"There appears to be a large number of people subject to Compulsory Income Management who are unlikely to benefit from this measure, and for whom the restrictions of income management can create unnecessary frustrations and challenges." So conclude the authors of an independent evaluation of the controversial measure in their first report. A second report, not due until 2014, will include an economic evaluation, answering the question of whether the measure delivers value for money compared to other interventions. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
The Australian Government today announced improvements to the delivery of income management in the Northern Territory, in response to findings from an interim evaluation report. The interim report by the Australian National University, Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Walesfound that among Indigenous people on income management in the Northern Territory, there was a statistically significant perception of an improvement in their ability to afford food.
Source: Media release by Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin
During my time as an alderman of the Alice Springs Town Council I fought the introduction of a media policy for years. It came before council twice. It was defeated twice.
The core reason was that elected members are not bureaucrats, not staff members. They do not represent the council but the ratepayers and the people of Alice Springs, writes Murray Stewart.
A formal complaint has been lodged with the Town Council about the conduct of Councillor Steve Brown. The complaint comes from Jimmy Cocking, coordinator of the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and it's about the letter to the editor in which Cr Brown accuses Alice Water Smart of having a "blow-in Enviro-Nazi mentality". Mr Cocking (pictured above during a protest against the nuclear waste dump) says the letter breaches clause 5.4 of council's Code of Conduct for Members which requires of them that they "treat members of the public fairly and equitably and with respect, courtesy, compassion and sensitivity". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
In a decision that turns the 16-year-old native title dispute resolution system on its head, landowners will soon be left high and dry – forced to fund their own representation in native title disputes, while claimants will continue to be funded by taxpayers, writes Warren Truss, of
Alice Springs police are not waiting to be called before acting on domestic violence, Detective Superintendent Brent Warren told the Alice Springs Town Council last night. He said domestic violence assaults make up "a huge component of our violent assaults work" and that detectives are working on "a more proactive approach in dealing with victims and offenders": "We're monitoring people who've got domestic violence orders, going out and doing checks without being called. We're checking on a person: if they're a high risk victim we're making sure the offender is not around at the time or otherwise breaking the conditions of that order." KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Police make an arrest in a town camp. Photo from our archive.
The Town Council has taken the first step towards getting stakeholders in the Todd and Charles Rivers around the table to consider the rivers' management issues. It recently appeared reluctant to respond to a call by Arid Lands Environment Centre coordinator Jimmy Cocking to take "leadership" in the management of the rivers. CEO Rex Mooney and Mayor Damien Ryan have since revisited the minutes of the Environment Advisory Committee, where Mr Cocking put his motion, and it was clear that the committee wanted council to consider a meeting of stakeholders, says Mr Mooney. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: The normally dry bed of the Todd River cuts a green swathe through through the middle of Alice Springs, as seen clearly from the top the range at Heavitree Gap.
A course offered by Batchelor Institute uses iPads, mobile phones, the Internet and Facebook for learning. But these are the tools. The critical thing is connecting with students' aspirations and lives that are often very challenging – like Lena Campbell's. She lost her oldest son to gang violence. She's making digital photo stories on the iPad with strong messages to young men to think about the choices they are making. And in the process she's getting over her grieving. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
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.