Peter Cain is incorrect on one point, that Labor’s failure …

Comment on Greens to put Snowdon ahead of MacFarlane by Alex Nelson.

Peter Cain is incorrect on one point, that Labor’s failure to gain a quota in 2013 was the first time.
No it wasn’t – the first time was in the original NT Senate election of 1975 when Labor’s Ted Robertson just failed to achieve the quota on the first count. It was preferences distributed from CLP Senator-elect Bernie Kilgariff’s excess votes which got Robertson over the line.
That was the Federal election campaign following the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government.
The second occasion a major party senate candidate failed to gain a quota was in 1987, and this time the boot was on the other foot.
Preferences were distributed from all other senate candidates (there were nine, if I recall correctly) before the CLP’s Grant Tambling got over the line. The CLP (of which I was then an active party member) was very much on the nose with the voting public during the late 1980s.
It was during this time that Green activists first made their appearance in NT politics.
In the Wanguri by-election of August 1989 (the seat formerly held by CLP Minister Don Dale) the Green candidate Debra Beattie-Burnett achieved 16% of the primary vote which was exactly the size of the swing against the CLP.
Preference distributions enabled Labor’s John Bailey to take the seat, and the ALP has never since lost it.
The strength of public support for Green politics in the northern suburbs of Darwin at that time forced a rethink of some of the CLP’s policies, most notably the ditching of the party’s support for a nuclear fuel industry based in the NT (the current inquiry and proposals in South Australia exactly mirrors what was formal CLP policy in the late 1980s).
Green politics in the NT during 1990 ultimately, and very ironically, led to the CLP retaining power in the NT election campaign of October 1990 (in which I was a CLP candidate) and consequently an additional decade in power. It’s an episode of NT political history that has never been adequately explored.

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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