Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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

Home Issue 8

Issue 8

Graffiti by-law to stay

The graffiti removal by-law, requiring property-owners to remove graffiti or else face a possible fine, will stay. In a five to three show of hands at last Monday's Town Council committee meeting his colleagues rejected Alderman Eli Melky's motion to remove the by-law.

For his pains Ald Melky earned something of a dressing-down from CEO Rex Mooney, a rare intervention by the executive in aldermanic debate in my time of observing council meetings.

Mr Mooney objected strongly to Ald Melky's challenge that the by-law offended against the Local Government Act. As the Solicitor-General of the Northern Territory had approved the by-laws, this could not possibly be so, said Mr Mooney and Ald Melky's arguments were sending "the wrong message" to the community. KIERAN FINNANE reports. PHOTO: Graffiti aren't new to town – this one was on a wall in the industrial area in 2009.

Immerse yourself in this watery world

 

A darkened room behind a heavy black curtain in a gallery adds something of the anticipation  you feel at the cinema or in a theatre as the lights go down, heightening  the usual anticipation of an art show. And typically the artist working in this space strives for immersion – the viewer's in the artist's work. How apt this context for Suzi Lyon's work, Looking for Turtles. And how refreshing, invigorating – like a plunge into a deep pool –  to experience work of this nature in Alice Springs where digital media and installation continue to be relatively rare.

You don't need Lyon's evocative artist's statement (but do read it, at least afterwards) to understand, immediately, that this is a work about longing for transformative, transporting experience, to be taken out of the everyday.

All but one of her images – taken with a disposable camera – show the human figure or figures underwater, mostly not in conventional diving or swimming actions, but fully engaged nonetheless in moving through water. The freezing of this movement inscribes the images with a passionate expressiveness and intense physicality – arms and legs outstretched, hands and feet extended, backs arched, muscles clenched. You only normally see the human body as expressive as this in dance or sport or sex or dreams. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.

How the town has changed in my time

I've only been in Central Australia since 1990, came up from down south seeking adventure, like most people who come to the NT.

I didn’t realise that I would marry a local pastoralist and in doing so firmly entrench my future in this region.

This town was founded by business brought in from the pioneers of the countryside, the graziers who risked their life and their savings to venture forth into the unknown to start up a virtually unknown business in the middle of nowhere.

Nowadays the town seems to rely on mining, indigenous organisations and government staff and contracts to keep businesses afloat, with a bit of tourism thrown in for good measure.

Pastoralism seems to be forgotten at times, oh, except when the fires hit last year. LIZ BIRD, from Indiana Station, is pondering, from a little distance, the question of how The Alice has changed, in this week's Food for Thought.

LETTER: Attack on film crew – should we defer to criminals?

Sir,- In regard to the attack on the ABC film crew in the Todd River on February 8 there seem to be many in the community who are criticizing both the camera crew and the police.  These criticisms are unwarranted.

To begin with the film crew was not filming Aboriginal people, as some have suggested. They were filming Indian people as a part of a documentary.

However, had they been filming in the Todd River, it must be pointed out that the Todd River is one of the main tourist highlights of our town and it would be quite normal to take pictures of the Todd River, irrespective of whether there are people there or not, and irrespective of which race of people they might be. READ MORE AND FEEL WELCOME TO COMMENT.

Fuel rip-off: Town Council challenged to put their hands to the pump

The Town Council has been challenged to go into the fuel retail business, possibly as a joint venturer. Failing that they should form a collective bargaining group with other regional councils to negotiate a better deal on petrol prices for the community.

So urged Frank Zumbo, Associate Professor of Business Law at the University of New South Wales (pictured at left), for whom a fairer price at the pump around Australia, and especially in the regions, is an enduring research interest.

Invited to speak to council at their committee meeting last night, Prof Zumbo said motorists in Alice, as elsewhere in the regions, are getting "ripped off" by major oil company and retailer price gouging.

"When margins get close to 30 cents a litre at the retail end, you start to think there's something wrong in the whole process."

He based his estimation of the rip-off on a comparison of the average notional wholesale price of petrol around the country – 137.7 cents/litre – with the average retail prices in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs: these are 154.2, 146.1 and 165.5 respectively.

He surmised that the consistently lower price in Katherine is because the market has effective competition, while the consistently higher prices in Darwin and Alice are due to a lack of competition, with the major oil companies and retailers forming "a cozy club" with a "collective interest" in having their prices and profit margins as high as possible. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

Unseating an incumbent: not easy but not impossible

 

 

Mayor of Alice Springs Damien Ryan has only served one term and has time on his side for a return to office in the March elections. Only once in the 41 year history of the Alice Springs Town Council has an incumbent mayor been defeated. That was in 1992 when the former Assistant Commissioner of the NT Police Andy McNeill unseated Mayor Leslie Oldfield, who had campaigned on her impressive track record but offered no new policies. This unique event is analysed for the lessons it may have for the current mayoral contest by long-time observer of Alice Springs and NT politics, ALEX NELSON.

Bottoms up: A sign of the times

For those who think they've seen all the absurdity of liquor restrictions, we bring you this sign. The photo is from former Alice identity Col Saunders. The Liquor Commission says the sign is apparently  near Daly River. There are no drinking paddocks in the southern half of the NT.

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