@ 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

‘Bring back school based constables’
Oh, I don’t know about that, Evelynne – I recall there were a lot of ratbags during my time at school, and quite a number of them were the students 😉

‘Bring back school based constables’
@ Phil Walcott (Posted March 17, 2018 at 2:55 pm): Interesting comment, Phil, because when I was a student at the Alice Springs High School in the late 1970s there was a school counsellor employed there. Her name was Glynnis McMahon, if my memory serves me right, a highly regarded person who worked at the high school for many years.
She passed away in 1989 as I recall, and maybe wasn’t replaced at a time of increasing budgetary constraint. That’s speculative on my part but given you arrived here in 1993 not long after massive cutbacks to public expenditure including significant attrition of staff positions, that’s probably the reason there were apparently no school counsellors employed here by that time.

Federal study casts light on future source of town water
Our family visited the Rocky Hill lucerne operation in the early 1970s when an open day for the public was held there. It continued to operate throughout the 1970s but was long abandoned by the mid 1980s.
I still have in my possession the Primary Industry flow charts for the development of the horticulture industry in Central Australia from the mid 1980s onwards, courtesy of permission from then Horticulture Senior Technical Officer, Frank McEllister.
One aspect stood out for me, there was no mention of potential horticulture development at Rocky Hill.
I inquired of this with Frank, and he told me that area was excluded from consideration because it was reserved as the future water supply for Alice Springs.
This was at a time when it was still expected the town’s population would reach 50,000 by the turn of the century and the NT Government had officially announced the development of a satellite town on Undoolya Station would proceed.
All of this is now forgotten but history always comes back to bite us in the end.

Cops hush up dangerous joyride
I witnessed a similar incident that evening too, which I think was the same vehicle.
I was walking on the footpath next to the ANZ Bank along Parsons Street when this utility came screeching around the corner from Todd Street and raced towards the Leichhardt Terrace intersection.
The utility turned left and charged up towards Wills Terrace where I lost sight of it.
When I got to the corner of Leichhardt Terrace, I observed the utility speeding over the Wills Terrace Causeway where it spun around the Sturt Terrace roundabout, tyres screeching, and then charged back along the causeway onto Wills Terrace past the Todd Tavern, when I again lost sight of it.
Despite being a block away from most of the action I witnessed, I had no difficulty hearing the young hooligans yelling and shouting. They were clearly defiant and rebellious, and deliberately challenging authorities.
Presumably they felt they had nothing to lose by indulging in this behaviour and were heedless of the possible consequences of their actions.

A good spot for the art gallery?
Hal, this is just the latest attempt to re-purpose Anzac Oval as a village green, first proposed by the Alice Springs Town Council in 1979 and firmly resisted by the rugby codes (and especially by John Reeves, then ALP Alice Springs branch president, rugby league president, elected as alderman on the town council, and not long afterwards elected as Member for the Northern Territory. He is now a Federal Court judge.).
The village green concept was tried again in 1994 when the ASTC attempted to relocate the rugby codes to the Ross Park Oval, enticed there by the promise of lighting to facilitate games at night; and stoutly resisted and defeated by local Eastside residents, led by the Eastside Residents’ Association of which I was then a committee member.
And now here we go again …
Quite apart from the old high school complex, Anzac Oval itself is of considerable historical value as it is the first turfed sports oval in the NT and it was established entirely as a community effort over the summer of 1951-52 – no government assistance involved.
Part of that work was done by the town’s children who were organised by the new Youth Centre into an emu parade on one weekend that cleared the whole area of rocks and sticks.
Ah yes, the bad old days of Commonwealth control.

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