Dave Richards

Website: http://www.aliceonline.com.au

Dave has been stamping (and treading lightly when appropriate) around the Centre since 1978 when he came here because it wasn't Queensland. Since then he's worked for every newspaper in town and some out of town, including The Australian, The National Times, The Age and The Sunday Mail in Brisbane. Dave also had a stint writing feature articles about "cross-cultural chaos" in the now-defunct HQ Magazine. In the nineties Dave got writer's block and branched out into radio, originally working in the newsroom of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association and then for twelve years as a producer for ABC Local Radio. Somewhere in the middle of that stint, Dave decided a website about Alice Springs was a great idea, and is still harping on it. He left the ABC in 2007.

Contributions

The wasted wattle

Sep 27, 2017 | Discuss

The wasted wattle

People say we don’t really get a Spring in Central Australia. I think we do, but it’s more like Swing in most years, with the temperature see-sawing between extremes unimaginable in softer climes. Invariably the occasional record brings predictions of a hot summer, but it doesn’t always follow from a hot September. Having a look at the forward forecast, I see a plunge back into the low 20s is predicted by Saturday… with a welcome drop of rain attached. I guess we’ll see what happens. ...Read more

Peter Fannin’s remarkable life

Jul 15, 2017 | Discuss

Peter Fannin's remarkable life

Alice Online is pleased to publish the eulogy to the late Peter Fannin, as presented at his funeral last month by his grand-neice Omanisa Ross. Peter, who died last month, will be widely remembered as a botanist who shared his knowledge of Central Australian plants with thousands of visitors to Uluru, and also as one of the key figures in the development of the Papunya Tula art movement.  But as Omanisa’s eulogy reveals, these were only two aspects of Peter’s persona; musician, t...Read more

Thanks be for leaky taps

Apr 24, 2017 | Discuss

Thanks be for leaky taps

I whiled a way an hour or so in Titree recently, watching the antics of a small mob of Major Mitchells taking advantage of a leaky tap. What splendid birds! As the human Major Mitchell remarked (according to Wikipedia): “Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the Australian forest than this beautiful species whose pink-coloured wings and flowing crest might have embellished the air of a more voluptuous region.” I don’t know if Titree could be considered voluptuous, but ...Read more

The black and white alliance

Mar 19, 2017 | Discuss

The black and white alliance

It is tempting to say that many Australians revealed their true colours in last week’s Keep It Light fiasco – but did they? They told us they were tolerant people seeking a more inclusive society. They presented themselves as open-minded souls and they warned us against being judgemental towards people who are different from ourselves. They particularly highlighted the evils of bullying and all the misery, ill health and premature deaths it has caused over the decades. I would like to b...Read more

Recycling: learn from the experts

Jan 26, 2017 | Discuss

Recycling: learn from the experts

  It will be interesting to see what the Town Council comes up with in the way of an official waste recycling scheme for Alice Springs – especially when the old familiar question comes up: How much will it cost? I discussed the Council proposal with the town’s most dedicated long-term professional recyclers, Liz and Russ Driver, when we dropped a Rocky-load of cans and various other bits and pieces off to them yesterday. The Drivers’ Sargent Street site, which also accommodates Outbac...Read more

The green, green grass of home: a time bomb?

Jan 25, 2017 | Discuss

The green, green grass of home: a time bomb?

Nicole Pietsch, Arid lands Environment Centre While the recent high rainfall in Central Australia is a blessing with flowing rivers and lush green landscapes, there’s another side to the rains that have serious consequences – the increase in weeds, pests and fires. Climate change predictions see a hotter, wetter Central Australia with more extreme weather events. The challenges of managing weeds, pests and fires will be an ongoing problem that will require significant strategies and resource...Read more

Buckets of rain

Jan 10, 2017 | Discuss

Buckets of rain

  If you happen to be sweating it out in Alice Springs at the moment, it may seem hard to believe there’s not a lot more rain around. In its long-range forecast the Bureau of Meteorology is punting on a merely average rainfall for Central Australia during the summer months. January, already distinguished by a torrential downpour a few days ago, is actually even less likely to hold water than February, according to their climate maps. If it’s true – even though it doesn’t feel all th...Read more

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas, part 2

Dec 30, 2016 | Discuss

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas, part 2

(Haven’t read part one?) Are long wars of attrition between gangs of birds punctuated by short, brilliant battles that finally turn the tide for one side or the other? And do the battles occasionally involve alliances? I’d like to know what the experts say, but I have seen a few that seemed to work that way, regardless of intent. A few years ago I witnessed an amazing aerial spectacle that appeared to involve corellas coming to the assistance of their galah cousins on Alice’s Rhond...Read more

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas, part one.

Dec 24, 2016 | Discuss

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas, part one.

Dave Richards For some of us, deep summer brings the gift of spare time. The catch is it also insists on having a big say in how you use it. This Christmas, I’ve managed to organise my life so I’ve got three weeks without having to make myself go to work. At the start, three weeks feels like a lifetime, but after a day or two, my ever-growing sense of mortality kicks in, which is about when I start checking out the seven day weather forecast. Fine and 38 or more means I can get about two or ...Read more

Weather or not

Jun 06, 2016 | Discuss

Weather or not

The concept of global warming has led to a massive increase in resources devoted to the study of climate … but I wonder how much closer we are to actually understanding it. Just as the study of the human body leads to an ever-growing awareness of its amazing complexity, could it be that the more we learn about the weather and the climate the less we know for sure? The esteemed British science journal Nature has just published an article on new research about why seawater in the Antarctic has s...Read more

ALEC links turbine decision to coral bleaching

Apr 06, 2016 | Discuss

ALEC links turbine decision to coral bleaching

 Contributed by Nicole Pietsch, Arid Lands Environment Centre: The RePower Alice Springs community campaign has been launched this week, as a direct response to the recent NT Government announcement  to invest $75 million into ten new gas-fired turbines at Owen Springs Power Station with no community consultation. Whilst investment in reliable energy supply is welcomed, investment in fossil fuels is not and as the world starts to rapidly transition to renewable energy, the NT Government is t...Read more

How did they do it?

Apr 03, 2016 | Discuss

How did they do it?

Apart from marvelling at their apparent survival — there was no sign of blood inside — Braitling residents were intrigued by just how the driver of this ex-car had manouevred him or herself into a final resting spot on the perimeter of a rocky outcrop near Braitling School on Friday night. The next morning the remains of the car were facing Rhonda Diano Oval, while 30 metres or so north-east along Head Street were two Casuarinas knocked over and facing one direction and a speed adv...Read more