Greatorex gets the flick


The division of Greatorex has been abolished in the electoral redistribution, instead of the earlier mooted removal of Araluen.
The sitting member in Greatorex, the CLP’s Matt Conlan, is not standing again, while Araluen’s incumbent, Robyn Lambley, has defected from the government and is now an independent.
Alice Springs town is to consist of two divisions – Araluen and Braitling, the seat of Chief Minister Adam Giles.
The area south of Heavitree Gap becomes part of Namatjira.
Stuart’s southern boundary is adjusted to take in part of Namatjira.
The new map is at top, the old one, below.


  1. It is not a secret that the Current Chief Minister hardly ever resides in Alice Springs but in Darwin and his chances of securing any seat anywhere in the NT becomes more of a 100 to 1 bet every day. 1Territory and Labor, maybe? But watch this space for Red Centre independents to balance the NT Assembley.

  2. The new divisions invite noting a few points:
    1. Alice Springs has had two urban electorates before, from 1974 to 1983 – they were the seats of Alice Springs and Gillen. However, this was when the NT Legislative Assembly had 19 seats, not the current 25. What’s different this time around is that the town is divided along an east-west axis; previously it was north-south. Interesting to note that Braitling now extends into the east side of Alice Springs, as it did partially into the Old Eastside in the redistribution of 1990.
    2. The inclusion of the rural area into Namatjira echoes the redistribution of 1990 when the seat of Flynn was abolished and the rural area was incorporated into MacDonnell. There’s a slight variation this time, as a part of Mt Johns Valley is also incorporated into Namatjira. In 1990 it was Stuart that encroached into the northern edge of town, in the Dixon Road area.
    3. The southwards shift of Stuart also echoes what happened in 1990. Personally I’m happy about the retention of the name of Stuart, it’s the last original one surviving from the creation of the NT Legislative Council in 1947.
    4. The previous occasion when the Centre, specifically Alice Springs, lost an electorate in favour of a new one in the Top End occurred in 1990, a quarter of a century ago. What happened then was that two electorates in the Alice (Flynn and Sadadeen) were abolished, and the new seat of Greatorex was created. Now it’s gone full circle, with Greatorex meeting the same fate.
    But the pattern doesn’t end there. Flynn was held by NT Nationals member Enzo Floreani, who had taken the seat from the CLP in a by-election in September 1988. It was one of the worst defeats on record for the CLP. Sadadeen was held by conservative independent Denis Collins, formerly a CLP back-bencher. Collins lost out in CLP preselection for Sadadeen in early 1987 to a new mover-and-shaker in town, one Shane Stone; however, in the NT elections of March that year Collins easily retained the seat. It’s blatantly obvious that those two seats, held by non-major party members, were targeted in the electoral boundary redistribution of that year.
    A very similar situation has occurred now, with the abolition of Greatorex given that the current CLP member, Matt Conlan, has announced he will retire at the next election campaign. However, it begs the question as to why Araluen, held by former CLP and now independent member Robyn Lambley, was initially targeted for abolition. There’s no doubt that the process of electoral boundary redistributions in the NT, especially in the Centre, are prone to political influence.
    5. All the aggravation, controversy and suspicion that sometimes appends to this process could be avoided if the NT was divided into multi-member electorates. There would still be alterations of electoral boundaries but no sitting member faces the prospect of losing his/her position in the process. Elections of members for each seat would be determined by proportional representation, as occurs with the Australian Senate, for example. The principal difficulty here lies with the major political parties – they don’t like this system because it’s much harder to obtain outright victories; but given the decline of standards that afflicts our current political system, it’s now timely to consider other options for achieving better outcomes.
    I well remember the situation pertaining to electoral boundaries in the Centre a quarter century ago for the following reasons: I was a member of the Flynn Branch of the CLP, it’s secretary / treasurer in 1988-9 and chairman in 1990-1.
    I was the sole author of the CLP’s submissions to the NT Electoral Redistribution Committee with regard to the southern region of the NT in January 1990.
    I was one of two CLP candidates for the seat of Stuart in the NT election campaign of October 1990.

  3. Boundary changes also results in a shift in the CLP party control for the first time since the party was formed.
    The branch power base will no longer be Alice Springs, it will be Palmerston and Darwin.
    Another fatal blow for the Giles – Tollner circus and their games.

  4. @ Sean: Not the case. Darwin’s dominance of the CLP dates well back into the 1980s, it was a significant matter of concern for branch members of the party living outside of Darwin at the time.
    The CLP’s “power base” (if you could call it that) ostensibly swung back to regional NT following the party’s demolition in the 2005 NT election campaign.
    The CLP retained only four seats – two in Alice Springs, and also Katherine and Palmerston (Blain, held by Terry Mills).

  5. We are soon to see another charade regarding “Independents” played out at the next election.
    When the Member for Braitling, Lorraine Braham, got the flick from the CLP under Burke, there were outpourings of outrage resulting in Braham retaining the seat of Braitling.
    As an Independent she achieved zilch, zero for Alice Springs, as Independents can achieve very little where up against two team players that are the CLP and Territory Labor.
    I hope both the CLP and Labor field very strong candidates for the seat of Araluen as we need proper representation in a Darwin dominated parliament.
    Of cause all those who wish Adam Giles’ political demise, just remember – this is the first and probably last time Alice Springs will EVER have true representation in the NT government. It will go back to Darwin domination forever after the next election when the CLP loses – so be careful what you wish for.

  6. @ Chalkey Cheese. What you say is true. However, the reason we may never get another Centre based Chief Minister is because of the appalling performance of the current.
    To ensure that never happens again, the actual branches have to preselect much better candidates, without the branch stacking to get whom individuals want. Candidates that actually understand the Territory, business and community.
    Giles had been here five minutes, had none of these qualities, but worked out the quickest way up was stacking, and off he went.

  7. Thanks, Rita Clarke … others and I support your notion. Independents represent the people who elect them; not the political party that sponsors them.
    Thanks to Alex Nelson for his historical commentary and promotion of multi-member electorates (as the Australian Capital Territory operates with 17 members across just three electorates). An optional preferential voting system would also enhance the process.
    I’m so pleased that Chalky Cheese has a crystal ball … perhaps he can give us all tomorrow night’s Lotto numbers in advance. We only know the past and experience the present. We don’t know that Alice Springs will NEVER again have a local Chief Minister. Backing commentary off some kind of fear factor is unhelpful and negative.
    In any case, I look forward to meeting and greeting the people of Braitling in my quest to become your new local member in 2016. I’m keen to listen, represent your issues and help strengthen the UNITY in commUNITY. Please feel free to join me.
    Phil Walcott
    IndependNT for Braitling


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