By ERWIN CHLANDA
Ever felt like giving a politician a piece of your mind? Well, today’s your day.
A lot of them are at the Show, at the western end of the pavilions.
Right: Not her though, the one on the left.
The Labor stall is just there, and the CLP are about 50 meters to the south, just the other side of the town council stall (free coffee), where you get a bit of both (ALP and CLP, that is, mostly CLP).
Chief Minister Adam Giles is usually at the CLP stall, among the pensioners who get a free lunch.
You might like to ask Mr Giles which of the goodies, that he paid for with your money, are in the pork barrel, which are in the investments basket, and which are just ‘announcables’ of everyday kind of stuff.
In the investment basket would be new assets putting the town on a better footing to face the future: at a time when the world is transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy and when Alice Springs is well-placed to literally have its day in the sun, he is locking us into gas-driven energy generation. When the Top End is getting some serious flood mitigation works, Alice Springs has got a committee, whose number one recommendation is the gathering of baseline data (Labor also has to take responsibility for this neglect). And despite his pro-business rhetoric, what has his government done to provide a long-term shot in the only significant private enterprise in town – tourism.
Yes, we’ve had the cash splashes on bread (eg, schools, roads, sports facilities) and circuses (Desert NATS, the Light Festival, the mist hologram at the Telegraph Station), but ask The Chief why completing the seal of the Mereenie Loop hasn’t even started yet although it was already in last year’s Budget.
Left: Spot Adam amongst the prancing ponies.
If you run into Education Minister Peter Chandler, ask him with whom he consulted about the merger of the Middle and Senior schools.
Or ask Parks Minister Bess Price why she allows our greatest natural attraction, Palm Valley (The Rock doesn’t do much any more for us any more), to be choked in buffel and couch grasses?
Give her a pat on the back for her Parks and Wildlife Commission spending $52,000 on weed control in 2015/16 – yes, that’s that’s the ridiculous total for the NT.
And then ask her how come Minister Gary Higgins can announce this week a $1m spend on Top End weeds, Gamba grass and Cabomba. Will she get money like that for The Centre?
And find out from Ms Price why the access road to Palm Valley is by far the worst road in whole country?
Right: Some of yesterday’s Labor heroes.
When she says – as she usually does – that the 4WD fans love it, ask her why there are no Finke-style whoopty doos built into the access roads to the Sydney Opera House.
Michael Thomson, the CE of the Power and Water Corporation, announced the highlights of its stand are “new hydration stations and water bottles providing water to all show attendees as well as a range of innovative projects across the business on display”. Maybe ask them why they are spending $75m on new gas driven generator engines and not very much on solar.
Pop back over to the ALP stand, get a red balloon and ask Warren Snowdon what in his nearly 30 years in Parliament he’s done to lift Lingiari from an electorate with some of the worst socio-economic indicators in the nation to one that lives up to its fantastic potential. You could possibly be talking to him on the last day of his political career.