By ERWIN CHLANDA
A day after Chief Minister Adam Giles denied any deals with Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu to get him back into the CLP fold, his Arafura electorate was showered with presents – by no other than Mr Giles.
A $2 million barge landing, new walking trail and much more to come – projects allegedly long in preparation but miraculously coming to fruition as Mr Kurrupuwu’s dumping of the Palmer United Party shores up the numbers of Mr Giles’ government.
One breathless media handout followed another: “A new walking trail identifying cultural, historical and wildlife sites on Bathurst Island will be developed under a new tourism project supported by the Giles Government.
“’My Government is committed to growing the range of tourism experiences on offer to Territory visitors and the new Tiwi Trail will be a fun, informative way to see this unique part of Northern Australia,’ Chief Minister Adam Giles said” (in his own media release).
“’It is great to see local traditional owners, the Mantiyupwi Family Group, fully supporting the idea of a walking trail as a way to boost visitor numbers, build the local tourism industry and create employment,” said Mr Giles.
“The new Tiwi Trail will offer opportunities for locals to become tour guides and we hope it could be a springboard for new businesses such as bike-hire, cafés and accommodation in the longer term.
“This is the kind of approach to job creation that we’d like to see in other communities including Wadeye, Maningrida, Yirrkala, Ngukurr, Arlparra, Yuendumu, Borroloola, Elliott, Hermannsburg and Lajamanu.”
And then: “The Country Liberals Government is continuing to deliver important new infrastructure to the Tiwi Islands with work set to start next week on the new $2m barge landing at Wurrumiyanga.
“The barge landing will provide a much-needed area for the distribution of freight arrivals, space for bulk storage and a large shed with an office, toilets, a freezer and cool room. This means fresher food Tiwi Islanders.
“The money was allocated in the last budget and I am proud the Country Liberals are now making this project happen, creating jobs for Indigenous people in the process.”
In other words, it won’t be held over till the next Budget.
“The new barge landing has been warmly welcomed by local Member for Arafura, Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu.” Surprise, surprise.
PHOTO (courtesy Mr Giles): “Chief Minister and local member at the barge landing site on Bathurst Island today.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA