And yet today if Council has less than 12 months …

Comment on Bonanni has strong lead in council poll by Hal Duell.

And yet today if Council has less than 12 months to run, neither a by-election nor an appointment to the casual vacancy is necessary as Council merely makes do with one less elected member. In practice this 12 months can extend to 14 if the retiring Councillor is an apology for two (or three?) meetings before formally pulling the plug.
So we’re down from 10 to eight Councillors already, and potentially seven, and if two were to go could we get down to six?
In other places I have advocated the use of the previous election to find a replacement when a casual vacancy occurs on our councils.
Originally I had thought to offer the position to the last person standing but not elected, and then to continue down the list of unsuccessful candidates in reverse order of their exclusion.
But after speaking at a Council Forum a week ago with Mayor Ryan and Councillors Brown and Douglas, I take their point that to go all the way through the list would not be right as those at the bottom polled too few primary votes to be in any serious consideration.
So I looked at the results of the last three municipal elections and found that by applying a cut-off point of 3.5% of the primary votes cast, in 2004 there was one candidate available for the offer, in 2008 there were two and in 2012 there were four.
In all three Councils, there was a by-election, and by making this offer, we could have possibly spared ourselves the costly tedium of a by-election. (No disrespect intended to the winning candidates in each case.)
I have submitted this proposal to LGANT and asked that it be discussed at their next meeting.
I know from correspondence with the NT Minister for Local Government and the Regions that the NT Government is willing to consider changing the Local Government Act if they receive a concerted approach from LGANT.

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?

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