Will Mayor Damien Ryan (at left), now that he is also CLP candidate, reverse his long-standing opposition to a youth curfew in Alice Springs? This week Opposition Leader Gary Higgins called for such a curfew, a sure sign that this is now a major plank in CLP platform for the 2020 NT elections. Mr Ryan's opponent in Araluen, Robyn Lambley (at right), seems to be on a winner, at least politically. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
A curfew would give police a tool to prevent crime, identify abusive and neglectful households, and act as a trigger for Territory Families to match youth and their families with the services and support they need, writes Opposition Leader Gary Higgins.
His picture of a town “under siege” failed to persuade his colleagues who made clear their preference for outreach services and grassroots community action with young people. Three NT MLAs (pictured) were in the chamber for the debate. Meanwhile, the issue of flying the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill has been skirted. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
A fortnight ago Councillor Eli Melky said a curfew would do "more harm than good" but now it's back on his agenda. The meeting, which was also looking to council for direction on flying the Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill, was postponed until next Monday. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
A youth curfew is official Town Council policy. It's called a "Night Time Youth Strategy" and one of its measures is to have unsupervised children 15 years and under "taken into protective care and custody if found on the streets of Alice Springs at night" between 10pm and 5am. It's been on council's books since November 27, 2006.
It appears Mayor Damien Ryan was unaware of that: He tweeted on September 2, well before the matter came before the council again later that month: "I do not support a Youth Curfew, this proposal is not a #alicecouncil position."
As council prepared to formally vote down Alderman Eli Melky's youth curfew motion on Monday, Ald Murray Stewart reminded his colleagues of the anomaly. If they were going to vote against Ald Melky, they really should also put a recision motion to the meeting on this policy: it would be "disingenuous" not to. Mayor Damien Ryan, in the chair, knocked that idea on the head. He asked for debate on Ad melky's motion to be limited to presenting new information. Ald Melky attempted to oblige by responding to points previously raised by Mayor Ryan in objection to the proposed curfew. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
If they were mayor for a day, they'd introduce an adult curfew – no, just kidding. In fact this group of young locals didn't raise strong objections to a youth curfew. Asked to think about the pros and cons, they came up mostly with cons but certainly not howls of protest.
They were a dozen students from the town's high schools – Centralian College, St Philip's, OLSH and Yirara – involved in the Youth Desert Leadership Program.
In a workshop hosted by Desert Knowledge Australia and the Alice Springs Town Council, the students also discussed how to make the centre of town more attractive to young people. One proposal is that the government buy the vacant Melanka block and turn it into a park where young people could hang out at night. Pictured: Mayor Damien Ryan talks to youth leaders at yesterday's workshop. From left they are Tyrell Swan, Russell Modlin (Yirara teacher), Naomi Ingamells and Rachel Dash. KIERAN FINNANE reports.