Thursday, February 23, 2012

Territory talent hunt begins in Central Australia

Young singers will have the chance to win a weeks’ mentoring with Australian pop idol Mark Holden in Darwin when Mission Australia’s Urban Quest gets underway tomorrow.
The hunt for the Territory’s best young talent kicks off at the Youth Hub in Alice followed by heats in Darwin and Katherine over the coming weeks.
The competition, which aims to help young people build self esteem and confidence, is open to singers, rappers, beatboxers and groups under 19 years. 
Now in its second year, it’s the first time Urban Quest will be held in Alice Springs.  
Two acts from an Alice Springs semi final, to be held in March, will go through to the Urban Quest finals concert in Darwin during April.
Flights and accommodation will be provided for the winning acts with mentoring provided by Mark Holden in the week leading up to the big night.
The former Australian Idol judge and ‘touchdown’ king will then team up with Deni Hines and Mission Australia Ambassador and country singer Paul Costa to judge the finals concert on 15 April at the Darwin Entertainment Centre.  
The ten Urban Quest finalists will each perform their best song on the night to win cash and prizes.
The finals concert also includes a guest performance by Deni Hines and 2011 Urban Quest winner Tevita Moala.
Competition details:
24 Feb                   Alice Springs heats, Youth Hub, 10am
25 Feb                   Alice Springs heats, Youth Hub, 9am
10 March               Alice Springs semi finals, Youth Hub, 4pm
Urban Quest finals concert at Darwin Entertainment Centre on 15 April at 7pm
For more information, entry forms and to donate visit or

Darwin still preferred option for AAco abattoir

Following the release today of a feasibility study into a proposed new abattoir in North West Queensland, AAco Managing Director David Farley said his company remained committed to their proposed new meat processing facility near Darwin.

Mr Farley said Darwin remains the preferred option for AAco at this time for several reasons including location – just 50km from an international seaport for exporting meat to key Asian markets and close to a major capital city to attract and retain workers and other support services needed for the proposed facility.

“In addition, the Darwin proposal also offers very significant savings in cattle transport, animal welfare and carbon benefits.”

“AAco has been actively pursuing the Darwin option and is currently working through the public environmental assessment and development application process with the Territory Government and other stakeholders.”

“AAco has also received assurances of support from both the Territory and Federal Governments but are still awaiting formal public funding commitments for the essential public infrastructure required, including power, water and gas connections to the site as well as road, rail and port upgrades.”

Mr Farley said the Board of AAco is yet to make its Final Investment Decision on the Darwin abattoir, which is contingent on completing the necessary approvals and securing Territory and Federal Government funding commitments for the key public infrastructure required.

“However, until that final investment decision is made, we would not rule out Cloncurry or other possible options,” he said.

Twitterque: Darwin preferred option for AAco abattoir