By ERWIN CHLANDA
It appears a company linked to the Alice Springs native title holders’ organisation, Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, has mortgaged supermarkets it bought in 2010 – partly with public money – to pay for a company now in liquidation.
A short term loan company in Adelaide, ACA Finance & Investment Group Pty Ltd, is listed as having a mortgage over the land of two of the three supermarkets acquired by Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd (LAE).
The three supermarkets were bought for $14m including a $6m grant from the Federal Government’s Aboriginal Benefits Account.
It appears ACA became involved in the deal when through it, LAE acquired a majority interest in CDE Civil, which originated from an Aboriginal owned mining and earthworks company.
Alice Springs News Online has contacted ACA several times but the company declined to comment.
CDE Civil was put into liquidation last year, with debts exceeding $2.5m to 56 creditors, according to reliable sources.
Its only director was Darryl Pearce, the former CEO of LAE.
Mr Pearce was sacked by LAE late last year.
CDE Civil was doing construction work in the stalled real estate development in Mt Johns Valley (Stephens Road). [Google our archive.]
For both the Hearne Place (Northside) and the Lindsay Avenue (Eastside) supermarkets, the titles list as the owner LAE Holdings Pty Ltd (ACN 144 786 087) as Trustee for LAE Holdings Charitable Trust of c/- 75 Hartley Street, Alice Springs NT 0870.
Listed as mortgage holders are ACA Finance & Investment Group Pty Ltd (23/05/2011), Indigenous Business Australia (11/02/2011) and National Australia Bank (20/12/2010).
Alice Springs News Online has spoken to LAE chairperson Pat Miller, asking her for a comment. We will report it as soon as it is to hand.
Photo above: The supermarket owned by LAE in Hearne Place, one of the two mortgaged.