Current Town Council dealings behind closed doors about the future of the landfill gives new fuel to controversy over business the council is doing "in confidential".
The default position under the law is that all matters should be dealt with in open meeting, except a small number of issues that are defined.
But it seems the public is being shut out for reasons decidedly not provided for under the law. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
PHOTO: Mayor Damien Ryan (second from left) with MLA Alison Anderson and MHR Warren Snowdon (middle) and (from left) Councillors Liz Martin, Brendan Heenan, Geoff Booth and Steve Brown at the construction site of the landfill transfer station.
How interesting that councillors are critical about the safety of the new pedestrian crossing near Heavitree Gap but have called for tenders to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Sturt Terrace and Undoolya Road, which also has obvious flaws, and is also to be funded to the tune of $300,000 from the Federal Black Spots program. COMMENT by ALEX NELSON. PHOTO: The troubled Milner Road roundabout, being repaired after an accident.
Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan is trying to keep the lid on events within the council which occurred since last Friday. Information about the draft Budget was withheld – unnecessarily – from the public for three days, and there are indications that a serious rift has developed between the Mayor and the majority of the councillors. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The draft Budget document – kept under wraps for three days.
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.
Council election results from the 1990s have steadily led to more independent and progressive candidates (as opposed to conservative) making it onto the Alice Springs Town Council. Some notable examples are garden guru Geoff Miers, Geoff Harris, former manager of the Arid Lands Environment Centre, and Jane Clark, who was a Greens candidate.
The new proportional vote counting system starting tomorrow should enhance the likelihood of candidates with more diverse backgrounds and political persuasions being elected.
But this may not be so simple as the reduction of councillors from 10 to eight, which took effect in 2008, means that each candidate must achieve a higher proportion of votes to be successful. This seems to have been overlooked in the current election campaign. ALEX NELSON looks back over council polls and wonders if the new system will further diminish the dominance of conservative candidates.