By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Labor Party has preselected candidates for the two rural seats in Central Australia, Scott McConnell (pictured) in Stuart and Chansey Paech (below, left) in Namatjira.
The sitting members are Bess Price (CLP) and Alison Anderson (Independent), respectively.
Mr McConnell, born and bred Central Australian, heads up Ingkerreke Outstation Services, an Aboriginal organisation, and Ingerreke Commercial, an associated private enterprise engineering company. He is also CEO of Ngurratjuta Corporation.
Mr Paech’s position is delicate: He is a sitting councillor, with nearly two years of the term still to run.
Given that the Territory has a minority government, and an election could be held any time, a resignation by Cr Paech may trigger yet another council by-election at a cost of about $100,000.
He had an opportunity of retiring from council ahead of the closure of nominations for the council by-election to be held on Saturday this week.
“I would not resign from the council but stand down,” he told Alice Springs News Online today. “And if not successful in the Territory election, I would resume my seat on council, and continue to lobby and advocate for the town of Alice Springs.”
Mr Paech identifies as an Aboriginal person. “I am of Eastern Arrernte descent, and I will make sure that Labor listen and hears loudly and clearly what bush people are saying.”
About the sitting Member in Namatjira he says: “Alison is an Independent. I have enormous respect for her, I have known her all my life. This is not me against another person, it is about listening to what people are saying.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA