@ Sean: Not the case. Darwin’s dominance of the CLP …

Comment on Greatorex gets the flick by Alex Nelson.

@ Sean: Not the case. Darwin’s dominance of the CLP dates well back into the 1980s, it was a significant matter of concern for branch members of the party living outside of Darwin at the time.
The CLP’s “power base” (if you could call it that) ostensibly swung back to regional NT following the party’s demolition in the 2005 NT election campaign.
The CLP retained only four seats – two in Alice Springs, and also Katherine and Palmerston (Blain, held by Terry Mills).

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Greatorex gets the flick
The new divisions invite noting a few points:
1. Alice Springs has had two urban electorates before, from 1974 to 1983 – they were the seats of Alice Springs and Gillen. However, this was when the NT Legislative Assembly had 19 seats, not the current 25. What’s different this time around is that the town is divided along an east-west axis; previously it was north-south. Interesting to note that Braitling now extends into the east side of Alice Springs, as it did partially into the Old Eastside in the redistribution of 1990.
2. The inclusion of the rural area into Namatjira echoes the redistribution of 1990 when the seat of Flynn was abolished and the rural area was incorporated into MacDonnell. There’s a slight variation this time, as a part of Mt Johns Valley is also incorporated into Namatjira. In 1990 it was Stuart that encroached into the northern edge of town, in the Dixon Road area.
3. The southwards shift of Stuart also echoes what happened in 1990. Personally I’m happy about the retention of the name of Stuart, it’s the last original one surviving from the creation of the NT Legislative Council in 1947.
4. The previous occasion when the Centre, specifically Alice Springs, lost an electorate in favour of a new one in the Top End occurred in 1990, a quarter of a century ago. What happened then was that two electorates in the Alice (Flynn and Sadadeen) were abolished, and the new seat of Greatorex was created. Now it’s gone full circle, with Greatorex meeting the same fate.
But the pattern doesn’t end there. Flynn was held by NT Nationals member Enzo Floreani, who had taken the seat from the CLP in a by-election in September 1988. It was one of the worst defeats on record for the CLP. Sadadeen was held by conservative independent Denis Collins, formerly a CLP back-bencher. Collins lost out in CLP preselection for Sadadeen in early 1987 to a new mover-and-shaker in town, one Shane Stone; however, in the NT elections of March that year Collins easily retained the seat. It’s blatantly obvious that those two seats, held by non-major party members, were targeted in the electoral boundary redistribution of that year.
A very similar situation has occurred now, with the abolition of Greatorex given that the current CLP member, Matt Conlan, has announced he will retire at the next election campaign. However, it begs the question as to why Araluen, held by former CLP and now independent member Robyn Lambley, was initially targeted for abolition. There’s no doubt that the process of electoral boundary redistributions in the NT, especially in the Centre, are prone to political influence.
5. All the aggravation, controversy and suspicion that sometimes appends to this process could be avoided if the NT was divided into multi-member electorates. There would still be alterations of electoral boundaries but no sitting member faces the prospect of losing his/her position in the process. Elections of members for each seat would be determined by proportional representation, as occurs with the Australian Senate, for example. The principal difficulty here lies with the major political parties – they don’t like this system because it’s much harder to obtain outright victories; but given the decline of standards that afflicts our current political system, it’s now timely to consider other options for achieving better outcomes.
I well remember the situation pertaining to electoral boundaries in the Centre a quarter century ago for the following reasons: I was a member of the Flynn Branch of the CLP, it’s secretary / treasurer in 1988-9 and chairman in 1990-1.
I was the sole author of the CLP’s submissions to the NT Electoral Redistribution Committee with regard to the southern region of the NT in January 1990.
I was one of two CLP candidates for the seat of Stuart in the NT election campaign of October 1990.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Gunner ‘demotes’ Alice: art gallery options ‘lacklustre’
@ Ares Splicing (Posted January 14, 2018 at 12:58 pm): Pasted below is part of a comment in response to the story http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2017/11/02/recommendations-in-for-national-indigenous-art-gallery-site-in-alice/ posted the day prior to this story.
“I’m not enamoured of the proposals put forward by the steering committee for the National Indigenous Art Gallery, indeed to my mind it’s hard to avoid the conclusion we’ve been dudded and that it’s a ploy for this gallery to ultimately be built for the benefit of the Alice Springs Desert Park.
I’m deeply sceptical of what’s been offered to us to consider.” Wonder who it was that made that comment?
As for suggesting the Melanka site for the Indigenous Art Gallery, it was the same person who made the quote above who first suggested that site be consdered for an Aboriginal cultural centre in 2011. It was that comment (broadcast on ABC) that triggered this whole business.


Local government: A lot of action beyond the 3Rs
Sadly it would appear that Murray Bridge has just taken an enormous hit to its economy, with the news of a major industrial fire taking hold in the town’s abattoir.


Inquiry into fracking: Giving it the green light?
@ Jack (Posted December 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm): You are cherry picking your facts about WA, Jack, in order to make a misleading point.
Notwithstanding the rise of mineral and petroleum royalties paid to the WA government as you claim, the state debt is nevertheless projected to reach $42.9 billion in two years from now.
The WA economy is in a considerable mess thanks to the reckless overspending of the budget during the mining boom a few years ago.
What’s more, it was a Liberal-National government that has left WA so deeply in debt, not a Labor government – which kind of shatters the popular view that conservative governments are better at economic management, at least as far as the “Sandgropers” are concerned.
The salutary lesson to learn from the west is that windfall bonanzas from mining and energy industries provide no guarantee of lasting economic benefit, irrespective of which mainstream political party is in power. And that’s not taking into account the revenue foregone by complex and tricky accounting practices that allow large mining corporations to minimize or avoid completely the paying of taxes and royalties in the first place.
We’re all being taken for fools, and perhaps we deserve it.


Hazardous waste facility near Alice recommended by EPA
Here’s an interesting quote from an article about the pros and cons of uranium mining in the Northern Territory which was a major topic of debate 40 years ago: “Among the possibilities for ultimate disposal of the wastes are storage in stable geological formations on land, in ice sheets or in the sea bed; and transmutation of the wastes in a nuclear reactor.
“At present, the most favoured solution is storage in underground salt deposits.
“As these deposits were formed many millions of years ago, and salt is soluble in water, their very existence is proof of their stability” (Centralian Advocate, June 30, 1977).
The article concludes: “However, the facts are inescapable. Uranium mining is as safe as, if not safer than, any other form of mining.
“The nuclear power industry has a safety record which is the envy of all other industries.
“The problems of nuclear waste disposal are being solved in the same way as scientists have solved other problems of modern technology as they arise.”
It’s worth noting that the Labor Party was calling for a moratorium on uranium mining to consider all the implications while the CLP was champing at the bit to allow the industry to proceed because of the major financial benefits that would accrue to the Northern Territory’s economy.
Now where have I heard that one recently? What a gasser!


Santa’s big day: Hot and maybe wet
@ John Bell: You might like to check out “How December 25 Became Christmas – Andrew McGowan” (google it) which provides a very interesting account of the rise to dominance of this particular date. It’s much more complex than the commonly held belief that the Emperor Constantine was responsible for this choice.
You’re right – the actual birth date of Christ doesn’t matter which is exactly what the earliest Christians thought, too.
Originally Christ’s birth day wasn’t considered important and that is why nobody is even certain what year it was, let alone the date.
You say that Christmas “celebrates coming out of darkness into everlasting enlightenment, love and hope” but in fact that was the purpose behind the Resurrection of Christ which was the primary focus, indeed the core, of early Christian belief – without that, everything else was irrelevant.
There’s nothing wrong with going around in seasonal circles, that’s our planet’s reality. As a life-long gardener and nature observer, I cherish the seasons – we know of no other place in the universe that is as benign as our own world.
And as for history repeating, one has only to look at the overwhelming dominance of crass consumerism masquerading as “gift giving” to realize that Christmas these days is as pagan as it ever might have been in ancient times.
So yes, I prefer to ignore Christmas and downplay the significance of birth days (especially as I get older) and accept every day I’m in good health, alive and breathing, to be just as significant as any other day.


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