Major Business Group discloses members, draws fire


2584 Scott McConnell OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Member for Stuart Scott McConnell (pictured) says he is opposed to a Federal prison in Alice Springs proposed by the Major Business Group.
“I’m all for advocacy and there are many business opportunities in Central Australia, but I was concerned by their first pitch for a Federal Prison,” says Mr McConnell.
“I think we have to have a vision for what we want our community to look like now and in the future. A Federal Prison would not be my starting point.”
Meanwhile the group, which says its members employ directly and indirectly over 1700 people in Alice Springs alone, has invested over $120m in capital over the past five years and has an annual turnover of more than $500m, has now disclosed its “inaugural” membership:
• Chairman David Batic, General Manager Alice Springs Airport.
• Craig Jervis, Chief Operating Officer Lasseter’s.
• Greg Boaz, Managing Director Boaz Group.
• Paul Graham, Managing Director AsBuild,
• Randle Walker, Chief Executive Officer Centrecorp.
• Steve Brouwer (Observer), Managing Director Brouwer Group.
UPDATE 12.50pm
The following is an edited version of information about its members provided by the Alice Springs Major Business Group:
2584 Dave BaticChairman David Batic has worked in the defence and civil aviation industry for over 35 years prior to his current appointment as general manager of the Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Airports. He was previously general manager aviation operations at the Townsville international airport.
He holds a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, Bachelor of Aviation and is currently a Chartered Engineer through Engineers Australia.
Other professional memberships include the Royal Aeronautical Society, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators and the Safety Institute of Australia.
He is on the National Engineering Associates Register in the discipline of Mechanical Engineering and is a RAAF Squadron Leader Aeronautical Engineer Reserve member. He has over 6,000 flying hours experience as a flight engineer.
He is the chairman of Tourism Central Australia and of the Central Australian Chamber of Commerce, board director of Desert Knowledge Australia, chairman of the Alice Springs Major Business Group and the Vibrant CBD Committee and is president of the Alice Springs RSL.
2584 Randle WalkerRandle Walker is CEO and company secretary for Centrecorp Aboriginal Investment Corporation and Centrecorp Foundation.
Centrecorp is an Alice Springs based organisation which invests in a range of commercial businesses and properties to produce commercial returns that fund benevolent relief to disadvantaged Aboriginal people of Central Australia.
Its investment portfolio includes car dealerships, shopping centres, a number of commercial properties, car rental franchises, a resort, real estate franchise and a supermarket.
Mr Walker is either company secretary and/or a director on these investments and related entities. He has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Associate Diploma of Accounting and Certificate in Production and Inventory Management and is a Fellow CPA, JP and member of Institute of Company Directors.
He holds committee positions with organisations including the Alice Springs Chamber of Commerce, chair of Audit Committee for MacDonnell Regional Council, and is the president of CPA Northern Territory.
He has formerly held positions on Tourism Central Australia and Alice Springs Regional Economic Development Committees.
2584 Craig JervisCraig Jervis is the chief operating officer of Lasseters Hotel Casino, has more than 20 years’ experience in hospitality, 11 years in in Alice.
He holds a BA in Hospitality & Tourism Management, Advance Diploma in Hotel Management and Diploma of Adult Tertiary Teaching.
Involvement has included sitting on the board of The Australian Hotel Associations (NT), Australian Tourism Export Council (NT) committee member, the Red Centre Economic Development committee and Chairman of the Central Australian Liquor Accord.
Lasseters has 205 rooms, a casino featuring 13 table games and 310 electronic gaming machines; four restaurants, two cafes and multiple bars and a convention centre attracting more than 11,000 delegates each year, resulting in an estimated $10m in “economic stimulus” for the town. Operational expenses across the centre exceed $27m annually and the company has invested $52m in capital expenditure in the last five years.
With more than 330 employees, Lasseters is the largest private employer in Alice Springs and contributes more than $320,000 in “direct community assistance”.
2584 Paul GrahamPaul Graham has worked in the building industry for about 25 years, with a trade background in carpentry, progressing to building supervision, project management and business ownership. He is a director of Asbuild (NT) Pty Ltd and a director of development company, Graham Nominees.
He held committee positions on the Building Advisory Council, Chamber of Commerce and currently Redtails, Right Tracks and he is a member of Institute of Company Directors.
No details are provided for Greg Boaz but he is known as a former builder and owner of the Gapview Hotel and bottleshop.


  1. We need to recognise that prisons are places of intense harm and suffering. Rather than increasing the size of the prisoner population, we should instead regret the need for prisons and develop strategies to reduce the number of people incarcerated, and particularly those who are re-incarcerated through failure of the justice system to rehabilitate.
    If the community leaders in the Major Business Group are benefiting from the prison, they have little incentive to use their leadership to work towards preventing crime through building fair and strong communities.
    I support Scott McConnell’s opposition to another prison, of any form.

  2. One would think Centrecorp would have a moral conscience about building a prison since it’s supposedly a benevolent foundation for the benefit of Aboriginal people, not get into the business of locking them up.
    Don’t see much evidence of the Centrecorp benevolent funding happening either.

  3. Scott McConnell is spot on when he says we need a vision for Alice Springs.
    For too long, we have allowed opportunistic businessmen and their bucket of money to determine the development of our town. And look where it has got us.
    Government, at both Territorian and local council level, needs to step up and begin the process of developing a plan for a better future.
    Do we really want to follow the US model of privatised prison systems?

  4. @ Rosalie Schultz: I am in total agreement with you: If you profit from crime, you do not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs: More crimes = more prisoners = more money = pure logic.

  5. Would have been great to see this group use its great special powers to bring the Qantas training school to Alice Springs!
    Nah, no way to easily manipulate that opportunity into a cash cow for a select few!
    Seriously, how on earth did this group think it was a good idea for their first public mission to be running off to petition Peter Dutton (!!) and to make the business case for bringing the country’s worst criminals to Alice Springs!
    What is Centrecorp doing in this group!?

  6. This group typifies all that is wrong with the Territory of today.
    Where are the women to temper this absurdity?
    You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

  7. Please Alice Springs Major Business Unit can you advise the Alice Springs community on whether you support:
    1. Fracking the Territory?
    2. The International Toxic Waste Dump?
    Let’s make this conversation interesting…
    It’s quite reasonable that those making 500 Million dollars turnover (using their positions of privilege in this town) explain themselves before they go off representing us in Canberra.

  8. Stay tuned to this story, Alice Springs News readers! The Alice Springs Major Business Group will turn into welfare for big business soon enough!
    Craig Jervis, please provide an update on what happened with the most recent CLP NT Government 300K gift. Surely the community deserves some feedback before we consider backing you any further?

  9. The submission to Canberra regarding the federal prison proposal was comprised primarily of plagiarised quotes from my published work which ironically cautions against what they propose. It’s a $600m dollar con job.


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