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

Home Issue 41

Issue 41

Mall traders like the idea of an events coordinator

Having an events and promotions coordinator for the CBD is supported by 23 out 25 Todd Mall businesses surveyed by the Town Council. Fifteen of those businesses said they would sit on a reference group to provide input. Ten would be prepared to pay a levy to support the position, while another four said "maybe". KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

Pictured: A humble food van attracting customers during a recent night markets in the mall.

Mood change in council on grog issues?

UPDATED, October 23, 2012, 6.00pm: see FULL STORY.

 

Is the mood changing within the Town Council on the issues of alcohol availability in Alice Springs? I'm not talking about radical change but in a show of hands last night only three councillors supported [ED – a recommendnation to not object to] an application  by The NT Rock Bar to extend its trading hours by one hour each night, to 2am. Those councillors were Chansey Paech, Brendan Heenan and Geoff Booth. Mayor Damien Ryan (at right)  said he simply did not see the need to extend the hours. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

LETTER: CLP must listen to the vulnerable on alcohol

The CLP should listen to the experts and the vulnerable before making a decision on introducing alcohol into dry communities.  If children aren’t allowed to vote, how is that fair considering they are likely to be the ones most affected by this decision, writes Michael Gunner, Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy.

 

NT needs someone to 'call things honestly' says Havnen …

 

 

... but she surely gets it wrong when she suggests that 60% of working age Aboriginal men in remote NT have no income

 

UPDATE, October 16, 3.30pm: Centrelink Outreach teams visit most "very remote communities" once a month and sometimes more to ensure that people know about their entitlements. Click on FULL STORY  for detail.   

 

 

Olga Havnen (pictured), whose position of Coordinator-General of Remote Services was terminated by Minister for Indigenous Advancement Alison Anderson last Monday, told an Alice Springs audience on Friday that she was not worried about losing her job. But she was "really worried" about the absence of an "ongoing arm's length independent monitoring role". Without scrutiny and someone out there to "call things honestly", the big risk is getting to the end of the Stronger Futures decade and finding that not a whole lot has changed. "Guess who's going to get the blame?" she asked.

Broadly, she may well have a point. However, in her presentation there was a glaring example of a mishandling of data. That was around the question of labour force participation, with her rolling into one those Aboriginal men not in the labour force (NILF) and those not having an income. This was more than a case of passing confusion as she returned to underline her point later in the session.

"In the NT the rates of NILF for Aboriginal men for the last 20 years have been in the order of 60%," she said. " So if you've got 60% of Aboriginal men of working age who have no income, think about it for one second, what impact do you reckon it has on a household or a family? And what connection do you think that might have to the level of violence or to crime?" KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

LETTER: Central Australian group tops Indigenous Governance Awards

The NPY Women’s Council topped the Indigenous Incorporated category at the 2012 Indigenous Governance Awards for its strong leadership in promoting the health, safety and culture of women in the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara lands, writes Jenny Maklin MP, Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Desert Mob sales down but still 10 days to go

The much talked about decline in the art market seems to be reflected in sales from Desert Mob, the flagship annual exhibition from Aboriginal art centres across the central deserts, presented by the Araluen Arts Centre and Desart. Opening weekend sales were down by more than $125,000 from last year – $206,435 compared with $332,175. However the gap has closed somewhat with sales continuing steadily.

Changes to how child protection will be run in NT

No frontline jobs will be lost and there will be no forced redundancies, says Minister

 

UPDATED October 11, 9.14pm

 

Children and Families Minister, Robyn Lambley is putting her stamp on the portfolio with changes announced today to how those responsibilities will sit within government.  The Department of Children and Families will integrate with the Department of Education and Department of Health.  The Office of Children and Families will be established within the newly named Department of Education and Children’s Services. However, Ms Lambley is ignoring expert advice with its announced changes, according to the NT Opposition.  Shadow Minister for Children and Families Natasha Fyles says a key recommendation of the Bath Inquiry's 2010 Growing them strong, together report  was to establish a stand-alone agency, the Department of Children and Families, to oversee and implement the reforms.

 

Sources: NTG and Opposition media releases.

More must be done to restrict the flow of alcohol to those who abuse it, says Chief Justice

The Supreme Court in Alice Springs sees a 'seemingly never-ending stream of violence'

Chief Justice of the Northern Territory Trevor Riley (pictured) today added his voice to the recent calls for more to be done to "restrict the flow of alcohol to those who abuse it". He made his comments when sentencing 41 year old Errol Nelson for a violent assault on his wife in March this year. The couple had been together for about a year, were living at Areyonga but had come in to Alice Springs. Both had been drinking. Ever harsher sentences would do nothing to stem the "seemingly never-ending stream of violence" coming before the Supreme Court in Alice Springs, said the Chief Justice – "other measures must be taken". KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

 

Feeding the fed with 'rescued' food

 

 

 

A new scheme to make good use of slightly blemished supermarket food usually dumped will benefit more than 200 employees of the Aboriginal Tangentyere Council but not – it seems – the unemployed or destitute in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PICTURED are Coles Alice Springs manager Sarah Vivian and deputy manager, Glenn Harvey, with the kind of food provided for the program.

Unsuspected literacies in the bush

What happens if we stop looking at Indigenous literacy in terms of deficit – of what is not happening –  and instead look at what is happening? An educator with 20 years' experience in Indigenous education and also a linguistic anthropologist, Inge Kral, has written a book that does just that, focussing on the Ngaanyatjarra community of Blackstone in Western Australia. It's called Talk, Text and Technology and was launched this week at Red Kangaroo Books in Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

Pictured, from left: Maimie Butler, Inge Kral, Jennifer Green.

Centre on the outer in visitor trade with China, but commission head says Tourism NT 'will make every effort' to fix problem

UPDATE October 13:

“China will definitely be a key tourism destination for Australia and The Northern Territory for many years to come," says Michael Bridge, named by Chief Minister Terry Mills as the chairman of the yet to be formed NT tourist commission. "Tourism NT will be ensuring that every effort is made to entice those tourists to the NT."

 

Central Australia is on the outer in the quest for more tourists from China, according to Alice Springs businessman Steve Strike, who's been running a promotional office in Guangzhou for nearly three years.

He says there is clearly a confidential agreement, which is reciprocal, between Australia and China to ensure visitors return and are not given asylum if applied for. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Mr Strike as the guest on a TV program about photography in Qinghai, North-Western China. Mr Strike was showing photographs of Central Australia.

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