Friday, September 18, 2020

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

Home Issue 36

Issue 36

Paradise an hour away

COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA Where is it? I’d have to shoot you if I told you. Let’s says it’s an hour from Alice, give or take. Head off...

LETTER: Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association says live cattle exports on the right track

After last week’s industry and producer tour of inspection of live export supply chains in Sumatra and Java, David Warriner, president of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, congratulated Indonesian industry, importers and Australian exporters on the implementation of the new Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) in Indonesia.

LETTER: A lot of hassle for a litre of oil – motor home tourist won't spend any more money here.

I would like to award Centralian Motors the thumbs down for wasting a day of my holidays.

Coniston: survivors & descendants recall massacre in new film

How could a man designated Protector of Aborigines end up leading a revenge party that would shoot at least 31 of them, including women and children, and probably many more, in retaliation for the death of one white man? It is a question that preoccupies a white Australian audience but the film Coniston does not try to answer it.  Nor does it look in much detail into the broad context of the infamous event it is concerned with – the last white on black massacre in Australia, starting at Coniston, about 250 kms north-west of Alice Springs, in 1928. The one hour documentary, that includes dramatised sequences, focusses instead on capturing the oral history of the massacre held by Warlpiri, Anmatyerr and Kaytetye people. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

 

Country Liberals 'not ruling out' a floor price for alcohol

Key stakeholders in the Centre will meet about alcohol policy

 

UPDATE, September 18, 7.00pm: While they are "not ruling out" the introduction of a floor price on alcohol, the Country Liberals have "traditionally opposed it", said a spokesperson for Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley ... read more in FULL STORY. 

 

Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley would appear to be foreshadowing the introduction of a floor price for alcohol – whether Territory-wide or in Central Australia only is not clear. She has just issued a press release, calling on Police Minister Kon Vatskalis to say "whether Labor supports a floor price on the sale of take-away alcohol – a supply side measure Labor previously opposed when in Government". – Kieran Finnane

Bushfires an even bigger heartache when they are started by fools

The big country we live in turns into a monster when it burns, thumbing its nose at our feeble efforts to regain the upper hand.
It's the more agonising when the cause is human stupidity, carelessness or malice, as appears to have been the case a few days ago when part of the West MacDonnell National park, our greatest tourism asset, was turned into cinder.
An area of about 40 square kilometers was burned.
One blaze was started by the roadside near Redbank Gorge.
Another, ignited in dozens of spots for some 30 kilometers on the Glen Helen to Alice Springs road, was lit by sparks from a car driven on its rims. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

ABOVE: The Finke River (foreground) stopped the bushfire just short of a popular bush camp, and the Glen Helen Resort. Mount Sonder is in the background, charred bushland in the middle ground. LEFT: A curry wattle re-grows after a bushfire in the MacDonnell Ranges, near Ormiston.

Mills sidesteps Coroner's recommendation

UPDATE, September 18, 3.30pm:  Shadow Minister for Police Kon Vatskalis has called on the CLP Government to implement Coroner Greg Cavanagh's recommendation regarding reducing the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets. However, he puts his own gloss on what that would mean: reinstating the Banned Drinker Register ... read more in FULL STORY.

 

Chief Minister Terry Mills has side-stepped Coroner Greg Cavanagh's recommendation that an urgent meeting of stakeholders be convened in Alice Springs to commit to "all available, reasonable measures to reduce the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets". As reported yesterday, this was one of two recommendations to government made by the Coroner in handing down his findings from the inquest into the death in custody of Kwemetyaye Briscoe.

Mr Mills' response in a media release focussed on "the need for cultural change within the Northern Territory police force". On the issue of alcohol control, Mr Mills said only that the "Country Liberals will increase the focus on mandatory rehabilitation". KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

Briscoe Inquest: reduce supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets, says Coroner

"The NT Police shoulders a huge burden from alcohol sales. They cannot be expected to tackle the social problems that result, in the absence of further initiatives to stop the flow of alcohol in the community." – Coroner Greg Cavanagh, Kwementyaye Briscoe Inquest.

 

Less than one month after taking power and ushering in a new era of Territorians taking "individual responsibility" for their drinking, the Mills CLP Government has been called upon by the Coroner to urgently convene a stakeholder meeting in Alice Springs to commit to "all available, reasonable measures to reduce the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets". This is one of two recommendations to the government arising from the inquest into the death in custody of Kwementyaye Briscoe, who died in the Alice Springs Watch House on January 4 this year. Coroner Greg Cavanagh handed down his findings today. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

No deposit home loans appear unlikely

 

UPDATE September 18, 3:45pm:

"The My New Home scheme is an interesting proposal – my only concern is that there's often a difference between what governments, lending institutions and finance brokers say people can borrow and how much they should," says Duncan Poulson, NT Regional Commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

 

Posted September 17:

The new government appears unlikely to implement the no-deposit, low interest scheme, My New Home, promised by the defeated Labor government – certainly not in a hurry. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Hard work finding the small steps of progress in Territory education

The preliminary NAPLAN results

 

You have to work hard to find a positive for the Northern Territory out of the preliminary results for NAPLAN – National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy – released on Friday. New Education Minister Robyn Lambley did, pointing to the percentage rate of improvement in the proportion of students at or above the National Minimum Standard in the Territory being stronger than in other jurisdictions. However, Mrs Lambley described the gains since 2011 as "marginal" and acknowledged that the Territory still has "the nation's poorest education outcomes", while longtime educator Ralph Folds says the results should be considered in the context of  the extensive additonal investment made in education, particularly in Indigenous schooling. In that light they are "disappointing". KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

 

Lifeguards needed to keep aquatic centre alive

The new operators of the aquatic centre are struggling to get enough staff for the extended operating hours required by the Town Council last week.
Rob Heinjus, of the Adelaide based firm Casa Leisure, says he hopes permanent residents will show more interest in becoming lifeguards to make making the $19m facility work.
Around 12 of them are needed during the summer season, and three to four when only the indoor pool is in operation.
It's hard to operate with itinerants such as backpackers or short-term visitors, he says.

Photo: The indoor pool of the aquatic center (courtesy Town Council).

Goodbye at last, Berrimah Line?

A possible cure for the Berrimah Line malaise is the by-product of the report by Alice-based remoteFOCUS – part of Desert Knowledge Australia – about fly-in, fly-out workers, presented to the Senate this week.
And this tonic would be far more potent than the pledges from either major party, invariably broken, that Central Australia will no longer be left out in the cold.
The answer could be a commission or authority, or a company established under the Corporations Act, wholly owned by the members, or some other legal mechanism, says Bruce Walker, the report's main author.
He tailored the recommendations to the Pilbara, where governance is driven by a sustained mining boom, but says they could easily be adapted to Central Australia, which now has the welfare industry as its main business.
Dr Walker says the background to the decades-long desire of people in The Centre to have control over their lives is a litany of neglect, misunderstanding and disinterest. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photos from the report – landscapes in Central Australia and the Pilbara.

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