Jacinta Price reneges on council undertaking


24100 Banks, Price, Auricht 1 OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Cr Jacinta Price is breaching an unequivocal promise to see out her full council term after being the top scoring candidate in last August’s election.
Just six months into her four year term she has announced that she is seeking CLP endorsement as the candidate for the Federal seat of Lingiari, covering the NT outside Darwin, and currently held by Labor’s Warren Snowdon.
Challenged over rumours that she would be using her new position as a springboard to higher political positions, Cr Price couldn’t have made her intentions clearer. She told the Alice Springs News Online, as we reported on September 12 last year: “I am absolutely committed to serving Alice Springs on Council for at least the next four years. There is much work to be done and I look forward to it.”
If Cr Price succeeds, the timing of the next Federal lower house election, on or before November 2, 2019, will mean the Alice Springs Town Council will need to hold a by-election, costing around $100,000, because a council seat cannot be vacant for more than 18 months (section 39(5) of the Local Government Act).
Intending to post the report tomorrow we emailed Cr Price an invitation to comment at 8.12am today, following with a text at 8.32am: “Just sent email. Regards, Erwin.”
At 10:45am today Cr Price texted back: “Thanks but I don’t read your emails anymore.”
The email also contained the following questions: “Should you succeed and be elected, the ratepayers, whose trust you have breached, would also be facing a $100,000 bill for a by-election.
“Do you have any intention of compensating the public for that expense? If so, how?
“Finally, please advise what your initiatives have been as a councillor so far to deal with the town’s two main problems, juvenile crime and an ailing tourism industry.”
PHOTO: Cr Price (centre) in council – not for much longer, if she gets her way  – with Cr Glen Auricht and Cr Marli Banks.


  1. Hypobole aside, there is no need or intention (or even requirement) for her to resign. She can do both. You will find the Mayor of Sydney is also their state member. You will also find the Federal member for Lowe is on his local council, so are two Labor senators and one Greens senator.
    So thanks for the misinformation.

  2. There was talk at one time that Nigel Scullion was getting tired of being a Senator, and that Jacinta was in line to take on that job. Something happen?
    Anyway, now she says she wants to take on Snowdon in Lingiari? Good luck with that. Warren has done nothing for thirty years except win an election every three years. He’s good at it.
    The $100,000 price tag for a by-election is an own goal. There are ways around it, if the Minister in charge of local government would care to consider them. Such as, offer the job to the last excluded candidate polling at least 3% of the primary vote at the previous election.

  3. It is so good to seen a young female Aboriginal Territorian go for such an important position in the Australian Government. As a young Australian woman I feel proud. Erwin, Stop the Press! Didn’ you know women can multitask?

  4. @ Evelyne Roullet. I smiled at your tongue in cheek comment. Don’t ask this question too loudly.
    Did Dave renounce his Irish citizenship? Perhaps Dave would be happy to answer this simple question.

  5. So Jacinta is well on the way to being a “good” polly … breaking promises.
    In fairness though, I guess it’s a good opportunity for her career.
    I do dislike it though, when people promise something and then do something different.
    But, she will have a hard time against Warren Snowdon, but I hope she succeeds.

  6. @ “Elle” and “Brett”: A definitive statement about whether or not, in the NT, someone can be a councillor and a member of a parliament is not available. The requirements are different in every state.
    So far as I can find out, it’s never happened in Alice Springs where local government started in 1971.
    When former councillor Chansey Paech stood for the Legislative Assembly he was told – as are all others in a similar position – obtain his own legal advice.
    This is what the NT Local Government Act – Section 39(6) – says:
    If (a) a member resigns in order to stand as a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly or the Commonwealth House of Representatives or the Senate; and
    (b) the resignation takes effect not more than 28 days before the close of nominations for the relevant election; and
    (c) the former member is not elected, and applies to the CEO to be reinstated as a member of the council within 7 days after the result of the election is known; the former member is reinstated as a member of the council.
    The position seems to be this: A council member resigns to contest a parliamentary election. The resignation can be reversed if he or she does not win the parliamentary seat.
    But if he or she does win that seat, it seems clear that the resignation from council stands.
    In any case the intentions of Cr Price last year were perfectly clear. This is how we reported them: “In response to a question from the Alice Springs News Online, Cr Price quashed rumours that she has political ambitions other than the town council, and may resign before the end of the term.
    “She said: ‘I am absolutely committed to serving Alice Springs on Council for at least the next four years. There is much work to be done and I look forward to it.’”
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor

  7. If Jacinta Price does win preselection to stand as a candidate in the next Federal election campaign, she will not be the first to do so.
    On his third attempt, John Reeves was elected in a triple by-election as an Alderman of the Alice Springs Town Council in April 1981.
    He was the Labor candidate for the seat of the Northern Territory in the Federal election campaign of February-March, 1983.
    Reeves was successful, and his departure from the Council contributed to another multiple by-election in April that year (this was the occasion when Leslie Oldfield was first elected as Mayor after the retirement of George Smith).
    Alderman Bob Liddle resigned from the town council in 1987 to run as a candidate for the NT Nationals in the Federal election campaign in July that year. He was unsuccessful.
    The NT Government had earlier changed the law so that resignations by council members who stood as candidates for NT and Federal elections were not reinstated as council members even if the candidates were unsuccessful (at present they are).
    Alderman Di Shanahan had stood as a Labor candidate in the NT elections of March 1987 and was also unsuccessful. The law being what it was at the time, a double by-election was held for the Alice Springs Town Council. Neither Liddle or Shanahan chose to run again.
    The NT Government subsequently reversed this law to the current situation now prevailing.

  8. John, if Dave has renounced his Irish citizenship, it is OK as long as he did it before the birth of Jacinta.

  9. In Australia, the city council or shire (in a rural region) is the lowest level of government system.
    The local council gathers the councilors who elected by the resident in a small area (some streets), the head of the council is Mayor or Shire president.
    The council is a cell of the nation’s body, the authority limited to a small sphere, even the adjacent council couldn’t control the other.
    Certainly, a city council couldn’t impose the rule on the other council, state and federal governments, therefore, some councils and mayors self-promote as the most powerful persons in the nation.
    They think the council’s decision affects totally nationwide and the country has to obey, follow a council’s decision.


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