[ED – Mr Rowe copied this letter addressed to town …

Comment on The Y withdraws from town pool management by Erwin Chlanda.

[ED – Mr Rowe copied this letter addressed to town councillors to the Alice Springs News Online. Erwin Chlanda, Editor.]

Hello Councillors,
In the wake of the recent town pool debacle, I would like you to be aware of something when renegotiating a new management contract [for the town pool – aquatic centre].
I wrote to the Alice Springs News when the YMCA contract was first awarded, outlining my concern that popular swimming coaches Deb Renkin and Petina Franklin were prevented from using the new heated facility because one of the conditions in awarding the management contract was that the YMCA had exclusive rights to any learn to swim program.
I know that Petina has taught many children (including my own) over the years and is very popular.
I found it disappointing that considering this a facility funded by both the Alice Springs Town Council and the NT Government for all residents, that we could not choose the instructor we wanted. It was either the YMCA or use the outdoor pool (in the middle of winter)!
If instructors wanted to use the facility, they were told that they had to become YMCA staff and teach the Y’s program.
As part of my initial complaint, I informed Lawrie Lawrence and Dawn Fraser of the situation. Dawn in particular was surprised that anybody would even consider placing commercial interests over such an important issue of children learning to swim.
I can only hope that if a new manager is appointed, part of the contract will be that local swimming instructors are not excluded from using the facility, and they are charged a fair fee for lane hire.
All parents should feel free to select the instructor of their choosing, at a  facility that is essentially owned by residents / ratepayers /taxpayers of Alice Springs. This facility was not built for the YMCA
I can only implore you to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted whenever a new management tender is advertised, to prevent a repeat of the restriction of trade policy that was accepted with the previous managers.   
I believe that some concessions were made with instructors.
Ray Rowe
Alice Springs

Hi Ray, Thank you for sending me a copy of the email you forwarded on to the above recipients and I believe it is in the community’s best interest that they have a choice when selecting their children’s swimming teachers.
Regards
Petina Franklin

Recent Comments by Erwin Chlanda

Fracking pipe ‘deformation’ row: The sequel
@ Mark Fraser: Thank you for your kind words at the beginning of your comment but I reject that our initial article was “misinformed”.
Please note:-
• We accurately quoted the Lock the Gate Alliance which is a major player in the debate. It describes itself as “a national grassroots organisation made up of over 120,000 supporters and more than 450 local groups [including] farmers, traditional custodians, conservationists and urban residents.”
• Concurrent with posting the initial report we sought comment from the NT Government (which replied on the same day), from the Inquiry and from Origin. We still don’t have a reply from the Inquiry. See my reply to reader Bob Beadman.
• Origin gave us comprehensive information, but only when we made a second approach to them, leading to the report above.
• Your point [1] is a bit of a stretch for people with no geological training such as me and – I guess – the vast majority of our readers.
• Our initial report stated Origin provided information about the deformation to the NT department (in February 2017) and the Inquiry (in May 2017).
• Our question to the Inquiry is why it published, in its “Draft Final Report” in December 2017, a diagram not showing the deformation while one that shows it had been available to the Inquiry since May 2017.
ERWIN CHLANDA, Editor


Jacinta Price reneges on council undertaking
@ “Elle” and “Brett”: A definitive statement about whether or not, in the NT, someone can be a councillor and a member of a parliament is not available. The requirements are different in every state.
So far as I can find out, it’s never happened in Alice Springs where local government started in 1971.
When former councillor Chansey Paech stood for the Legislative Assembly he was told – as are all others in a similar position – obtain his own legal advice.
This is what the NT Local Government Act – Section 39(6) – says:
If (a) a member resigns in order to stand as a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly or the Commonwealth House of Representatives or the Senate; and
(b) the resignation takes effect not more than 28 days before the close of nominations for the relevant election; and
(c) the former member is not elected, and applies to the CEO to be reinstated as a member of the council within 7 days after the result of the election is known; the former member is reinstated as a member of the council.
The position seems to be this: A council member resigns to contest a parliamentary election. The resignation can be reversed if he or she does not win the parliamentary seat.
But if he or she does win that seat, it seems clear that the resignation from council stands.
In any case the intentions of Cr Price last year were perfectly clear. This is how we reported them: “In response to a question from the Alice Springs News Online, Cr Price quashed rumours that she has political ambitions other than the town council, and may resign before the end of the term.
“She said: ‘I am absolutely committed to serving Alice Springs on Council for at least the next four years. There is much work to be done and I look forward to it.’”
Erwin Chlanda, Editor


Fracking forum with surprising rules
@ Bob Beadman: Hi Bob, I requested a comment from the inquiry at the time of posting the report. I spent about an hour with its media manager during the forum on Thursday, discussing the inquiry’s response, point for point. He said he would email me the response once he had checked it with Judge Pepper that evening. I am still waiting for that email.
Kind regards, Erwin Chlanda , Editor.


Fracking failure: Now you see it, now you don’t
@ Patsy Hickey: I’ve asked Origin to comment but haven’t heard from them. I will rattle their cage. All the best, Erwin.


Sweet Country, a voice demanding to be heard
Alex Nelson’s anecdote reminds me of a friend who had strong connections to people in the APY lands south of the border.
He was on his way over back roads to The Rock with a car load of young fellows who maintained a chatter in Pitjantjatjara until they spotted a kangaroo.
They asked my friend to stop, one got out of the car with a rifle, aimed, and with the words “hasta la vista, baby,” put a bullet into the ‘roo.


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