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HomeVolume 27Jimmy Cocking council by-election likely to cost $200,000

Jimmy Cocking council by-election likely to cost $200,000


The by-election to fill the vacancy created by Jimmy Cocking’s resignation is likely to cost the town council more than $200,000, according to a well informed source.

At its meeting on September 27 the council estimated the cost would be “$150,853.06 (excluding GST)” but the source says there are likely to be additional expenses.

The election day will be October 29 and nominations are closing on Friday.

The by-election, conducted by the NT Electoral Commission, will need to be held because Cr Cocking resigned more than 18 months before the next full election.

If he had stayed on till January 2024 his vacancy could have been filled by nomination, at no cost to the ratepayer.

Mr Cocking did not respond to requests for comment from the News.

He also stood for Mayor at last year’s election but missed out by two votes and Matt Paterson became the town’s top elected member.

We emailed Mr Cocking the following questions: “Why were you standing for Mayor AND councillor if – as it appears – you had no intention to fill a councillor’s position?

“Why did you not stand for Mayor only?

“Do you expect the ratepayers, now saddled with an expense of $165,000, would have expected you to honour, full time, your obligation to serve as a councillor?”

We received no reply from Mr Cocking despite several requests.

He is the former CEO of the environment organisation Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and is now the CEO of Desert Knowledge Australia in Alice Springs.

According to the “Jimmy Cocking for Alice Springs Mayor” fundraising website, which names most of 43 donors, Mr Cocking raised $16,120 for his campaign last year which had a target of $30,000.

In this website (pictured) he stated: “I am running for Mayor of Alice Springs. It’s not the first time but it might be the last time.”

He also said: “I have the potential to be a great Mayor for Alice Springs and will support and grow community leadership along the way. 

“We need to ensure we have the trust of the community and demonstrate transparency and accountability on all levels.”


  1. I have been lobbying council for a community development project that would have assisted the animal shelter.
    Our hard working elected members Marli Banks, Eli Melky, Mark Coffey and Steve Brown gave it immediate support and it is now on the agenda.
    Mayor Patterson called me to thank me for the idea but went on to explain just how competitive the budgetary process is.
    They may have to juggle a project like mine against one that provides more safety or security.
    $200,000 is not just a lot of ratepayer’s funds, it is several important projects that would benefit all of us.

  2. Just as with any bank term deposit, if you do not go the full term you lose all interest benefit you signed up for.
    This same requirement should apply equally in government appointments and anyone not going full term should bear the brunt of losing any accrued benefit accordingly. Makes cents!


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