What a week!

COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA

 

When you go to the election forum to be hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday (6pm, CDU), will you …
[A] As was the case in the Greatorex forum last week, put up with a jolly chat between the candidates and group hugs for the cameras; with pronouncements such as “I’m relaxed about having some sort of regional body in place;” or being “very guided” the constituents; with rambling about issues ranging from railway crossings to teaching Aborigines how to live in a house, in the total absence of any precise and costed policy or strategy to deal with any of the issues? Or …
[B] Will you articulate what you think the town needs; demand clear and firm undertakings from the candidates, should they be elected and from the government, that they will fight for the implementation of what they promise, and that they will resign as Members of Parliament if their government reneges on these election promises?
Isn’t anything less just a waste of time?
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Independents elected can quite easily play this tough game as well, given the predicted close outcome: But results will depend on how resolute they are if a deal is broken. Their Federal counterparts are not good role models.
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The forum host itself may do a little explaining why the chamber, one of the key lobbies of this town, persistently avoids the issue of exorbitant fuel prices – as are the town council and Tourism Central Australia.
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Our report “Will Alice become a fly-in, fly-out town?” contains a string of issues the post August 25 government must tackle. Hands up all those who think The Alice is still a great place to raise a family? What will you ask the pollies to do?
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Good on the cops for investigating, arresting, charging and now also shaming drug dealers. Green signs saying “Warning – these premises drug premises” are now on three local houses.
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It would be a most useful exercise for the Opposition to publish public funding calculations based in the size of the populations in The Centre and the Top End, respectively. This would need to include NT, Federal and joint allocations. Example: Road funding announced last week is shamefully Top End heavy. I wonder what the Labor candidates will have to say about this on Tuesday.

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