Eleventh Council 2008-2012

The Eleventh Council: April 2008 - March 2012

Elections for members of the Eleventh Council were held on 29 March 2008 and Damien Ryan was elected mayor.

Elected Members
Murray Stewart
Jane Clark
Samih Habib
Brendan Heenan
Liz Martin
John Rawnsley
Sandy Taylor
Melanie Van Haaren

Changes within Council

Council elected Alderman Murray Stewart Deputy Mayor from 17 April 2008
Council elected Alderman John Rawnsley Deputy Mayor from 30 March 2009
Council elected Alderman Brendan Heenan Deputy Mayor from 29 March 2010
Council elected Alderman Liz Martin Deputy Mayor from 28 March 2011
Name change: Aldermen Samih Habib change his name to Aldermen Samih Habib-Bitar as of 14 March 2010
Resignation: Alderman Melanie Van Haaren resigned on 25 October 2010
By-election: held on 26 February 2011 electing Eli Melky to Council


The $37 million six-year Alice Solar City was officially launched on Monday 10th March 2008 by visiting Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

The project and the solar trials it entails aim to explore how technology, behavioural change and new approaches to electricity can help provide a sustainable future for Australia.

Alice Springs Town Council is lead agent for the project, making Alice Springs the only Solar City that has a local government as the lead proponent.

In the six months since its launch, more than 350 residents signed up to take part. Householders were able to take advantage of subsidy vouchers for works such as painting their roof white, servicing evaporative air conditioners, installing efficient lighting, tinted windows, double glazing or insulation.

Council hailed as a success its installation of Closed Circuit Television Cameras in the town, a move designed to combat anti-social behaviour.

It launched a television campaign aimed at encouraging behavioural change, to accompany the rollout of the NT Government's dry town legislation. A simultaneous radio campaign was run in remote communities.

In June, Council convened a youth forum to promote friendly discussion and debate of issues concerning youth. The forum was convened by Coralie Boyd.

Importantly, Mayor Damien Ryan publically expressed his desire to change the way the public and government viewed representatives on the Development Consent Authority who were nominated from Council. Previously they had been recognised as individuals. Council believed it was important they be recognised as Alice Spring Town Council representatives.

Stage 1 of the Aquatic and Leisure Centre works at the Alice Springs Swimming Centre were completed in readiness for the October 2008 Masters Games.

The works included a new learn to swim pool, paddle pool and draining and revitalising the outdoor 50m pool.


Council concluded a number of major works projects during the year, including upgrade of the Pat Gallagher Netball Centre including resurfacing of all eight courts  contributing to a net $1 million upgrade of the Ross Park complex.

The work had also included installation of lighting, extending and resurfacing the car park, building new club rooms, and upgrading power.

Council finalised Stage One of the new Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

In addition, Council consulted with the community in order to pass new animal and trolley bylaws and introduced a Town Camps Dogs Strategy.

Residents and businesses were congratulated on their contributions to reducing Alice Springs' energy consumption during its time as a Solar City.

Over the year 934 residents and over 70 businesses actively participated.

More than $2.4 million worth of financial incentive vouchers were issued for over 20 different energy-efficient activities.

As part of the Alice Solar City Project, in which the Town Council plays a leading role, the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system in Australia was installed and commissioned at the Crowne Plaza hotel in February.

As well, the transformation of a typical Alice Springs home into a showcase of sustainable living was begun.

On 9 June 2009 the Town Council reached an important milestone in its efforts to reduce its emission of greenhouse gases.

The target "Milestone 4 in the Local Action Plan it follows as a member of Cities for Climate Protection Australia" aims to help local governments reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Savings were made by delamping Council buildings, converting from CRT to LCD computer screens, installing solar panels on the civic building and energy savings from reduced water pumping at Traeger Park.

In all, the Council added the equivalent of 47 tonnes of CO2 to the total amount it abated during the year.

Other major achievements included:

Continued maintenance and development of parks and gardens

Successful community events including Christmas carnival, night markets and Harmony Day

Building the Gathering Garden, an environmental art installation that includes a bronze coolamon and central water feature, at the new Council Civic Centre.

The work, which was a project under Council's Public Art Policy 2006, was opened in September 2009.

Raising environmental awareness through National Tree Day, Ride to Work day and recycling initiatives at the town landfill.



Alice Springs Town Council began work on the much anticipated stage two of the new Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre in September 2009.

Unexpected rainfall during 2010 slowed work by project managers CAT Projects and builders Sitzlers.

The project was Council's single largest capital expenditure at projected $18 million and includes two waterslides, a heated indoor eight-lane, 25m lap pool, upgrades to the kiosk and café reception, spectator seating, administration and amenities, and a second 20m pool boasting a beach entry, toddler area, indoor spa and lazy river, and a four-lane learn to swim section with disabled ramp access.

The Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre, also includes 275 Heliocol solar collector panels installed on the roof of the Centre to provide solar heating to the two new indoor pools and the two existing outdoor pools.

The total installation cost $300,000, with Alice Springs Town Council and the Australian Government each contributing $150,000.

In addition, Council allocated $160,000 to incorporate public art into the pool project, including a mosaic walkway utilising indigenous water stories, tile walls, native aquatic creature decals and a large mural.

As well, the Town Council completed three new roundabouts, widened Ilparpa Road and built a new $400,000 corporate box and toilet block for Traeger Park. Also, it launched a seniors committee and secured deductible gift recipient status with the Australian Tax Office for the library.

In its ongoing bid to reduce litter in Alice Springs, Council initiated a Cash for Containers Program.

It offered a refund of five cents per container and collected its one-millionth container in September 2009. In response, the NT government decided to support the coming year's program, in advance of introducing Territory-wide container deposit legislation.

As of May 2010, over 5 million aluminium cans had been collected and 600,000 glass bottles.

In June 2010 the Council glass crushing site was officially opened by Mayor Damien Ryan and Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton.

The recycled glass is used as a sand supplement to help maintain the town's non load bearing concretes such as footpaths and bike paths.

Other achievements for the year included:

Ongoing review of Council's internal organisation.

Negotiating an enterprise bargaining agreement valid to December 2012.

Continued maintenance and development of parks and gardens.

Successful community events including the Triple J One-Night Stand major concert, Christmas carnival and many library events.