When the new government gets cracking on its promised work camps for prisoners it needs to look no further than the Larapinta Trail, much of which was built by inmate labour in the 1990s. The current dry spell and the escalating threat from weeds to our neglected national parks, add urgency for a cheap workforce that can be deployed at short notice. The need to halt the decay of our prime natural assets, which should be bringing home the bacon for our flagging tourism industry, makes a good argument for change for people now doing time in what some regard as holiday comfort. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured: Botanist Peter Latz with wattle burnt in a bushfire.
Ken Johnson's efforts in controlling exotic grasses and allowing native vegetation to re-establish on the east bank of the Todd in town have paid off with one spectacular dividend.
For three days running now, a flock of Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos have been attracted to this area, hanging around for hours at a time. They're attracted to the seeds (not least the prickles!) which they are munching out on.
I'm fairly sure they first turned up only three days ago, as I walk across the river every day and never noticed their presence earlier. The other give-away of their initial presence was that they caused quite a stir amongst the local crows, which are not used to the presence of black cockatoos in this location. There was a bit of a barney going on! It all seems to have settled down now. ALEX NELSON reports.
PHOTO at top (in the rural area of Alice Springs) by ERWIN CHLANDA. Urban cockies by ALEX NELSON.