Tenth Council 2004-2008

The Tenth Council: June 2004 - March 2008


Elections for members of the tenth Council were held on 7 June, 2004. Fran Kilgariff was re-elected Mayor.

Elected Members

Marguerite Baptiste-Rooke
Geoff Bell
Samih Habib
David Koch
Robyn Lambley
Jane Muré
Ernie Nicholls
Des Rogers
Murray Stewart
Melanie van Haaren

Changes within Council

17 June, 2004: Council elected Alderman David Koch Deputy Mayor
Resignation, 23 May, 2005: Alderman Des Rogers
25 July, 2005: Council elected Alderman David Koch Deputy Mayor
By-election, 24 September, 2005: Alderman Meredith Campbell
15 May, 2006: Council elected Robyn Lambley Deputy Mayor
January 2006: Alderman Jane Muré advised Council that she had changed her name to Jane Clark


In the annual report, Mayor Fran Kilgariff, described the 2004/05 year as another successful year for the Council and for the people of Alice Springs.

Following extensive consultation over the previous two years the Alice Springs Council Strategic Plan was adopted in April, 2005.

The Plan set a clear vision for Council in partnership with the two other tiers of government, non-government agencies, service clubs, and the general community to improve the quality of life in Alice Springs.

The Mayor highlighted a number of achievements that were important for the continued social and economic growth of Alice Springs. Those projects included:

The establishment of the University of the 3rd Age (U3A) for the senior citizens of Alice Springs.
Participation in a major consortium bid for Solar Cities, and
Three year Action Plan, Strengthening the Position of Alice Springs.

The Chief Executive Officer, Rex Mooney, mentioned that progress had been made on a number of infrastructure developments aimed at improving the health and well-being of the community. These included:

Completion of major river walks along the Todd River,
Completion of fencing at Traeger Park, Alice Springs’ premium sporting facility, and
Increasing shade protection at other sporting facilities.

Mayor Fran Kilgariff wore the new mayoral robes for the first time on 17 September, 2004, at a Citizenship ceremony at Olive Pink Botanic Garden. The new robes included an Aboriginal motif.

In October 2004, Sitzler Bros were awarded the contract for the re-development of the Civic Centre.

In January 2005, Council explored the benefits of establishing a Sister City relationship. Council liaised with His Excellency Mahmoud Saikel of Afghanistan to initiate the signing of a letter of intent which meant that Alice Springs and the Afghan District of Paghman, located in the city of Kabul, would become Sister Cities.

During the same month, the Alice Springs Public Library officially launched an upgrade of the Alice Springs Collection’s electronic resources. The new resources consisted of:

Centralian Advocate issues dating from 1947 to 1990 available on public computers and microfilm, and
Alice Springs Collection web site links page for those researching local history and culture.

In May, 2005, Council introduced Long Service Awards.

In June, 2005, Council appointed Milton Blanch to the position of Alice Springs Town Crier.

The public ceremony was held at The Residency on Hartley Street on Friday, 17 June.

At the ceremony, Eric Sultan, President of Afghan Cameleers Heritage Society, presented Milton with a Kameez Shalwar, traditional Afghan shirt and pants, as a show of support for the initiative.

The remainder of the Town Crier’s attire reflects the indigenous and pioneer history of the town by way of an Akubra hat with matching vest and hatband in indigenous print.

Council re-introduced the Social Committee in 2004. The Committee has organised a staff picnic, Christmas parties, and social evenings.

An Electronic Document Management system was implemented to replace the existing paper based records processes within Council. All of Council’s official records are now kept in electronic form. Benefits include:

Better records management,
Instant and secure access to records electronically,
Retention of corporate knowledge, and
Improved business processes and efficiency.



The Council resolved to voice its opposition to the establishment of a radioactive waste facility within the Northern Territory.

Council met with traditional owners to determine a shared course of action and an anti-nuclear waste site campaign.

The main swimming pool at the Swimming Centre was deepened during the cooler months of 2006 because of safety concerns about the depth of the pool.

This work was to be completed in time for the Masters Games (October, 2006).

Council established a sister city relationship with Kabul’s Paghman District. The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan commissioned research to investigate the most suitable city to establish a relationship with the Alice Springs Town Council.

The research identified the Kabul Paghman district as suitable. The relationship commenced as a friendly cultural exchange with the potential to develop into commercial ties between the two locations.

Council supported the inclusion of the Totem Theatre on the Northern Territory Heritage Register.

On 6 February, 2006, the Queen’s Baton Relay passed through Alice Springs on its way to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, arriving by air in Alice Springs and being delivered to The Ghan for transport north.

In December, 2005, the Employee of the Year Award was introduced.

The sports lighting at Anzac Oval was upgraded so that an NRL match could be staged there on 18 February, 2006. Penrith Panthers were successful over the Newcastle Knights.

Alice Springs was short listed in the top eleven applicants to become Solar Cities.

A consortium was formed to prepare the Business Plan for Alice Springs’ bid, this being lodged in April, 2006.

Former Mayor Andy McNeill died on Christmas Day, 2005. Because Andy was a very keen golfer, his ashes were brought back to Alice Springs and buried under a tree at the first tee on the Alice Springs Golf Club.

Council agreed to name the new Council facility, formally known as “The Garden Room”, the “Andy McNeill Room” after the former Mayor and Deputy Police Commissioner.

The official naming took place after the opening of the re-developed Civic Centre on 1 July 2006.
The Council continued to financially support the Outback Highway Committee Inc. and continued to push for improvements to that road.

The large River Red Gum in Parsons Street came up for discussion in Council after a dead branch fell on to a member of the public.

Council discussed the proposal of the Northern Territory Government to give a number of NT National Parks to Aborigines.

It was agreed that the Council write to all Senators requesting that they do not approve the proposed changes to the Native Title Act and enact legislation to close the loophole that had the potential to expose the NT Government to possible litigation.

In May, 2006, the Council selected the song We’re the Alice to be its official song, a song that Alice Springs residents could be proud of.

The song was written by Papunya school teacher David Ezard in response to a competition initiated by Alderman Murray Stewart to increase community pride.

On 16 June, 2006, a number of Depot staff were presented with certificates recognising their service milestones with the Council.

Bill Cronin was presented with as framed certificate, engraved crystal wine glasses and a cheque to recognise fifteen years of service.

Fred Dougherty and Peter Delahaye received recognition for ten years of service, David Fenton, Brian (Archie) Tapps, and Jason Brougham for five years of service, and Kerry Cook for her unselfish assistance to others and her going “beyond the call of duty”.



The Town Council faced many challenges during the 2006/2007 year.

Despite this it was successful in its bid to become a Solar City and remained committed to ensuring Alice Springs became a dry town.

In March, Council made its submission to the Northern Territory Licensing Commission asking for the introduction of a municipal wide dry area in Alice Springs to help reduce violence and general misbehaviour.

Plans to refresh the Todd Mall and CBD were under way, with Council also committing $100,000 towards installation of closed-circuit television security cameras.

One of the highlights of the year was the official opening of the new ten million dollar plus Civic Centre on 1 July, 2006, the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the Municipality of Alice Springs.

The Civic Centre was extended and refurbished.

The Alice Springs Solar City Consortium received $12.3 million in Australian Government funding for a variety of solar energy and energy efficiency projects to be implemented over seven years.

To help curb the practice of petrol sniffing, Council lent its backing to a Commonwealth Government initiative to roll out non-sniffable Opal Fuel to most petrol stations in Alice Springs.

And work to deepen the Alice Springs Town Pool was completed during the year in readiness for the 2006 Masters Games held in October.

Also, Council made changes to its procurement policy to strengthen its efforts to "buy local".

Other significant achievements for the period included:

Completing the Todd River re-channelling project
Continued maintenance and development of parks and gardens
Successful community events including the Christmas carnival, night markets and Harmony Day
Successful youth events, including Music and Mastery and Rage and Ride
Finalising the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement
Appointing Council's first in-house solicitor, Mr Chris Turner
Town Council Works Manager, Tony Cheng was recognised as Professional Manager of the Year - Public Sector Northern Territory at the 2006 Management Excellence Awards held in Darwin during October.
Free asbestos awareness sessions were provided to householders, businesses and trades during May 2007.
The new mini-LittterBoss vacuum sweeper was rolled out in February to cope with a notable increase in glass and litter since the introduction of the Alice Springs Liquor Supply Plan.