This is an open letter to you following up on a reader’s comment from Peter Hoey yesterday.
With respect, your assertion that “the money owed by Arrulka Business Aboriginal Corporation (ABAC) to its remaining creditors is indeed a commercial matter between ABAC and its creditors” is well off the mark.
As the Mbantua Festival has received $1.3m from the public purse, this “commercial matter” is between ABAC, its creditors and and the public, and this makes it a matter in the public interest.
As the local newspaper that takes seriously its job of reporting on matters in the public interest, let me ask you: Where did the $1.3m go?
The second question is: How much did the Festival take at the gate from members of the public, and where did that money go?
The other issue that needs to be clarified is that of “a separate events management company”. Is that, by any chance, All The Perks? What is (was) your role in that company?
So can we please have, for publication, detailed profit and loss statements, for ABAC and that other company whose name you so studiously avoid.
The public interest goes well beyond money. The community, including this newspaper, lavished massive good will upon the event, regarding it as long overdue, marvellous opportunity of enhancing the appeal of the town to its residents and visitors alike.
LocaSl invested hundreds of volunteer hours, not in the least the kids who starred in the impressive Bungalow Song. A year after the event they still don’t have a copy of the DVD they were promised, although I note you have now released the unedited footage.
You owe disclosure to this community. Let’s have it.
Regards, Erwin Chlanda, Editor