Trish van Dijk (pictured) has confirmed that her question to Adam Giles was about "mandatory sentencing per se". It was not about the old regime that existed under the CLP when it was last in government, as suggested by Simon Walker in his comment below. She told the Alice Springs News Online this morning: "I just asked a simple question: Are you going to pursue mandatory sentencing? And the answer was 'no'."
Now you see it, now you don't. The Country Liberals' policy is to introduce minimum sentences for certain categories of assault. That's mandatory sentencing, but according to candidates Adam Giles and Matt Conlan at yesterday's Meet the Candidates forum in Alice Springs, mandatory sentencing is "not happening".
"We won't be pursuing mandatory sentencing", said Mr Giles to a question from Trish van Dijk at the forum. Mr Conlan joined in: "It's not happening," he said.
Today Mr Giles 'clarified' his understanding of the policy for the Alice Springs News Online: "Mandatory sentencing is a catch-all for everyone on all things. We're talking about minimum sentencing for assault on front-line service staff."
Yet clearly, if parliament passes legislation requiring minimum sentences for certain crimes, then that is mandatory sentencing. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Photo: Adam Giles makes an impassioned point. To his right are fellow Country Liberals Robyn Lambley and Matt Conlan. Nearest to the camera are (from right) the Greens' Barbara Shaw and Evelyne Roullet. The moderator, the ABC's Rowan Barwick, is at far left.
Will this election forum get some real answers? Three drug houses – look for the big green signs. Will the forum host – the Chamber of Commerce – and the ALP candidates answer questions about fuel prices? Alice a fly-in, fly-out town? 20 sleeps till the election. ERWIN CHLANDA comments.
KIERAN FINNANE talks to three candidates for the upcoming Town Council election.
Work together, get past the difficulty of differences of opinion, work with the whole community, for the good of the whole community: sounds obvious, sound perhaps soft, but it was a message delivered with convincing emphasis from all three Town Council candidates I spoke to for this article.
They are an assorted lot. Greater diversity is on the cards with the change to the way votes are counted in local government elections, and perhaps the likelihood of a diverse council is delivering candidates who welcome the opportunity of working with its inevitable challenges.
Despite their varied backgrounds, Aaron Dick, Dianne Logan and Matthew Campbell share a number of broad aims: rejuvenation of the town centre, doing what council can to stimulate business in the CBD, developing a greater connection with the river, protection of mature trees, much more shade, more activities for young people.
Alcohol policy and flood mitigation – in this, the year when the 20 year moratorium on a flood mitigation dam north of the Telegraph Station will be lifted – were recognised as thorny, perhaps the latter even more than the former.
While none wanted to comment too much on the mayoral race, all expressed respect for the way Mayor Damien Ryan has handled his role.
Pictured, from top: Aaron (Charlie) Dick – we need more trees and shade throughout the town, and fewer carparks in the CBD! • Dianne Logan – "Let's get it happening!", she says of rejuvenation of the CBD .