Empty Mall shops price war, new IGA likely


p2257-Plaza-IGA-location-1By ERWIN CHLANDA
A commercial rent war is heating up as the Alice Plaza is attracting businesses from other shopping centres and is likely to be adding an IGA supermarket to its tenants.
Tony Bowes, the property manager of the Alice Plaza, says: “I believe the prospective operator will open onto Todd Mall.”
This would be a break from the much-criticised current feature of the shopping center where currently most shops cannot be accessed from the Mall.
The IGA would occupy three shops in the north-eastern corner of the complex.
Meanwhile other businesses in the mall say the town council should be doing its share about the increasing number of empty shops in the Mall.
Asked whether there should be a council initiative such as halving rates for occupied shops and doubling them for empty ones, both real estate agent Steffi Hart and coffee shop owner Cameron Buckley welcomed the idea.
Mr Buckley, who says the rent he is currently paying “is OK”, suggests empty premises could temporarily be filled with a variety of pop-up shops, paying no or a very low rent.
p2257-Cameron-BuckleyHe says this strategy, used elsewhere to re-vitalise declining commercial areas, is a “great idea”. When shoppers return to the area in greater numbers, business as usual can resume.
Ms Hart says a temporary switch to pop-up shops is a “fabulous idea” and would be an incentive to drop rents.
She recently declined a demand from her landlord to pay a higher rent, under the threat of moving out, and got her way.
Meanwhile Mr Bowes says rents are under review and existing as well as prospective tenants are being offered “good incentives”.
If the IGA deal comes off – and the shops earmarked for it are “on hold” – the Plaza would have only four “vacant and unsecured” shops.
He declined to reveal a percentage of rent drops, saying charges in the Plaza are being compared to rents being paid by similar businesses elsewhere.
“It’s hard to compete with street shops,” says Mr Bowes.
p2257-Steffi-Hart“They do not have the overheads such as security and cleaning. At the same time we have much more foot traffic.”
A Home Like Alice and Wicked Kneads are already moving to the Plaza.
PHOTOS (from top): Empty shops in the Alice Plaza where a new IGA supermarket may go • Cameron Buckley promoting the Grinds album produced by him and Jeff Kessel • Real estate agent Steffi Hart in front of her Todd Mall office: She held her line against a rent increase.


  1. An IGA superstore in the Alice Plaza?
    That means another Aboriginal owned grog outlet in our town apart from the Memo.
    It would also be near the same location as the hotel.
    Not a great addition to the Plaza.

  2. @ Sandy: IGA sells alcohol to many Non-Aboriginal people too. Oh, and they sell food if you haven’t noticed.

  3. IGA and Memo are the outlets you mention and you are targeting Aboriginal ownership.
    Yet you fail to mention the non-Aboriginal drive-thru at the end of the mall that only exists on the Aboriginals it serves in the bar from 11am to 2pm, then closes it and opens the drive through at 2pm.
    Are you against the sale of alcohol or Aboriginal owned and controlled businesses selling alcohol?
    Why can’t the Aboriginal owned yet non-Aboriginal managed Memo have Aboriginal clientele?
    Is there a law that says Aboriginal people must not support Aboriginal businesses?
    Are the non-Aboriginal owned Coles and Woolworths outlets and other drive-thrus only serving non-Aboriginal people?
    Before you make generalisations about your misguided perceived observations you might want to lift your hood.

  4. The only difference between a bright go-ahead economy and despairing decline is people’s attitudes.
    Economies thrive on hope. Confidence derived from a belief that available opportunities taken up and managed effectively will lead to wealth creation.
    That belief is all that it takes to drive an economy or a town full steam ahead!
    Sure, things are tough, but if you take a hard look, do a little research, you’ll find things are on the up and up.
    Right now the Alice is poised, its economy ready to take off, and barring world disasters, will do so over the next couple of years.
    Many large projects are but moments away, for the first time in years we have available housing and land for development.
    Tourism is starting to show signs of new life, rents have come back to a more affordable level, law and order issues are at their lowest ebb in years.
    Our town is clean and tidy again.
    Yes, of course, as the pessimistic narcs below will tell you, business is struggling.
    However, all the signs are that we’ve passed the worst and are now on the ascendancy, making right now a really great time to get out there and do something.
    Start now, invest in your future! We are a mere 250,000 people, occupying one of the world’s last great frontiers!
    More than a million and half square kilometers with hardly anyone in it. Opportunity abounds!
    Over the next hundred years we will grow in population to somewhere around that of the other states. We are set to grow and grow. That growth creates enormous opportunity! Don’t sit there pessimistically whingeing, bleakly predicting doom and gloom. Get out there and and have a go!
    Do your town, your community a favor. If you can’t find it within yourself to believe, try not to spend your days trying to tear down the dreams of those that do!
    Because believe it or not, your lack of negativity will help create positivity. That really is the best thing you can do for both yourself and our economy.

  5. It’s funny how the real estate agent will not support housing tenants to have their rents reduced, and yet they are not willing to pay higher rents themselves.

  6. I agree with Sandy.
    How is this a good idea? Now I cannot go to Plaza because I will be humbugged for grog money (or as they say “I need money for food”). What a joke, it is clear Aboriginal owned companies do not care about Aboriginal people’s welfare, or that of fellow people in general.
    Money hungry at cost of their own. This town is going nowhere as Sandy stated. And politicians sit back and when voting time comes, make promises and spend money in futile attempt to fix society problems.

  7. The town isn’t dying, it’s just moving with the world. Strip shopping and malls are being replaced by the internet, warehousing and logistic businesses – note the post office has expanded.

  8. Will. Let’s scratch the surface of the Aboriginal ownership of the Memo Club and IGA.
    Centrecorp bought the Memo.
    Centrecorp has five shares and was established by the Central Land Council (three shares), Tangentyere Council Inc (one share) and Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (one share).
    Yep the notorious grog shop on Gap Road around which on any given day you can see staggering drunks, continuous police patrols trying to head off domestic violence and disturbances is partly controlled by none other than Congress.
    Congress is the leading provider of health services to Aboriginal people in Alice Springs and nearby communities.
    It’s particulate focus is preventative health.
    You may be aware that Congress used to have their very own grog shop on Gap Road but under public pressure they gave it up.
    Now they have bought another one.
    Does that sound right to you?
    You should know that both Centrecorp and the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation (LAAC) who bought the three IGA supermarkets for $14m have been heavily subsidised by the Federal Grants.
    So tax payers funded Aboriginal organisations that say they aim to assist their people but used the money to purchase grog outlets.
    Tax payers channel massive dollars to Congress to try to improve Aboriginal health and Congress buys a grog shop.
    All good?

  9. Will, Posted July 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm
    @ Scotty, @ Sandy: Well, you can always leave town.
    Bravo, you have expressed my feelings.
    I came in Alice in 1974, and we could hear the wingers: “The Aborigines should have their own pub, their own club, it would be easier for the community.” Now we have again wingers who would love to reverse status.
    I shop at an IGA near my home (including alcohol), not because is convenient, but because the staff is friendly, the price are good and I have never been “humbugged”.
    The wingers should be honest and say that they would like a town without Aborigines.
    I also shop online to buy products that the shops do not supply and would not be bother to order to please a local … this also include some wines and some spirits.

  10. Will and Everlyne: Sick of people like yourselves making excuses. I work hard and love living in this town. Sorry for pointing out the negatives that you obviously deny.
    Maybe you could get a job at a bottle shop owned by Aboriginal company and be part of the problem?

  11. Evelyne. You stress the importance of liberty and equality for Aboriginal people in having their own social clubs, while downplaying social harm.
    Others argue that exercising rights such as owning social clubs is problematic when it weakens Aboriginal social fabric and causes harm such as domestic violence.
    You have a point but your opponents shouldn’t be dismissed as whingers who should leave town, they are often the ones who are left to deal with the trauma and illness.
    You would also recall that the Tyeweretye Social Club, created as an Aboriginal drinking club, was shut down mostly by conservative Aboriginal opponents who saw the damage and harm being done.

  12. @ Sandy: Your comments have nothing to do with the article.
    It’s about IGA and other stores’ rent and rent prices and vacancies.
    Yet you turned it into Aboriginal people and alcohol.
    Find the appropriate article to link your one sided views to.

  13. @ Scotty: Ditto; see comment relating to the article.
    It’s about rents and shops and vacant stores and the IGA opening up.
    Yet the comments link to Aboriginal people and the many social problems they face.
    Isn’t there more substance to your thoughts regarding the article?

  14. @ Sandy and Scotty: You need to stick to the subject. We are talking about rents. In the past the real estate agents have expected people paying excessive rents, and now don’t want to pay when it’s their turn.
    We need a special article on all the Indigenous rorts and what really goes on, but that would be a very long and drawn out saga.
    I personally do not shop at IGAs, simply because I have a choice and they are too expensive.
    The new proposed IGA may not have a liquor store attached. Just stick to the point.

  15. @ Sandy: What follows is out of the context of the discussion but I am up to here to see that nearly all conferences, public discussions turn into a talk about Aborigines and domestic violence
    Let it be be known, that I and my children came out of a violent domestic situation and we are nor Aborigine.
    Let’s work to fix the problems which exist in all states of our country instead of continually humiliate a group because it cannot reform itself.
    @ Scotty: I have worked in bottle shops and in pubs, in Alice Springs, and the worst rude customers, not to say PIGS, were white Australians.

  16. Let’s stick to what the article is all about, and it’s Rents. In my opinion I think that everyone in Alice Springs should be entitled to free alcohol as part of the remote allowance.

  17. @ Evelyne: Ignore the attempts at censorship by Will et al.
    Re your post: what group is being humiliated?
    I know many Aboriginal people who never drink and I’m sure they don’t want another grog outlet in the Plaza, where they come to shop.
    Do you think that the Aboriginal users of Congress want their health service to be a part owner of the Memo Club?
    Of course they don’t.
    Do they feel humiliated when Congress cops a serve for its actions?
    Not at all.
    Aboriginal people don’t identify as an amorphous group as you assume and they are quick to rebuke their fellows who are seen to be doing the wrong thing.
    Let’s not beat this up into a black / white issue.
    It’s far more complex.

  18. Everlyne: The point of the subject is that IGA may open in the Plaza. We are bringing up relevant problems that may affect the community if this eventuates.
    Maybe that group you are talking about cannot reform themselves because you were selling grog to them. You did state you have worked at pubs and bottle shops. Thanks for your contribution.

  19. I personally thought this was a great idea. Vibrancy and extra shopping options. Casuarina has a similar deal as do other shopping centers throughout the country.
    A good alternative to the multinational duopoly in town. Now it has become a race issue?
    There was no reporting of a bottleshop in the plans as described in the article, even if a takeaway is in the plans, who cares?
    The same restrictions, policing and policies would apply as they already do at other locations.
    I support the concept and think it would bring some vibrancy back that has been so sorely missing.

  20. Why is it assumed that a new IGA will be Aboriginal owned and that it will sell alcohol?
    There are plenty of IGA outlets in this country that do not sell alcohol and are not backed by Aboriginal corporations.

  21. @ Sandy and Scotty: No I don’t censor the comments Erwin does that.
    It’s just always amusing how an article on something else always finds its way to Aboriginal people and the social issues. Find another forum.

  22. You are wrong on a couple of counts, Sandy (Posted July 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm).
    The share structure of Centrecorp changed a few years ago. CLC is no longer the majority shareholder.
    There were plenty of “staggering drunks, [and] continuous police patrols trying to head off domestic violence and disturbances” in Stuart Park and its vicinity before Centrecorp bought the Memo Club. I observed much of this behaviour close up while carrying out a survey which included a sample of park users in 2012.
    Not all the inebriated people in the area these days are getting drunk at the Memo Club, by the way. Many are people who have been drinking elsewhere, and get turned away when attempting to enter the club; others are turfed when they try to abuse the club’s rules.
    Congress did not “used to have their very own grog shop on Gap Road but under public pressure they gave it up”: Congress bought the old “Red Shop” and its liquor licence in 1990, to provide space for their health programs, with the intention of dissolving the licence, which they promptly did, without any need for public pressure. Indeed they proudly poured the existing alcohol stock down the storm drains in a public demonstration of their opposition to excessive alcohol consumption, immediately after acquisition of the business.
    Centrecorp and the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation (LAAC) have both assisted the fight against excessive consumption of alcohol.
    When LAAC bought the three IGA supermarkets they immediately removed cheap cask wines from their shelves, and introduced a floor price on their alcohol sales, at considerable cost to their bottom line.
    When Centrecorp bought the Memo Club, they voluntarily dropped the option to sell take away alcohol supplies to their members, unlike the previous Memo administration, and began a long term project to foster the responsible consumption of alcohol on their premises as a way to combat habitual excessive consumption.

  23. A couple more things Sandy (Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:37 pm):
    Liberty and equality are important issues for all of us trying to make our way in contemporary life.
    Absence of these rights are apt to foster depression, high blood pressure and other illnesses.
    Social clubs do not necessarily weaken the Aboriginal social fabric, or cause harms such as domestic violence, if they are managed in a way that leads to more moderate drinking by members i.e. less excessive consumption of alcohol and better personal behaviour.
    The Tyeweretye Social Club, which was created as an Aboriginal drinking club in the early nineties, was NOT shut down mostly by conservative Aboriginal opponents “who saw the damage and harm being done”. You are getting confused with the marches by Aboriginal women who tried to prevent the opening of Tyeweretye Club. They did not succeed.
    Tyeweretye, which did not have a licence to sell takeaway grog, was eventually forced to close because it couldn’t compete with the increasingly cheap beer slabs and cask and fortified wines then being sold by the larger commercial competitors in its neighbourhood: the Heavitree Gap store in front of AJ’s Tavern, and the takeaway outlet at the Gapview Hotel.

  24. @ “Will”: I don’t “censor”. As the editor I moderate the comments, aiming to provide a forum where issues can be debated in a civilised and fact-based manner, and avoiding the sewer like standard to which other online debates have descended.
    The thousands of readers’ comments were are getting, meeting those standards, are proof we’re on the right track.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor

  25. The important point here is that Alice Plaza is making a big move to reinvent itself as a destination in the middle of town.
    Lower rents and new enterprises could finally make that structure useful.
    If IGA opens onto the Mall, and if there really is to be a new coffee house at the southeast entrance to complement the shops already relocating there, then they might pull it off.
    Good luck to them.

  26. @ Erwin: My apologies I agree with you … poor choice of words on my part. Moderate is the phrase I should have used.

  27. Everybody needs to stick to the point, which is rent. It is not a which hunt if you want to talk about indigenous problems.
    The concerns with a IGA is parking.
    The cars are very close and it will be hard to get a shopping trolly close to your car.
    Also, were will trucks unload?

  28. This town is NOT dying, tourism is up and the economic outlook is positive.
    To those who say the northern end of the mall is dead, how insulting to tenants like Novita Gifts – they have outlasted many businesses in this town, over 20 years and going strong.
    One of the coffee shops in the mall has put on an extra staff member to cater for demand.
    A local takeaway shop in Todd Street is thriving and several other businesses I know are doing extremely well.
    Vacant shops does not equal poor economy – look at the line at the post office … people obviously have money to spend! Find the right product and sell it well, people will come.
    Well done Alice Plaza, if IGA and Wicked Kneads move in, what a difference it will make to the CBD.

  29. @ Sandy and others who presume the IGA is going to be Aboriginal owned, where did you get this info?
    I haven’t seen in this report that it is Aboriginal owned. Get your facts right before you show your true colours.

  30. A shop front, especially a supermarket, will be great for the top end of the mall.
    What a shame the new tenants moving into the Plaza are being given such cheap rents when the poor businesses that have been trying to “tuff it out” over the years for so long have been paying premium amounts.
    With one business about to open up there I s’pose we should expect him to get cheap rents … or was that free for a certain period, considering who his partner is. As always in this town “it’s not what you know but whom”.

  31. Bob Durnan. The issue of social clubs divides Aboriginal opinion.
    The urban Aboriginal, vocal, relatively powerful, overwhelmingly male section generally favours Aboriginal social clubs.
    The rationale is that Aboriginal people are merely exercising a right.
    The non urban, less vocal, disempowered, predominately female section, suffers the burden of the ill effects of alcohol including rampant domestic violence and is against social clubs and drinking per se for that matter.
    Every year, $100,000 of taxes is spent for each remote indigenous Australian, much of it wasted.
    I hope we can agree that no public funding, directly or indirectly should contribute to the culture of grog.

  32. @ Sandy: I agree 100%, nice to hear reason from a fellow member of society. Will, nice to see you admitted you were wrong and apologised.
    Fred the Philistine, you say stick to article (rent you say) then point out trolley problems and parking problems. Are you sticking to point of the article, or problems (such as we are) that could eventuate?

  33. Sandy (Posted July 20, 2015 at 1:35 pm): I agree with most of the points that you have made in your most recent comment. My main purpose in my observations about your earlier comments was to try to set the record more accurately in relation to a number of matters of fact.
    Yes, the “issue of social clubs” does usually divide Aboriginal opinion, and understandably so.
    Debates about drinking venues divide opinion in many other communities around the world too.
    Men are often the majority of vocal supporters, although a proportion of women may also support and make use of social clubs as well.
    The dominant rationale used by some supporters of clubs may be “that Aboriginal people are merely exercising a right”, but other important arguments are also often put forward.
    Some will cite the need to provide safer environments for drinkers of alcoholic beverages; others the need to provide settings where education about safer ways to drink may occur, and where behavioural changes towards more moderate drinking styles can be encouraged.
    Still others espouse the idea that it is better to have drinking and associated behaviours out in the open in clubs where they can be observed and constrained, than hidden away in river beds and bush camps and homes where unregulated extreme drunkenness regularly goes completely unobserved by sober eyes.
    There are also powerful arguments that it is good in principle for Aboriginal people to be providing venues for their own social activities and consumption of alcohol; that it is valid for Aboriginal enterprises to cater for the needs of their community members, and include the cash flow from this in their business models, in the same way that their non-Aboriginal competitors do.
    These and many other similar arguments are often brought up in discussions about the prospects for Aboriginal social drinking clubs in both town and bush.
    They are valid points for consideration, and the people who make them are usually sincere and thoughtful. The people who put forward such arguments should not be dismissed as being duplicitous ratbags who are simply rationalizing exploitation of others, or their own consumption habits and/or addictions.
    The main problem with these proposals for new social clubs is that many if not most of the social clubs of the past were not governed or managed very well, leading to understandable and valid arguments by many people, most prominently by many female Aboriginal leaders, along the lines you suggest: “The non-urban, less vocal, disempowered, predominately female section, suffers the burden of the ill effects of alcohol including rampant domestic violence and is against social clubs and drinking per se for that matter.”
    On the other hand, surveys show clearly that the number of young Aboriginal women drinking alcohol, often in excessive amounts, is increasing rapidly, even without access to social clubs.
    The question remains: can Aboriginal social clubs, such as the Memo Club, be managed in such a way that they contribute more to solutions to some aspects of the alcohol-related problems than they do to the maintenance and expansion of such problems?
    I agree that until the existing clubs such as the Memo can be shown to be more beneficial than detrimental, then the creation of any further clubs should be discouraged.

  34. Bi-Lo was once in Alice Plaza – why not another supermarket? And if Wicked Kneads plans to move there, should it not be a matter of choice for the company?
    Parking is always a problem in both Coles and Yeperenye at many times, so maybe a spread out of businesses will be a good thing.

  35. Bob Durnan. You describe the Memo as something of an experiment that should not be repeated at this stage.
    Should Congress, as a shareholder of Centrecorp, really have involved themselves in an experiment that had the potential to do social harm?
    Doesn’t taking this risk fly in the face of everything Congress say they stand for?
    And how can they present an credible anti grog message when they have participated in the purchase of the Memo?
    Makes no sense to me, and I hope their funding bodies agree.

  36. Sandy (Posted July 23, 2015 at 9:51 am): Congress is a minority shareholder in Centrecorp so, for all I know, it may not have agreed with the purchase of the Memo Club.
    I have no idea what discussions went on, or what stance individual Centrecorp directors took during those discussions.
    My understanding is that although the directors are appointed to the Centrecorp Board by the shareholders, they are free to form their own opinions and vote according to the dictates of their own reasoning once they are on the board.
    Regardless of that, wouldn’t it be better to take your issues up with Congress itself, rather than expecting them to respond to you via the media?
    It is quite possible that the directors thought, in good faith, that on balance the benefits that were likely to flow from having a well-managed, safe place for people to consume alcohol and enjoy socialising with families and friends, would outweigh the probable and possible harms.
    I also suspect that Congress, like most other progressive health institutions and social organisations, while deploring all the harms associated with alcohol, takes a harm minimisation approach rather than a prohibitionist one to issues surrounding the individual consumer’s use of alcohol.

  37. @ Sandy: Let go, in fact you should be happy that Aborigines have assimilated our ways of life.
    They have been educated by us and took out the good and the bad of our customs. After all until 22 April 1860, they had no contact with “white fellows” and look all what they achieved in 155 years.
    How long did it took us to be where we are at? Good and bad decision making is part of the journey.
    As for the sale of alcohol, may be you should boycott Coles and Woolies.
    Did you know that in our country Woolworths and Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) account for almost 60% of alcohol retail?
    Woolworths Liquor Group’s ambition is to be the world’s best drinks retailer. They own Dan Murphy,BWS, CellarMaster and Langtons, among the most known brands.

  38. Bob Durnan. Your response raises an important issue.
    You say “wouldn’t it be better to take your issues up with Congress itself, rather than expecting them to respond to you via the media?”
    Now we both know that either approach is a complete waste of time.
    But why wouldn’t Congress respond on these pages?
    Why is everything to do with Centrecorp a closely guarded secret.
    It has the power to do almost anything it choses in secret.
    And when it does something questionable like buy a liquor outlet all we can do is wildly speculate about the reasons, as you are doing.
    The fundamental lack of transparency of Centrecorp is a disservice to all Aboriginal people and other taxpayers who helped fund it.

  39. Not sure on why Centrecorp is keeping secrets. Do you publish your bank balances? What they do with their business is up to them as long as they are within the law.

  40. In reply to Sandy (Posted July 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm): Your insinuations are absurd, and your attitude is narrow visioned and small minded.
    The Centrecorp share holders are extremely busy and highly stressed organisations which deliver a myriad of valuable, and highly valued, services to their members, clients and stakeholders. Many of these clients comprise some of the most needy, vulnerable individuals and communities in Australia.
    They are mostly people in very difficult circumstances, with complicated problems and lifestyles, meaning that it is often difficult to meet their needs by conventional means.
    Nonetheless, these organisations work at reasonable levels of efficiency in their service delivery, and are regarded as model organisations by governments and other institutions which deal with these sectors.
    Their governing boards and management groups are generally made up of people of high standing and commitment, respected by those who know them.
    These organisations are under constant pressure to perform at high levels of effectiveness and accountability, as required by the government contracts and pieces of legislation under which they operate. Their CEOs have little time to indulge in relative frivolities such as the games played out in the letters pages.
    They are accountable to their members through their elected directors, annual reports and at their general meetings. They are accountable to government through their annual audits of grants and other reporting requirements.
    It is ludicrous to allege that Centrecorp “has the power to do almost anything it chooses in secret”, as it is constrained, like any other business, by the corporations legislation under which it operates.
    Why do you single out Centrecorp for special attention when it is operating under the same rules as those that apply to all the other businesses in Australia which have received government assistance of one kind or another over the years?

  41. Bob: Nice words – but do you even believe that yourself? Some Aboriginal organisations are notoriously inefficient, unproductive and full to the brim of questionable practices and self interest. They could not be further removed from a “model organisation.”
    Regarding Memo – well, it is pretty plain to see the hoards of desperate people waiting to get their fix. It’s a police and anti-social hot spot. You could put it down to “self determination” or “whites can make money selling grog so why cant they” – but the fact is, an organisation established to further the interest and well being of Aboriginal people, and receiving massive tax payer funded benefits to do it, whilst selling an incredibly damaging product for profit, is simply morally bankrupt and lacking principle.
    Observe Australia’s “future fund” withdrawing investments from the Tobacco industry.

  42. Bob Durnan, you ask: “Why do you single out Centrecorp for special attention when it is operating under the same rules as those that apply to all the other businesses in Australia.”
    Because the aims of Centrecorp around economic and social development are not compatible with being a business unaccountable to the Aboriginal people it claims to serve.
    It should be an Aboriginal Corporation registered under CATSI and accountable to and policed by ORIC.
    ORIC would ensure that it reported to its members, had AGMs and elections and provided financial statements and that it was operating to the satisfaction of its members.
    As I said Centrecorp, lacks accountability.

  43. @ Erwin Chlanda: Could you change the title of the discussion to “Booze or no Booze, this is the question?”
    I think “Empty Mall shops price war” does not fit any longer!
    I am trying to see the funny side out of this fiasco.
    Out of IGA may be a knock down Aborigines’ institutions is born.

  44. In reply to Sandy: You assert (Posted July 25, 2015 at 11:41 am) that “the aims of Centrecorp around economic and social development are not compatible with being a business unaccountable to the Aboriginal people it claims to serve”.
    Therein lies your fundamental mistake: Centrecorp is not another general community-controlled social development organisation; it is a quite different entity to that, designed for very specific purposes.
    It was established to be a highly specialised business advisory service and a commercial enterprise in its own right, to “allow Aboriginal people to participate commercially in the inevitable resource and tourism development projects”.
    In keeping with that aim, its goals – according to its website – are as follows:
    1. To build a sustainable portfolio of investments in the Charitable Trust of sufficient mass and diversity to ensure longevity of benefit to Aboriginal people in Central Australia.
    2. To facilitate the participation of Aboriginal people in the economic benefits available from investment in diverse enterprises across a broad range of industries and geographic locations.
    3. To enhance the capacities of Aboriginal people to participate fully in vocational, professional, commercial, cultural and social life.
    As you can clearly see from the above, Centrecorp is not a community-controlled organisation or benevolent fund: it is very clearly, as it states, “a business and property investment and management company.” Its job is to manage a group of trusts. As stated on the website: “The trusts’ deeds specifically exclude any of the shareholders from benefiting in any way from the trusts. Indeed, the shareholders do not have any specific rights to appoint Directors to the Board of Centrecorp.”
    Centrecorp does not receive any operational grants or royalties.
    Centrecorp’s actual activities are outlined as being to:-
    1. Manage its own portfolio of investments.
    2. Manage portfolios of assets for other indigenous organisations.
    3. Assist other indigenous businesses in areas in which we have expertise.
    Centrecorp lists its expertise as being:-
    1. Property and Business Investment Analysis
    2. Property and Business Management
    3. Financial Control
    4. Corporate Governance
    5. Accounting
    6. Administration
    7. Due diligence, taxation and corporate/trust structure
    8. Liaison with Government authorities and agencies, social welfare agencies and service providers, Aboriginal organisations and the Aboriginal community
    As you can see from the above, Centrecorp was clearly established to be a specialised commercial operation, designed to provide economic benefits for Aboriginal people through its own investments, as well as to trusts established by other specific Aboriginal entities, and not a general economic and social development agency in itself.

  45. Bob Durnan: I’m well aware that Centrecorp is not a general community-controlled social development organisation.
    But what exactly is it?
    Centrecorp’s actual activities do not appear to be as stated.
    It manages portfolios of assets for which indigenous organisations?
    What are the other indigenous businesses it assists?
    What are the economic and social benefits it has provided for Aboriginal people through its own investments? (I can think of social disadvantage it creates through alcohol sales.)
    The long list of activities it claims to perform appears to be a front to enable it to operate under the radar as a private business with the limited accountabilities of a business.

  46. @ Sandy: I have to agree with you. If Centrecorp goes belly up, there will be more Federal money poured in.
    One wonders if this will be another Centercorp fiasco, just like the Mt Johns land development which was not a success.

  47. Amusing that some of those who admonished others to “stick to the point” of rents are now allowing themselves to roam more widely in their perspectives.
    Ah well. We often find in a discussion that we shift our ground as we go. We are a funny lot.

  48. Question is if an IGA was to set up shop and sell liquor, would they even get a license with an already established drive-through only meters away?

  49. I’m a yearly visitor and notice it was reported in July 2015 that there was a possibility that a IGA was moving into the Alice Plaza.
    I think most of these stories were ever just pie in the sky stuff and this was NEVER EVER going to happen. So after 12 months WHERE IS IT?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here