@ 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

Royal Commission: Children’s voices are at the centre
Evelyne, I was there too. I was one of those kids going to school / high school in Alice Springs in the 1970s.
There were many kids, the majority of them Aboriginal, who were getting into a lot of trouble with the law in those years.
Planning for Giles House began with acquisition of that land in early 1973. The point is that nothing has improved since then despite the promise held out to us that responsible self-government would be superior to the those “bad old days” of Commonwealth control. Rather, it’s gotten far worse.


Royal Commission: Children’s voices are at the centre
May I just point out that we recently passed a significant Territory milestone in relation to the vexed issue of youth crime and justice – the 40th anniversary of the official opening of the first juvenile remand centre built in the Northern Territory.
It’s still here and in use, located on South Terrace, Alice Springs. Nowadays we call it Aranda House but it was originally called Giles House.
It was opened on October 27, 1977 – International Children’s Day. To place this in some context, Chief Minister Michael Gunner was at the time a one year old baby.


The ex-Pom who nearly missed the boat
@ Charlie Carter (Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:04 am): I think you are correct but there are also questions over how the Australian Constitution is interpreted, and that’s where a great deal of uncertainty arises until the High Court makes its decisions.
We’ve just seen the situation where the Turnbull Government was caught out on the dual citizenship issue because of legal opinion that proved to be wrong.
Again, I point out that the current difficulties over dual citizenship of Federal politicians appears to have arisen from changes in Commonwealth law, and the question I posed is whether this matter can be resolved in a similar fashion without contravening the Constitution?


The ex-Pom who nearly missed the boat
@ John Bell (Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:51 pm) – Section 41 of the Australian Constitution defines the rights of electors: “No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of a STATE [my emphasis] shall, while the right continues, be prevented from any law of the Commonwealth from voting at elections for either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth.”
This means that a person of dual nationality who is eligible to vote in a state election cannot be prevented from voting in a Federal election.
The same right extends to voters of dual nationality in the Territories as the Commonwealth can make laws for these regions “as the Parliament sees fit.”
Section 44, which has five sub-sections, only defines conditions which preclude persons from “being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives” and has nothing to do with eligibility of electors (voters).
As explained in my article, it has been changes made to citizenship laws that have led to the problem where politicians with dual citizenship, especially of British or other Commonwealth countries, are ineligible to be in the Federal Parliament – a problem that didn’t exist when Australians and Commonwealth immigrants were defined as British subjects.


Government breaches faith over CM appointment
I am left wondering if, in due course, we will be hearing another public apology from the Chief Minister for an ill-advised decision on the part of the NT Government for having got it wrong.


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