Once again those of us in Alice Springs with eyes …

Comment on Nose-diving CBD: it happened on the 11th Council’s watch by Hal Duell.

Once again those of us in Alice Springs with eyes to read and a computer to read from owe our thanks to the Alice Springs News. The above is the most perceptive critique of our 11th Council that I have read.
From my seat in the gallery during both Committee and Ordinary meetings, I would add only one word: Bullying.
There has been bullying during the life of this Council to such an extent that at one point I asked during Public Question Time if Council would consider passing a motion forswearing the practice in its public meetings. There was an initial positive reaction, but the idea soon died when the conversation moved behind closed doors.
They have loved to close those doors. Usually the reasons cited are either that the matter being discussed concerns an employee, or that the matter is commercial in confidence. While I usually agree with the first, I always wonder at the second. And what I wonder goes something along the lines of once the money trail has been obscured, is anything left but trivial pursuit?
It becomes far too easy to assert that all is progressing swimmingly.
Four of our current Aldermen have nominated to become Councillors in the 12th Alice Springs Town Council. I hope two of them are successful.
I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that our next Mayor will be either Steve Brown or Damien Ryan. But whoever it is I beg of you to do two things – become fully conversant with Standing Orders and foreswear leading from the chair.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
I appeal to the NT government, especially to Ministers Gunner and Wakefield, to reconsider their approach to building the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
I doubt if many residents, and certainly not a majority, would be opposed to the gallery being built here. But why do you need to destroy what we have (an old high school, a central oval and a debt-free and functioning civic centre) to do that?
It’s not like we’re short of space down here.
It’s a bit unfair to ask council to solve your location problem when to date both of your proposals have presented it with a solution impossible to sell to the residents. And remember, councillors also face the coming elections.
Indigenous suggestions range from the Desert Park to the Desert Knowledge precinct.
It’s not negotiating if you reject in advance any suggestions other than your own.
And a note to council: The NT Government has clearly stated through Minister Wakefield that these discussions can be held in open. Time for you to stop hiding from us. Let’s hear what you have to say.


Locally produced hemp could replace plastic
This is a very good initiative. Congratulations to the Gunner government.
Hemp is a not only a better fibre than cotton, but growing it uses less water and fewer chemicals. What not to like?
Again, congratulations to the Gunner government.


Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site
Perhaps one of the more astonishing features of this continuing saga is the overweening arrogance of Alice’s current group of councillors.
They somehow think they have the right to dispose of our civic centre.
They forget they were elected to look after our assets, not use them as bargaining chips in some shady back-room deal.
Commercial-in-confidence is such a scam. Come on councillors – I challenge any of you to grow a pair.


Despite clear leads, no-one was punished for making this mess
It can be done. Read this.


US military base in Darwin: what risk to NT?
The Opium Wars are over. China won. And all this “containment” and forward posturing is more like dogs barking in the night while the caravan moves on.
Poor Oz! Hanging like a pendulum between London and Washington with (just) the Kiwis for company. That means Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. What can go wrong?


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor