Paech, McConnell to stand for Labor


Scott McConnell   2022 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.
p2122-Chansey-PaechMr 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.”


  1. A Councillor who resigns before his/her term is ended, should be fined, unless it is a very good reason like illness. If they have no regard for rates payers, how can they be trusted?

  2. “… it is about listening to what people are saying.”
    One of the things people in Alice are saying is that we are really tired of elected councillors using our votes and our trust to further their own political ambitions.
    Chancey had a chance to declare himself and didn’t. Not to worry. Alison will do him like a dinner, and he can then resume his posture of a committed councillor.

  3. What great news to hear that a young person has put their hand up to represent the community in parliament, we should be proud of this young man we’ve watched him grow! Why’s it an issue now? it was fine for CLP to do it with their previous elected members.
    We shouldn’t forget that it’s the current government that has extended the local government terms by almost two years, which as resulted in this coming by-election. If the time frames hadn’t been increased and they were on their original terms we wouldn’t need to have any by-elections, I suspect.

  4. Well done Chansey. I’ve been watching you progress and evolve. You often bring sensible, common sense thought into council discussions. You’ve shown to be community minded and I believe are a good fit to be an MLA.
    That said, I do believe you should have let your council role go so it could be filled in the pending by-election and fully commit to your new decision.
    A foot in each door is politically immature. My bet is Alison will deservingly retire, paving the way for new blood. This would be allowing you a red hot go. Best of luck to you, young man.

  5. Piss weak alright Harold, piss-weak of you to make such a comment without having the guts to put your name to it. Another dunny wall scribbler.

  6. @ Ian Sharp, Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:52 am:
    Sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander, Ian. Isn’t it a bit partisan to jam Harold for an unsigned negative comment while allowing Janey and Sean a pass on their unsigned positive comments?

  7. Well if you are so upset, @ Hal, my full name is Jane Louisa Hayes, born and bred Central Australian proud Arrernte woman living and working in Alice Springs (Mparntwe). Is that okay for you? Or do you want my email address?

  8. Janey, Posted October 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm:
    Tell it to Ian, Jane Louisa Hayes. It is a matter of no importance to me how anyone signs their comments.

  9. On the question of signing one’s name to comments, and I feel I should declare myself further.
    Best practice would include both names on all public comments. However, that’s not in the rules of the game we play. I wish it weren’t so, but as they say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
    And thank you, Jane Louisa Hayes, for declaring yourself. I mark that as one down, two to go.

  10. Hmm, so far everyone has been commenting, more or less, on Chansey Paech. I think it’s a moot point, if Alison Anderson seeks another term in office I don’t think she’ll be disappointed.
    Scott McConnell, however, is another matter altogether. I think the seat of Stuart now becomes very doubtful for the CLP to retain.

  11. A rather disappointing field of contenders. Ironically, our only chance of getting some decent representation in Namitjira may come from the CLP (not like the last one) or a new independent (fingers crossed).
    Labor should seriously consider the consequences of nominating such pro Alison Anderson individuals.
    Anderson is surely a toxic political football with an incredibly clouded history.
    You can tell a lot about a person by their friends. Scott’s association for many years with Anderson is widely known.
    The business connection between Scott and Ingkerreke should also raise some questions. It is in this very paper, that in 2010, Scott declared that Ingkerreke commercial was a commercial operation – though the ORIC website later reveals in a compliance notice from 2013 that there is inadequate record keeping of money flows through the different entities that come under the Ingkerreke umbrella.
    “The examiners reported that:
    • the corporation maintains its financial records in two cost centres (one for grant funded activities and the other for its commercial activities)
    • for the purpose of managing its cash flow, the corporation transfers money between these two cost centres from time to time”.
    This election we need the choice of people with a clean history and a dedication to serve a full term and fulfil the honour that is given when elected to govern.
    I am concerned that the election of Scott would be used by Labor to help bring Alison Andersons vote in from the wild and be of use in forming Government.
    And Chansey, being on the board of Congress, where do you stand on an apparent connection between Congress and the Memo club?
    As to anonymity: The fact is, Alice Springs thrives off the money that flows into this town. The money is clearly benefiting a lot of people, but mostly not those that the money is actually for. Hence why the “gap” on many measures, is not closing.
    Many people would be adversely impacting their employment if their name is published. Anonymity can be a vital tool to help the truth of a story be told.

  12. @ Hal Duell: Unpack the word “such” … it is the nastiness I object to in Harold’s dismissive comment about Chansey Paech. Anonymity is useful says “Observer” in helping the “whole story be told” and I can see that may be true at times, but too often on this and other forums it is used a shield to allow people to say things that are impolite / rude / offensive / hurtful, things they might not say if their identity was known.
    Of course there are people who will say such things in their own name, but they then have to carry the consequences … in their own name.

  13. @ Ian Sharp, October 7, 2015 at 6:38:
    Thanks for your comment, Ian.
    We moderate all comments, 9658 items since July 29, 2011, and limit “impolite / rude / offensive / hurtful” remarks. This assessment, of course, a matter of judgment. It is a difficult task for us but we manage to avoid the sewer-like standards of other forums, and get lots of points for it.
    People who put themselves into the public arena, such as election candidates, can be expected to have a thicker skin than others. We allow a wider latitude (but far from total) to comments about them, compared to comments about other people.
    Whilst often making the point to commenters that using their real name will give their comment more weight, we allow nom-de-plumes in comments for two reasons: one, to get a broader representation of views and at times important information, as there are some people who are reluctant to do either under their name; and two, in recognition of the possibility that people speaking their mind may be victimised. That is a sad thing, but it is the reality.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor

  14. From what I’ve seen Chansey has always been open and honest about his political allegiances. Which is more than can be said for many councillors past and present, and current hopefuls.
    What is important is that councillors act in the best interest of our town and ratepayers, which I have always observed Chansey to do.
    Local government has often been a platform where some excellent MLAs have cut their teeth. Robyn Lambley, Richard Lim, Loraine Braham – all great local members who started out on council.
    Does it say something that our current disconnected and hopeless MLAs in Giles and Conlan didn’t do their time on council? Maybe they would have learned something about the town and people they have failed to represent.
    Remember that the Alice rural area will be a part of Namatjira from the next election so here’s hoping a strong, locally connected young man who has proved he’s not scared to stand up for Alice Springs gets into Parliament.


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