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. 6 issue 46

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Erwin Chlanda



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

apprenticeship at Scorpion Auto Electrics mid year. His employer, Jim Harris, reports that he is "very impressed with the boy". "He's related to another member of staff, so they keep an eye on each other," says Mr Harris. "He's obedient, attentive, he asks sensible questions and he's learning quickly." At Kings Canyon, Jamie and Nathan Walker, and Lewis and Chris Clyne have found casual landscaping work close to their home community, Ulpinyali, just three kilometres away. Says Resort General Manager Michael Murtagh: "They have been very good at their jobs, and their attendance and punctuality haven't been too bad. "We're using the experience to build a rapport with them and them with us, and to develop their work habits. "When the opportunities arise we will offer them full time work," says Mr Murtagh. Meanwhile, the Central Land Council is assisting the young men to find further courses that would allow them to be more fully integrated into the resort workforce, for example, in housekeeping, and food and beverage service. While not the first Aboriginal employees at the resort, they are the first from local communities, to Mr Murtagh's knowledge. Five others of the original group at IAD left the course to undertake different studies, while six have stayed with the course. They are now joined by fresh enrollees to make a group of 15 and teacher Peter Lowson says "something has clicked": attendance has lifted from around 30 per cent to 95 per cent. The current students are Warlpiri residents of Alice Springs. They have all missed a lot of school, some can scarcely read or write, but they are keen to move as quickly as possible to productive work that will earn them an income. As a community project, and part of their course work, they chose to clean and repair the three bedroom house that seven of them live in - together with three adults and three younger children! It's been spick and span ever since," reports Mr Lowson. The boys are now talking about forming a "fix it" enterprise, while the girls, some of whom have demonstrated budding skills as painters, want to set up a young women's art centre on land adjacent to the IAD campus. RESORT AT AYERS ROCK ADAPTS TO THE DESERT. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Ayers Rock Resort is hardly skimping on creature comforts, yet its electricity consumption, per head of population, is 25 per cent lower than in Alice Springs. And while in The Alice, 2.5 billion litres of water are wasted through the town's outdated evaporative effluent system each year, every single one of the resort's 300,000 litres of waste water is being recycled. The bulk of it is used to irrigate trees, shrubs and lawns for the enjoyment of locals and visitors. PAWA's Col Krohn urges caution when comparing power consumption in the two population centres: Alice has more industrial activity. The resort accommodates two thirds of its population in hotels, camping grounds and caravan parks and achieves economies of scale through centralised cooking, air conditioning and laundry services. "It is a fact that water pumping in Alice Springs consumes a significant amount of electricity," says Mr Krohn. This raises the question how much The Alice would save in electricity if it stopped wasting its effluent. But on most counts the resort, built by the NT Government in the eighties, is much more cleverly equipped to cope with a desert environment. In summer, about 70 per cent of the hot water need in the main hotels is met by 2000 roof mounted solar panels, supplemented by gas fired boilers. From there, via temperature exchange mechanisms feeding into a secondary reticulation system, cooling as well as heating are piped throughout the resort. This process is governed by a computer, processing data every 60 seconds from sensors throughout the complex. The resort will not disclose how much it is paying the NT Government for its power. Resort technical services manager Barry Lindsay says this is "confidential information". The resort's smart systems for energy management are complemented by a range of measures to minimise energy needs. The five-star Sails in the Desert hotel deserves its name not only because of the unique appearance of its roof and shade structures, but also because they keep out much of the region's savage summer heat and winter cold, while letting light in. They cover the hotel's large lobby, restaurant and bar areas. The sails don't come cheap: an 11 square metre section costs $7000. The sail over the Amphitheatre alone is worth $78,000. With an expected life span of 20 years, and a guarantee for 13, the Swiss-made translucent PVC coated polyester fabric will need to be replaced soon. Other resort roofs look conventional but in fact feature a double metal skin: the outer layer reflects the heat. Air can move between the outer and inner roof and escape through an aperture at the top, where a semi-cylindrical structure keeps out the rain. The hotter the air gets in the roof cavity, the faster it flows out the top, dragging in cool air from beneath the eaves. The result is a reduction of temperature in the roof cavity, cooler rooms and less need for artificial cooling. Other energy saving design features are verandahs, facing large windows away from the sun, and window tinting. Surprisingly, the resort has no facilities for catching and using rainwater, although current exploration of ground water reserves, while promising, is still not conclusive. Mr Lindsay says there's not enough rainfall to warrant rainwater tanks: "The rainfall in the region is not enough to provide water with sustained quality over the period of a year." However, everything else to do with getting, using and reusing water is state-of-the art. The water pumped from the nearby Dune Plains Aquifer has a high salt level (up to 2100 ppm). Water for use in the resort is treated in an

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