"There is nothing on our desk, to seek approval or otherwise," says a spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, in response to apparent claims that the Mbantua Festival will get a further grant from the Aboriginal Benefits Account (ABA), beyond the $1.3m it has already received. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Jessica Mauboy, star of one of the Mbantua Festival's big-ticket events.
UPDATE 7:40am Friday, January 3:
A staffer for Senator Scullion has issued the following statement: "The Minister hasn’t yet received anything from the ABA for another grant. When he does (and we understand it won’t be far away) it will be given appropriate consideration. That’s all we can say for now until the Minister makes a determination."
We're embarking on yet another year as one of Central Australia's most closely guarded secrets remains, well, closely guarded and secret: What in fact is Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) actually DOING? Finally a breakthrough: A leak lays bare what that taxpayer-funded organisation is doing – and not doing. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: 11 of the 13 participants in the 2013 DKA leadership course, as published in the organsation's newsletter and Christmas message. Names were not given. One thing we know this group did was a worthwhile public art exhibition on the changing face of Alice Springs, which we recently reviewed.