Phil, in a Braitling field getting crowded, never gives up


p2315-Walcott-launch-3By ERWIN CHLANDA
If you could become Chief Minister through sustained effort to get into Parliament then Phil Walcott would be the man.
He started campaigning as an Independent in 2009 and spent $30,000 of his own money trying to win Greatorex – now abolished – in the 2012 election.
Matt Conlan won the seat by a country mile, getting 1991 primary votes, but Mr Walcott, with 512 votes, wasn’t far behind Labor’s Rowan Foley, 673 votes. Mr Walcott was well ahead of the Greens’ Evelyn Roullet who received 338.
He didn’t do any preference deals in 2012 but this time ’round, standing against Chief Minister Adam Giles in Braitling, he says he will, once the positions on the ballot papers are known.
At Mr Walcott’s policy launch last night he was having a cordial heart-to-heart with Labor candidate Dale Wakefield (pictured with Mr Walcott). Also present was Dalton Dupuy, who is throwing his hat in the ring for the Greens, says Mr Walcott. Not present last night because she was out of town, but also invited, was the other Braitling Independent, Jane Clarke.
Given his enthusiasm for the job Mr Walcott deserved to have more people at his launch, held at the Yubu Napa art gallery and catered for by Dianne Logan – a considerable effort by Mr Walcott which indicates his commitment to candidacy.
The circle of close friends – and friendly opponents – who were there were a good indicator of his network built up over 22 years, first as a B&B operator and later as a psychologist.
He had made his policies clear early in February but re-iterated the disenchantment – as he says he’s detecting during his door-knocking – with the current “Fly In Fly Out Chief Minister” and his “arrogance and manipulation”.
The should be less negative language in public life, saying “remember” instead of “don’t forget”.
He’s disappointed that the spend of $75m for the new power gas fuelled power station will preclude significant investment in solar.
He is building links with the “white ute brigade” with assistance from his partner Glenn, who is a carpenter, and and is forging links with the big end of town, in the CBD north of Stott Terrace.
Mr Walcott thinks long term Independent Gerry Woods is a good local member: For a non-drinker and a non-smoker, he spends a lot of time in the pub, because his constituents are there, and he’s a good listener.


  1. Phil Walcott. A man with a passion for Alice Springs and the NT. A vision to make a better place for all Territorians. No better person for the job.

  2. It raises the distinct possibility of a split in the progressive vote, too many people getting hungry for power which will result in Giles keeping his seat.
    He must be loving the all these progressive candidates nominating for the 2016 election. Not that you could call Jane Clark progressive these days.
    Let’s hope that the seat of Araluen doesn’t end up like this and we’re able to keep Steven Brown out of the Parliament.
    Optional preferential could have devastating effects for the electorate.

  3. Hi Erwin,
    Bit of a correction: I am not out of town. I was invited when Phil and I bumped into each other, a couple of days prior to the event, but decided not to attend.
    Also, you spelt my name wrong. The easiest way to remember how to spell my name is that it is the plainest spelling of Jane and the plainest spelling of Clark.
    [ED – Sorry, Jane.]

  4. Thanks for being there last night, Erwin … always good to know our “local” media is interested in capturing some of the views of each candidate. Thanks for that powerful opening paragraph. I’m certainly very keen to be part of the parliamentary decision-making process that helps to grow Central Australia specifically and the Northern Territory generally.
    I really appreciate your solid, supportive comment, Dave Anderson … hope you live in Braitling! I don’t know because Independent candidates don’t have access to the electoral roll like the party people and sitting Independent Members do. You’d be very welcome to join my campaign team if you have a mind to do so.
    Thanks for your comment, Lou and I appreciate your point. For me, at least, it’s not about “getting hungry for power”; it’s about giving the power to the people of Braitling so they can have a solid, credible, local representative. If people make sure they number every square on the ballot paper in their order of preference, there’s far less chance of your prediction being realised.
    I’m sure those electors supporting the status quo will just put the number 1 next to their candidate so that there can’t be a preference flow to alternative options. All part of the political strategy from this minority government to be re-elected despite its record of toxic behaviour within its own ranks to the point that 25% of their majority sacked them in disgust. Talk about a desperate hungry for power (at any cost) strategy.
    As with Jane, a couple of points of clarification. I have been a registered psychologist for over 30 years, well before I set up the B&B. Additionally, I’m not standing “against” any candidate … I’m standing “for” the people of Braitling. Glenn is a furniture and cabinet maker, not a carpenter.
    As the next few months unfold, I look forward to engaging with members of the electorate in a personal manner by way of front door conversations, meetings and forums. I’ll contribute to various media forums as best I can. May the exchanges be robust, informative and respectful.

  5. Independents in Territory politics, past and present, have done nothing of any significance for Territorians. A recent example is blocking legislation surrounding the sale of the port and Power and Water as well as fracking – opportunities lost.
    The only focus they had when they had the balance of power were those of self interest. They didn’t have a combined front, in fact they even failed in their attempts to get an ICAC up with relevant terms of reference.
    It’s all well and good to talk the talk from outside the tent, but independents have a history of failing the people of the NT time and time again. It’s all too late after the event, don’t waste your vote.

  6. Thanks for your input, Braedon. Always good to challenge your perspectives.
    Independents have a great capacity to contribute to the NT Parliament.
    In the previous Parliament, Gerry Wood MLA held the balance of power in a minority Henderson government.
    He established and worked very hard with his Committee of Territory Co-operation (CTC) to try and get both major parties to consult together with the view of making considered and measured decisions about the best health and wealth interests of the NT residents.
    The former Mills-led opposition continued to mostly thwart the process by not allocating party members to the Committee. This based solely upon their dummy-spit against Mr Wood because he sided with the former minority Labor Party to form government.
    Ahhh … the arrogance of political parties. Held more by an attachment to their respective ideologies and quest for power rather than what’s best for the people. The measured and considered approaches by credible Independents offers stronger and more representative governance.
    In the present Parliament, Mr Wood was eventually joined in the Independent ranks (where he was originally the solo Lone Ranger) by four disaffected CLP members (all women) due to the bully boy tactics of their male counterparts most notably the current Chief Minister and Treasurer.
    The fifth to join the ranks was the dis-endorsed Labor member for Karama. Whilst there are now theoretically six Independents, one has decided to lend her vote on the floor of The House to the incumbent minority government for reasons suspected but not determined. Apart from her, the other individual Independents have chosen to vote against poor legislation where it has been offered.
    Far from wasting one’s vote, all Territorians have the opportunity where credible Independents are standing to elect a Parliament in August that will represent them and not a political party machine.
    The three candidates that make up the Alliance of Independents are all committed to representing their respective constituents whilst sharing some broader agreement about whole-of-Territory opportunities. We hope many of the incumbent Independents (most especially Gerry Wood, Kezia Purick, Robyn Lambley and Delia Lawrie) join us in a next Parliament to deliver strong and sustainable negotiated policy platforms in conjunction with whichever government of the day we end up with. All this will be for the benefit of the people of the Northern Territory.
    By the way, your candidate for Braitling is? Araluen? Anywhere???
    Phil Walcott
    Independent Candidate for Braitling

  7. Gerry’s constituents don’t seem to be able to locate the swimming pool labor promised him, for his supply to a Labor Government, again another example of why an independent will fail.
    Not to mention the fact that the Legislative Assembly only recognises one opposition, so every one else in the chamber is not recognised and not resourced. I agree the easy part may be winning an election, the hard part – the bit that counts is what happens when you walk through the door.
    If you don’t have a research officer, secretary / assistant how can one compete with those that do, on all matters concerning all constituents as they are presented on short notice.
    I agree you are a clever man, but not a genius, even the others struggle, whilst others throw their hands in the air and eat pizza during those times that they should be challenging the government of the day with researched material.
    But, it is what it is, your banter about party politics of the past is accurate, of the present it is not. Coming down to Alice soon, still interviewing candidates.
    Braedon Earley
    1 Territory Party

  8. Interesting to read the comments of Braedon, ex CLP member and current president of a secret committee for yet another party, 1 Territory.
    He is now playing party attack dog, saying the power and influence of independents in government is limited.
    He bases this on the CLP line that Gerry Wood has not produced a pool for the Darwin rural area.
    Well, they do already have one. Berry Springs is one of the most beautiful water holes in the world, maybe Braedon should check it out?
    There have been far more pressing concerns in the rural area, particularly those of inappropriate high density development. Most rural residents are opposed to this, and so far the two independents have done a fantastic job making sure it does not happen.
    I see Phil has listed several achievements of the Independents. Definitely they are the only ones asking hard questions of our government and making them a little accountable.
    I’m not sure what Braedon thinks of the Container Deposit Scheme, but the only reason we have it is Gerry Wood. Our suburbs, beaches and streets are now far cleaner and we have a recycling rate far exceeding all other states except for South Australia.
    It says something about the 1 Territory Party that they (sorry he, because for all we know, it’s just him) have to attack the Independents when the two fat parties are full of corruption, lies, deceit, secrecy and backstabbing.
    I asked Braedon, at the Royal Darwin Show last year, how his party constitution is going to prevent corruption, lies, deceit, secrecy and backstabbing like we see in the party system. He was going to tell me, but it’s a secret. Yep there is something on the nose about 1 Territory.

  9. NOTE to Comment writers: Your comment will not be posted if we cannot contact you on the email address from which you are submitting the post. If an email we send to the address bounces back, or we don’t get a reply when we seek ID of the writer, we will delete the comment. We permit pseudonyms but I need to know the identity of the writer.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor.

  10. Thanks, Erwin. It certainly adds credibility to people’s comments if they are able to be tracked back to the source.
    I’m very thankful for whatever comments people wish to make so I would ask that they have the courage of their convictions to be open and transparent in their communications.

  11. @ Andrew, @ Arthur: Sorry about not responding sooner, I’m busy releasing candidates and policies that adhere to our constitution. See our Facebook page.
    Our constitution was formed after we had read and researched all political constitutions in Australia, some in the UK and some in the US and Canada.
    I guess this must be hard to believe, but the web site and Facebook page have been up for a while – anyway don’t let the truth stand in the way … and so on.
    As for high density subdivisions in the rural area, didn’t Gerry’s ex-secretary’s husband do one of those in Gerry’s electorate?
    I might be wrong, but of course no connection to the subdivision, the employer – employee relationship … just a subdivision which seems to have gone unnoticed?
    Anyway, back to Arthur: The independent candidate for Sanderson and my secret society party, which has an executive, a management committee and many sub committees for various activities, in excess of 1,000 supporters and in excess of 350 members registered to vote, an office, face book page, web site, over half the candidates preselected (preselections continuing), all of our policies in draft format. I never realised how secretive we were. Arthur, maybe you’re interested in our donation policy and our philosophy on policy. It addresses all of your guesswork.
    We have one secret I should tell you: Our candidate for Fannie Bay lost his job last Monday, we believe because his employer found out he was involved with 1 Territory.
    His ex employer has very strong Labor ties, so I guess it’s out there.
    What’s got me stuffed is how do you run an emergency response organisation without a logistics manager? Anyway, a matter for them. I will advise anymore secrets as they come to light.
    Andrew, if you can still smell something, get some toilet paper and wipe your chin.
    Braedon Earley, President, 1 Territory Party.

  12. @ Braedon: If you had read Andrew Arthur’s response properly, you would have realised that Andrew is one person, not two.
    Why has the 1T web-site been displaying a 404 error for the past week (that I’m aware of)?
    Why do you persist in unsuccessful attempts to deride Independent candidates? You were so disgruntled with the “two-party” model, that you and a few others set up an alternative.
    Surely, a clever strategist would seek to embrace other candidates who aim to offer an alternative; not ridicule them.
    Bully-boy tactics and arrogance are what got this incumbent mob into trouble in the first place. Now you want to play the same game? Good luck with that!
    Phil Walcott
    Independent Candidate for Braitling

  13. Phil: Independents have failed the Territory past and present, don’t let history stand in your way.

  14. Uh … Phil Walcott … What are you on about this 404 error? The page works fine for me and everybody else. Stop spreading FUD.


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