The Town Council's brave new policy of enticing young people into Todd Mall came crashing down at the council meeting last night. In the latest backflip on skateboarding, the trial approved two weeks ago to permit the sport for three months has been scuttled on the vote of all members except Councillor Chansey Paech, who initiated the trial and stuck by his guns. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
PHOTO: Part of the public gallery at last night's meeting: Most are members of the anti-skateboardig deputation. In the back row, left, is council candidate John Bridgefoot. He says he is in favour of a trial but believes that the amphitheater solution is better, and "would make it safer for both the skaters and the people in the northern end of the mall".
Karen Avery, of the Department of Business, says the application by the group including Cr Booth for an escort agency licence has now been withdrawn.
UPDATE 12:15pm Monday:
Cr Booth, who was expected to be attending tonight's council meeting by telephone hook-up, has this morning notified the council that he will not be attending in any form.
UPDATE 10:20am Monday:
Karen Avery, of the Department of Business, said this morning: "There has been some indication that the licence application may be withdrawn. However, the Department of Business or the NT Licensing Commission have not received any formal withdrawal yet."
Town Council CEO Rex Mooney (pictured) was told by Councillor Geoff Cr Booth that he had "terminated" his application for an escort agency operator's licence. But in a written report to tomorrow's council meeting Mr Mooney says: "Cr Booth's withdrawal of this application does not in any real way satisfy or even deal with the concerns raised" by council solicitor Chris Turner, whom he instructed to provide legal advice following "media attention" focusing on Cr Booth's place of residence and escort agency plans. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
A youth curfew is back on the Town Council's agenda but at least two councillors (including Liz Martin, pictured, who heads up the National Road Transport Hall of Fame) are saying that before local government becomes involved, it should check what the NT Government's intentions are about juvenile delinquency. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Juvenile delinquents are still running riot despite pledges by the new government – in office now for well over than 100 days – to get tough on them, says Councillor Steve Brown, a long time former member of the CLP. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
If you're inclined to scream "Why Me" every time you hear the word alcohol restrictions, take some comfort from how Australia's most famous beach and former venue for wild New Year's Eve boogies is dealing with the issues. Not only is alcohol completely banned from Bondi Beach at all times, but so is smoking. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. ABOVE: Signs prohibiting smoking and drinking alcohol on world famous Bondi Beach, bans brought in by local government after "riots".
Sweetness and light continued to prevail in Monday's meeting of the town council committees, with not a hint of belligerent factionalism.
The jolly consensus allowed councillors to breeze through a big agenda probably in record time – at least so far as the meeting open to the public was concerned. Even wild man Eli Melky didn't pick a single fight, instead – "wearing his Rotary hat" – effusively thanked the council for supporting the hugely successful Bangtail Muster parade, and the council technical staff for their efforts, well beyond their call of duty, to keep the re-opened pool running.
The councillors asked for more than is contained in a report about Port Augusta's successful fight against anti social behaviour.
PHOTOS: Top - The town council got a gong for its assistance to the Bangtail Muster parade. Middle - the photo councillors have in
their wallets these days: Tough Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch. The Alice town council is taking a hard look at her grog and crime control measures. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Does anyone know the meaning of “common sense”?
The reason for this query is due to a rather odd situation that has developed – still ongoing – in a parking bay adjacent to the L’il Antz childcare centre at the corner of Undoolya Road and Sturt Terrace; and which is also just down the laneway from where I live.
It transpires that late on Thursday, May 3, a police patrol pulled over an unroadworthy vehicle driving south along Sturt Terrace. There’s no dispute on this point, as the offending vehicle is in an appalling state and clearly unfit to be driven on the streets.
Unfortunately it was pulled up in the parking bay next to L’il Antz, where many parents drop off and collect their children each working day.
Initially that might not have been too much of a problem if, say, the offending car was parked there for a day while arrangements were made to tow it away. But that's only the start of the story told by ALEX NELSON.
The new town council's first meeting on Monday is heading for the first factional fireworks.
New councillor Steve Brown (right), who scored the highest number of votes, is expecting to be appointed Deputy Mayor but he seems set to miss out.
Re-elected councillor Liz Martin, the Deputy Mayor for the last year of the 11th Council, says she will give her vote to Brendan Heenan (left).
Mayor Damien Ryan and new Councillors Jade Kudrenko and Chansey Paech are also tipped to be voting against Cr Brown, one of the Gang of Four conservative Councillors, three of whom also stood against the Mayor.
Cr Martin says Cr Brown is better suited to head up technical services: "He's the ideal choice for that position," she says.
"The Deputy Mayor needs to know procedure and it should be someone who's served on the council before.
"We need to give the new members a chance to learn."
The Deputy Mayor serves for one year of the four year term.
The position will be filled at the first meeting of the 12th Council to be held on Monday, as will be the other positions of heads of committees.
Monday's meeting will be preceded by the swearing-in of the new council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
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.
NT Minister Chris Burns, who will not be contesting the NT election in August, is spending a great deal of time hounding MacDonnell MLA Alison Anderson.
Last week he tabled in Parliament an undated hand-written memo on Papunya Community Council Inc letterhead, advising its accountant, Peter Vroom, that a "Toyota Landcruiser Reg No 4528 254 was exchanged for three cars from A Anderson and S Hanley. This was agreed to at a council meeting 28-6-94. The three cars were donated to Dickie Brown, Sammy Butcher and Tobias Raggett."
The note is signed by Ms Anderson and the reported recipient of one of the cars, Mr Butcher.
What Dr Burns is seeking to make of this event 18 years ago is this: Ms Anderson was lying when she claimed earlier that she had "never benefited from any transactions at Papunya involving motor vehicles" as Dr Burns quoted her, because she had asserted never to have owned the three cars in question. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. IMAGE: The memo.