Eighth Council 1996-2000

Elec­tions for mem­bers of the eighth Coun­cil were held on 25 May, 1996.

Andy McNeill was re-elect­ed May­or, with an absolute major­i­ty of pri­ma­ry votes defeat­ing three oth­er candidates.

Long-term Alder­men Lynne Peterkin and Bob Kennedy did not stand for re-election.

Elect­ed Members

  • Tony Ali­cas­tro
  • Fran Erlich
  • Geoff Har­ris
  • Sue Jef­ford
  • David Koch
  • Geoff Miers
  • Rus­sell Naismith
  • June Noble
  • Les Smith
  • Car­ole Frost

Changes with­in Council

  • 24 June, 1996: Coun­cil elect­ed Geoff Miers Deputy Mayor
  • Res­ig­na­tion, Octo­ber, 1996: Alder­man Car­ole Frost to take up a posi­tion in Darwin
  • By-elec­tion, 8 March, 1997: Alder­man Mered­ith Campbell
  • 25 May, 1998: Coun­cil elect­ed Alder­man Fran Erlich Deputy Mayor
  • 31 May, 1999: Coun­cil elect­ed Alder­man June Noble Deputy Mayor

1996 – 1997

The new­ly elect­ed Coun­cil, at its first meet­ing, rescind­ed the pre­vi­ous Council’s deci­sion of March, 1996, to pro­vide lights at Ross Park.

Dur­ing the year the Coun­cil resolved to build a new pub­lic toi­let facil­i­ty in the CBD.

The facil­i­ty was to include show­ers, a change room for nurs­ing par­ents, and lockers.

Funds were allo­cat­ed for eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion projects which includ­ed the design of the Alice Springs Pro­mo­tion­al Fold­er of which 10,000 copies were produced.

With joint fund­ing, a video enti­tled Liv­ing and Work­ing in Alice Springs” was pro­duced to pro­mote the Alice Springs lifestyle and assist in the recruit­ment of peo­ple to posi­tions in Alice Springs.

The Council’s sport­ing facil­i­ties received a lot of atten­tion dur­ing the year because of three major events that took place, name­ly, the 1996 Hon­da Mas­ters Games, the vis­it by the West Indies inter­na­tion­al crick­et team, and the AFL foot­ball game between Essendon and Adelaide.

The Stan­dard of facil­i­ties received very favourable comment.

Coun­cil joint­ly fund­ed extra light­ing to be installed at Anzac Oval to enable both codes of rug­by and soc­cer to utilise ful­ly that facil­i­ty. Infra­struc­ture at Traeger Park con­tin­ued to be upgraded.

The Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tion­al Ser­vices made low secu­ri­ty pris­on­ers avail­able to assist in clean­ing up lit­ter through­out the town.

Coun­cil endorsed the con­cept of intro­duc­ing dual nam­ing of cer­tain local sites of impor­tance so as to present to the pub­lic the Abo­rig­i­nal name for the site as well as the exist­ing name.

1997 – 1998

Coun­cil paid trib­ute to Mrs Ida Joy Brucek who passed away on 2 July 1997.

Joy, as she was gen­er­al­ly known, arrived in Alice in 1953 to estab­lish the town’s first library which she ran until 1957 when she mar­ried. Joy rejoined the library indus­try in the late 1970s as Librar­i­an at the Com­mu­ni­ty College.

In 1986, Joy once again worked as the Pub­lic Librar­i­an and made a con­sid­er­able con­tri­bu­tion to the run­ning of the library until her retirement.

Her con­tri­bu­tion to the devel­op­ment of library ser­vices in Cen­tral Aus­tralia was con­sid­er­able over a peri­od of 40 years.

In recog­ni­tion of her con­tri­bu­tion to the pro­vi­sion and devel­op­ment of library ser­vices in Alice Springs, the recent exten­sions to the pub­lic library were named the Joy Brucek Wing.

The Skate­board Ramp adja­cent to the Swim­ming Cen­tre was re-opened for use.

In Sep­tem­ber 1997, Town Clerk Allan McGill resigned to take up the posi­tion of Town Clerk with the Dar­win City Council.

Nick Scarvelis was appoint­ed Chief Exec­u­tive Officer/​Town Clerk from Sep­tem­ber 1997.

Mr Kei­th Bow­den resigned at the end of Decem­ber 1997.

He had been with the Coun­cil as Town Engi­neer since 1980.

Coun­cil hon­oured pio­neer tourism oper­a­tor Len Tuit by rec­om­mend­ing that a lane off Gre­go­ry Ter­race be named Tuit Lane.

The Leich­hardt Ter­race re-devel­op­ment was com­menced and was due to be com­plet­ed in the next finan­cial year.

Work was begun on the re-devel­op­ment of the Swim­ming Centre.

The work was due for com­ple­tion in the sec­ond half of 1998.

The Coun­cil, as did Alice Springs as a whole, donat­ed to the Kather­ine Flood Appeal and sent two of its Envi­ron­men­tal Health Offi­cers to assist with the clean-up.

1998 – 1999

In Novem­ber, 1998, the Coun­cil launched its Inter­net site.

Its objec­tives includ­ed the estab­lish­ment of a domain site that would be regard­ed as the defin­i­tive source of infor­ma­tion about Alice Springs and to pro­mote eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment through active­ly mar­ket­ing Alice Springs to a world­wide audience.

The RAAF Aer­o­bat­ic Team, the Roulettes, vis­it­ed Alice Springs on 20 May, 1999.

The Coun­cil grant­ed RAAF No. 1 RSU the right to exer­cise its Free­dom of Entry to the town.

The parade took place on 5 June, 1999.

The library reduced the num­ber of hours that it was open to the public.

Staff had more time to under­take core library tasks such as re-shelv­ing of books and pro­cess­ing new stock.

The library was also prepar­ing to become a ful­ly-fledged mem­ber of the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Library and Infor­ma­tion Ser­vice network.

A new one hun­dred grave plot was devel­oped at the Gar­den Ceme­tery, along with asso­ci­at­ed road works.

Coun­cil cre­at­ed a num­ber of new minibus and taxi ranks in the CBD.

A Pol­i­cy on Rate Relief – Her­itage List­ed Prop­er­ties with­in the Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict was adopted.

The Coun­cil con­tin­ued to over­see the oper­a­tions of the dump where approx­i­mate­ly 33,000 tonnes of waste was compacted.

In March, 1999, the Coun­cil for­mal­ly released its Strate­gic Direc­tions Beyond 2000 document.

The doc­u­ment and the process­es that the Coun­cil had gone through to devel­op its strate­gic direc­tions pro­vid­ed the cor­ner­stone of the 199899 year’s activities.

In the Annu­al report, May­or Andy McNeill expressed his plea­sure that the Coun­cil had com­plet­ed stage one of the Swim­ming Cen­tre redevelopment.

The Swim­ming Cen­tre now had vast­ly improved facil­i­ties. The Coun­cil had worked in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with user groups to estab­lish a pric­ing régime and were talk­ing to YMCA about their pos­si­ble involve­ment as long-term man­agers of the Swim­ming Cen­tre complex.

1999 – 2000

One of the high­lights of this year was the Roy­al Vis­it on 30 March, 2000, of Their Roy­al High­ness­es, Queen Eliz­a­beth II and The Duke of Edin­burgh, Prince Philip. May­or Andy McNeill escort­ed Her Majesty dur­ing her meet-the-peo­ple walk through Todd Mall.

For vis­its to town such as this, the staff at the Council’s Depot ensure that the town is as clean as possible.

The Coun­cil allo­cat­ed mon­ey to fifty sev­en com­mu­ni­ty organ­i­sa­tions through its var­i­ous Com­mu­ni­ty Grants and Aralu­en Com­mu­ni­ty Access Grants schemes.

The library staff organ­ised a range of qual­i­ty library pro­grams for chil­dren, youth, and par­ents of Alice Springs, includ­ing reg­u­lar sto­ry times, hol­i­day pro­grams, spe­cial events, a Christ­mas par­ty, Sci­ence Week activ­i­ties, and a vis­it by Yam­ba for Ter­ri­to­ry Day.

Restora­tion con­tin­ued at the Stu­art Town Ceme­tery, includ­ing the pro­vi­sion of walk­ing paths, restora­tion of exist­ing head­stones, re-instate­ment of fences around grave plots, and lev­el­ling the site to alle­vi­ate drainage problems.

Land­scap­ing and fenc­ing of the north­ern bound­ary of the Memo­r­i­al Avenue Ceme­tery were under­tak­en, as well as repair­ing of van­dalised headstones.

The Advanc­ing Alice Springs Newslet­ter, launched in April, 1999, was pro­duced quar­ter­ly fea­tur­ing new busi­ness ini­tia­tives and indi­ca­tors of performance.

The Coun­cil pro­vid­ed spon­sor­ship to Cen­tral Aus­tralia Expo 99 to sup­port the pro­mo­tion of busi­ness­es in Alice Springs.

A com­put­erised asset man­age­ment sys­tem was pur­chased to allow the inte­gra­tion of asset details and their ongo­ing main­te­nance plans.

All of the Council’s built assets were sur­veyed from Octo­ber to Novem­ber, 1999, and entered on to the asset infor­ma­tion database.

Cap­i­tal works com­plet­ed included:

Fenc­ing and land­scap­ing of Albrecht Oval and devel­op­ment of a turf wicket

Seal­ing of the dirt laneway adja­cent to Ross Park School

Land­scap­ing of the Leich­hardt Ter­race bus park­ing area surrounds

New and upgrad­ed cycle tracks were con­struct­ed in Head Street and Traeger Avenue

Four new bus shel­ters were constructed.

There was a huge com­mu­ni­ty response to the arrival of the Olympic torch in Alice Springs in June, 2000. The Coun­cil sup­port­ed the Syd­ney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay Com­mu­ni­ty Celebrations.

The relay start­ed its round-Aus­tralia jour­ney at Ulu­ru and would arrive in Syd­ney for the open­ing of the 2000 Olympic Games.