UPDATE, October 23, 2012, 6.00pm: Councillors were asked for a show of hands on supporting the recommendation before them, which was to not object to the application to Gaming and Licensing from NT Rock Bar to extend its trading hours. Because this meeting was a committee meeting, the vote had to be unanimous to have effect. As only three councillors voted in favour of the recommendation, a decision was deferred to the Ordinary meeting next Monday. In the meantime, council has requested from Gaming and Licensing an extension to the deadline for comment on the application. Such extensions have been granted in the past, says CEO Rex Mooney but this afternoon council still had not had a reply. Council’s decision on whether to object or not object to the application will be conveyed in any case on October 30, the day after their Ordinary meeting.
By KIERAN FINNANE
Is the mood changing within the Town Council on the issues of alcohol availability in Alice Springs? I’m not talking about radical change but in a show of hands last night only three councillors supported [ED – a recommendnation to not object to] an application by The NT Rock Bar to extend its trading hours by one hour each night, to 2am. Those councillors were Chansey Paech, Brendan Heenan and Geoff Booth.
NT Gaming and Licensing had written to council seeking comment on the application, a fairly routine course of action. The “default” recommendation from officers was not to object. Director of Corporate and Community Services Craig Catchlove explained that council never “supports”, it only objects or does not object.
Mayor Damien Ryan (at right) immediately indicated that he did not support the application. Councillor Eli Melky said he “probably agrees with the Mayor”. He said alcohol is “a major issue” in town, he would like to see council “work through” the issue and “do our part”.
Cr Jade Kudrenko, in the chair, asked Mayor Ryan to explain his view further. He said he simply did not see the need to extend the hours.
In the meantime, council will write to NT Gaming and Licensing about the short notice they are given for commenting on applications. Typically it does not allow time for council’s meeting cycle, which sees the committee meeting mid-month sending matters forward to the formal “ordinary” meeting at the end of the month.