Plenty of ‘NO’ signs at the entrance to the mall; no welcome sign.
By KIERAN FINNANE
Councillors are none the wiser, following last night’s committee meetings, about the circumstances of a skateboarder copping a hefty fine for failing to show proof of identity. Councillor Chansey Paech, who is championing a more inclusive approach towards skaters and cyclists in the CBD, asked for clarification from CEO Rex Mooney.
Mr Mooney expressed his faith in the professionalism of the rangers but asked for a few days grace to prepare a more detailed report for the elected members. However, he said the fine was not for the activity of skate-boarding, which was part of Cr Paech’s concern.
Mr Mooney also said the fine had not been paid but a fortnight’s extension has been allowed.
Cr Paech (pictured) commented that the situation was “a clear indication” of the need for council to create a harmonious space in the Alice Springs CBD for “all user groups”. He signaled that he would present a motion on the issue at the next meeting and urged his colleagues to read the information he had previously distributed about skate a bicycle friendly policies in other jurisdictions.
Mr Mooney also advised that council has recruited a Todd Mall Promotions Officer, Marion Erlich, and she will soon undertake a walk-through of the mall, with CAT Projects’ Lyndon Frearson who headed up the recent redesign works. Cr Paech asked to take part in this walk-through.
Meanwhile a request for comment on the issue from the Alice Springs News Online remains unanswered. This is unusual for council.
Councillors will consider the detail of a proposed Register of Pecuniary Interests for elected members and senior staff during their forum discissions next week. This follows the controversy around former councillor Geoff Booth’s plan to open an escort agency in Alice Springs, in the wake of which Mr Booth resigned. A by-election to replace him will cost council an estimated $92,000.
Last night councillors were provided with a report from council’s solicitor, Chris Turner, outlining the provisions for disclosure in the NSW and Victorian Local Government Acts. It is Mr Turner’s recommendation that council model its register on the Victorian Act, which has a “catch-all provision” for disclosure in an annual return of “any substantial interest” which the person considers could raise “a material conflict” between his or her private interest and his or her public duty as a councillor or senior staff member.
Council has moved towards greater financial transparency with the inclusion of several financial reports in the committee papers. These include the balance sheet, the monthly payments listing, the investments report, and the debtor analysis.
Council has $17.5m invested with the NAB and $12.25m in cash deposits.
Payments for the month ending September 13 were listed in order of value, ranging from a progress payment of over $1m to Sitzler Brothers for work on the Waste Management Facility, down to 80 cents for a stationery item.