Police fail to inform the public about actions of children that put their lives and those of other road users in mortal danger on Sunday. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. And while they say they have CCTV images, they will not release them. Meanwhile over night, eight vehicles were stolen by culprits yet unknown.
UPDATE March 15, 8:50am: Four more youths arrested.
Vote ‘yes’ in the coming referendum on constitutional recognition of local government or definitely face increased rates in the future and risk loss of direct funding from the Commonwealth, such as money for local roads through Roads to Recovery and other community infrastructure grants. This is the message that Mayor Damien Ryan wants his fellow councillors to take to the electorate. With apparently more than 30% of voters making up their minds on polling day, he urged them, at last night’s end of month council meeting, to all be present at the booths on September 14. KIERAN FINNANE reports on this and other council news, including more CCTV and solar lightingalong the river.
Detectives are requesting public assistance to identify the person in the CCTV image at right.
The alleged offender entered a property in Gillen on the night of October 20 and stole items from a fridge at the rear of the dwelling.
A resident of the house disturbed the offender and he ran away.
And police have arrested a 14 year-old youth who they will allege is responsible for three separate unlawful entries in the town. People with information were asked to ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or police on 131 444. – Police media release.
If the new town council's Gang of Four – Steve Brown, Eli Melky, Dave Douglas and Geoff Booth – act as block they will need an extra vote to achieve a majority and that vote is most likely to come from Liz Martin (at left) or Brendan Heenan (above).
Both were re-elected, clearly are of a similar mindset to the Four on many issues, and also operate businesses.
In fact they are top performers in the vital yet currently seriously depressed tourism industry: Councillor (Cr) Martin runs the National Road Transport Hall of Fame. While last year saw the shutters going down for many businesses in the CBD, Cr Martin says the Hall had its best year ever. She's just signed a $1m deal to build a display hall for Mack and Volvo trucks, rivaling the existing Kenworth complex. And Cr Heenan's MacDonnell Range Tourist Park is like a small, very well run town that wins Brolgas year after year.
At least one council project, spending the $5m NT Government grant for rejigging the CBD, is facing delays not of council making: no-one knows where many of the underground water, electricity and sewage mains are located, so there's no start date in sight for any digging. How could the new council break though on that front and what else can we expect from the holders of the balance of power in the 12th Town Council? ERWIN CHLANDA talked with them over the Easter weekend.
ABOVE: Room half full or half empty – the small turn-out for the mayoral Q&A suggests the town's flagging interest in all the talk. A few more than shown did arrive. Councillor candidate Matthew Campbell in the front row is not sleeping – in fact he was the first to arrive – we just caught him during a blink. BELOW RIGHT: Mayor Ryan and challengers (from left) Steve Brown, Eli Melky, Samih Habib Bitar, Dave Douglas.
Alice seems to be getting sick of talking. Last night's mayoral candidate question & answer session was a lacklustre affair and poorly attended. If candidates' family and friends, councillor candidates and media had been removed, the Andy McNeill Room would have been three-quarters empty.
The five candidates outlined their campaign message with no surprises. Steve Brown, candidate for mayor and councillor, was the one to come closest to making an speech intended to inspire, nominating the town's biggest single issue as "social inclusion" – a term usually coming from those who would count themselves as his opponents .
To offer residents of remote communities and town camps a way into our community is the "burning issue" for Alice Springs, he said.
Mayor Damien Ryan in his five minutes said creating community events makes the community more "inclusive", and that council is not given enough credit for its program of events. In its next term council should work on having more, he said. In collaboration with Indigenous elders they could include a biennial desert festival, which could be taken to world tourism markets.
The biggest round of applause for the night was reserved for Kate McMasters, a teacher and 5th generation Territorian, speaking from the floor. She said teachers must deal with negative behaviour in the classroom quickly and firmly, but their focus remains on positive behaviour, building it up with endless feedback. She urged candidates in tackling the issues to start with positive as "it's poisonous out there at the moment". KIERAN FINNANE reports on the mayoral candidates' Q & A.