A 50% not 10% royalty for Aborigines from mining anywhere in the Territory, not just on the half under granted under land rights; immediate distribution to traditional owners of the Centrecorp assets worth tens of millions of dollars; and a five billion dollar national future fund as compensation for Indigenous people: These are part of the fiery agenda of Maurie Japarta Ryan (pictured). The new chairman of the Central Land Council and the founder of the Australian First Nations Political Party spoke with Alice Springs News Online editor ERWIN CHLANDA.
The Alice Springs contingent at the Country Liberals' annual general meeting on the weekend.
The mood was celebratory, to put it mildly, at the annual meeting of the Country Liberals (most people still call them CLP): Lots of smiles. Lots of banter in the Convention Center's foyer where the 100 or so delegates and members from all over the NT mingled between sessions.
You could see it was the party that had just captured the Treasury benches, spending around five thousand million dollars a year, after a decade in the wilderness. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Mayor Damien Ryan’s triumph over four rivals who had run a concerted effort to unseat him is a considerable achievement, especially in light of the fact that he is the only local government leader of all the NT’s major population centres to have been returned to office following the recent council elections.
Ryan’s victory maintains the pattern of every Alice Springs mayor since 1977 winning at least two successive elections; but it’s also the fourth occasion where the result has been determined by preference distribution.
The earlier occasions were George Smith in 1977, Fran Kilgariff in 2000, and Ryan in 2008. Thus Ryan’s recent victory is unique as this marks the first time an incumbent mayor has had to rely on preferences to cross the line.
Setting aside this distinction, there are marked similarities between Ryan and former Mayor George Smith. Both were small businessmen and both were elected mayors without prior involvement on the town council. Neither had stood for alderman, too. ALEX NELSON reminisces.
PHOTO: Mayor George Smith with photographer Di Calder posing for her calendar featuring prominent locals in the nude – well, almost. Photo by CARMEL SEARS.