Under the roll-out of Alcohol Mandatory Treatment across the Territory, the Alice Springs assessment centre will be located at the secure care facility (pictured) adjacent to the Alice Springs gaol, on the South Stuart Highway, says Health Minister Robyn Lambley.
The failure of a magistrate to order restitution following a burglary at the Road Transport Hall of Fame will spark a protest by her and supporters outside the Alice Springs courthouse, says the hall's CEO, Liz Martin.
She is also a town councillor.
The heist netted three burglars more than $23,000 in cash. Of that $8500 was given to a man who later spent it on a car.
The man, Michael Foster, appeared before Magistrate David Bamber on April 15 charged with receiving the amount and with several other offences. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.Photo: Damage caused by the alleged burglars.
Discovering the "underlying drivers of problems to achieve long term systemic change".
"Creating new ways for Aborigines and others to work together."
"Building capacity and innovating new approaches."
It's all part of an impressive agenda, but will Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) get its hands dirty and apply its objectives on the ground, where they are most desperately needed, right on its doorstep, here in Alice Springs?
That would, of course, require naming names – elected people not doing their job, highly funded yet inadequate or corrupt NGOs, incompetent government departments. Will DKA have the bottle?
On the day this week when the Alice Springs News Online spoke to CEO John Huigen about DKA's long-term plans we also visited Hidden Valley, one of Alice Springs' notorious town camps: there have been two recent attacks on police, with rocks and sticks; there was a stabbing killing late last year; camp dogs were eating people in 2008. Alcohol abuse is rife although its use is prohibited.
As we were talking to prominent camp dwellers Mark Lockyer and Patrick Nandy (pictured) in one house about overcrowding and unwelcome visitors, next-door police were taking away in handcuffs a man suspected of sexual assault.
Yet in that same camp is a "cluster" – a concept of which DKA is very fond – of people whom most would consider to be leading normal lives. By ERWIN CHLANDA with additional reporting by KIERAN FINNANE.
PHOTO: Patrick Nandy outside his mother-in-law's new house in Hidden Valley.
Ella Simon was an Aboriginal woman whose affectionate, white father lived near Taree in New South Wales, while she grew up on nearby Purfleet Mission, in the years before WW2. Ella married and farmed vegetables with her husband for the Army during the war, before writing an account of her life, Through My Eyes (1978: 126). In those days, Aboriginal people weren’t allowed to visit hotels or any other licensed place. They weren’t allowed to be in possession of alcohol. It was a total ban, but as Ella notes “there was always some ‘sympathetic’ white man ready to buy his black ‘pals’ a drink or two, or sell it to them for a bit of profit, and this was the cause of a lot of the disturbances – the white man willing to give it to the black man if there was something in it for him."
As the Alice Springs prison system overflows, it’s clear that not much has changed in the past eighty years. There’s an argument that “people drink for different reasons”, but with the annual, national cost of servicing abuse at $15b, a case can be made for the State to draw a line with a regulatory process aimed at reducing both this cost and unacceptable levels of self-harm. Comment by RUSSELL GUY.
Image: A child’s drawing found in a beer garden beside the Stuart Highway, NT.
If the new town council's Gang of Four – Steve Brown, Eli Melky, Dave Douglas and Geoff Booth – act as block they will need an extra vote to achieve a majority and that vote is most likely to come from Liz Martin (at left) or Brendan Heenan (above).
Both were re-elected, clearly are of a similar mindset to the Four on many issues, and also operate businesses.
In fact they are top performers in the vital yet currently seriously depressed tourism industry: Councillor (Cr) Martin runs the National Road Transport Hall of Fame. While last year saw the shutters going down for many businesses in the CBD, Cr Martin says the Hall had its best year ever. She's just signed a $1m deal to build a display hall for Mack and Volvo trucks, rivaling the existing Kenworth complex. And Cr Heenan's MacDonnell Range Tourist Park is like a small, very well run town that wins Brolgas year after year.
At least one council project, spending the $5m NT Government grant for rejigging the CBD, is facing delays not of council making: no-one knows where many of the underground water, electricity and sewage mains are located, so there's no start date in sight for any digging. How could the new council break though on that front and what else can we expect from the holders of the balance of power in the 12th Town Council? ERWIN CHLANDA talked with them over the Easter weekend.
For "effectively wrecking" a man's life and that of his partner, Reuben Nadich, who shot his victim in the back at Junction Waterhole on May 29 last year, was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. The shooting was at close range and without provocation or reason.
Mr Nadich's "moral culpability" was equivalent to that for murder, said Justice Judith Kelly in her sentencing remarks last Thursday. KIERAN FINNANE reports.