I have had a great number of queries from people …

Comment on Mayoral debate cancelled by Liz Martin.

I have had a great number of queries from people concerned that they haven’t had an opportunity to discuss their issues and concerns with prospective mayoral and councillor candidates. Subsequently, with the cancelling of the CDU Mayoral debate, a group of us will be offering the public an invitation to attend a sausage sizzle in Stuarts Bush Kitchen (at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame) on Thursday 22nd March at 6.00pm onwards to meet the candidates. All the public are welcome and I will personally be inviting ALL candidates.

Liz Martin Also Commented

Mayoral debate cancelled
I AM my own person and this is NOT a council initiative. This is a free country and I can choose to have my function where-ever I want, in association with whom-ever I want, when ever I want – and I choose here on Thursday night. I just happen to think it’s persons with “elected member” experience who are best positioned to mentor and encourage fresh new minds to local government.
You still have time to arrange YOUR own “meeting” to match YOUR own criteria and you won’t get any negativity from me because its NOT my business.

Mayoral debate cancelled
Just for the record this initiative was born from two of the new candidates who felt they’d like a chance to talk to the public AND because I had simultaneously received a lot of phone calls from people who did not know the new candidates. It is unfair to “blame” Damien for this. I approached him with the idea after I heard the CDU debate had been cancelled. I take full responsibility for it, noting that I am actually happy to provide an opportunity for voters to have a chance to meet candidates they may not have previously met and know little about. This is especially crucial at a time when our town needs a council that can and will work together.
THIS IS NOT A COUNCIL INITIATIVE – nor did it come out of council in any capacity. In fact, it was discussed by quite a few “new” candidates and it was I who said it should be opened equally to all candidates. I can take the heat! I have stayed out of the mudslinging because it is derogatory and detrimental to our town but please don’t tell lies for cheap political upmanship until you know the facts.
Every candidate was invited the same way by email; that way I have a record that cannot be distorted. It is available for viewing if you have concerns about being an afterthought.
1. The advert was sent to Alice Springs News at 12.20pm on 14 March. As fate would have it Erwin was still up and was able to put it up soon after.
2. Given that it went straight up I emailed at 1.01am on 14 March an invitation to those whose addresses I already had.
3. I then went on the web to find email addresses of other candidates I didn’t have and sent them a collective invitation at 1.13am on 14 March.
4. I then sent the invitation to everybody I have spoken too even, in the interests of fairness, to those who disagree with my stance on specific issues.
5. At 3.39am on 14 March I sent the bulk media release.
6. At 3.44am on 14 March I sent the media release and an advert to the Centralian Advocate. The media release appeared Friday, the advert will appear Tuesday!
It was all done in the middle of the night because it was pulled together at the last minute. You are right in that I most certainly don’t feel the need to wait until “people” tell me they want to participate in something I hadn’t thought of yet. Never have, never will. If I see a need that I feel I can respond to positively then I will act. And I did.
No-one is under any obligation to participate. No skin off my nose who is there and who is not. However, I think its a sad state of affairs when the current leaders of the community (love ’em or loathe ’em) cannot provide some support to the many new and enthusiastic young people who have put their hands up for this election.
Whether I get elected is not the issue here. I can continue to contribute to my community just as effectively from outside council if that be the outcome. My sole agenda with this initiative is encouraging bright new minds into local government leadership roles! I would hope whoever is Mayor and Deputy Mayor at the time of the next election will show the same initiative.

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.

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