Cr Banks had appealed to her colleagues to share the position around. It offers an opportunity to broaden one’s experience and to strengthen leadership skills, she said, and a vote for her would encourage other women to take up roles in local government. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Talks between the Town Council and Mparntwe custodians about the national Aboriginal art gallery haven't even started, and the relationships with the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Central Australia need "re-igniting". So says Cr Marli Banks, pictured holding daughter Maringka Abbott, with NSW Cr Helen L’Organe at the Australian Local Government Women's Association Annual Conference in Sydney.
Keep the transfer station but move the dump, says Cr Steve Brown. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: View into the Ilparpa Valley across the landfill (before the construction of the transfer station) and part the sewage ponds, from the eastern side of The Gap.
The so-called Gang of Four were not going to accept the consolation prize. Councillor Liz Martin had said on this site that she would be nominating Cr Brendan Heenan for the role of Alice Springs Deputy Mayor and that runner-up in the mayoral race, Cr Steve Brown, would be ideally suited to chair the Technical Services Committee. Once Cr Heenan was elected by the predicted five / four split in votes, Cr Brown and his supporters, Crs Geoff Booth, Dave Douglas and Eli Melky, were ready.
The four proceeded to refuse all nominations to chair the standing committees in what was clearly a coordinated boycott.
Council has three standing committees – Finance, Corporate and Community Services, and Technical Services – through which is channelled all its business. All councillors are members. There are no standing orders for the meetings and they are normally the place for more robust debate and thorough discussion of issues. They are chaired by councillors elected to the position.
When Mayor Ryan called for nominations to chair the Finance Committee, Cr Booth nominated Cr Chansey Paech. New to council and its youngest member, Cr Paech seemed surprised but chuffed and accepted the nomination. Cr Jade Kudrenko, also new and youthful, tried to head off the manoeuvre, nominating Cr Booth, an experienced businessman. He declined, so Cr Paech was elected.
Cr Paech then nominated Cr Liz Martin to chair the Corporate and Community Services Committee. She accepted and was declared elected.
Next, Cr Eli Melky nominated Cr Kudrenko to chair the Technical Services Committee. She was clearly startled. If the five who supported Cr Heenan to become Deputy Mayor had decided on this in advance, they hadn't counted on such a reaction from the 'Gang of Four'. Cr Kudrenko declined the nomination. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: A happy Cr Steve Brown with Local Government Minister Malarndirri McCarthy after his swearing-in. The good cheer didn't last.
Councillor Brendan Heenan has just been elected Deputy Mayor with the support of Mayor Damien Ryan, and Councillors Liz Martin (who nominated Cr Heenan), Chansey Paech (the seconder) and Jade Kudrenko.
Cr Eli Melky nominated Steve Brown for the position to be held for one year, seconded by Cr Geoff Booth and also supported by Cr Dave Douglas. The five to four vote was as predicted by the Alice Springs News Online.
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.