This controversy is more remarkable than it seems at first …

Comment on Has councillor brought Town Council into disrepute? by Alex Nelson.

This controversy is more remarkable than it seems at first sight. There are three main points here – the question over Councillor Geoff Booth’s residential address, the proposal to establish an escort agency in Alice Springs, and the address in the Golf Course Estate that is listed as the principal place of business.
All of which strangely rings a few bells. Let’s go back 32 years to 1981, and commence with the last point first.
The development of what we now call the Golf Course Estate was announced with great fanfare in mid June, 1981 – it was initially called the Desert Springs Country Club Estate.
Simultaneously (as an aside) it was announced that: “The developers have now revealed that the international hotel in the subdivision will be attached to the Hilton Chain”. This did eventually occur when Double Tree Hilton took over Crowne Plaza on Barrett Drive – in 2013.
The Desert Springs Country Club Estate development announcement preceded the official opening of the Federals Hotel Casino in July that year. The proposal for the Casino in Alice Springs was very controversial, as many people were concerned about the type of businesses (such as escort agencies) that this would attract in its wake.
Sure enough, in late August 1981 came the news that the proprietor of an Adelaide escort agency, Mrs Pattie Martin, was having great difficulty finding premises to establish her “Dial a Date” service in Alice Springs. She claimed that she was being discriminated against by the people of Alice Springs and victimised by the police.
Mrs Martin said: “They told me Alice Springs was a very church orientated town.
“This is a booming town. The people of Alice Springs can’t hide their heads in the sand forever.
“If people are prepared to accept a casino, then why not the things that go with it?”
She also stressed the legitimacy of her business, stating she had one of the “biggest agencies in Adelaide” and that “she wouldn’t have been able to stay in business that long [six years] if it wasn’t done correctly”.
Now comes the final point; almost simultaneously as the escort agency dispute arose, the Town Clerk of the Alice Springs Town Council, Trevor Jenkinson, applied to have Alderman Dan Kilgariff ruled ineligible to remain on the council as he no longer resided within the municipal boundary.
Dan Kilgariff had been living in Francis Street but moved to the Farm Area along Emily Gap Road (now Ragonesi Road) south of Heavitree Gap, which was then the council boundary.
Kilgariff initiated legal proceedings to contest Jenkinson’s ruling but the court ruled against him, disqualifying Kilgariff from being an alderman on Monday, September 28, 1981.
That very same evening the town council had a regular meeting when a motion of no confidence was launched by Alderman John Reeves against Mayor George Smith. The vote was tied, and Smith cast the deciding vote to survive the motion. Reeves’ motion “would almost certainly have been successful if Ald. Danny Kilgariff had still been a member of the council”.
Dan Kilgariff’s disqualification from council on the grounds of his home address being outside of the municipal boundary was no small measure – he had been immensely popular, as evidenced by topping the poll in the council elections of May 1980, and also being the lead victor in the double by-election that first elected him in 1979. It abruptly terminated his political career.
So, all these themes have come together with the new controversy surrounding Councillor Geoff Booth. It’s interesting to note there was a very popular song by NZ band Split Enz being played over the airwaves in 1981 – it was called “History Never Repeats” …

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Police gets street parking, cops’ private cars in compound
On the odd occasion I walk past the police station vehicle compound in Bath Street, I recognise some private vehicles that previously were parked in Parsons Street outside the old police station.
I used to see these regularly after finishing work at Woolies and walking home that way late each evening.


Authorities underrated risk to Pine Gap, Alice of a nuclear strike
Just read a comment piece by ABC North American correspondent James Glenday, who notes: “According to the Gun Violence Archive, 9,418 Americans have died from bullet wounds so far this year. 18,785 have been injured.”
To put that in perspective, more people have been killed and injured in the USA by gun violence up to the end of August than there are residents of Alice Springs.
That’s just this year. We think we’ve got problems?


Authorities underrated risk to Pine Gap, Alice of a nuclear strike
I note this book becomes available on September 3, which this year marks the 80th anniversary of the declaration of war by Britain and France (which included Australia) on Nazi Germany following the invasion of Poland that started two days earlier.
In that same month the German Army Weapons Bureau commenced work, and one of its first projects was research into creating a nuclear bomb. German physicist Werner Heisenberg delivered an initial paper on building a workable atom bomb before the year was over.
Albert Einstein, whose equation of E=mc2 lies at the core of nuclear physics, had already warned the US of this research – as did British intelligence – but the warnings were largely ignored until 1941, and the Manhattan Project began shortly after Japan’s attack against Pearl Harbour forced America into the war.
The first nuclear arms race was actually between America and Nazi Germany; the first bombs were intended for Europe but the war ended there before they were ready so ended up being used on Japan.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had embarked on its own nuclear weapons research program, which was significantly aided by information obtained by spies from the Manhattan Project – and thus was born the arms race of the Cold War.


Aboriginal flag to fly year round on Anzac Hill
I wonder why everyone seems to insist this issue began 20 years ago? As I pointed out in my article last year (https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2018/03/25/in-a-flap-over-flags-a-possible-compromise/) the original request for flying the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill was first made in 1989 which by my mathematics is 30 years ago.
It’s also forgotten that the two large flag poles erected in 1989 replaced four smaller ones. These were used to fly the national flag (which flew on the east side of the monument) and the individual armed services flags which overlooked the town. These flags were only flown on Anzac Day and (I think) Remembrance Day but for the remainder of the year there were none.
This issue had its genesis from the protracted political and ideological disputes between the NT Government and the major land councils that dominated Territory politics during the 1980s.


Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians
@ Matthew Langan (Posted August 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm): Not sure which universe you’re living in, Matthew, but of all the places you’ve listed as decisions by “Labor Party big knob socialist flogs” the only one that is an initiative of a Labor government is “the dinosaur museum” which I take to mean Megafauna Central in Todd Street.
All the rest were established during the long rule of the CLP before it ended in 2001.
None of these were ever expected to be profitable in their own right; rather, they are a reflection of a jurisdiction that was anticipated to be affluent enough over time to establish and support such facilities.
That aspiration increasingly appears to be a mirage; and in that sense the “case” put forward to justify the NAAG is a forlorn attempt to flog a now very dead horse.


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