Tangentyere Council needs to come clean with the taxpayer about how it spends the $43m a year it gets from the public purse, says NT Minister for Indigenous Advancement, Alison Anderson (at left). She says the arganisation was previously responsible for all or most of the town's up to 19 camps, but is is now looking after fewer than half of them; is failing to stem the "rivers of grog" despite the camps' "dry" status, is incapable of curbing extreme violence; and is treated by the Shaw family as its private "dynasty". ERWIN CHLANDA reports.PHOTOS: Garbage in Charles Creek in 2010. The same location on Wednesday this week, after Ingkerreke has taken over from Tangentyere clean-up and parks maintenance functions.
A youth curfew during periods of period of "high social unrest," grappling with how to make parents pay for the damage done by their kids, an institution for young people out of control or with special needs, the government paying up to half a million dollars a year for some children in residential care services, massive cuts in Federal funding for child welfare and protection – these are some of the waypoints on the long and lonely road of the Minister for Children and Families, Robyn Lambley (pictured with constituents, photo supplied by her office). She spoke with editor ERWIN CHLANDA.
Hiccups in NT Government funding for ASYASS, an Alice Springs NGO providing emergency accommodation for young people, were given "urgent priority" in talks yesterday as the organisation was unable to pay some of its bills.
ASYASS director Brian Hayes said yesterday the problems had existed for five to six months but he was confident they would be fixed.
The News was unable to contact him today.
A spokesman for the government said: "Issues relating to payment of invoices were identified last week and are being resolved by the Regional Executive Director, Central Australia as an urgent priority."
Records are being broken across the country as we in Central Australia swelter through another week of the "heatwave" continues which many commentators are referring to as "the new normal". Yet it is not clear what the new Northern Territory Government’s approach to climate change will be but early indications are not encouraging, writes JIMMY COCKING, of the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC).
Amnesty International welcomes the announcement of a further 12 million dollars for property maintenance across Northern Territory homelands in the State Mini Budget, though remains concerned by the conditions attached to the funding, writes Sarah Marland, the organisation's Indigenous Rights Campaigner Coordinator.
In a decision that turns the 16-year-old native title dispute resolution system on its head, landowners will soon be left high and dry – forced to fund their own representation in native title disputes, while claimants will continue to be funded by taxpayers, writes Warren Truss, of
Central Australia is getting merely crumbs off the table in "a significant investment in bush roads across the Territory" by the Federal and NT Governments.
Malarndirri McCarthy, NT Minister for Regional Development, and Warren Snowdon, Member for Lingiari, announced today they would be committing $16m and $90m, respectively, to a "new Regional Roads Productivity Package" to "encourage growth and development in a number of communities and local industries".
The slice of that for Central Australia will be for "upgrading the gravel condition of priority sections" – no lengths or costs disclosed – of the Santa Teresa Way whose total length is about 70 kms.
Congress CEO Stephanie Bell (left) resigned yesterday as claims were being made that Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon (right), the Member for Lingiari, declined to fund another indigenous health service unless it operated under the control of Congress. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
The serious issues raised in yesterday's breaking news report about Congress are not new. The leaked letter was dated April 23, 2012. Two months later, what has the Congress Board and / or the Australian and NT Governments done?
Specific questions put by the Alice Springs News Online to the Congress Board President Helen Kantawara have gone unanswered today. Ms Kantawara's response to our report yesterday failed to address many of the concerns raised.
The News asked her today, in particular, what action the Board is taking about the apparently acknowledged inappropriate use of a corporate credit card by Congress CEO Stephanie Bell (pictured), to which there was no reference in Ms Kantawara's response.
The News also contacted Warren Snowdon, MHR for Lingiari and Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health, nominated by the Department of Health and Ageing as the Australian Government person for the News to seek comment from. Total silence, in keeping with his recent treatment of other legitimate enquiries by the News.
Meanwhile, the NT Department of Justice says they are enquiring to matters raised about the changes to Congress' constitution.
A committee of the Alice Springs Chamber of Commerce has hand balled the proposal for a national indigenous art and culture center to Tourism NT, which appears to have put it on the back burner.
Liz Martin, who runs the highly successful National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Sprigs, says the town may lose a major opportunity to Queensland where she understands a similar project is being mooted, apparently assisted by major mining interests.
"We should grab it by the horns and run with it," says Cr Martin who serves on the town council's Tourism, Events and Promotion Committee and was its chair person for the last three years of the 11th Council.
Says Tourism NT CEO John Fitzgerald: "Tourism NT has not taken over planning of the proposed centre."
Pictured: The sensational Canning Stockroute exhibition which enthralled visitors in Canberra and Sydney and indicated what a major national indigenous museum could be like, and what it could do for Alice. Photo by Tim Acker, Canning Stock Route Project. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.