Fire authorities will be training unpaid volunteers to become arson investigators after last year 41% of the NT was burned, an area twice the size of Tasmania. Firebugs were to blame for up 80% of the blazes. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Fire fighters demonstrating hazard abatement to media this afternoon.
Australia is best placed to provide massive emergency food aid should catastrophes such as volcanic eruptions occur in Indonesia. A flourishing food export industry from north Australia, such as the live cattle trade, should be considered as a key component for insuring the long term food security of Indonesia and our other northern neighbours, writes Alex Nelson.
Newly elected NT MLA Bess Price’s call for Traditional Owners to step up to the negotiation table is sound. In my opinion, too much government grant money is dispersed by people who have little idea of the inner workings of Indigenous cultural obligation and much of it builds a consultancy empire interstate, writes Russell Guy.
'If you drop a stitch, or forget the code, it all unravels – and so does your mind'
Artist Nicky Schonkala has had a big month: she was responsible with Ralf Haertel for the much admired knit graffiti on the Alice Springs Courthouse; she collaborated with Dave Nixon on an exciting video work, Dimension Elevator Mk2, shown as part of the Watch This Space exhibition, Shift, and now Common Threads has opened, again at Watch This Space. It's not quite a solo show as she has chosen to collaborate with artists working in other disciplines to extend its scope but it is her textile art that is very much centre stage, purposefully treading (or blurring) a line between art and craft, asking the question of herself and viewers, what is art and what is craft? Is there a difference and how do you decide? Fellow artist PIP McMANUS addressed these questions when she opened the show last night.
Pictured: Dancer/choreographer Miriam Nicholls responding to the work at the opening last night. Photo courtesy DAVE NIXON.
It ended the longest dry spell in Alice Springs but it was hardly a deluge: 3.2 millimeters of rain fell at the airport, beginning just before midnight. Now the trough causing it has passed, at 11am this morning, clouds are clearing and three fine days are forecast. According to the Met Bureau there is still rain falling up high, but it's not reaching the ground.
Photo: Droplets glistening on the leaves of a witchetty bush on a rural block near the airport as the sun broke through this morning.
The delivery of the Early Childhood education program by the MacDonnell Shire in the Ikuntji / Haasts Bluff community is appalling, says a former employee, Susannah Taylor. The shire responds that it delivers Early Childhood Education programs in nine communities "and due to the success of our programs has recently been awarded a tenth community".
Dangerous prisoners can already be detained indefinitely if the Supreme Court so decides, so why is the Territory's new Attorney-General, John Elferink, wanting to add legislation in this area? Mr Elferink introduced the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Restraint Bill while in Opposition and recently announced his intention to reintroduce it. It was among the matters of concern discussed with him by President of the Criminal Lawyers Association, Russell Goldflam, in their first meeting since the election last week. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
... while Darwin's offending is significantly better in many categories
The picture of offending in Alice Springs over the last five years is not pretty in most categories. Importantly our homicide and related offences are not climbing but in most other categories the increases are very significant. This is revealed in the June Quarter 2012 crime statistics released by the Mills Government yesterday. Darwin, by contrast, experienced significant decreases in most categories. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Crime stats released: there is little difference in the number of alcohol-related assaults in Alice between 2010-11 and the BDR year, 2011-12, however alcohol-related assaults in Alice have increased by 47% since 2007.
The success of the government's mandatory rehabilitation of habitual drunks will be measured by things like fewer protective custodies, fewer presentations at accident and emergency departments – the usual benchmark indicators of social order, says the Territory's new Attorney-General John Elferink (pictured at left). And while the 800 or so "frequent flyers", as he calls them, are incarcerated in the "camps" intended for them, they will be off the streets – and that also will be a measure of success. KIERAN FINNANE speaks to the Attorney-Genereal.
Central Desert Shire lost 6.6% of its population in the five years from 2006, according to the 2011 Census. And this was with a gain of 11.7% in its non-Indigenous population. Its Indigenous population fell by 11.1%. This was one of the standout snapshots from a presentation by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to the Alice Springs Town Council last night. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
When the new government gets cracking on its promised work camps for prisoners it needs to look no further than the Larapinta Trail, much of which was built by inmate labour in the 1990s. The current dry spell and the escalating threat from weeds to our neglected national parks, add urgency for a cheap workforce that can be deployed at short notice. The need to halt the decay of our prime natural assets, which should be bringing home the bacon for our flagging tourism industry, makes a good argument for change for people now doing time in what some regard as holiday comfort. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured: Botanist Peter Latz with wattle burnt in a bushfire.
The Town Council's Director of Technical Services, Greg Buxton, would appear to have been 'freelancing' (as Tony Abbott would put it) when he released earlier this month the 2004 draft report on council's parks. When the issue of public consultation was raised in last night's council meeting, Mayor Damien Ryan said it was Mr Buxton's decision to present the report, he didn't understand why he had done so and looked forward to finding out. Mr Buxton was not at the meeting to be asked. KIERAN FINNANE reports.