Sunday, July 21, 2024

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

HomeIssue 4Government to pay $30m plus in rent for court

Government to pay $30m plus in rent for court

p2433 Sup Crt bench 450By ERWIN CHLANDA
Nice work if you can get it: The NT Government will pay rent to developer Michael Sitzler amounting to three times the original government-projected cost ($10m) to build a new Supreme Court in Alice Springs, and twice what it ultimately cost ($16m according to the figure cited on Mr Sitzler’s company’s website).
The government has further “contributed” $3m for the fit out of the court facilities which take up the bottom three floors of the five storey building. The upper two are being rented by Federal Government offices, vacating premises elsewhere in the CBD, which are also paying rent, of course.
The rent the NT Government is committed to pay is $1.49m (GST exclusive) a year for 20 years, which works out to $29.8m.
We made several requests to the government for this information, beginning May 11 and finally got a reply yesterday.
This does not include CPI increases nor “market reviews”. Do these reviews mean, by any chance, that the rent will go down if local rents plummet, as the current large amount of vacant commercial real estate suggests they may?
We’re putting this question to the government and Mr Sitzler although he hasn’t been forthcoming previously with responses to our questions about the building.
The deal was set up by former Chief Minister Adam Giles who announced this in a media release on September 5, 2014: “The state of the art building will be constructed by local company, 19 Parsons Street Pty Ltd which is owned by local developer Michael Sitzler.
“The Supreme Court is expected to cost $10m.”


  1. This is the real reason Mr Sitzler has closed up shop in Alice Springs. He claims not enough work blah blah, when really he has landed a golden goose (NTG) and will now sit back and watch the money flow in.
    Even after the lease expires he will still own the building and will most likely sell it to the Government for $10m or worse still, just extend the lease for another 20 years.
    I wish the public could demand a Royal Commission into activities like these!
    Why is it on paper the sums don’t add up and we the people pay through the nose for things like this?
    Does anyone see the Government coming out to explain their logic in these apparent bizarre things … no one is willing to try and justify it (because it can’t be).
    They just tuck their heads away and wait for it to blow over, which is sad because in today’s society that’s what will happen. In two months no one will even give it a second thought.
    Shame job indeed.

  2. Erwin you made an error in the Headline saying Government pays when it should say taxpayer:-)
    Governments aren’t supposed to make money, it’s the taxpayers’ money in the first instance, unless you can do something cute like Jacana / PAWA where you use the taxpayers’ money to build infrastructure that you charge the taxpayer a premium for and get away with it 🙂 then increase the pricing to cover the maintenance costs they were already factored in.

  3. The old government, the one of the day and Sitzler should face the COURT of the local demanding answers.
    We have a building the majority did not want and an excessive rent: “The rent the NT Government is committed to pay is $1.49m (GST exclusive) a year for 20 years, which works out to $29.8m”.
    We are the taxpayers and revenue makers. We have the right to know how and why our money is spent.

  4. Oh Erwin … the Golden Goose is SUCH a cash-cow! What a mishmash of appropriate metaphors! Government seem to be buying using endless credit and committing future generations to pay the bills. Buying on the never-never in the Never-Never Territory.
    Actually despite my criticisms of the building it seemed rather good value up front at $16m compared to the new Larapinta Dr. roundabout at $4.5m. These numbers are simply unbelievable!
    It’s what follows in your investigation that is SO shameful. Does government largess know no bounds?
    It’s the same with that ‘poor’ millionaire Mr Adani and the Carmichael coal mine, but that’s another story!


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