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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Alice Springs

Anzac Hill

Alice Springs sits right in the centre of Australia and has a population of about 45,000. It has a world-class teaching hospital, university, numerous private and public schools and modern shopping complexes.

Every year, a little madness comes to Alice Springs. At the end of August, crazy people build bottomless boats and race up and down a dry river bed to raise money for charity. It's called the Henley-on-Todd Regatta.

Once in 1993, the unthinkable happened, it rained and there was water in the Todd river so it had to be cancelled. The Alice also holds another popular and unique outback event , the Camel Cup in July, run by the Lions Club.

It seems the Northern Territory government has squandered $45 million so far out of the $672m set aside for the building 750 new houses for indigenous people by 2013. So far, not one house has been built.

The money has been wasted in bureaucratic red tape, unnecessary delays, unreasonably high administration costs which include excessive use of expensive external consultants.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has given the NT government 4 months to lift their game or face federal control. The cost of each house will be brought down from an average $560,000 to $450,000 each!!!!

We really enjoyed the McDonald Ranges, especially Simpson's Gap and Standley Chasm.