After years of being mostly a "look, but don't touch" object, the Residency has been taken out of mothballs, and a stream of visitors and users counters assertions that the CBD is dead. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Heritage Alice Springs Coordinator, Tara Leckey, and volunteer Peter Kay in the living room.
Apart from embattled Chief Minister Adam Giles, Bess Price (Stuart) is the only front bencher in Central Australia after the resignation this morning from all his ministries by Matt Conlan (Greatorex, pictured). ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
This is the bottom line of Alice Springs tourism – declining since 2005, nosediving in 2011, flat as a pancake since then, but Tourism Minister Matt Conlan thinks he's doing a fine job. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.
"I want to get the festival up to a national level where it is considered on par with the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane festivals, not in terms of scale but of content and programming." That is the mission, as she describes it, of Mary-Jane Reynolds, the manager of the Alice Desert Festival. For the moment, bigger funding and closer ties with Aboriginal artists are still works in progress. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Katlend Griffin and Robbie Hoad.
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.
Tigerair CEO Rob Sharp has made it clear that "primarily demand and commercial viability of a route" were the most important factors which motivated the airline to cease flying to Alice Springs from Sydney and Melbourne on July 21. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The resumption of Tiger flights was celebrated with grand hoopla in April last year.
The missing faces in this crowd at the Dan Sultan concert on Saturday – and the rest of the Mbantua Festival – are those of the three Members of Parliament representing Alice Springs: Chief Minister Adam Giles (Braitling), Tourism Minister Matt Conlan (Greatorex) and Robyn Lambley (Araluen). Organiser Neville Perkins says 15,000 people attended the five day spectacular but he is "disappointed and disgusted" the three town Members were a no show. Bush MLAs Bess Price (Stuart) and Alison Anderson (Namatjira) attended. The inaugural festival is widely expected to become a major fixture for locals and a knock-out attraction for tourists. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Please note updates at FULL STORY from Bess Price, Adam Giles and Imparja.
A travelling police roadshow is no substitute for a full-time policing commitment in Alice Springs, says Shadow Minister for Central Australia, Matt Conlan (pictured).
Operation Shiloh, which will see up to 25 officers transiting through Central Australia over the next few weeks, is a stop gap measure which will bring little long term benefit to the town. [Media release.]