By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Australian Government’s Department of Health is not answering questions raised in a report about the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) run by Robert de Castella and funded mostly with public funds.
When an initial reply was received, the Alice Springs News Online asked these follow-up questions:–
You say: “An internal review in 2012 identified some administrative issues which were resolved through engagement with the project.”
Would you please comment on information that de Castella [allegedly] paid himself a total of $228,000 over a 21 month period – from July 1, 2010 to April 2012 at rates of $2,200 or $2,000 a day, visiting remote Aboriginal communities. That amount [is said to represent] 45.6% of the total funds of $502,645.50 in that period that de Castella received from the health department.
What other “engagement” took place?
You say: “The Department continues to fund the project under the Indigenous Australians Health Program, and it continues to deliver good outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Would you please advise what precisely these outcomes are. By that I mean what has each of the participants done following their participation with respect to, for example, issues of community health, combating obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, unemployment, participating in education and so on. Please advise, in each case, the number of people who have benefited, and how it was established that they have enjoyed these benefits.
Our information came from John Bell, a former Alice Springs sporting identity who helped set up the program (see earlier reports in the Alice Springs News Online).
We have had no reply to these questions from the department.
PHOTO from the IMP website.
By ERWIN CHLANDA