@ 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

Anzac Oval: hand it over, says NT Government
@ Hal Duell (Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm):My personal opinion is that I think you’re on the money with your suggestion about the NT Government’s motives, Hal.


Rain: Yesss!
@ Charlie Carter (Posted October 12, 2018 at 7:44 am): You’re correct, Charlie, except the Indian Ocean dipole is positive and the major driver of the current drought conditions across much of Australia.
So now we’re about to cop it from both directions – a “perfect storm,” oddly enough.


Govt spokesman hits out at Opposition over floor price
There’s a strong element of history repeating here, or at least there’s a major risk of it happening again.
A previous scheme to deal with the rampant abuse of alcohol was attempted by the NT Government, under then CLP Chief Minister (and Member for Fannie Bay) Marshall Perron, with the introduction in 1991 of the 10-year Living With Alcohol program.
The scheme was financed with an excise on the price of full-strength beers, wines and spirits.
It was at this time that light and mid-strength beers were widely introduced for sale as a measure to reduce overall alcohol consumption levels in the NT. In 1992 the Alcohol Policy Unit of the Department of Chief Minister found that average weekly consumption of alcohol in the NT was “about 50% greater than the national average and at least 40% higher than any other state or territory” (Alcohol Fact Sheet, NTG, May 19, 1993).
The Living With Alcohol program was generally regarded as having a positive impact; although in the mid 1990s there was (yet again) a crisis in Alice Springs over alcohol abuse and attendant crime and anti-social behaviour.
This was the time when the Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition (later Group) was established by concerned local residents in response to this crisis.
The Living With Alcohol program fell victim to a High Court case decided in August 1997 (Ha v New South Wales), when – in a narrow result – the High Court ruled that such excises are a tax on sale, production and manufacture of goods prior to consumption, contrary to Section 90 of the Australian Constitution.
This prompted the Howard Government to introduce the GST to compensate for the loss of revenue to the states and territories resulting from the High Court’s decision.
Now here we go again? God help us!


Rain: Yesss!
Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology this afternoon raised the chance of an El Nino this summer from “watch” to “alert,” with a 70% likelihood of it now occurring.
The rain that some of us received today was delightful but came from an isolated storm. We are in classic drought territory.


Boundless downturn: retail and tourism figures decline
I contend the NT makes a good economic barometer for the country as a whole.
The NT’s economy is often compared with the resources-dominant economies of WA and Queensland but I think that’s misleading.
We’re far more dependent on Commonwealth support.
However, the NT is politically insignificant on a national stage so when times start to get difficult, the welfare of the NT is not uppermost in most Federal politicians’ minds, especially when the respective governments (and Territory Federal representation) are of opposing political persuasions as happens to be the case right now. The signals are not good.
In addition, there are some other indicators of concern. Fuel prices are rising significantly with apparently no relief in the near future.
The drought is worsening and a new El Nino is imminent so food security may become an issue next year (markedly similar to the early 1980s coincident with the recession of that time).
This could lead to inflationary pressure which might delight the Reserve Bank of Australia but not be of much mirth to many others at a time of flat-lining wages growth, high levels of personal indebtedness and rising bank interest rates.


Be Sociable, Share!