Jacinta Price: 4 year commitment lasted 18 months

2611 Scullion, Morrison, Jacinta Price OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

CORRECTION OF A FACT: 30 April 2019, 1.59 pm. See at bottom.

 

Voters considering CLP candidate for Lingiari Jacinta Price for their number one choice on May 18 might want to examine her performance when she last sought the public’s endorsement.

 

They will find that in the Alice Springs Town Council election on August 26, 2017, she was by far the top scoring candidate.

 

However, a year and a half into her four year term she went back on an unequivocal undertaking to serve to its end. In fact, she announced her intention to stand for Lingiari just six months after being elected to council.

 

Usually introduced as an Alice Springs councillor, her contribution to the running of a struggling town had been negligible, her meeting attendance grossly inadequate.

 

And Code of Conduct complaints – all found to have been vexatious or without foundation – that she or people associated with her had apparently lodged against three fellow councillors had the council teetering on dysfunctionality for months. (CORRECTION: see at bottom.)

 

There has still not been confirmation that she or an associate were the complainants, but a response from her to the Alice Springs News last week strongly suggests this to be the case.

 

Her resignation last week could mean that council will need to spend about $90,000 for a by-election to fill her vacancy, although an acolyte suggested she could be a council member as well as a Member of the House of Representatives.

 

According to section 39 of the Local Government Act, governing the resignation of a councillor to stand as a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly or the Commonwealth House of Representatives or the Senate, if the former member is not elected, he or she can be is reinstated as a member of the council.

 

The News asked Ms Price, on the day the 13th Council had its first meeting, about rumours that she had political ambitions other than the town council, and might resign before the end of the term.

 

She said: “I am absolutely committed to serving Alice Springs on Council for at least the next four years. There is much work to be done and I look forward to it.”

 

The facts don’t bear out this promise.

 

Until this month there had been 20 full council meetings (as opposed to the committee meetings on the alternate fortnights which prepare the groundwork for decisions but do not make them).

 

This year Cr Price was absent for the January, March and April meeting when she tendered her resignation in writing.

 

She attended the February meeting by telephone.

 

This has its severe limitations: a councillor participating by phone cannot take part in the confidential sessions.

 

Certainly some council decisions are taken in these sessions and some policy direction is set. For instance, the current discussions about the proposed land swap (with the NT Government, of the Civic Centre block for the old Anzac High School site) are taking place behind closed doors.

 

A councillor not entitled to take part of course cannot represent their constituents.

 

In 2018 Cr Price was absent from the January and July meetings, and attended by phone the March, August and November meetings – only the “open” sections, of course.

 

Only in the first year (the four months left of it, September to December 2017) was her attendance perfect.

 

During the second meeting of the 13th Council, October 2017, she seconded 26 motions moved by Mayor Ryan.

 

Cr Price’s own record of motions is dismal for someone who had acknowledged that “there is much work to be done”.

 

Judging from regular attendance at meetings by our journalists, and from the meeting minutes, none of the issues raised by Cr Price were part of a coherent, well developed and costed strategy founded on research and public consultation.

 

This criticism may well apply to the motions of other elected members but they are not the ones seeking Federal office and neither did they have the highest level of support from the community that Cr Price attracted in the last council election.

 

Not counting motions that are no more than accepting reports or minutes, she moved motions about these subjects (number of motions in brackets):-

 

October 2017 (8): The Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill, NBN, a concert and seniors.

 

November 2017 (9): The flag again, Arrernte issues, tourism funds, anti-social behaviour.

 

December 2017 (2): Alcohol, anti-social behaviour.

 

February 2018 (3): Flag, Australia Day.

 

April 2018 (7): Bicycles in the Mall, MOU with the government to regard the Anzac Precinct as the “preferred” location for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, cancer nurse.

 

June 2018 (6): Animal shelter, $20,000 for a TV program, tourism promo, digital screen, bush band, Mall cyclists.

 

September 2018: No motions of her own but she voted with Mayor Ryan and Councillors de Brenni, Paterson and Auricht against a motion that Anzac Precinct should not be the preferred site for the gallery.

 

This double negative means that Price, Ryan, de Brenni, Paterson and Auricht were supporting the NT Government’s choice of the Anzac Precinct, while Councillors Melky, Banks, Satour and Cocking were opposed to it.

 

This, of course, was knocked on the head when subsequently senior Arrernte people objected to the government’s choice.

 

December 18 (1): Sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

At the time of publishing, Ms Price has not responded to an invitation to comment.

 

[ED – The meeting minutes of the council are on its website.]

 

PHOTO from the ABC TV News shows Ms Price  with (from left) Senator Scullion and Prime Minister Morrison.

 

CORRECTION: Statements last night reveal that Jacinta Price and her parents were the source of three Code of Conduct complaints  with respect to two councillors, Crs Cocking and Satour, but not three. Neither Jacinta Price nor people associated with her were complainants against the third councillor who was the subject of a Code of Conduct complaint in 2018, Cr Eli Melky.

 

 

 

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15 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Margaret Ward
    Posted April 26, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Why call an old man “white,” black lady? You’ve lost my vote as you show your true colours.

    View Comment
  2. Earle Moroney
    Posted April 24, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    I don’t use this medium as a conduit to lecture someone, but she doesn’t receive my calls.
    Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, please don’t cloak yourself.
    You are EGO driven. You are over righteous and have a blindly lead ego driven ideology.
    You have a false complex for reality that is all driven by a material relevance which is a complete opposite of our culture / ancestors.
    You are living never to find your own connection for the purpose of our people and for what could be a Aboriginal must have leader.

    View Comment
  3. Conservative
    Posted April 24, 2019 at 11:49 am

    When are people in our camp going to see this for what it is?
    We’ve heard lots of talk, rants, seen the self promotion, social media posts and interviews but zero solutions.
    She isn’t an on ground community person actually doing the hard yards in DV, families and children, community health, policy etc.
    If elected it’ll be another disappointment.

    View Comment
  4. Watch'n
    Posted April 24, 2019 at 6:50 am

    Have a quick view of the candidates facebook pages. They are worlds apart on the content.

    View Comment
  5. Spot
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Jacinta obviously wants to help her people with more than roads, rates and rubbish.
    If it means moving on to attempt this well good on her for doing that.
    Going up against another who has a history with another council that should be more concentrated on rubbish, roads and royalties instead of politics, has had many years to try to make a difference but unfortunately failed, it is time a local Indigenous person was in a position to make a difference.
    So go girl.

    View Comment
  6. Peter Chandler
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Not sure who Pete Path is but he really should use his own photo.

    View Comment
  7. Hermann Weber
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    I hope she does well. Old story, as soon as some one sticks their neck out and fights for what they believe the troglodytes come out with the sticks.
    But not one is prepared to walk the same path.
    I wish the lady all the best.
    In the miasma of politics she is a breath of fresh air. Go Girl Go.

    View Comment
  8. Pete Path
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I liked her best when she was on TV. (I don’t have an aerial.)

    View Comment
  9. Davo
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 9:07 am

    TV show host, singer, footballer, Alice Councillor, now Federal candidate. Attention seeking at its best.

    View Comment
  10. Tj
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Has anyone got anything before she got on the council? I’m not sure but she got listened to by saying negative shit about Aboriginal men who are trying to repair their lives after an intervention.

    View Comment
  11. Linda Wells
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 6:54 am

    My thoughts Phil are that the longer Jacinta Price sticks around the more people will come to realise what a divisive, self-serving character she is. All talk and no action as Kimberley Hunter says. Except action of the destructive kind.

    View Comment
  12. Kimberley Hunter
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Vexatious and without foundation, and her lack of attendance at meetings despite convincing those who voted for her that she had the stamina and undertaking to make a difference.
    Clearly Price misled this very council and it is likely she will cost the council around $90,000 to replace.
    She will forever be remembered for her divisive self serving all talk and no action track record and without ever getting her hands dirty.
    She may one day do away with her own self importance and become mature enough to be considerate of people’s difference and in particular the plight of other Aboriginal Australians.

    View Comment
  13. Dr Ongo
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Sounds like someone you wouldn’t want representing us in Canberra then. I mean if she’s hardly there, how can she?

    View Comment
  14. Liberal
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    “There is much work to be done”quoted as saying.”
    I have voted Liberal all my years. Except this time ’round, I don’t think the CLP’s candidate is up to the task.
    The article provides evidence!

    View Comment
  15. Posted April 22, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Prediction: If Jacinta is not successful in winning Lingiari in four weeks and Josh Burgoyne doesn’t win the second Senate seat (which won’t happen because the Senate roles are ‘fixed’ at one CLP: one NTALP), they’ll both contest the August 2020 NT Legislative Assembly in Braitling (Jacinta) and Araluen (Josh).
    Your thoughts?

    View Comment

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