@ 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

Turn rock-throwing into backflips: how community can help
I smile at the circularity of Rainer Chlanda’s preferred location of a youth hub without walls at the “courthouse lawns” (DD Smith Park), adjacent to the Alice Springs Police Station (the former Greatorex Building) and across the road from the local magistrates courthouse.
I say “circularity” because the first drop-in centre for youth on the streets at night was located in the old police station on that corner where the courthouse now stands. Established in 1976, it was named “Danny’s Place” and lasted all of no more than a year when it was forced to shut down to make way for the said courthouse.
And from that time on, youth drop-in centres, real or proposed, have bounced around from one site to another all through town; including an old house in the north end of Todd Street that was demolished to make way for an office block (now called Eurilpa House), the empty Turner Arcade – the last shop there was Grandad’s icecream shop, a once popular hang out for kids of my generation, also in the north end of Todd Mall (that was my suggestion, nearly 30 years ago) which was later bulldozed to make way for expanding Alice Plaza and new carparking spaces; and even the abandoned waterslide site in the early 1990s, which instead was demolished to make way for infill real estate development (Mercorella Circuit, near the YMCA).
We have decades of recent history of kids in trouble (or causing it) being shunted from pillar to post. As a society, history shows we’re not really fair dinkum about resolving this issue.
Sadly, there is nothing new in any of this – Rainer’s father and his colleagues were reporting on these kinds of issues 40 plus years ago, and it continues unabated to the present day.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ 5 Minute Local (Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm): Definitely living up to your pseudonym. Your suggestion is not a new idea – it’s been raised several times since the early 1970s.
The last occasion was when the construction of the railway north to Darwin was being finalised in the late 1990s-early 2000s when there was significant lobbying of the NT Government to re-route the railway around Alice Springs, including by the Alice Springs Town Council.
I also took up the cudgels on this issue as an individual and was publicly criticized by a local CLP member, notwithstanding the same member several years earlier had himself advocated the removal of the rail yards out of the town centre and to re-route the eventual railway to Darwin via west of the town.
These pleas were rejected by the government as being too late or too expensive (it would have added about three per cent to the overall cost, from memory). There’s no prospect of this happening now.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ John Bell (Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm): John, the only sacred trees on the Melanka site would be (or are) two old river red gums near the southeast corner adjacent to the intersection of Stuart Terrace and Gap Road.
None of the other trees I’m aware of on that site are local native species nor predate the construction of the Melanka Hostel.
This includes the towering lemon-scented gums of which the majority are now dying or dead as a consequence of lack of care and the extended dry conditions.
Consequently the trees don’t pose any significant issues for redevelopment of most of that area, at least as far as sacred sites are concerned.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ Hal Duell (Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:59 am): Hal, I’m still in the process of collating information. Gathering the history pertaining to this location is rather like measuring a piece of string but it all adds up to demonstrating the considerable heritage value of this site, the extent of which I think will surprise many people.
The nomination for heritage listing of the oval and school will definitely proceed.
The fact that this issue has blown up in the NT Government’s face demonstrates the stupidity of over-reliance on advice from vested interests (with no regard for anything except their bank accounts) and overpaid outside “experts” who have no background in local knowledge.
Once again we see the consequences of the corporate amnesia that afflicts this town and Territory, and history shows it makes no difference which party is in power.


Cemeteries could be turned into parks
There is another method of burying the dead which is also held to be environmentally friendly, it is called “promession”.
According to the Wikipedia entry on this subject, it’s a system of disposal of bodies of much more recent origin (two decades ago) than alkaline hydrolysis (19th century).
It involves cryogenic freezing of bodies in liquid nitrogen to -196°C (in effect, crystallising them) after which vibrations are applied that shatter them in minutes into fragments.
This material in turn is freeze dried and all metal or other non-natural components (eg. fillings, artifical joints) are removed.
The final stage involves “the dry powder being placed in a biodegradable casket which is interred in the top layers of soil, where aerobic bacteria decompose the remains into humus in as little as 6 to 12 months.”
Invented in Sweden, it’s a method already expressly adopted in South Korea and has expressions of interest from up to 60 other countries.
I think promession also deserves consideration as an option for burials.


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