Giles handing out millions to motor sports?


p2227-dragsBy ERWIN CHLANDA
An aide to Chief Minister Adam Giles will not disclose details of NT Government grants to be made to the drags and speedway clubs in Alice Springs but they are rumored to be sizeable.
He will only say “there is money about but not that much and it is not finalised”.
But a source close to one of the sports says the amounts are $1.5m for speedway and $3m for drags.
The aide says the amounts are lower than that but would not say what the actual amounts are, adding “watch this space”.
The source says the donations by Mr Giles came out of the blue and the paperwork has not even been completed.
The source also says he is aware that the annual tourism magnet Henley on Todd has received just $5000 after a complex application process.


  1. I am seeing some big picture thinking, what with the open roads to encourage vehicle testing, Red CentreNATS, and the prospective funding boosts.
    Alice Springs should position itself as the town that punches above its weight in regards to big events and big attractions. Motorsport is clearly one area (4×4 is another segment that should be targeted), mountain biking, bush walking / Larapinta Treck, business conferences – these are all areas that could one day bring big, sustainable money into our town.

  2. Hope your figures are right. Money like this to be spent on these clubs will be repaid in double, especially if to improve facilities as competitors will travel to experience. Well done to the government for developing locally.

  3. Actual figures would be helpful but, come on John Gibbs, don’t play the cheersquad game. It just demonstrates why this type of cash-splash politics stinks.
    Money injected into one community group and their activities is money that can’t be spent on another community group and theirs.
    I guess one could hope that the NT government is being fair and reasonable and will be splashing TIO cash around to all segments of the community, not just the hotted-up-car-lovers and their associated demographic.
    But that remains to be seen.
    I would urge the government to be very very careful. How long do us long-term residents and lovers of a diverse, artistic and inclusive Alice sit by and watch her as she is pimped out to satisfy a petrol-head’s childish wetdream?
    Joel Olzomer, nice sentiments, but have you read the terms of the agreement between the NTG and Red CentreNATS? I don’t think so! How much cash handouts does one particular sector need?

  4. It sounds like the so called source has a grudge and / or agenda to push.
    I think funding our motor sports will only enhance our isolated lifestyles and most probably pay us back in spades.
    Definitely a win win scenario!

  5. Hi Margaret, I have not seen the full details of the agreement between the NTG and Summer Nats – have you?
    Though I believe it was in the vicinity of a million dollars for three years. I believe that this would be quite a bit less than the Masters Games taking in to account that this is a three year commitment.
    I have no issue with Governments working in partnership with major events. Sometimes it works (Like the Australian Open) and sometimes it doesn’t (like the Grand Prix in Victoria which was around about a $50m grant for the year).
    It is not just the event organizer that makes a profit from the event. The Government in turn gets a stimulated economy to tax – hence why they co-invest.
    Regarding arts – The 2014/15 NT budget indicates $45m for arts and cultural assets – no small amount.

  6. Margret having being born here and seen time after time these committees put in for grants to be turned down time after time it is pleasing to see finally getting something back for all the applications, volunteers’ time and effort!
    Good on the NT Government!

  7. @ Margaret
    Your comments may be better accepted if you refrained from your own puerile put-down of a different sub-culture other than your own.
    I mean I’d definitely not bundle you in with the “arty-farty latte-sipping fluffy huggy Greenies” now would I?

  8. @ Born and bred Local: Perhaps you need to familiarise yourself with the $$$ that have gone into these sports from the taxpayers.
    The drag strip was built with more than $1 million of taxpayers’ funds, the go karts have benefitted substantially from govt grants.
    Speedway is very much the poor cousins in this. Maybe the noise disturbs Adam and his Northside mates?
    I’d really like to see the figures on how many tourists the drags bring to town, and the wider benefits of where our money is going here.
    I’m not against the idea of the Red Centre Nats but why is NT money going to an interstate company again, to put this event on?
    We do great local events like Finke and many of the speedway national champs. I would rather this money went to support a local committee rather than a Fifo Canberra outfit.

  9. Hello Erwin, Being a proud member of the Rotary Club of Stuart and even prouder to be the Commodore for the 2015 Henley-on-Todd Regatta, I was informed just today that reference had been made by some “informant to you” in regards to Government funding of Motor Sport but also made mention of the famous regatta.
    I must respond on behalf of the board of the Henley-on-Todd Regatta Inc. We do not know the identity of your informant and his/her comments do not represent our views in any way. We are also puzzled why it would be mentioned by this “informant” at all, and we can also say the persons claim of $value received is also inaccurate?
    For the record, the HoT Board make applications every year for grants of one type or another, for different values, from both local and territory Governments. Some processes are quick and smooth, others unnecessarily laborious, as any applicant would validate, and the outcomes in terms of success also vary widely.
    Whilst the Henley-on-Todd remains an event of both National and International patronage and is one of the Territory’s most valuable tourist assets, we would always wish our “share of the grant pie” was larger.
    The whole purpose of the Regatta is to raise money for the three local Rotary Clubs, who use the funds for local, national and international causes. The event utilises the tireless effort of volunteers from around Rotary and many other service clubs, and our board work all year round. Over 200 people assist during the week and day of the regatta and we estimate each year we “chew through” over 7000 hours. The return on our collective effort, if we had to pay for these generous and kind volunteers would be hit or miss.
    So, could we utilise more financial assistance from the NT Government to keep our event energetic and alive? The answer is a resounding yes. But do we begrudge the Governments investment in growing Motor Sport around the Territory, including our magnificent Alice Springs? Absolutely not.
    Erwin, perhaps you could “surrender” your informant to the pirates on the Nauteous at this years regatta so they can give him/her a good keel-hauling!
    Our magnificent Rotarians and their families have kept this wonderful, entertaining and madcap event going for 54 continuous years. No other event can lay claim to that “staying power”.
    We look forward to a huge crowd on the third Saturday in August for one heck of a fun filled day.
    Peter Nankivell, Commodore 2015
    Assa Abloy Rotary Henley-on-Todd


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