Councillor Steve Brown has taken the first step to get discussion on the table of an alternative to future expansion of the landfill west into the beautiful Ilparpa Valley. Officers will provide a report but will it be discussed in open? KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Responding to a call from Councillor Steve Brown, the Town Council last night voted to write to the Minister for Land Resource Management and request an extension of time in order to respond to the draft Water Allocation Plan for the town. Deadline for comment is currently April 29. Cr Brown warned that the plan will have "an extremely limiting effect" on the town's growth, contrary to the council's strategic goals. He wanted council to call on the Minister to "set the plan aside", but his colleagues preferred to come to their own conclusions, once having read the plan. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
A formal complaint has been lodged with the Town Council about the conduct of Councillor Steve Brown. The complaint comes from Jimmy Cocking, coordinator of the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and it's about the letter to the editor in which Cr Brown accuses Alice Water Smart of having a "blow-in Enviro-Nazi mentality". Mr Cocking (pictured above during a protest against the nuclear waste dump) says the letter breaches clause 5.4 of council's Code of Conduct for Members which requires of them that they "treat members of the public fairly and equitably and with respect, courtesy, compassion and sensitivity". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Whatever happened to the Port Augusta model? Since Councillor Steve Brown (at right) produced a report to council on what he has drawn from that southern city's approach to "community harmony", the public has heard not another peep. Back in May, when his and like-minded councillors were focussed on having a council body monitor the effective delivery of government services in Alice Springs, there was sense of urgency in the discussion. Now, says Cr Brown, council is waiting for the right moment to talk to the new Territory Government about what is on its mind. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Above: The Country Liberals' major promise of their election campaign was $2.5m to upgrade the Alice Springs Youth Centre, a long way behind Cr Brown's proposals for Alice's Port Augusta-inspired responses to social problems, which include a new youth centre. Then prospective Chief Minister Terry Mills talks to the Youth Centre's Marie Petery and June Noble. With them are Braitling MLA Adam Giles and Araluen MLA Robyn Lambley, now Minister for Central Australia.
Councillor Steve Brown's move to create a Town Council body to monitor the effective delivery of government services in Alice Springs inched forward at last night's end of month meeting.
The concept is similar to one operating in Port Augusta, reported on by the Alice Springs News Online in the wake of the council election campaign as part of an interview with outspoken Mayor of Port Augusta, Joy Baluch.
The concept was promoted in the campaign by candidate John Reid.
Removal of standing orders last night allowed a mild-mannered discussion of the subject, with no sign of 'gangs' of four or five. The end result was that councillors will put their heads together with Corporate and Community Services Director Craig Catchlove, pooling the information they have gathered. At the urging of Cr Geoff Booth, it was decided that this will start at an early morning meeting in the coming week.
He, Cr Brown and Cr Eli Melky all wanted it to be seen that council is doing something "urgent" (Booth), "immediately" (Melky) to address the "considerable anxiety" (Brown) in the community over law and order issues and economic decline.
Apart from questions to a deputation from the National Trust (about which we will report separately) this subject was the only one discussed in the open section of the council meeting, during which everyone was on their best behaviour, with the meaty business of council finances and budget priorities having been dealt with in an early morning (closed) meeting. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured:Cr Geoff Booth during his swearing-in with Local Government Minister Malarndirri McCarthy. He wants immediate action, but will it come at the expense of transparency allowing public input?