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HomeIssue 1Council provides ammunition for smashing windows

Council provides ammunition for smashing windows


A long-time businessman says the council is inadvertently providing the missiles used to break windows in the Mall.

Darren Burton says he will be standing for council in the local government election later this year, partly in a bid to sharpen its response to vandalism.

He is the owner of the icecream parlour Uncle Edys – now closed – at the southern end of the Mall where vandals break loose pavers and smash windows with them.

The shop was the target 46 times in the past four and a half years. Each window cost $900.

There is a large number of CCTV cameras in that spot yet they seem to yield no useful information, he says.

He discussed the issue with Council CEO Robert Jennings some months ago.

He says Mr Jennings declined to provide compensation but promised to ensure the pavers of the Mall – a council responsibility – would be fixed in a way that prevented them from being used as missiles.

“It won’t happen again,” Mr Burton quotes Mr Jennings as saying.

Mr Burton says nothing was done, and now Mr Jennings has not responded to several requests for further discussions.

“He was paying lip service to me,” says Mr Burton.

While the shop has been closed for some time, he is still paying rent.

The Alice Springs News is seeking comment from Mr Jennings.

Mr Burton says the council needs to focus on “Roads, Rates and Rubbish” rather than worrying about which “which flags fly on what hill.”


UPDATE January 13, 11am

The Town Council responded to the invitation to comment:-

“Pavers are an effective and economical surface commonly used for pedestrian walkways by Local Councils across Australia.

“The pavers in question along the Todd Mall have been in place and maintained by Council since first laid in 1978.

“In recent months, broken and missing pavers have been replaced several times along the length of the Todd Mall.

“In November 2020, Council adopted a number of short- and long-term initiatives, to address the escalating crime issues and expand support measures for disenfranchised youth.”


  1. You missed making comment on the new Todd Mall entrance statement.
    Those shop windows look terrible, half boarded up, half smashed. Owners should be fixing them.

  2. Interestingly the Alice Springs Town Council manage to absolve themselves of any responsibility!
    One of their trees dropped a limb on my power line and tore it from the house. It costs me over $1,000 to have it fixed and when I spoke to the Council, they pretty much said too bad too sad.
    When I told them I’d trim the tree so it would happen again, they got very nasty indeed.
    Apparently there is something in the very fine print, that says they can’t be blamed for things like that. Let’s see what happens when the leaning trees at the southern end of Bloomfield street fall and kill someone.
    Lets face it, the ASTC is beyond reproach for anything.

  3. “Mr Jennings has not responded.”
    No surprise there.
    The Council have a culture of secrecy that features non response.
    Almost all issues are called “operational” which somehow justifies silence.
    I am flabbergasted that councillors, with the exception of Cr Melky, are not up in arms about this blatant attack of democratic governance.
    Here is part of an email from Cr Jimmy Cocking explaining why his hands are tied regarding a green issue that he publicly says is of great concern to him: “Given the operational nature, I cannot involve myself in it at this point. The process has to run its course and then we see where it lands.
    Kind regards, Jimmy.”
    We need councillors who are not content to hand over decision making to CEO Jennings to “see where it lands”.

  4. To the ASTC “operational” does not mean they hear you and are onto the issue.
    When you hear the word “operational” abandon hope because they will never fix the problem nor reply to you again.

  5. It’s all bordering on contempt. I have a real issue with paying money (rates in this case) and not knowing exactly where the money is going.
    As it’s our money, we have a moral right (regardless of what any fine print may say) to know where every cent is spent, let alone be really listened to.
    The mere fact that the books are not open suggests the ratepayers may not be happy with how our money is being spent or they have something to hide!?
    Perhaps it’s time to jack up and either stop paying rates or refuse to vote at the next election.

  6. @ Surprised; All elected candidates for the Alice Springs Town Council should declare their hand.
    Will they go along with the “operational” ruse or not?
    Will they challenge the culture of secrecy and non response?
    Will the represent us, the ratepayers who largely fund the ASTC?
    If they do not declare their position then we can assume they are supporters of the current ATSC culture of secrecy and coverup.

  7. I can not believe the photo of the once Egar’s shop being boarded up. A roller door shutter where once was double glass doors. How can you blame the Council for pavers being ripped up and thrown through glass doors and windows? How many ex Mayors and Councillors still live in Alice Springs? They come they make unbelievable noise for a few years then leave town.
    Having left Alice about 12 years ago I bet I can pick the ones who are not there for the long run. Please note I use my full name. If you are not prepared to wear your colours on your sleeve you should keep your mouth shut. Litmus Surprised Watchn Jason. Damian, the dumbest person on the job, is the boss.

  8. This problem is easily solved and would cost less with less damage done: Just give the vandals a $1 for ea brick that they don’t throw, so the council can put them back (ea brick could be suitably numbered).


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