Eighth Council 1996-2000
The Eighth Council: June 1996 - May 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.
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
The newly elected Council, at its first meeting, rescinded the previous Council’s decision of March, 1996, to provide lights at Ross Park.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.
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.
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 1998/99 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 regime and were talking to YMCA about their possible involvement as long-term managers of the Swimming Centre complex.
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.