Publishing this wish list for the impending elections – Federal and Territory – is driven by the conviction of the Alice Springs News Online that the people need to be calling the shots in politics, not the politicians.
Here you will find what the town’s major representative bodies are expecting from the Territory and Federal governments: The Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Central Australia and the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
We have tried our best to entice the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress to give voice to the expectations of the town’s Indigenous people but it has declined to do, saying it might once the elections have been called. We will stay in conversation with them. Congress has an an annual budget – mostly from the public purse – of nearly $40m, $8m more than the Town Council’s. In its early days Congress was vocal a representative for Aboriginal people, well beyond providing medical services.
The Alice Springs Town Council
This was decided on a motion by Councillor Jade Kudrenko, seconded by Councillor Jacinta Price.
1) The provision of an after-hours youth drop in centre for Alice Springs, and continuation of the existing After Hours Youth Night Patrol run by Alice Springs Town Council and Congress beyond 2016.
2) Anzac Oval power upgrade.
4) The construction of a community event centre/amphitheatre.
1) The second round of the Solar City initiative for Alice Springs. Solar battery solution equivalent to Uterne (the solar power station opposite the Kilgariff suburb on the South Stuart Highway).
2) An indoor multi-purpose sporting facility.
3) An outdoor multi-purpose sporting facility.
Tourism Central Australia CEO Stephen Schwer
• Cross-marketing between events a lot more. We’ve got some awesome events but we market them as stand-alone events. What we’d love assistance with is cross-promoting these events, doing some collaborative marketing, put out a bigger calendar of events to the consumer.
• Help with the continued promotion as an adventurous destination, the experience of intimacy and connection with the environment, mountain biking, those kinds of experiences.
Arid Lands Environment Centre
We call on aspiring parliamentarians to support ALEC’s vision for ‘healthy futures for arid lands and people’. ALEC will be developing a scorecard for the environment in the lead up to the Territory election based on the following issues:
1. Real action on climate change:
Recognise the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground as per Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2°C (preferably 1.5°C)
Develop Regional Climate Adaptation Plans in consultation with Local Governments
NT Government fleet transition to electric vehicles – investment in solar-powered charging stations in Alice Springs.
2. Investment in renewable energy:
100% renewable energy target for Alice Springs by 2030
50% renewable energy in remote communities by 2020
Financial incentives to encourage home and business rooftop solar investments, including enabling Environmental Upgrade Agreements.
3. Action on groundwater:
Substantial investment in mapping the groundwater resources of the region
Removing exemptions from the petroleum and mining activities from Water Act and Waste Management Pollution Control Act.
Review of all water allocation decisions based on the incorporation of mining and energy projects into the water balance and equity of supply (primacy of public drinking water).
Re-establish Strategic Indigenous Reserves in water allocation plans and build capacity for people to make use of them.
4. Strengthen NT environmental laws:
Strengthening environmental assessment, approvals and compliance system – more powers to the EPA and Environment Minister, less to the Mines and Energy Department.
NT Government to ratify Section J of the Building Code of Australia to support energy efficiency in all buildings in the NT – both residential and commercial buildings.
5 Ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
No new mine approvals that involve the process of hydraulic fracturing.
No Tennant Creek/Mt Isa gas interconnector pipeline.
Support for a national inquiry into nuclear waste.
Evidence-based policies that limit baiting of dingoes with 1080, investigate reported increase in the illegal use of strychnine.
Resourcing and support for indigenous ranger programs.
1. Real action on climate change.
Increased carbon emission reduction targets to at least 60% by 2030 and 100% before 2050.
Supportive policies for renewable energy investment.
Support for regional climate adaptation plans across the arid zone of Australia.
2. Stronger environmental protection laws.
Strengthen the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to include shale gas under the water trigger legislation (currently limited to coal seam gas).
Strengthen the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to include a climate trigger for projects with high carbon emissions.
Establish a national environment protection agency.
3. Inquiry into national radioactive waste management.
Explore all options for permanent storage and management of Australia’s existing stockpiles of low and intermediate-level waste, while also exploring options for the future reduction of radioactive waste creation.
4. Increased funding for indigenous ranger programs.
Make a federal commitment to resource Indigenous Protected Areas – most of which are in the arid zone.
5. Sustainable development for Northern Australia.
Ensure that Northern Australian Development policies and tax-payer funded investments incorporate the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Kay Eade, Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory
• Reinstate first home buyers grants.
• Invest in Alice Springs Hospital to become an Australian renown teaching hospital.
• Re-evaluate the Aboriginal Affairs procurement policies.
PLEASE NOTE our earlier summary on this subject, and comments submitted by our readers.