LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – Over the past few days since returning home I have been questioned about my absence from Town Council over the past few months, along with my views on Councillor Melky’s question, who should be running in the upcoming council election, and will I be a candidate.
Although a little reluctant to discuss my health publicly, I nonetheless feel I owe the Alice Springs community, especially those who voted me into council, some explanation for my absence from all things council and political over the past few months.
Some months back I was diagnosed with a cancer in my neck, news that brought with it much Angst for both myself and my family and resulting in my being less able to fulfil my obligations as a council member.
Some months on I have returned from successful surgery in the Royal Adelaide and while I still face months of radiotherapy I am expected to make a full recovery.
My heartfelt thanks to all those who wished me well and offered their prayers. Your support as always, be it in health or politics, has kept me going through a pretty tough time, and will continue to do so with much still to come.
Am I running again? This is a little difficult for me to answer at this time, however I certainly haven’t lost my interest in all things Alice Springs and I will continue to be involved in one way or another. In the meantime I am delaying my decision for as long as I can.
I’m also being asked on a regular basis who is running, who should be running, and who makes a good candidate.
While I have spoken to a few who have indicated an interest I am not aware of any confirmations other than Jamie De Brenni, Jacinta Price and Damien Ryan.
When it comes to the discussion about who should be running I can’t stress the point enough: We need locals, passionate locals who know our history, understand where we come from and where we should be going, locals who both share and demonstrate their long-term commitment to our community.
Council is not a place for blow in wannabees intent on building personal careers or pushing political agendas which inevitably serve to create roadblocks in our town’s economy and just generally waste the council’s valuable time.
I specifically refer to the greens; if we want a vibrant healthy future for our town and its economy we need to shut out their suffocating ideology.
Council ideally suits those with good local knowledge and enough life experience to make good decisions, sometimes outside of council advice, those who are passionate and concerned about our community direction, be it economics, sporting or the arts.
Contrary to opinions you may gather from various media, those with the ability to listen and make sharp decisions make the most useful councillors, as opposed to those intent on self-glorifying theatrics and grandiose speeches.
Which brings me to the next subject on which the editor has sought my comment: Should the council’s civic centre loan be paid out from a supposedly impending surplus?
As is often the case it’s not quite that simple. The first thing that we and Cr Melky should have in mind is this: Just as in the case of your weekly wage packet, there is no surplus until the end of the week and the next cheque comes in.
You simply can’t make any decisions regarding that surplus until that point is reached. As a financial adviser, I’m quite certain that Cr Melky would also support that advice.
However, when and if the predicted surplus is declared I personally would not be supportive of paying out the loan, at least not before seeing just how much is in the surplus. If it is a substantial amount I would be much more inclined to give it back to community by investing the funds into an economy boosting project.
I have just such a project in mind. I believe this project would produce the greatest benefit for our community. So unless something changes, continuing to hold the loan and building economy boosting infrastructure makes sense to me.
But of course, it’s all hypothetical until surplus day. We might just win Lotto between now and then!
A final comment about candidates: Tap a local on the shoulder tell them it’s time, their community needs their input.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR