Projects that have long been on the back burner or are already under way are included in yet another of the NT Government’s COVID related initiatives.
Dale Wakefield, soon to be sworn in as the Minister for Central Australia, says in a media release a new committee will tackle projects including the bungled national Aboriginal art gallery and “a new home for rugby codes,” indicating the government’s resolve to use for the gallery their current home, Anzac Oval, controversially to be compulsorily acquired from the Town Council.
The release, which does not contain any financial information, also includes the six story residential complex for health staff (pictured) already under construction by a private consortium, some more “CBD Revitalisation”, the “aircraft storage and part-out facility” – also in private hands – a renewables strategy and “Mutitjulu and Yulara Futures” – neither being explained.
This Central Australian Economic Reconstruction Committee is coming too late, says Territory Alliance candidate Dale McIver: “With just 80 days until the NT election, why are we only now seeing [these projects] prioritised?
“In the current Budget there are [projects costing more than] $125m that should have been well and truly commenced as we are now in the last month of this financial year … projects that have been forgotten, such as $19.4m for the Maryvale Road, $5.6m for a new multi day walking track and $11.9m for a new adventure and cycling track at West MacDonnell National Park.
“Where is the promised $11m for the hospital carpark from the Health Minister [Ms Wakefield]?”
Ms McIver says there is no clear economic reporting by the Gunner Government: “Will it be more and more debt that we simply cannot afford?
“We are currently borrowing over $4m a day and are on track to have a $7 billion debt in the near future.”
Apart form Ms Wakefield the committee includes Tourism Australia and Chamber of Commerce representatives as well as business people Justine Petrick, Chris Neck, Paul Ah Chee and Steve Brouwer.
The Morrison Government has announced that from today until December 31 the Federal program HomeBuilder will provide all eligible owner-occupiers (not just first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
Applicants will be subject to eligibility criteria, including income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples. A national dwelling price cap of $750,000 will apply for new home builds, and a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000 will apply to renovating an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.
The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around $680m.