COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA
The public has preferred the Alice Springs Town Council, since inception 50 years ago, to be non-political.
It has now hit bottom with its undignified and misleading efforts by some elected members and senior staff clearly aimed at getting Deputy Mayor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price preselected as the Country Liberal Party’s Senate candidate tomorrow.
The bizarre events in the past few days came to light when Cr Price, best known for her close to zero initiatives and frequent absences during the four year term, has come up with a plan for youth employment initiatives. This is within a hair’s breadth of the council entering caretaker mode ahead of the Town Council elections.
The plan is described in a four page brochure displaying council logos, giving it official appearance, but lacking all but the most basic financial details and these are unexplained. The Feds may put in some money, suggests Cr Price. And all that by July 1 – which is on Thursday next week.
The colourful leaflet is naming as participants in the project eight local organisations which Cr Price admits have never been spoken to. Only one has – just once.
The public was told by Cr Price at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting:–
• Council CEO Robert Jennings and other staff collaborated in the production of the brochure, featuring a large portrait of her (pictured).
• Also collaborating in the scheme is Cr Jamie de Brenni, declared mayoral candidate and president of the CLP who will (presumably) be chairing tomorrow’s preselection party meeting in Darwin.
• All this is happening on the watch of Mayor Damien Ryan, who will not be seeking re-election but was a CLP candidate in the 2020 Legislative Assembly election. He lost his bid for Araluen to sitting Member Robyn Lambley and swiftly returned to his $100,000 a year job as Mayor.
• Cr Price, Indigenous program director for the right-wing Centre for Independent Studies, on her Facebook account falsely claims that the council had unanimously accepted her plans whereas what it actually did was agreeing to having a look at it.
That the August council poll will be interesting is assured.