Territory Stories

Alice Springs news



Alice Springs news


Alice Springs news; NewspaperNT




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This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Community newspspers; Australia, Central; Alice Springs (N.T.); Newspapers

Publisher name

Erwin Chlanda

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 9 issue 26

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Erwin Chlanda



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

said how good it was to travel half the way round the world to get legless in a wood-panelled fake Irish pub. Okay, so maybe the article wasn't so compelling after all. As I was saying, backpackers that we welcome to Central Australia are a more discerning bunch. If we did a vox pop feature in the newspaper on backpackers coming to Alice Springs, the questions might be "Which out-of-focus desert fauna have you enjoyed photographing the most?" Or "How many kilometres have you travelled across the desert to get here and was it worth it?". Or "What do you understand about Indigenous culture having been here for a day?" Another valuable statistic from the Bureau of Tourism is that 57 per cent of backpackers plan their trip before leaving home. So what happens to the other 43 per cent? They walk up the steps to the plane asking themselves "Why am I leaving Copenhagen on this airline when I have not planned to do so? And I forgot to switch off the gas". When I was a backpacker, I planned to go to China and to not be able to read a single street sign or understand a single word spoken to me in Mandarin. You know what? That is exactly what happened. Crossing the border, I climbed aboard the first bus I saw and, hey presto, 26 hours later we pulled into a town that took me a day and a half to identify. It might even be more fun living on the international backpacker trail than actually being a traveller. The many languages you hear in the Mall and the interest that visitors take in the Alice Springs lifestyle make you feel like a minor celebrity. It is though we live in, say, a dusty version of Monte Carlo. I saw a group of glamorous people from the Mediterranean the other day. They were carrying even more glamorous photographic equipment. Just close your eyes, imagine the yachts and the sound of Formula One cars and you could almost be there. Especially if you have a vivid imagination. Getting back to that wholesome game for all the family, try spotting the previous stop-offs on the backpacker trail that visitors to the Alice have made. Make up a scoring system. The cramp-ons and the ice axes are easy (five points only). Try looking for Bolivian handbags (25 points), Indian bracelets (50 points) and Hawaiian board shorts (20 points). If you see a sad person gawping at backpackers, it's just me. Have 50 bonus points. DO IT YOURSELF VERGES, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THE ALICE TOWN COUNCIL. Report by EMMA KING. The Alice Town Council wants private property owners to beautify their own verges and is prepared to spend some money to help them do it. Council works manager Roger Bottrall says that $100,000 has been set aside in this year's budget for verge landscaping. This is on top of $50,000 carried over from last year's budget for verge landscaping on Gap Road. Says Mr Bottrall: "A lot [of the money] will be used for capital development on arterial roads and public areas, but some will be allocated to develop up and enter into some sort of partnership with property owners to improve and maintain their verges. "The concept has been approved by council, we are now working out the detail." According to Mr Bottrall, the council hopes to produce guidelines about what sort of verge developments will be allowed, provide technical advice about irrigation and appropriate plant species, and possibly provide heavy machinery, for example backhoes, depending on costings which are still to be finalised. However, at least one alderman is not happy with the proposal. Alderman Samih Habib believes the council should be developing its own verge beautification program, independent of local property owners. "The idea is good in principle, but what about properties where the owners are not interested in it?" Mr Habib asks. "What I am pushing for is for the council to start its own verge beautification program in town and work its way out, particularly in areas where there is high tourist traffic. "Council do not have a verge beautification program. "There is a difference between beautification and verge landscaping. "There is money for verges, but there is no planning or program for verge beautification. "$100 000 is not enough it doesn't go too far at all."

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