The Centralian advocate Fri 4 Sep 2015
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
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FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4 2015 NEWS 09 V1 - CAVE01Z01MA FIGURES released by the NT Treasury have revealed just five First Home Owner grants have been applied for in Alice Springs since the scheme was altered on January 1. In comparison, 117 had been applied for under the old scheme during the first seven months of 2014. Araluen MLA Robyn Lambley is gathering support to push the government to overturn changes made to the grant in Alice Springs. Mrs Lambley put forward a motion in NT Parliament last Thursday calling for the government to Lambley in home grant push reverse changes made to the grants guidelines. The new guidelines meant only those purchasing newly built homes were eligible to apply. Mrs Lambley said she has already gained the verbal support of a number of her independent colleagues. The restricting of the First Home Owner Grant in Alice Springs has been an economic and social mistake, Mrs Lambley said in parliament. In Alice Springs we have a shrinking population and very few homes being built. Alice Springs is not a boom town. It went through a boom phase in the 1980s. Since then Alice Springs has remained stable, but by no means have we enjoyed the same level of economic and population growth as the greater Darwin region. Real Estate Institute NT southern region delegate Andrew Doyle has backed Mrs Lambleys move. We have been pushing government for the introduction of some form of incentive for first-home buyers to purchase existing property, and if Robyn is pushing to reinstate it back to the old form, well that would be absolutely fantastic and a huge boost for first-home buyers in this town, Mr Doyle said. The real estate industry has suffered a large loss in sales since the changes, he said. There has been a significant contraction in the number of sales, he said. That impacts on real estate agents, but it also impacts on conveyancers, on valuers, on the people that do the building inspections, pest control people. It has a massive impact throughout the whole of the town with all the associated industries. Executive director of the Master Builders Association NT David Malone warned against reversing the grant to its original state without proper research. The comment that Alice Springs isnt a boom town thats the truth, Mr Malone said. I dont have a problem if we make adjustments to policy to reflect the market consequences, the concern I have is always the same that people come out with vested interests. The real estate industry in particular is pushing this one, and it just always needs to be tested. Mrs Lambleys motion is expected to be debated in parliament on September 16. Matt Garrick CENTRAL Petroleum has assumed operational responsibility for the Mereenie Oil and Gas Field west of Alice Springs following completion of its 50 per cent acquisition from Santos. The company said Mereenie was considered the largest conventional oil and gas structure discovered onshore in Australia. Along with reserves at Palm Valley and Dingo, it supplies gas for power generation in Alice Springs and Darwin. The combined reserves have been identified as having potential to supply eastern seaboard markets if the North East Gas Interconnector goes ahead. The acquisition of Mereenie completes Centrals transition to a predominantly domestic gas producer, allowing it to become an initial producer into NEGI, managing director Richard Cottee said. Fields under Centrals operatorship should be the majority contributor of gas into NEGI and Central itself may well be the single largest contributor. Central believes that the acquisition of Mereenie adds to the certainty of NEGI being announced next quarter, allowing Central to benefit substantially from the rising gas price. Mereenie purchase complete A YOUNG driver was told he got lucky once after being fined on Tuesday at Alice Springs Magistrates Court for speeding. The 20-year-old was clocked doing 129km/h in a 60km/h zone on Barratt Drive early on June 13. He was spotted by a patrol car travelling in the opposite direction, and officers reported they could hear the mans vehicle accelerating as they executed a U-turn in order to catch him. Magistrate Daynor Trigg described his actions as extremely reckless. There are drunks that wander around, and animals in the area, he said. Barratt Drive is also a place where rock throwers are known to hang around you wouldnt want to be hit by a rock at 129km/h. The driver was fined $400 plus a victims levy, and disqualified for driving for four months. Magistrate Trigg told the driver if he were caught driving in the next four months he could face imprisonment. A good friend of mine in Darwin, his son died a couple of months ago. One moment of stupidity can have lifechanging or life-ending circumstances, Mr Trigg said. Fine for reckless driver, 20 A MAN who allegedly faked being a nurse and treated patients in Far North Queensland for eight weeks was extradited from Alice Springs to Cairns on Tuesday. Nicholas Crawford, 33, was flown under police guard from Alice Springs, facing 115 criminal offences including assaulting patients through medical mistreatments at the Aurukun Primary Health Centre, where he allegedly pretended to be a nurse. It is alleged he gave injections to babies and administered painkillers to patients during his two months in the Western Cape York community. Mr Crawfords bail conditions required him to stay with family in Victoria, but last week he was found north of Alice Springs. Local law enforcement revoked his bail conditions after he was found wandering in the desert. He had to spend a night in hospital after suffering from dehydration. Alice Springs magistrate John Birch placed Mr Crawford into the custody of Cairns detectives who went to Alice Springs to supervise his return to Far North Queensland, where he faced court. Police are also investigating claims of similar conduct in Darwin, and he is also accused of falsifying nursing registration documents in Western Australia. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has previously revealed a total of 14 civil charges relating to false registrations had been filed in magistrates courts of Cairns and Perth. Fake nurse accused extradited Nicholas Crawford is escorted by Cairns detectives back to Cairns from Alice Springs airport on Tuesday. Picture: REX NICHOLSON now available at CENTRALIAN MOTORS. 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