The Centralian advocate Tue 15 Apr 2008
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 61 no. 93
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 1 5 -A P R -2 0 0 8 P A G E : 1 1 C O L O R : C M Y K 2 0 4 2 0 2 /0 8 COMMERCIAL AND RETAIL Tourism body at work on anti-discrimination policy Rebecca Lollback ALICE Springs tourism industry has started work on a new antidiscrimination policy, which could be finalised within weeks. Peter Grigg The decision to develop the policy was made at a meeting with the Territorys Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Tony Fitzgerald last week. Tourism Central Australia general manager Peter Grigg said about 20 people attended the meeting. He said: We had representatives from across the board. There were indigenous and non-indigenous people, accommodation providers and government agency representatives. The meeting was called by Mr Fitzgerald after a group of Yuendumu women received national attention when they claimed they were sent away from the Haven Hostel because they were Aboriginal. Mr Grigg said the tourism industry was working together to make sure something like this doesnt happen again. He said: The outcomes of the meeting were very positive. Numerous strategies were talked about. We definitely do not tolerate any form of discrimination. We will be working in partner ship with the Anti-Discrimination Commission to develop an antidiscrimination policy, which will be available to all members of Tourism Central Australia. Everyone will then be up-todate on the current requirements. I dont think it will be long at all before the policy is in place it should be only a matter of weeks. I think the good thing is that we have a whole host of participants working together to ensure the best outcomes for our town. NT moves against trend NT is one of two states or territories to buck a negative national trend in home loan approvals. Only Tasmania, with a 2.2 per cent rise, and NT, where mortgage take-up grew by 0.7 per cent, recorded an increase. Nationally, the approvals suffered their biggest fall in four years, adding to confidence that interest rates will stay put. Economists said the decline in new mortgages was an early sign domestic demand was slowing amid gloomy consumer confidence. National housing finance commitments for owner-occupiers fell by 5.9 per cent in February, the largest slide since January 2004 and the first dip since October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed today. The commodities-rich state of WA suffered the biggest drop in home loan approvals, almost twice the national average at 11.6 per cent seasonally adjusted. The data was compiled in the same month the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised interest rates to 7 per cent, the highest level since November 1996. Home loan approvals fell in most states even before official rates were hiked again in March to 7.25 per cent. Body needed so NT can tell its stories David Curl Daniel Burdon Alice Springs film-makers like Shane Mulcahy and David Nixon need more support. A BODY to connect the NT story-telling industry and communicate with NT Government needs to be formed, according to local film-makers. But Australian Cinematographers Society NT president David Curl said the industry needed an NT-wide non-government body for all media. The wildlife documentary maker said: What we need to do is create a sustainable economy for filmmakers, whether they are producing wildlife documentaries or community films. This could evolve from a body like the Film and Television Association of the NT or create another non-government organisation. Mr Curl said the bureaucracies of government are not sufficiently supporting the local industry. He said: Theres a culture within government that they can just sit on their bums and do nothing bureaucracy has a real problem with change. The NT Film Office could not be contacted during the past week and referred questions to the media spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts. The spokesperson wrote in a media release: Its (the Film Offices) key role is to develop and grow the local industry, attract production to the Territory and celebrate a vibrant and innovative screen culture. Based in Alice Springs it has provided development assistance including grants for project development and production, as well as industry and screen culture development totalling $712,000. Additionally $243,000 was provided to local production of the childrens series Double Trouble and support to inbound productions of $330,000 to The Alice and $200,000 to Australia. The comment comes after interstate public relations company Pulse Communications visited Alice Springs to take good news stories about the town to interstate and international audiences. Mr Curl said: It went to tender last year, but I dont think many of the local film-makers would have applied. The government seems to design tenders to be won by interstate companies they have no faith in NT people. It is a sentiment shared across the board in local business and arts circles, according to FATANT vicepresident David Nixon. He said: This is really something that all arts and media have to deal with in the Territory. Mr Nixon said film, the media and story-telling arts needed to connect and communicate through an over-arching body, as FATANT is already a film and television representative body. Mr Curl estimated such a body would need a $2.5 million fund injection to start up. But Mr Nixon said it would not take huge amounts of money to set-up such a thing. He said: The film office is funded to fail. The current set-up does not work, so they might as well just put the money back into the arts grants department. What were looking for is something that is industry-regulated, not government regulated and distributed funds. We need a new mode of communication with the government, much like the minerals council or small business. Film-making and the storytelling arts are primarily about community development and its strangely out of step with the rest of their policies about lifting the capacity of society to not engage with the story-telling community. Its not just out of the arts we work across all the areas. The way its set up is flawed. The Watch This Space gallery is a great example for improving the community and it runs on the smell of an oily rag. We could create something like that, run and managed by local film-makers to develop and further the industry. Mr Nixon linked the idea to one of the final ten recommendations that arose from last weekends 2020 Youth Summit. Mr Nixon said the recommendation developed from a suggestion to put the spotlight on the contribution of the creative arts to social and community development. He said: What the government doesnt understand is that all the arts whether film or not the arts is a mechanism for lifting and improving the society not just selling it to tourists.