The 20% mining royalties for the NT Government sound like a bonanza – until you deduct production cost which may leave the public with as little as 1%. Aboriginal royalties are bound to the same calculations. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Image from the acclaimed blog of Michael West (at left): Is the tax performance of Santos, a major NT player an indicator of their royalties performance?
More than 40 years after land rights and a quarter century after native title, three pilot projects in The Centre over four years starting in 2019/20 will identify opportunities and provide “a roadmap for development”. Meanwhile 350 km north of Alice Springs, a plantation at Ali Curung, once touted as a landmark Indigenous project, turned into a dismal failure but now produces 10,000 tonnes of watermelons (pictured) a year for an interstate lessee, relying mostly on labour from backpackers. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
A debate is raging over whether your family home should be regarded as an asset when the state decides if you get the pension or not. Writing in the Australian Financial Review, union boss Paul Howes (pictured) claimed this week it is no longer feasible or fair to ask taxpayers to pay pensions while the value of the recipient’s home is not taken into account. At the same time, the possession of more than half a million square kilometres is not taken into account in the allocation of welfare payments to thousands of people in Central Australia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Chief Minister Adam Giles announced at the Property Council luncheon that the Government is on the verge of signing off a deal to secure a 99-year lease over 10,000 hectares on the Tiwi Islands. I have deep concerns that traditional owner consultation hasn't adequately occurred and have called on the Chief Minister to disclose all details of this secret deal to ensure Government transparency and accountability, writes Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie.
An initiative by the Howard government in 2006 to stimulate commercial activity, private enterprise style, by Aboriginal people on their land has been turned into yet another source of sit-down money. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: The Central Desert Shire office in Yuendumu: a public asset for which lease payments will need to be made.
Trish van Dijk (pictured) has confirmed that her question to Adam Giles was about "mandatory sentencing per se". It was not about the old regime that existed under the CLP when it was last in government, as suggested by Simon Walker in his comment below. She told the Alice Springs News Online this morning: "I just asked a simple question: Are you going to pursue mandatory sentencing? And the answer was 'no'."
Now you see it, now you don't. The Country Liberals' policy is to introduce minimum sentences for certain categories of assault. That's mandatory sentencing, but according to candidates Adam Giles and Matt Conlan at yesterday's Meet the Candidates forum in Alice Springs, mandatory sentencing is "not happening".
"We won't be pursuing mandatory sentencing", said Mr Giles to a question from Trish van Dijk at the forum. Mr Conlan joined in: "It's not happening," he said.
Today Mr Giles 'clarified' his understanding of the policy for the Alice Springs News Online: "Mandatory sentencing is a catch-all for everyone on all things. We're talking about minimum sentencing for assault on front-line service staff."
Yet clearly, if parliament passes legislation requiring minimum sentences for certain crimes, then that is mandatory sentencing. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Photo: Adam Giles makes an impassioned point. To his right are fellow Country Liberals Robyn Lambley and Matt Conlan. Nearest to the camera are (from right) the Greens' Barbara Shaw and Evelyne Roullet. The moderator, the ABC's Rowan Barwick, is at far left.
Country Liberals in Alice Springs have accepted the application for membership by Central Land Council chairman Lindsay Bookie (pictured).
Branch president David Koch says it is now being processed by the party's secretariat. Mr Bookie's surprise move – as the head of an organization usually thought to be close to Labor – comes in the wake of Alison Anderson's joining the party. The Member for MacDonnell, a former Labor pollie, was sitting as an independent prior to joining the CL.
Mr Bookie declined to comment. Mr Koch says several other local Aborigines have joined the party or applied for membership. He says he's known Mr Bookie for several years in connection with the Aboriginal leader's successful tourism enterprise near Jervois, north-east of Alice Springs. Mr Koch – initially – and 4WD identity Jol Fleming have been running adventure tours in connection with Mr Bookie. Mr Koch says Mr Bookie has a strong view that Aboriginal people should be free to use their country for commercial enterprises of their choice.
Mr Bookie drew enthusiastic applause when he addressed a public meeting earlier this year discussing measures to curb anti-social behavior in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.