Monday, July 25, 2011

Timor-Leste takes to the skies

The President of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, announced today the launch of the island nation’s own international airline Timor Air.

“It gives me the greatest of pleasure to launch our own airline and, with it, the commencement of daily full service international flights between Timor-Leste and Australia,” the President said.

“These flights will fulfil a long-held desire of the Timorese people to have broader travel options and, more importantly, a choice of airlines which now includes our own carrier.”

The Timor Air daily flights will operate between the Timor-Leste capital Dili and Darwin in Australia.

The new airline is the initiative of Jeremias (Jerry) Desousa, a Timorese refugee from Timor-Leste during the civil war of 1975, in collaboration with well-established New Zealand and Australian carrier Vincent Aviation.

The President said that the establishment of the new airline and its contribution to his nation’s economy could not be overstated.

“The benefits to our commerce, trade, industry and indeed, the pride in our social development are immeasurable,” the President said.

“The creation of Timor Air provides national brand recognition vital to the promotion of our position within the international community. It is an all important ingredient in stimulating the development of our economy, society and national identity.”

The administration headquarters of the airline will be based in Dili with Vincent Aviation providing the technical expertise and training to ensure ongoing employment, self-sufficiency and, above all, the development of a viable tourism industry where profits will remain with the East Timorese people.

Timor Air already employs Timorese cabin crew, customer relations and ground staff, and will provide ongoing and expanding training and employment opportunities for Timorese people interested in the aviation and travel sectors.

Timor Air will operate Saab 340 aircraft, with the first service between Darwin and Dili return scheduled for 25th July 2011.

Bookings can be made on the Timor Air and Vincent Aviation websites, through Harvey World Travel and Flight Centre in Australia, or with GSA Sagres Travel in Dili.

Media enquiries: Domonique Young on 8941 9169 or 0433 447 255

Twittercue: #TimorLeste takes to the skies as Pres. Jose Ramos Horta announced the launch of Timor Air in #DarwinNT today #topend

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weatherman part of Craft Fair fun

Crafty and creative stallholders will take over the Darwin Waterfront this Friday when it welcomes over 2300 passengers from across the country and New Zealand. The Sun Princess Cruise Passenger Ship will dock at Fort Hill Wharf after travelling from Perth, Bali and the Kimberley Coast.
The Waterfront is holding a Craft Fair that will kick off at 9am along the Wharf 1 podium off Kitchener Drive.
The Fair will display handmade wares of local designers from jewellery, to leather accessories and organic skin care products to children’s clothes.
Television personality Monte Dwyer, The Today Show's ex-weatherman turned author, videographer and musician, will be in on the action too. Dwyer will be offering his range of Red in the Centre travel books and DVDs, which showcase stories and characters from right across the country.
“My books are about the people I meet as I travel the country as a working journalist, from the nutters and nudists to the sinners and saints, and all the usual suspects in-between. 
“I started my television career in Darwin and it's always been supportive of creativity, so I’m delighted to be part of the Craft Fair.”
The Craft Fair will start at 9am on Friday 22 July and wrap up at 2pm.
Twittercue: Craft Fair @Darwinwaterfront Fri 22 July 9am to 2pm. Come explore the creative talents of #Topend #DarwinNT designers and artists

Media enquiries: Jeannette Button on 89419169

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alice Springs residents urged to save water with new plan

A new water plan urging residents to save water is being launched today for the desert town of Alice Springs.

Alice Water Smart was launched by Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Urban Water & Sustainability.

The plan aims to reduce Alice Springs’ water use by 1600 million litres per year, equivalent to two months average water supply.

Power and Water Corporation General Manager Water Services Steve McKenzie said the plan is unique to Australia.

"Alice Water Smart is a comprehensive water saving program that gets individuals, homes and businesses to work in tandem to establish a water wise future"

"Everyone, from individuals to big business is being asked to reduce their water."

"Over the last 40 years more than half the volume of the Sydney Harbour (250,000 million litres) has been extracted from the Alice Springs bore field."

"Per household, Alice Springs residents use approximately 1,500 litres per day, which is the equivalent of 166 buckets of water."

"For the future sustainability of our groundwater supply we must preserve our water, and we are asking Alice Springs residents to become more aware of their water use and to develop water wise habits."

"In Alice approximately 65 per cent of household water use goes on to gardens, that is about 1,000 litres per day."

The Alice Water Smart consortium, led by Power and Water Corporation, comprises The Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sports (NRETAS), Arid Lands Environment Centre, Alice Springs Town Council and Tourism NT.

The $15 million Alice Water Smart Plan will include projects like home and business water audits, an expanded rebate scheme, smart irrigation for parks and ovals, improved water management and increased recycling, and installation of smart meters to allow homes and businesses to monitor water use, as outlined below:

Reuse: Existing water reuse infrastructure will receive a $6.5 million upgraded to improve quality and increase quantity of treated wastewater to offset the use of potable water for irrigation, allowing some large water users to use recycled water for irrigation and horticulture.

Rebates and retrofits: Funding for rebates on water-saving household items will increase from $200,000 to $1.5m. This includes water efficient shower heads, toilets, washing machines, pool covers and efficient garden products.

Reticulation: Water pressure varies with topographical variability in Alice Springs, this, combined with the desert climatic extremes, places water infrastructure under demand so $2 million will be used to facilitate a system of better pressure management.

Metering: Smart water meters, which allow customers to monitor their water use and help identify leaks and high water use activities, will be rolled out.

Parks and ovals: With $1.2 million Alice Springs Town Council will install more of the telemetric irrigation control systems, which monitor weather conditions such as rainfall and humidity to irrigate efficiently. The systems can also detect leaks and shut off supply to the affected line.

Accommodation: With $210,000 through Tourism NT, accommodation providers will be offered water audits to identify water savings. Visitors to Alice are increasingly motivated by being environmentally aware and responsible. This will aid decision making to visit by those responsible travellers and also improve experience in terms of their environmental footprint.

Homes and Businesses: A range of household and businesses water audits to provide them with more choice in developing appropriate water saving options.

Funding of $7.5 million is being provided under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, a key component of the Australian Government’s long-term Water for the Future initiative.

This was matched by Power and Water Corporation with contributions from consortium members.

For more information visit

Twittercue: @AliceWaterSmart launch today, the new plan urges #alicesprings to save water #aws #green


Media enquiries:

Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or

Lorraine Hook from Power and Water Corporation on 0401 117 599

Monday, July 04, 2011

Pine Gap installs 40 household solar systems

The number of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar systems in Alice Springs has increased by around ten per cent with the installation of 40 systems on Pine Gap staff housing.

Each system is two kilowatts in size and together they will produce 130,000 kilowatt hours per year, which is the entire annual consumption of around 15 average Alice Springs homes.

Alice Solar City has been working with the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap (JDFPG) to help increase energy efficiency of staff housing around Alice Springs.

Margaret Larkin, Deputy Chief of the JDFPG said "It is a goal of the Joint Defence Facility Pine Pap to make a contribution to protecting the environment through energy, water and other conversation measures.”

“Increasing our energy efficiency through the use of solar energy will assist the Facility to achieve this goal”.

“The solar installations will save approximately $25,000 per year off the combined annual electricity bills of our residences.”

Alice Solar City General Manager Sam Latz says, “The 40 PV systems represent increased household energy efficiency for 10% of JDFPG’s housing stock and we congratulate them on this contribution to sustainability in Alice Springs.”

“I would like challenge the Alice Springs community to match this level of 10% of all Alice Springs homes generating electricity from the sun”.

Pine Gap resident Edward said, "It is satisfying to know that I am living in a home that benefits from solar energy while supporting the objectives of the local Alice Solar City program”.

The number of household solar PV systems has increased from two to just over 500 since Alice Springs became a solar city in March 2008.

Twittercue: Pine Gap residents install 40 household Solar Power systems to increase their energy efficiency #sustainable #alice


For media enquiries please contact Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or (08) 8952 9412 or
About Alice Solar City

The Alice Springs Solar City Consortium is led by the Alice Springs Town Council and includes broad community support from the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, Tangentyere Council, the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce, the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre and the Arid Lands Environment Centre. Funding sources include the Australian Government, the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, and Alice Springs Town Council.