Eli Melky standing for mayor and councillor


Alderman Eli Melky has announced that he will be standing for mayor and councillor in the March 24 local government elections.
He is in his first term (having been elected in a by-election last March) and part of a minority faction – frequently voting with Aldermen Samih Habib Bitar and  Murray Stewart – who are finding it difficult to get support for their motions.
Ald Melky has also had some memorable run-ins with Mayor Damien Ryan.
Ald Melky said in a media release: “Over the past four years Alice Springs has experienced an incredible downward spiral with lawlessness at an all time high where violent attacks on tourists are no longer restricted to late night attacks, but happen in broad daylight.
“Out of control youth roam the street at all hours of the night unchecked. A bedtime curfew for youth under 16 now is more than ever needed.  The town’s businesses are closing at an alarming rate with confidence down, graffiti is everywhere, petrol is incredibly over-priced and the tourism industry not only has to deal with a global financial crisis and a rising dollar, but violent attacks on our visiting tourists as well.
“Four years of weak leadership has left the community with no choice but to form groups and call for action.
“Despite public protests their calls largely fell on deaf ears.  The cost of criminal break-ins and vandalism to businesses and homes is in the hundreds of thousands.
“All the while this is happening, our leaders pander to the powers that be and continue to act as if nothing is happening and push governments’ line that all is well.
“I didn’t support keeping council business secret, I want to see the council take a proactive approach to the Melanka site, I am concerned about a risk of a rate rise due to possible agreement with NT government over delivery of municipal services to town camps.
“I want to see the penalty on residential property owners who don’t remove graffiti from their property abolished.
“I am against all restrictions on trading hours for licensed premises and liquor outlets.”


  1. Please explain Mr Melky, how can there be a curfew for children under 16 when parents are not allowed to tell their children, and then enforce what they have said, due to fears of losing their children to child welfare workers with no understanding of what it takes to raise children?

  2. Eli: “I am against all restrictions on trading hours for licensed premises and liquor outlets.”
    Please tell me you are not advocating the sale of alcohol for both on and off licenses 24/7. Alice Springs needs a regular time out, say a minimum of two days off a week. Closing all bottle shops on Sunday and Monday might do for starters.
    I’m with you on scraping the fines for not removing graffiti. There’s a double dip there that is hardly fair.
    I’m also in favour of shrinking what is allowed to disappear into Confidential.

  3. Perhaps some accuracy that Alice Springs Town Council “leaders pander to the powers that be and continue to act as if nothing is happening and push governments’ line that all is well”.
    These problems are created with higher levels of government, both NT and Commonwealth, setting rules and guidelines within which council operates.
    Do not blame Alice Springs Town Council for remaining within their leads restrictions, only for their behavior within these restrictions.
    Education (formal schooling and general), Police and Judiciary are the main tools modern societies use to educate all members of society whatever standards modern society deems acceptable behavior, or enforce where NOT acceptable.
    These functions are not controlled by Alice Springs Town Council, though in places they seek to apply them.
    NTG and Commonwealth determine boundaries for “offensive behavior” within which our Judiciary operate to determine an offense was committed, then an appropriate penalty to be applied.
    The term “offensive behavior” means whatever the NTG and Commonwealth define them to mean, provided our Judiciary accept them being lawful.
    Might Alderman Eli Melky set out clearly exactly what the council can and should do?

  4. Eli, I thought there was a glimmer of hope that you’d had a bit of a rethink after your rather good “Little Sports” idea. I commended you on it.
    I also think you’re right about property owners not having to pay to remove graffiti from their premises. I even thought you were brave in commenting on the price of a block of town dirt costing $300,000 these days. The current Mayor has been reminded that incumbents without forward thinking policies can’t always expect a mandate, so your comments as a Mayoral candidate have not gone without notice, but your advocacy of a curfew and open slather on liquor sales is a disappointment.
    Please refer to the story about Steve Brown and the comments I’ve made about those kind of policies. I note that you haven’t answered any of the questions put to you by citizens. This is a concern. One could be excused for labeling your alcohol policies as the act of a traitor, given the fact that you are running for positions of public leadership in Alice Springs. I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t stick. The youth of this town deserve better.
    I said early in the piece that Steve may have the gift of bringing people together and if I’m not mistaken, I believe that you are the type of person who is not ashamed to reconsider his publicly stated views. There is integrity in this and it’s needed now, more than ever.


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