I would like to publicly thank outgoing Alderman John Rawnsley …

Comment on Last meeting of 11th Council descends into chaos by Liz Martin.

I would like to publicly thank outgoing Alderman John Rawnsley for his contribution over the past four years. He has been dedicated, professional, always on the side of the underdog and a champion for social justice. I fully appreciate his distress and sympathise with his position. To say that anything in Alice Springs, the NT or indeed Australia compares to Nazi Germany or a dictatorship trivialises the very real trauma that those whose family were involved DO feel generations later.
I am also offended at the lack of respect shown to Council’s Code of Conduct and the continual use of the “F” word in the Chamber by the same mayoral candidate. Now, I’m no prude; with my background I’ve heard it forever and have no problems in saying I have used it myself – but there’s a time and place for everything and using it in the Chamber shows no respect for council protocol, fellow elected members, our directors or the members of the public present, especially the women!
John, I know you were acknowledged by Council collectively last night but I would also personally like to thank you. While we did not always agree you were assertive with your stance (as opposed to aggressive) and truly believed in your cause helping me understand new depths on issues I had not thought out previously. I wish you well in your chosen path and genuinely hope ours cross again in the future.
While I am at it I also thank Alderman Sandy Taylor who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes with her many responsibilities particularly with access, community grants and the sporting fraternity without public fanfare. Ditto to Alderman Jane Clark whose position was always well thought out and researched whether supported or not and Alderman Murray Stewart whose “out of left field” ideas always provided food for thought and whose late night calls were really the only persuasion I had from any-one on council to change my mind on issues.
I think it is a truly sad state of affairs for this town when such division is caused that our group of nine, mayor and aldermen, could not sit back after the last meeting enjoying a “responsible” glass of red with our directors to celebrate our achievements and perhaps lament a few things we could have handled better.

Recent Comments by Liz Martin

‘Historic agreement to strengthen SA-NT bond’
I doubt it will ever be (and hope it doesnt happen Tony) but if we did integrate with SA to form a new state then Darwin should be the capital and Alice the third city. So much untapped potential with both.
Besides! Adelaide who?
Federal infrastructure and services should never be hampered by state boundaries. We have had a century and more of jurisdictional inefficiencies in transport, education and health just to name a few areas of concern. Collaboration and unity is the best outcome.
How about joining ranks with WA and Qld for the Outback Way, too?


Making the most of The Rock challenge
Re the comment: “Promotion of the women’s and the road transport halls of fame and Olive Pink Botanic Garden could lift their image and be useful to extend the season at either end.”
I am just wondering what “lift” our image means and how it relates to extending the season at either end.
The National Road Transport Hall of Fame has consistently operated contrary to downward trends in tourism. The last year was our best ever with a turnover of $1.7m, 30 additional trucks were added to the collection with a nett worth of $1m. Our visitor numbers are up there in the top three attractions and the other two are taxpayer funded or assisted.
Yes, we do tend to run our own race out here. We are self funded and community based and dont have a big advertising budget. We have had to think smart, work hard and be opportunistic and lateral in our approach.
While Alice Springs may not know much about us the transport industry on a global level certainly does.
That is our bread and butter and it flows on througout the town. Tourism is our cream and yes we see lots of challenges moving forward but me thinks a few businesses in town could take a leaf out of our book.


Tourism bonanza in final CLP year
In 21 years of operation the 2015/16 year was by far the best for the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in all sectors of our business, in some areas by 40%.
A turnover of $1.7m for a self funded community based museum with a staff of three is pretty amazing.
We attribute this to many things including our volunteer workforce, our small budget marketing strategy, the trucking industry and most certainly Government marketing which increased the self drive and grey nomad sectors which are our bread and butter.
By taking operators to prospective agents / visitors we started to get back that real characters of the Outback feel.
It made us personalities, not just a destination, and they want to come visit.
It is what we had lost from the Hey Hey days!
We do the same to a much lesser degree with the trucking industry.
I have to say we have always had a great relationship with both NT Government and Alice Springs Town Council, both of whom are very tourist orientated.
Thank you Tony Mayell and Adam Giles, you both always gave me an ear when I wanted one.


Aiming for an events led tourism recovery
Great to read Jamie’s enthusiasm for the town and especially on tourism.
Having had to the opportunity to chat to him about tourism (long before he put his hand up for council) I know his enthusiasm is genuine and well grounded.
I have always said we have the potential here to be the events capital of Australia. Where else can we get such a diverse mix as trucks, desert racing, indigenous arts and beanies all of which attract an international audience.
Good to see also that Jamie is going in with an open mind.
The 4Ps (Protocol, Policy, Process and Procedure) can indeed be frustrating especially if you come from a private enterprise background as I do.
I agree there is room for improvement in several sectors that continue to frustrate the community. It is hard (but not impossible) to do that without compromising stakeholder and community consultation.
I am sad to leave council and absolutely enjoyed my time there. However, I leave with a wider appreciation of what community is all about, the uniqueness of our man made and natural environments and the culture and diversity of our populations. There really is no-where else like it in the world!
To me it has always been about roads, rates and rubbish as the core business of council – that keeps us busy enough. However, each of those come under the massive umbrella commonly called “community”.
The current Mayor and Councillors do a great job under sometimes very difficult circumstances and it will be good to see them “bolstered with new blood”.
Council has a key role to play in the social and economic well-being of the broader community. This is intrinsically linked to how council manages roads rates and rubbish.
The work council does behind the scenes is often thankless but truly commendable; particularly with community events, the arts, social services and their provision, sporting activities, youth and senior issues and the lobbying of all levels of government on all manner of issues.
I commend Jamie for taking a stand for the town and its future and know he calls Alice “home”. For that alone he will excel. I also congratulate the other candidates for putting their hands up – its all about diversity and representation of all sectors of the community so I wish you all well.
I look forward to reading all your profiles as we near election day. I am available if any would like a chat notwithstanding the confidential stuff!
And Yes, the complexities of confidential section will open the eyes of any new councillor – it certainly did mine.
As an old ex-councillor friend (from Darwin), once told me, being on council is like working a five step program …
1 x W – Well-being (of the community).
2 x Cs – Commitment and Consultation.
3 x Rs – Roads Rates and Rubbish.
4 x Ps – Protocol, Policy, Process and Procedure.
5 x Fs – Facilities, Faculties, Fun and Forethought for the – Future.


Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen
What is unfair to them about them telling lies about my place, Richard Bentley? I would assume they can validate their opinions, objectives and anticipated outcomes without messing all over two community based organisations, immediately alienating a sector of the community they are proposing to assist!
That’s a failure in 101 Community Inclusion! I have an opinion on water mitigation and nuclear power and uranium mining but I didn’t even mention those! I mentioned the lies about the Hall of Fame, and they are lies – come see for yourself if you don’t want to take my word for it.
We are proud of our achievements out here. In case you didn’t know part of the uranium (Pamela Angela) site is (was) actually on our land, so we are well across the issues.


Be Sociable, Share!