CLP candidate Mayor puts demands to Labor CM


Sir – Nobody likes to receive an ultimatum, but one has arrived on the desk of Chief Minister Michael Gunner days before Christmas.
As we come closer to election year 2020 Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan has issued a demanding open letter to the Chief Minister pleading for help for more resources to bolster law and order in the town.
The mayor wants urgent action.
In the one-page letter Mayor Ryan reminds the Territory Government of its responsibilities and “duty of care”.
Mayor Ryan also asks for a meeting to seek reassurance on “the measures that are in place to ensure the short and long term safety and healthy future of the community”.
This bold approach perhaps reflects in part the state of relations between council and government in Darwin, which has not been helped by differences of opinion over the art gallery project.
It is worth considering for a moment whether the letter may have a stronger impact if it had come from a more independent or impartial local government leader rather than one who has declared his hand as a candidate to run against the current Gunner Labor Government at the 2020 election.
Mayor Ryan confirmed in September that he will be a CLP candidate for the seat of Araluen taking on the incumbent independent Robyn Lambley.
The letter restates the obvious desperate situation in Central Australia. Public safety is at risk.
Mayor Ryan also requests the establishment of a 24 hour drop in centre.
The letter comes after the benefits of a curfew are were strongly debated at Council earlier this month when Cr Eli Melky’s fifth attempt to introduce a youth curfew was defeated.
How does one expect the Chief Minister to respond?
That is if he does respond at all in a direct way to this letter.
For the sake of the community, bipartisanship should prevail.
Mark Smith


  1. If the mayor is trying to make political capital out of a serious and desperate situation in Alice Springs then that is not a commendable thing to do when improving the quality of life for young people in the region is at stake.
    If the CLP wants to really deal with the issue of youth crime then present to the electorate a fundamental plan to address this serious situation. Territory Labor needs to do the same.

  2. Mr Gunner and Mr Ryan, stop acting like kids in the school ground. Forget your political parties and work together for the safety of us. Crooks, hooligans, law breakers have no allegiance and target anyone, anytime, anywhere.

  3. Why can’t we have people who genuinely want help to make our community better, and not just for their own selfish social or political gain?
    When the community cry out for something, do something! It’s not hard.

  4. I really don’t understand how people are so cynical these days.
    To me, it is simply the civic leader of Alice Springs, the Mayor, asking for government assistance.
    The only real alternative I can see because reasonable requests have been ignored.
    Youth crime is the domain of the government through the police, yet the image of the town and it’s amenity is the domain of the council.
    It is right for the Mayor to ask for help, publicly if private attempts are ignored.

  5. We have had drop-in centres, this is a band aid not an answer.
    The law is there for all, not just some and not others, or we are called racist.
    Law braking is an offence and should be dealt with accordingly not a slap on the wrist and off you go, to do the same thing again, making other citizens lives a scary and wary place to live in Alice Springs.
    If my kids were hanging around the town, I am sure the police would be making them their business.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here