There are two very different views of a development proposal that will come before the Development Consent Authority on December 12. The applicant sees a "new, modern and fresh looking building within the CBD, adding to the sought after 'vibrancy'"; a heritage conservationist sees "a HUGE industrial shed" degrading the heritage values of the listed Railway Terrace cottages. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Above: Architect's drawing of the shed as seen from the Stuart Highway. The heritage-listed outdoor dunny will still peak over the fence.
I was disgusted by a recent presentation to Council on the Water Smart Program. It is supposed to be a forerunner to the setting up of a group to draw up water rules for our community, whether we want those rules or not, writes Steve Brown.
The recharge of the Mereenie bore field, from which Alice Springs is getting most of its water, is moving into sharp focus again as Alice Water Smart is looking for ideas about saving the precious fluid.
Councillor Steve Brown, who heads up the council's environment committee, says the NT Government owned Power Water Corporation (PWC) is "vandalising" the bore field by sustained pumping of too much water.
He says there should be an independent study of how the resource is used, and he is certain that a significant recharge can taking place. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image:NT Government.
Business sources say the local firm EXECTech which had more than 30 employees has closed its doors.
Its principal, Brendan Peterkin, did not respond to several requests for comment, but an employee told the News he'd received a phone call last week stating the firm had been put into liquidation and he was to return the company vehicle.
EXECTech described itself in recent advertising as "an established and successful commercial electrical services organisation". Photo: The firm's premises in Whittaker Street.
From a distance, it looks like a row of softdrink dispensing machines, but up close it is revealed in all its glory as a heavy-handed piece of signage. Taking its cue from the Big Banana and the like, it's a row of Big Books, there to hit you over the head with the fact that this is a public library. KIERAN FINNANE comments.
A return of public sector investment in tourism to at least 2008/09 levels, marketing better suited to new realities, more money for parks and roads, a resolute push for a second airline, coordination of special events, an industry task force to drive a "whole of government" approach to its issues and a minister "who can devote significant time and energy" to these tasks: It's all on a wish list presented to the new government by Tourism Central Australia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured are chairman Jeff Huyben with board member and acting general manager Laurelle Halford.
Ex Alice Springs girl Puddy Gardner would like the opportunity to return to her roots and represent the race that means a lot to her: “Being an Alice girl at heart, it would be a great privilege to be able to represent my hometown and support all the participants – including my sister who races!”
The search for the 2013 Tatts Finke Desert Race Inland Electrical Grid Girls is only three weeks in and the record of applicants looks to be broken very soon.
They are the official ambassadors of the race which sees over 650 compete in an off road race on a motorcycle, quad bike, buggy or car from Alice Springs to Finke and back again over the Queen's Birthday Weekend in June each year.
This year 59 beautiful applicants from across Australia applied in the three month search period. The 2013 search looks to smash this with already 55 girls applying in the first three weeks.
Alice Springs residents who entered a challenge to save 10 to 20% on their household energy use in one year have saved over $3000 in the first six months of the competition, says Sam Latz, Alice Solar City General Manager.
It's fun, moving, full of optimism and high energy: a video clip made by Year 11 Indigenous students at Centralian College has won a national competition, earning $15,000 for their school. As with all the high schools in the CREATivE CHANGE competition, they based their entry on the Warumpi Band’s Blackfella/Whitefella, developing an original rap and using Garage Band to create their own backing track. The lyrics are simple but meaningful: "We're singing together / we're making life better ... We are all one mob / we all need an education / we all need a job / across this great nation ... " KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Among the students involved in the clip are (from front) Ashley, Lavina, Lemona and Shania.
UPDATE Fri 1.30pm: Blackballed professor raises more issues: was student's livelihood threatened by Desert Knowledge CRC? Still no comment from the CRC.
The proposed co-operation between the Desert Knowledge movement and Charles Darwin University (CDU) is off to a rocky start with the apparent boycott of Professor Rolf Gerritsen.
He is the university's senior and most prominent member in Alice Springs, a frequent public commentator on a range of issues, as the Professorial Research Fellow in the region for the The Northern Institute. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Visitors who have boned up on Central Australia are likely to be expecting workers with black faces at the airport. They did – but none of these four were indigenous: Taxi drivers Harpreet Singh (from India) and Bruce Mahiangu (Zimbabwe), and security guards Gladys (from South Sudan but now – when asked where she's from – proudly saying "Australia") and Sam (Liberia). The town's cosmopolitan character has been enhanced by an injection of nearly 2,000 overseas migrants who had arrived in Australia during 2006 to 2011. They found The Alice to be a great place to find a job, a forum was told this week.
The population of Alice Springs, after a slow growth between 2001 and 2009, is now declining.
Old people are leaving. The proportion of working age people is on the way up.
There are gains in education. Many people from overseas are now working here.
Small bush towns seem doomed and the uncertain prognosis for our region is to have a non-indigenous population of just under 30,000 and an indigenous one of 20,000 by 2025. It's a mixed bag, reports ERWIN CHLANDA.