"There is nothing on our desk, to seek approval or otherwise," says a spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, in response to apparent claims that the Mbantua Festival will get a further grant from the Aboriginal Benefits Account (ABA), beyond the $1.3m it has already received. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Jessica Mauboy, star of one of the Mbantua Festival's big-ticket events.
UPDATE 7:40am Friday, January 3:
A staffer for Senator Scullion has issued the following statement: "The Minister hasn’t yet received anything from the ABA for another grant. When he does (and we understand it won’t be far away) it will be given appropriate consideration. That’s all we can say for now until the Minister makes a determination."
Locals got a glimpse last night of the spectacle the Mbantua Festival will be presenting on October 9 to 13. The magic of the sun setting on the rocks by the Telegraph Station waterhole was the backdrop for dances (see video on FULL STORY page) by Arrente women and men, to the chants and boomerang clicks from a group of men sitting under a gum tree on the banks of the Todd. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTOS, top: The Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) Dance Group. Centre: Members of the Mpwereingke Anapipe dance troupe, Naree Riley, Ainslie Gorey, Miranda Doolan, Sheena Turner and Anya Riley.
Music, magic and messages marked the street parade launching the Alice Festival on Friday. The spectator crowd was small but those who came saw people in great costumes, lively dancing, bare bellied beauties, promoters of solar and opponents of nuclear power, lots of smiling children including the famous Drum Atweme drummers, people from all over the world who made Alice their home, and even a prancing poodle.