NT News

Fresh faces vying for role of mayor

- JASMINE BURKE

CHANGING the name of Alice Springs, driving business confidence and making the town more family-friendly are among the priorities for five mayoral candidates in the local government election.

This year 10 candidates are in the running to become mayor.

Following a profile of five of the candidates with previous council background on Tuesday, the Centralian Advocate has asked the remaining five candidates why they should be voted in to the town’s top job.

Former Melbourne councillor

Wayne Wright is an accountant who has lived in Alice Springs for two decades.

While he’s running for the position of mayor, Mr Wright said he also wanted to become a councillor. He said he “already has experience as a councillor in a large city”.

He would like to see consultati­on around renaming Alice Springs to the City of Arrernte as he feels “it’s timely for the town to grow”.

Central Australia Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS) general manager Blair McFarland has worked in Alice Springs and the centre on law, crime, youth and social justice for the past 35

years. “I was a probation officer for eight years, then helped set up community policing night patrols across the region, and since 2002 have run an anti petrol-sniffing program (CAYLUS),” he said.

“I received a Prime Minister’s Award for Outstandin­g Contributi­on in Alcohol and Drug Endeavours in 2008. Someone with my background would be able to lead community initiative­s to increase the peace.”

Driving business confidence is the main game for candidate Aaron Blacker. He said this could be done through “prioritise­d local spending”.

“I will bring accountabi­lity and integrity into the council chamber. I will prioritise confidence and relationsh­ip repair with the ratepayers first, then repairing, building and maintainin­g relationsh­ips with all our other stakeholde­rs,” he said.

Tourism business owner Patrick Bedford said he would strive to make the town more family friendly.

“Our town needs a new direction moving forward in dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour, revitalisi­ng the town – in particular the CBD, and building better relationsh­ips across government­s. I have developed strong leadership skills with a focus on results,” he said.

Angus McIvor has lived in Alice Springs since 1980 and has made a name for himself in the art world and works as an architect. He previously ran for mayor in 2008 against Damien Ryan and ran for the Labor Party in Victoria.

Mr McIvor did not respond to questions before deadline but told ABC Alice Springs he was using his mayoral campaign partly to encourage residents to get vaccinated against coronaviru­s and said to tackle youth crime “you have to engage with kids”, rather than impose a curfew.

 ??  ?? Wayne Wright, Angus McIvor, Aaron Blacker, Blair McFarland and Patrick Bedford are all running for Alice Springs mayor.
Wayne Wright, Angus McIvor, Aaron Blacker, Blair McFarland and Patrick Bedford are all running for Alice Springs mayor.

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