresponding amount – $2.5m – on the Youth Centre although locals say that's nowhere near enough and doesn't cover the facilities and services also badly needed. There is a lively debate about a facility costing 15 times as much.
Mayor Damien Ryan and Chamber of Commerce CEO Kay Eade have expressed their dissatisfaction with Labor's effort, with the town's third major lobby, Tourism Central Australia, notably absent from the debate.
Maybe we're asking the wrong questions: I there a bigger main game?
Bruce Walker, who chairs remoteFOCUS, a project facilitated by Desert Knowledge Australia, is raising some interesting questions.
OK, we are those who are living "in the forgotten backyards of the capital cities, and they are not part of a national narrative which makes sense of the decisions made elsewhere which affect their lives".
But the "we" here doesn't mean Territorians, but the people inhabiting desert Australia – those of us living in the vast remote parts of all the states except Victoria and Tasmania.
Would that be the framework that could get us excited? COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.
For the first time this week some detail emerged about what allegedly happened at Ilpurla Outstation last year that led to Barry Abbott (pictured), former Senior Territorian of the Year, facing charges of aggravated assault and deprivation of liberty.
Mr Abbott and his four co-accused, all members of his family, pleaded not guilty to all charges in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court on Monday. Their hearing is set down for December but defence lawyer Russell Goldflam had asked for a hearing to deal with legal argument.
How could this happen without some factual context, Magistrate John Neill wanted to know. So the briefest outline of agreed facts was presented on Tuesday afternoon. KIERAN FINNANE reports.