Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

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LETTER: Central Australian group tops Indigenous Governance Awards

The NPY Women’s Council topped the Indigenous Incorporated category at the 2012 Indigenous Governance Awards for its strong leadership in promoting the health, safety and culture of women in the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara lands, writes Jenny Maklin MP, Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Chairman of new tourist commission on hunt for experts to fix industry

 

UPDATE on Saturday's report: Interview with tourism supremo.

 

SATURDAY'S REPORT:

Both new tourism supremos announced so far by Minister Matt Conlan are Darwin-based although portions of Tourism NT, including new CEO Tony Mayell, will be moved to Alice Springs – where the organisation was located for many years.

Tourism Central Australia (TCA) chairman Jeff Huyben has not returned calls from the Alice Springs News Online but a local tourism figure, Deborah Rock, a former member of the TCA board and an unsuccessful Labor candidate in the August 25 NT elections, says it is still premature to criticise key people.
It will be interesting to see who else is appointed to the Tourism Commission to be set up, she says.
Mr Conlan yesterday nominated Michael Bridge (pictured) as its chairman. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Minister's planning decision flies in the face of Alice locals

Planning Minister Gerry McCarthy has rejected the submissions from the Alice Springs Rural Area Association (ASRAA), which represents about 70 members, and from an undisclosed number of individual objectors, by giving permission to a land owner in Petrick Road to develop blocks substantially smaller than is permitted in the town plan.
ASRAA chair Rod Cramer says he had not been contacted by Mr McCarthy, nor by Karl Hampton, the Minister for Central Australia over the issue.
The minimum block size in the area is two hectares but Mr McCarthy gave permission for three lots of 1.79 ha, 1.8 ha and 1.56 ha, respectively.
The town council commented only on the application's technical aspects of roads, stormwater and other services, says Greg Buxton, Director Technical Services.
He says while the council was at liberty to comment on other issues it did not, because the NT Government authorities were unlikely to "pay attention" as the council has no role in questions of zoning.
This is a long shot from what the new Labor Government, through its Minister Peter Toyne, proclaimed in August 2001: “Labor [will] open up the town planning process, shrink the powers of the Minister to override the Development Authority, make it fully representative, give it a much greater autonomy from the Minister, and link it much more closely to local government."

NOTE: There are 1512 lots in Alice Springs in zone SD (single dwelling) over 1,000sqm. These are proposed to qualify for a second dwelling.

[Declaration of interest: The author of this report is a rural resident, a long time member of the ASRAA and an objector to the application.]

PHOTO: Approximate outline of the block to be subdivided. Google Earth.

Burns shoots blanks at Anderson

NT Minister Chris Burns, who will not be contesting the NT election in August, is spending a great deal of time hounding MacDonnell MLA Alison Anderson.
Last week he tabled in Parliament an undated hand-written memo on Papunya Community Council Inc letterhead, advising its accountant, Peter Vroom, that a "Toyota Landcruiser Reg No 4528 254 was exchanged for three cars from A Anderson and S Hanley. This was agreed to at a council meeting 28-6-94. The three cars were donated to Dickie Brown, Sammy Butcher and Tobias Raggett."
The note is signed by Ms Anderson and the reported recipient of one of the cars, Mr Butcher.
What Dr Burns is seeking to make of this event 18 years ago is this: Ms Anderson was lying when she claimed earlier that she had "never benefited from any transactions at Papunya involving motor vehicles" as Dr Burns quoted her, because she had asserted never to have owned the three cars in question. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: The memo.

Conroy's NBN rollout timetable is a guessing game

Who likes a good old puzzle? Try this one for size.
"The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today announced 65,200 Northern Territory homes and businesses will have access to National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre services under NBN Co’s first three year fibre rollout plan."
Yes, but three years from when?
"The indicative three year rollout plan lists the Northern Territory locations where construction of the national fibre network will begin between 1 April 2012 and 30 June 2015."
That's a margin between next week and three years plus three months from now.

So it's just an "indicative" plan, yes?
"Locations where work will begin before 30 June 2015."
That's three years and three months from now.

[See FULL STORY for locations.]
"Summary of three year indicative rollout plan."
Here's that word "indicative" again.
"This [meaning the dark green blotches on the map pictured] is the NBN rollout activity in your area."
Note: It seems the farm areas will miss out. Will they?
"Fibre | Work to commence within three years - we will commence work in your area from Jun 2013."
That's actually one year and three months from now.
On ya, Steve. Keep 'em guessing.

Haggle over empties and crushing questions about town council's glass machine

What's an empty beer can worth? The container deposit saga goes on.

While the depot operator says he's still below break-even point, it seems the Alice Springs Town Council's glass crusher – bought from Queensland with a grant from the NT Government – is a white elephant: it can do in just four days all the crushing the town needs in a year.

The council, after negotiations by the Mayor, rejected a joint venture deal with a local business which was buying a crusher, capable of also processing rocks and old concrete.

The deal would have saved the ratepayer more than half a million dollars. Council CEO Rex Mooney says: "There was no formal proposal" and the equipment bought by the local company would not be suitable.

Meanwhile beverage manufacturer Lion Nathan has issued a media release "firmly" rejecting allegations of profiteering in implementing the the NT government's container deposit scheme and describing it as "expensive and poorly designed".

And Environment Minister Karl Hampton says: "The glass crusher belongs to Alice Springs Town Council – any [questions about the] use of the glass crusher and plans should be directed to them."

ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTOS: The "largest glass crusher in regional Australia" (top, courtesy Town Council) and Kym Schiller sorting empties into no less than 24 categories.

Macklin spokesperson: Dept looking at Lhere Artepe, Darryl Pearce deals to check ABA funds 'have been used appropriately'

A spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said this afternoon she understands the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is currently looking into issues surrounding the use Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) funds by a company linked to the Lhere Artepe native title organisation.

The spokesperson said this was to "ensure that all ABA funds have been used appropriately.

"Grants from the ABA are made to support projects which benefit Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”

The Alice Springs News on Tuesday reported it had obtained an email exchange revealing a bitter dispute about the purchase of shares in a company.

The exchange casts more light on the deal by an affiliate of Lhere Artepe. However, the main players are keeping mum on what appears to be an unfolding scandal.
The company, CDE Civil, collapsed soon after the majority shareholding was bought by Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd.
ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Give tourists what they want

Tourism Minister, Malarndirri McCarthy says a new Tourism Strategic Plan is needed to guide the industry from 2013. Will Alice still have a tourism industry then, and what needs to happen to ensure we will?  Deborah Rock (pictured) gives her views in our Food For Thought series. She has been in the tourism industry for 20 years, is currently running a Bed and Breakfast, and has a history in sales, marketing, car rentals, tours, inbound and promotion in Sydney and overseas.

She says the cost of visiting The Centre has changed patterns of investment and we need to revitalize our image: We should become Australia’s Adventure Capital, the Capital of Aboriginal Culture and Bush Foods.

Deb says: "We are an amazing and unique destination and it all starts with believing in ourselves."

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