Once again those of us in Alice Springs with eyes …

Comment on Nose-diving CBD: it happened on the 11th Council’s watch by Hal Duell.

Once again those of us in Alice Springs with eyes to read and a computer to read from owe our thanks to the Alice Springs News. The above is the most perceptive critique of our 11th Council that I have read.
From my seat in the gallery during both Committee and Ordinary meetings, I would add only one word: Bullying.
There has been bullying during the life of this Council to such an extent that at one point I asked during Public Question Time if Council would consider passing a motion forswearing the practice in its public meetings. There was an initial positive reaction, but the idea soon died when the conversation moved behind closed doors.
They have loved to close those doors. Usually the reasons cited are either that the matter being discussed concerns an employee, or that the matter is commercial in confidence. While I usually agree with the first, I always wonder at the second. And what I wonder goes something along the lines of once the money trail has been obscured, is anything left but trivial pursuit?
It becomes far too easy to assert that all is progressing swimmingly.
Four of our current Aldermen have nominated to become Councillors in the 12th Alice Springs Town Council. I hope two of them are successful.
I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that our next Mayor will be either Steve Brown or Damien Ryan. But whoever it is I beg of you to do two things – become fully conversant with Standing Orders and foreswear leading from the chair.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Kids in the justice system: The stark numbers
“But nobody seems to be able to work out why.”
Could it be because so many of the offenders are raised in overtly racist households where they are taught from when infants that all things Indigenous are superior to all things mainstream? For the child, the first casualty of this would be schooling and a respect for the possibilities that schooling offers.
And then when they get a bit older and come hard up against the unavoidable absurdity of what they have been taught, and realise that they are not only uneducated and ignorant but likely to remain uneducated and ignorant, anger and resentment give rise to a lashing out and a pathetic if understandable attempt to cry the victim?
“You owe me.” No, lad or lass, we don’t owe you, but your parents and early childhood mentors surely do.


Transport Hall fiasco may revive pressure groups
Last Saturday my wife and I went to a matinee showing at the Alice Cinema.
On exiting the cinema, our two hour free parking limit had expired so we went into Alice Plaza to pay the fare.
On coming out we were met with a ring of aggressive youths bristling with attitude whose gauntlet we were forced to run to gain access to our parked car.
Steve has it right. We are getting back to those days of Claire Martin levels of social dysfunction in Alice.
And from what I have seen, Darwin simply couldn’t care less.


Jacinta Price reneges on council undertaking
There was talk at one time that Nigel Scullion was getting tired of being a Senator, and that Jacinta was in line to take on that job. Something happen?
Anyway, now she says she wants to take on Snowdon in Lingiari? Good luck with that. Warren has done nothing for thirty years except win an election every three years. He’s good at it.
The $100,000 price tag for a by-election is an own goal. There are ways around it, if the Minister in charge of local government would care to consider them. Such as, offer the job to the last excluded candidate polling at least 3% of the primary vote at the previous election.


Town council’s unanimous ‘no’ to fracking
Further to my first post, if the Alice Springs Town Council could combine with the MacDonnell Shire, Barkly Shire and the Central Desert Shire to present a united anti-fracking stand, their combined voices might carry a bit more weight.
I don’t know what the other shires stand on this issue is. Have they debated it? Anyone?


Let’s have an Australia Day when we are ready for it
Maybe I should start going to Council meetings again, if for no other reason than to enjoy the fireworks.
Reading the preceding comments, I am once again convinced that the whole Facebook phenomenon is a truly nasty piece of gear.
Why anyone would go there, would pay it the slightest bit of attention, is beyond me.


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