While South Australia has been fighting a war against buffel for decades, and last year declared the grass to be a weed, in the NT the feral plant has been allowed to spread practically unchecked. There is now a major infestation of Palm Valley, one of The Centre's prime social and economic assets. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
RePower Alice, water allocations, environmental regulations, battling buffel, making money: Busy year for ALEC. PHOTO: Staffers Carmel Vandermolen (left) and Nicole "Peachy" Pietsch flank director Jimmy Cocking at Friday's first birthday celebration of the new offices in Gap Road.
Is buffel the botanical canetoad, only worse? Will it displace our iconic wildflowers such as the perennial daisy (pictured)? That's the question PETER LATZ is raising. Central Australia's most prominent botanist, widely published, gives a troubling account of short-sightedness and government incompetence – and a glimmer of hope.
Two ministers with key roles in The Centre's troubled tourism industry have declined to be interviewed about their failure to get visitor numbers up, and to arrest a major threat to the West MacDonnell Ranges national park. Tourism Minister Matt Conlan relied on a written statement, short on specifics, from a minder to respond to questions from the Alice Springs News Online. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Trekker thigh-deep in the weed buffel on the Larapinta trail about, three kilometers west of Ormiston Gorge last week. Parks Minister Bess Price, the custodian of the tourism industry's majors asset, the West Macs, is sitting on her hands.