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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.

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Issue 47

Government is recruiting for the national Aboriginal art gallery

By KIERAN FINNANE Jobs ads were placed about a week ago for a "senior director" for the NT Government’s proposed national Aboriginal art gallery. Applications...

A touch of light: the magic of feathers and pigments in the sun

By MIKE GILLAM Photo© Mike Gillam In the great cities of the world, sparrows (including different races, hybrids and species) and feral pigeons compete for crumbs...

Council’s focus is on all youth, not those with ‘social challenges’

By KIERAN FINNANE The Town Council’s newly announced youth programs will be for “all young people”, offering “more engaging activities” in town and won’t be...

New General Manager for Tourism Central Australia announced

Tourism Central Australia has appointed Jaclyn Thorne to the position of General Manager from January 14.

LETTER: Mini Budget courtesy the Toe Cutter and others resurrected

In the NT Government's mini-budget is a strong element of deja vu: Three of the panel of experts appointed by the Mills Government for the current exercise (paid for at great cost to long-suffering taxpayers) were also prominent at the time of the Expenditure Review Committee process of 1990/91 writes Alex Nelson, of Alice Springs.

COMMENT: The Treasurer's too hard basket

Tomorrow the new government will release its mini budget. Will the statement by Treasurer Robyn Lambley include the answer to the big question: why does governing the Territory, per head of population, cost five and a half times as much as the national average, asks ERWIN CHLANDA.

LETTER: Water debate 21 years ago – similar in substance, but not in tone

There was a warning of impending water restrictions (never implemented) 21 years ago when the town was supplied by water from the Mereenie aquifer and the population was less than 10,000, writes Alex Nelson. While the substance of the ensuing debate was similar to today's, the tone was vastly different.

Protecting unborn children from grog damage

There is only one cause of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and that is prenatal alcohol exposure, in other words a pregnant mother's drinking. This can cause brain damage in the unborn child. A report released yesterday by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs looks at the "hidden harm" of FASD and sets out a national strategy to deal with it. Most of its recommendations concern the Commonwealth but two involve engaging with the states and territories. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

Pictured: A diagram from the report shows how, when a pregnant woman drinks, the alcohol is passed directly to the fetus through the placenta.

 

Income management: a lot of pain for little gain?

UPDATED November 30, 9.21am.

 

"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. 

Income management 'improvements' announced

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 Wales found 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

LETTER: A town council media policy is wrong on every count

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.

Brown's "blow-in Enviro-Nazi" blast draws formal complaint

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.

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