Price, Turnbull should pay for town council function: Cr Banks


2468 Marli Banks 1 OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Councillor Marli Banks says the Town Council should charge costs, including venue hire and staff expenses, for a function involving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the CLP’s Lingiari candidate Jacinta Price “to the organiser of the event”.
The function was held in the Civic Centre on August 8. Ms Price is an elected member of the council.
Council CEO Rex Mooney said on August 15, in response to a question from the Alice Springs News Online, that the catering invoice for the “civic reception of the Prime Minister” was $1409.91 and is to be met from council’s general fund for civic activities.
“The final invitation list with contact details for the function was managed and decided by the office of Senator Nigel Scullion,” said Mr Mooney.
“The Alice Springs Town Council had no control over who was ultimately invited, including media, to the function.
“Further, the Prime Minister’s Office coordinated the media who attended.”
Cr Banks (pictured volunteering at an Old Timers Fete) is giving notice of a motion, seconded by Cr Eli Melky, for Monday’s council meeting, that the council should “determine that the nature of the Prime Ministerial function … does not fall under the category of a Mayoral or Civic Centre reception” and that “all costs incurred from this function, including catering, staffing, use of venue, and administrative costs, are to be on-charged to the organiser of the event”.
Cr Banks gives as reasons for the motion the fact that the function was “for selected members of the community and media.
2529 Turnbull, Price OK“It is understood that the purpose of this event was to introduce and endorse the Federal Candidate for the seat of Lingiari, Jacinta Price.
Left: Cr Price with Mr Turnbull.
“The council covered costs associated with this event, but did not manage the invitee list or meetings held on the premises,” says Cr Banks in the notice.
“This was managed by the office of the CLP Senator for the NT Nigel Scullion, and co-hosted by the Federal Candidate for the CLP for the seat of Lingiari [Cr Price].
“This event was not arranged by the Alice Springs Town Council and meetings associated with the Prime Minister’s visit have been deemed to be of a private nature as not all Elected Members were notified and/or invited to attend these discussions.”


  1. That seems fair enough.
    Local rate payers shouldn’t be paying for private political agendas and quite frankly, Jacinta and DeBrenni should have known better that this was going to blow up in their faces.
    Between the fist fights in public, the breaking of rules regarding use of public funds for private purpose and teaming up with Mark Latham, this does not bode well for future behaviour of this woman should she end up elected.

  2. Unreal. The council wants government funding for master plans, solar development, operational assistant grants, and a lot more for the town yet they whinge about talking to the man who can help deliver the assistance.
    You never hear them complain about $4k a time to put the flag up and down on the hill now.
    A big double standard is being shown by this group.
    Typical nipping at the heels crap that stops core business been done.

  3. Yep, most definitely should not expect the ratepayers to foot the bill. Send it to Price and Scullion. Honestly, some people think the ratepayers won’t find out if the council pay for this stuff.
    What else are we paying for that we don’t know about?
    [ED – Hi, Original Centralian. Keep reading the Alice Springs News Online. We asked the hard questions.]

  4. As it appears that this was a private function, even if masquerading as a public one and with public figures in attendance, the individuals involved should pick up the tab.
    The sense of entitlement sort of stinks. Either invite the town, or pay for your own party, dude.
    And does it really cost $4k to hoist and lower a flag? That seems to be a bit steep. Still, I guess it’s good work, if you can get it.

  5. It’s very telling when certain Councillors are excluded from an invitation list to a so called Council event.
    Exclusion is a form of bullying and needs to be called out.
    It may have been okay for Council to host the PM at their own expense but terrible manners to invite only certain Councillors.
    At the very least the organisers including the Mayor and CEO should apologise for the oversight.
    And then it would be great if everyone moved on to discussions about actual council business.

  6. @ Kyle: About $4k a time to put the flag up? My husband raised the flag and I am certain he was not paid.
    May be you are talking about the cherry picker that had to be called because the poor quality ropes put up by the council’s workers in hurry after someone alerted them to the fact that that was no ropes at the pole. Sabotage?

  7. All councillors but two who gave apologies came to the welcome reception which included a welcome to country that was a procedure that this new council insist on at every function that is charged to the organisation.
    So the councillors present enjoyed the catering that was supplied.

  8. I cant believe the disrespectful “entitled” commentary around this subject, really?
    We are a small town in the centre of Australia, one of thousands of small towns in this country, the Prime Minister of our nation shows enough interest in our community’s struggles to take time out and visit to discuss advancing our region through the establishment of a regional plan, so very much in the interests of every Centralian!
    And yet we get a couple of non contributing councillors who couldn’t be bothered fulfilling their own expected role as councillors, but still with their hand out for a similar amount every month, whingeing about a lousy 1400 dollars to facilitate and respectfully greet the leader of our nation!
    Of course council should facilitate the Prime Minister and his departments meeting greeting, facilitating important visitors to town is a primary role for councils everywhere.
    I’ll bet you a penny to a pound that there are councils of small towns all over this country who would shell out considerably more for the same opportunity, because it is in the interest of their constituents!
    And if you don’t understand that then I can only suggest that you don’t belong anywhere near our council!
    Further in recent months I have noted a continuous flow of disinformation from certain councillors, claims of bullying, not being invited to events and recently claims that having to officially apologise for non attendance is some kind of bullying isolation of the few.
    What utter garbage. The line of code of conduct charges against one councillor came from council staff not other councillors because that councillor is a disrespectful loud mouth whose comments are often very disrespectful of staff.
    Whether those code of conducts were upheld is completely irrelevant, what is relevant is the fact that staff felt the need to make them in the first place!
    It is their only form of defence when they are impinged, it points, very pointedly I believe, to who the bully in the pack is.
    Further, some councillors simply aren’t contributing, not giving the very large commitment the role requires, not bothering to show up for meetings, not having read their notes when they do.
    The requirement to register their apologies is so that the public gets to see for themselves who is contributing to the nitty gritty plain boring hard work and who is taking a free ride and using the councillor role to grandstand trying to sell the idea they are actually contributing to our community. I hope local media will also keep a firm eye on this.


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