Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Top End talent hunt begins

Top End talent hunt begins

The hunt for the Top End’s best young talent will get underway today with the heats of Mission Australia’s Urban Quest.

Urban Quest kicks off at schools across Palmerston and Tiwi Islands at 3:30pm for artists under 19 years across vocal, street, rap and beatboxing categories. 

The competition will raise much needed funds for Mission Australia to develop accommodation for homeless young Territorians.

The heats are the first step for contestants vying for a spot in the Urban Quest Finals Concert, which opens National Youth Week in Darwin.

Australian pop idols Mark Holden and Deni Hines will team up with local celebrity radio host Amanda Pernechele to judge the Finals Concert on 2 April at the Darwin Entertainment Centre.  

Ten acts will go through to the finals concert and experience a workshop with Holden ahead of the big night. 

The concert includes a guest performance by Deni Hines and local hip hop group DT3.

Competition details:

·         9 March heats at Tiwi Island College, Sanderson Middle School, Palmerston Library at 3:30pm

·         10 March heats at CDU Training Centre, Katherine at 3:30pm

·         11 March heats at Maningrida Community

·         19 March heats at Malak Theatre, Palmerston Library and Browns Mart Theatre at 2pm

·         29 March semi finals at Casuarina Square at 3:30pm

·         2 April Urban Quest Finals Concert at Darwin Entertainment Centre at 7pm

For more information, entry forms or to donate visit or  


2000 Energy Audits to mark Alice Solar City birthday

Two thousand homeowners in Alice Springs have now undertaken a home energy audit, just as Alice Solar City celebrates its third birthday tomorrow.

Senior auditor with Alice Solar City, Lyndon Hodges, recently completed the 2000th energy audit in an uncanny coincidence as the project turns three.

“Alice Springs residents and business owners should be recognised and congratulated for their contribution to reducing the town’s energy use over the past three years”, says Brian Elmer, General Manager of Alice Solar City.

Since the project’s launch in March 2008, just over 2000 local residents and over 100 local businesses have joined the program, each receiving an energy audit, tailored advice and access to financial incentives to reduce their consumption and lower their bills.

Over 400 solar power systems have been installed on homes and businesses, and almost 600 solar hot water systems have been installed.

Just under $5 million in funding has been provided to homes and business to assist with the cost of installation measures to cut down their energy use.

“With Alice Solar City reaching the half way point of its scheduled life, our particular focus for 2011 will be on working with our existing residential and commercial participants to assess what actual savings and changes in behaviour they have been able to achieve”, said Brian Elmer.

“As part of that process, we will shortly be offering follow-up audits for our customers, which will help them to better understand their energy consumption patterns and find out other ways to reduce their bills.”

“By the end of the project we will have a good understanding of just how much energy the town has saved.”

Also completed as part of the Solar City project are two large iconic projects at Crowne Plaza and Alice Springs Airport, with two more underway at the new Alice Springs Aquatic Centre and the Uterne Solar Farm on the southern outskirts of town.

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.