The emerging story of the YMCA, the Alice Springs Town …

Comment on The Y withdraws from town pool management by Hal Duell.

The emerging story of the YMCA, the Alice Springs Town Council and the Aquatic and Leisure Centre is one very good reason to have the placement of all items listed for confidential discussion subject to challenge.
Had a question been asked relating to the centre, quite probably the matter would have been declared commercial in confidence and kept in Confidential. But by allowing a challenge, public awareness might have been aroused, further questions might have been asked and, who knows, answers given.
It is not in the interests of any town to keep its residents in the dark. Our Council seems to be especially keen to do that. I don’t know who is responsible for this, but suspicion has to include the council officers responsible for placing items in Confidential when drawing up the agenda.
It’s time we the public were given the right to challenge that placement, the right to ask why. And if it transpires that only 10% or 20% of a matter is confidential, then is it too much to ask Council to find a way of splitting the matter between Open and Confidential?
A bit of imagination please. And more information. Always more information. File it under transparent and accountable, and just do it.

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