Katherine Times Wed 19 Aug 2015
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Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers
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North Australian News for Katherine Times
www.katherinetimes.com.au KATHERINE TIMES, WEDNESDAY AUGUST 19 2015 3 >> news 50 years of dedication to Territorians takes the cake MARKING A MILESTONE: Vicki OHalloran, David Forder and Kerry Boswell celebrate Somerville Community Services 50th anniversary with a morning tea. VOTERS can expect sparks to fly in the race for Katherine during next years Northern Territory election after a newly-formed party slammed the Country Liberal Party and Territory Labor for failing Territorians for almost two decades. Following the August 12 announcement that the 1 Territory Party would offer a grassroots alternative at the 2016 election, president Braedon Earley wasted no time in outlining why he believed the political minnow would punch above its weight and send a message to the major parties. I just dont think Territorians were being properly represented in the last 16 years, he told the Katherine Times. They just havent been properly represented and solutions delivered on grassroots issues. Im talking about health; Im talking about education; Im talking about aged care facilities. Mr Earley used existing facilities in Katherine as an example of how successive NT governments had neglected to listen to what Territorians really wanted. I mean, have a look at the aged care facility in Katherine, he said. Our elderly people deserve better. One of the most controversial as pects of the new party is that candidates must meet stringent requirements in order to be pre-selected. In addition to undergoing a police clearance check, potential candidates must agree to psychological testing, a health check and random drug and alcohol testing. Mr Earley said he believed the strict conditions would allow the party to produce a candidate that could snatch Katherine from the CLP and sitting member Willem Westra van Holthe. Mr Westra van Holthe, who became the Member for Katherine in 2008, confirmed he would be vying for a third term next year if pre-selected by the CLP. Despite the runaway CLP victory in Katherine in 2012, Mr Earley said he was not phased by the figures. Well be filling a candidate that can win the seat of Katherine, he said without hesitation. We are genuinely serious in our efforts and our attempts to represent Territorians at all levels of government. When asked why drug and alcohol testing had been deemed necessary, Mr Earley hit out at the current government and said it was time for change. What Im saying is people will be drug and alcohol tested to see what their history is like and seeing if theyre up to the job, he explained. Theres not point doing question time in parliament and being pissed. Opposition Leader Michael Gunner said Territory Labor was yet to preselect its candidate to contest the seat of Katherine but was adamant there was good potential beginning to appear. Ive been to Katherine a couple of times and met with a few people who are interested, and I think we have good potential for a candidate, but you always want to see what happens in the formal process, he said. by LYNDON KEANE New party fires first salvo in Katherine battle FIVES decades of dedication to the Northern Territory were marked with a cake and baked goods when Somerville Community Services hosted its annual morning tea in Katherine on August 12. More than 35 people converged on the organisations First Street headquarters for the occasion and heard chief executive officer Vicki OHalloran explain that, 50 years after its inception, 260 staff now delivered a range of community services to Territorians. Its about us being able to reach out to whoever needs us, she explained. You can present to Somerville at any time in your life, no matter what your demand is. The organisation has had a permanent presence in Katherine since 1979 and local co-ordinator David Forder shared several examples of the difference it had made to those in need, including building a relationship by picking up a resident from an outlying community to assist with a visit to the supermarket. Im fortunate to have a staff here there has a great feel of whats going on, he said. As part of the morning tea, a number of staff were recognised for their service to the organisation and their community.