Alice Springs Town Council and the Uniting Church say they will explore new avenues for funding the proposed meeting place and commercial development in the CBD after receiving notification the bid to secure a grant from the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) was unsuccessful. The $60m project was first reported by the Alice Springs News Online. Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon (pictured) did not respond to a request for comment today.
The Drug and Alcohol Services Association (DASA) is not answering enquiries from the Alice Springs News Online about the sudden resignation of its CEO, Paul Finlay (pictured), last Friday. The News has left messages with the organization, whose funding comes mainly from government sources, with most senior staff members and the management board. One reliable source confirmed Mr Finlay’s resignation and that Eloise Page is the acting CEO. And board treasurer, Miranda Daniels, said “DASA will make no comment on the issues”. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. See UPDATES.
His family and friends clapped and cheered in the court when Liam Jurrah was found not guilty by unanimous verdict this afternoon just before 2pm, but the man himself only smiled quietly. As he left the dock where he has sat for almost two weeks, he hugged his counsel Jon Tippett QC.
Outside he was immediately surrounded by media and, with a beaming Mr Tippett by his side, he calmly fielded questions. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Video by ERWIN CHLANDA.
For links to our complete coverage of the trial, see FULL STORY, below the video.
We are returning this story to the home page because we have received further government responses – as distinct from answers.
Leaving your home town to learn a trade is a tough call for anyone, even more so if you're an Aborigine living in a tight-knit remote community: while the bright lights may be alluring, the temptation of booze too often has catastrophic consequences.
Now a Cairns, Darwin and Adelaide based company has developed what may well be the answer: Don't take the people to the training, take the training to the people. By ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: Construction industry trainees in the APY lands.
Country Liberals leader Terry Mills pledged $2.5m "to transform the Anzac Hill youth centre into a Police and Citizens Youth Club".
It will "have access to youth workers and other appropriate support networks as well as organised activities and sports infrastructure," he said during a whistlestop visit to Alice Springs today.
"The existing centre will be re-developed in stages [no time frame is given] and the upgraded facility will include a cafe operated by the PCYC."
Asked how many blocks at the new Kilgariff suburb will be sold and at what price, he said the market would set the prices.
Will there be an amalgamation of prison and alcohol rehabilitation farms?
Mr Mills said these facilities would be for people failing to seek help.
"But if that is not sought [that would be] a breach of a court order and then there would be the intervention."
But Russell Goldflam, president of the Criminal Lawyers Association, says this is tantamount to re-criminalising drunkenness.
Mr Mills said there would be 20 extra police in Alice Springs permanently, "not just when some problem arises that causes embarrassment for the government."
He could not answer what new infrastructure the tourism industry could expect because the proposed new tourist commission had not yet been set up.
PHOTOS: Country Liberals leader Terry Mills and MLA for Araluen Robyn Lambley this morning, with reporters. A sketch of what the refurbished centre would look like.
As there was no opportunity for asking Mr Mills further questions this morning the Alice Springs News Online has emailed him these:-
• Would a CL government provide two more lots of $5m to the Alice Springs Town Council, as it requested, for the revitalisation of town centre? (The Labor commitment is for just $2.5m).
• What plans, if any, does the CL have for the development of horticulture and agriculture in remote areas to soak up the massive number of unemployed there?
The Facebook site Assist your local Alice Springs Police is "not about presenting racist remarks. It is about reducing the harm associated with crime and anti-social behaviour".
This appeal comes from Police Senior Sergeant Michael Potts (picture from Facebook) who earlier this week was listed on the site as its administrator.
Sgt Potts said in a posting yesterday, apparently referring to the Alice Springs News Online report, posted on Tuesday: "Due to a recent news article and some posts / comments that have been written I wish to clear up some issues.
"Firstly I am not an Administrator for this site although I have asked to be put back as one to enable me to make this post.
"The Administration of this group is now in the hands of the community and has been this way for about a week.
"It is clear that some people are using this forum for their own agenda and not for the aims that the group was developed for." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
The chair and founder of the Desert Sports Foundation, Murray Stewart (pictured), says Framptons Real Estate principal Andrew Doyle had withdrawn two teams from his company from a children's charity event.
Mr Stewart says he had a call from one of Mr Doyle's staff this morning saying Mr Doyle did not wish to "give money to Murray's charity".
The exchange followed the publication yesterday of a comment by Mr Stewart and his wife, Brigida, on a story in the current Alice Springs News Online edition.
Mr and Mrs Stewart expressed support for the News following this week's Supreme Court decision in a defamation case brought by the other Framptons principal, David Forrest.
Mr Stewart says Mr Doyle phoned him yesterday, expressing his annoyance over the Stewarts' comment.
Mr Stewart says after the cancellation today of the Frampton teams' participation he left a message for Mr Doyle about the matter but did not receive a response.
When asked by the Alice Springs News for a comment Mr Doyle emailed today: "It’s not true, publish at your own peril" and later provided a further comment.
We put this to Mr Stewart and he has subsequently spoken to Mr Doyle.
Of that phone call Mr Stewart says: "He said, with great clarity, 'following the phone call I had with you yesterday, I'm not prepared to spend David Forrest's money on that'." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
South Broken Hill and Alice Springs have a lot in common so far as their problems are concerned.
They couldn't be more different in their quest for solutions.
Empty shops, people leaving town, public facilities needing a facelift, the outback magic failing to lure the tourists in the numbers aspired to.
It seems The Alice could take a leaf out of South Broken Hill's book.
The poor cousin of the iconic mining town, South Broken Hill is separated from the main part of the city by a hill. As if out of sight, out of mind, the symptoms of decline set in two decades ago: shops in the main street closed. Some were turned into dwellings, some just stayed empty. Of 21 shops only 16 are occupied.
Now the push is on to get new tenants, and some short-time occupancies have been offered to artists and exhibitions.
In the long run the vigorous community action is aiming to turn Patton Village into a buzzy place for locals and a magnet for visitors. Bell's Milk Bar owner Jason King, as one of the leading lights, is spreading the message around the nation, especially through the Desert Knowledge Australia Outback Business Network. He says local government and the state government are regarded as stakeholders, "but we have to drive the changes.
"To bring Patton Village back to life, its people will have to do it." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
PHOTO: Its own community will bring South Broken Hill back to life. No-one else will.