Councillors Catherine Satour (left) and Marli Banks (right), who last Friday both announced that they will contest the upcoming NT election, gave notice of their resignation from council tonight, effective 9 July.
Both are running as members of new player on the scene, the Federation Party, led in the NT by Cr Eli Melky.
Cr Banks will contest the seat of Braitling; Cr Satour, the seat of Namatjira.
Two other Elected Members of council are contesting the election: Mayor Damien Ryan (in Araluen) and Deputy Mayor Matt Paterson (also in Namatjira). Neither have yet announced their resignation from council.
Crs Banks and Satour both cited Section 39(6) of the Local Government Act 2008, which, in the timeframe they are in, allows them to be reinstated to council if they’re unsuccessful in August.
Cr Banks also referred to wanting to “alleviate any public scrutiny” around a perceived conflict of interest in balancing her role as councillor and as candidate.
“Having been a strong advocate for governance improvements and management of conflict of interests, I understand the importance of ensuring that conflicts are managed so to not interfere with the integrity of council,” she said, reading from her letter of resignation.
“It is not surprising that so many Elected Members have chosen to contest the upcoming [elections],” she continued.
“This push back by Elected Members on this council is due to the palaver of the dealings surrounding the National Aboriginal Art Gallery and the misinformation that continues to be propagandised by the current government.
“The views and good work of [council] are being treated with contempt and have been tainted by the current NT Government who are unwilling to work towards shared outcomes for the best interest of the community as a whole.”
She noted with pride a long list of achievements by council and of future projects (some of them in collaboration with the Nt Government). These are reproduced at the bottom of this report.
Cr Satour was briefer – she too was resigning “to uphold the integrity of council”.
She also made a point of the way that she sees her representative role: “I have often been on record that any time I walk into chamber, I walk in not by myself, I walk in with all of family, all of my friends, all of my supporters, all of my constituents and all of my ancestors.”
In a gratifying exit for her, the motion proposing a $200,000 Arts Industry COVID19 Recovery Package, after protracted debate a fortnight ago, was passed unanimously.