By ERWIN CHLANDA
NT Minister Chris Burns, who will not be contesting the NT election in August, is spending a great deal of time hounding MacDonnell MLA Alison Anderson.
Last week he tabled in Parliament an undated hand-written memo on Papunya Community Council Inc letterhead, advising its accountant, Peter Vroom, that a “Toyota Landcruiser Reg No 4528 254 was exchanged for three cars from A Anderson and S Hanley. This was agreed to at a council meeting 28-6-94. The three cars were donated to Dickie Brown, Sammy Butcher and Tobias Raggett.”
The note is signed by Ms Anderson and the reported recipient of one of the cars, Mr Butcher.
What Dr Burns is seeking to make of this event 18 years ago is this: Ms Anderson was lying when she claimed earlier that she had “never benefited from any transactions at Papunya involving motor vehicles” as Dr Burns quoted her, because she had asserted never to have owned the three cars in question.
Seeing Dr Burns’ allegations coming, Ms Anderson wrote to the Motor Vehicle Registry in Alice Springs on February 29: “Please provide a list of all vehicles ever registered in the Northern Territory in my name,” paid her fee for an Application for Disclosure of Information” and stated on it she required it for her own use and “confirmation of personal records”.
The MVR replied that “according to the records held by it Ms Anderson had three cars: A Holden Commodore from August 1991, a Holden HQ from 1993 and a Landrcruiser from 2005.
Ms Anderson says: “The registration records do not match those tabled by Minister Burns in the Parliament last night.”
We put this to Dr Burns in a email on March 29. We did not get a reply.
As Ms Anderson did not have the three cars in question registered to her, chances are they were owned by her now long estranged husband, Steve Hanley, and it was he who became the owner of the Landcruiser.
Dr Burns said Mr Hanley also “denied owning the three exchanged cars”.
So what does the public get out of all than? Not much.
A Minister about to leave Parliament is engaged in a sustained vendetta against a former trusted party colleague.
Would he not be better advised to get the chronically underperforming Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton, up to speed?
With high-profile Bess Price gearing up to contest Stuart, NT Labor may after August not have a single Member south of Tennant Creek.
IMAGES: The memo; Dr Burns (left) and Karl Hampton. Nothing better to do?
By ERWIN CHLANDA