Alex Nelson

Contributions

Radioactive recycling – how a phantom dump haunts the Centre

Jun 02, 2014 | Discuss

Radioactive recycling – how a phantom dump haunts the Centre

Alex Nelson The recent revelation by former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke that he supports the establishment of a radioactive waste dump in the Northern Territory, and that Chief Minister Adam Giles also supports this project (since confirmed by Giles), is hugely ironic in light of what occurred over this matter in the late 1980s – a time when Hawke presided as the PM of the nation and the CLP, never out of office, ruled the Northern Territory. A low-level radioactive waste dump to be located...Read more

The past shows troubled times ahead for the CLP

Apr 27, 2014 | 1 Comment

The past shows troubled times ahead for the CLP

Alex Nelson The CLP gained breathing space with the recent Blain by-election victory but Chief Minister Adam Giles will need to do a good deal more than “get on with business as usual” after a 16 per cent swing of primary votes against his party, leaving it with a one-seat majority of 13 members. The CLP has been here before. In August 1989 the CLP also suffered a 16 per cent swing against it in the first Wanguri by-election. However, on that occasion the CLP lost the seat (formerly held by ...Read more

Pushing boundaries, then and now

Mar 30, 2014 | 1 Comment

Pushing boundaries, then and now

Alex Nelson Very interesting to read Corey Sinclair’s story in the Centralian Advocate about speculation on the possible merger of two Alice Springs electorates at the next redistribution of electorate boundaries (“Electorate merger fears”, March 18, 2014), especially Professor Rolf Gerritsen’s opinion that the town seat boundaries are likely to be pushed out to include Hermannsburg or Santa Teresa. It’s almost a quarter century (1990) since the last occasion when Alice Springs lost an...Read more

Giant rock wallaby looms over Heavitree Gap!

Mar 26, 2012 | 3 Comments

Giant rock wallaby looms over Heavitree Gap!

  Story and photos by Alex Nelson And now for something completely different … Fairly early on Sunday morning, following one of the most divisive town council election campaigns in the history of Alice Springs, I walked from my home in the Old Eastside along the east bank of the much-maligned Todd River, into the grounds of the Olive Pink Botanic Garden (where once I used to work) and up to the top of Meyers Hill. I was a man on a mission because there was a particular photograph I wa...Read more

If not a Notomys, what is it?

Sep 21, 2011 | Discuss

If not a Notomys, what is it?

By Alex Nelson Can anyone identify the body of this little native rodent? I found it lying on a vehicle track at precisely 11 AM, Tuesday, 26 July, 2011, immediately realizing this specimen was quite unusual and possibly significant. This supposition has been underscored by the range of names suggested by local wildlife experts whom I’ve approached for its identification – these range from Kultarr (a marsupial), Long-haired Rat, Spinifex Hopping-mouse, or another species of Hopping-mouse in ...Read more

The Ghost of Araluen, part one.

Aug 07, 2011 | Discuss

The Ghost of Araluen, part one.

By Alex Nelson On Wednesday, 27 July 2011, two seemingly unrelated events occurred that – to my mind, at least – illustrates perfectly the peculiarly interconnected and cyclical nature of history in our town. The first of these was the revelation that the cleared site for a major five-storey complex, formerly Melankas, had been placed online for sale. The second was the final decision of the NT Electoral Commission of the redistribution of electoral boundaries, which opted to retain the name...Read more

Rack off Racosperma, what about Wattleya?

Jul 25, 2011 | Discuss

Rack off Racosperma, what about Wattleya?

As reported in The Age today, botanists from all around the world are meeting in Mebourne this week to decide once and for all whether we can legitimately refer to our beloved wattles as “acacias”. Alex Nelson enlightens us on the politics of plant names and proposes a solution to this vexing issue. It’s a lovely day, now watch someone come along and stuff it up. This well-worn sentiment applies equally to good ideas, like taxonomy – the practice of classifying plants and animals...Read more

Train versus trees: trees lose.

Apr 19, 2011 | 1 Comment

Train versus trees: trees lose.

      By Alex Nelson In the Ray Bradbury story Something Wicked This Way Comes, a sleepy mid-Western town is abuzz with excitement after the arrival at night of a circus train that sets up the Big Top and stays to entertain the townsfolk. But two intrepid boys discover the glitz and glamour of the carnival masks a malevolent and sinister purpose that, if left unchecked, will destroy the idyllic little town. Life sometimes imitates art, and an element of this story may apply to the...Read more

The songs of silence

Dec 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

The songs of silence

By Alex Nelson Last Saturday night at about 10 pm I rode my bicycle along Colonel Rose Drive on my way back to town after a very pleasant dinner engagement at Petrick Road. At one point, roughly in the vicinity of the proposed suburb of Kilgariff, I stopped my bicycle by the roadside to just “take in” the realm of the darkness that enveloped me. There was no traffic, and the nearest artificial lights shone over the distance across the Butcher’s Paddock from the Alice Springs Airport. There...Read more

Those Fokkers were everywhere

Nov 11, 2010 | Discuss

Those Fokkers were everywhere

The Battle of Bulldust – Fierce dogfight in the skies over Alice A first-hand account by on-the-ground reporter Alex Nelson The roar of high-powered piston engines over my rooftop on Wednesday afternoon last week alerted me a sneak air raid was in progress over our fair town. There was no air-raid siren warning us to take cover, somehow a formation of enemy fighters had avoided detection and were now fully intent on pressing forward with their dastardly attack. Upon racing outside I observe...Read more