By ERWIN CHLANDA
UPDATE 18.50 Jimmy Cocking fails: The # 2 scorer for Mayor in the local government elections nearly three weeks ago has been told the NT CAT has dismissed his application for recount or void the election.
Mr Cocking attempted to unseat Matt Paterson who won the Mayoral election by just two votes.
The fight for Mayor, three weeks after election day, is becoming entrenched and bitter: “The community now wants us to do what we are elected to do,” says Mayor Matt Paterson.
“Anything else is a waste of ratepayers’ money. They want it to get over with.”
Mr Paterson says he is also aware that NT Minister Eva Lawler was in town yesterday, doing research about the proposed $100m national Aboriginal art gallery, and that she was aware of a comment by Lhere Artepe CEO Graeme Smith, that his NGO doesn’t “give a rat’s arse” (pictured) about the gallery.
“I’ll have to have a chat with him in the near future,” says Mayor Paterson.
Meanwhile referring to the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act (NT CAT), if there is anything wrong with the council voting process the whole election would need to be voided, all councillors and mayors.
Electoral Commissioner Iain Loganathan says the estimated cost of the 2021 election is $233,000: “Another election would be cheaper as there isn’t the same overheads of a Territory wide General Election.”
Cr Jimmy Cocking put demands before the NT CAT yesterday which now has 28 days to hand its decision down in writing. (It may come out early.)
Mr Cocking is drafting a LETTER TO THE EDITOR to the Alice Springs News to be published tomorrow, seeking changes to the way the poll was run, and that deprived him the Mayoralty.
Asked by the News since becoming Mayor, compared to his last term as councillor, is he being treated differently in terms of being told things, by the people of Alice Springs generally, Mr Paterson said: “I’m getting a lot more airtime.”
The subjects raised with him are more or less the same, but they are raised more frequently. He also has a vigorous open door policy on issues such as the skatepark, infrastructure and storm damage. He is getting on with CEO Robert Jennings “very well”.
Last updated 25 October, 9.49pm.