A dispute over tour guiding at Ayers Rock may develop into a brawl impacting on the tourism industry nation-wide.
Federal Parks Australia, which runs the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, requires tour guides to be accredited: they have to show a badge at the gate proving that they are.
Some international companies bring their own guides who have obtained accreditation – it only takes a two day course to get it.
However, this requirement of the parks service has put the spotlight on the fact that while the overseas guides may be complying with park regulations, they may be in breach of immigration requirements, because they may not have work visas for Australia. Jaclyn Thorne (pictured), General Manager of Tourism Central Australia (TCA), says the issues were raised at a meeting at Yulara this week. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
A bitter dispute has erupted between Alice sporting identity John Bell and former world marathon record holder Robert de Castella over a project that took four young Territory Aborigines to New York, to compete in the annual marathon there.
Two of the young runners, Charlie Maher and Caleb Hart, are from Alice Springs.
The project was featured in an ABC TV documentary and is receiving $1.2m from the Federal Government to make it an ongoing initiative, according to Mr Bell.
Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon had helped to arrange the grant.
Mr Bell says Mr de Castella owes him $100,000 in wages for 20 months' work but Mr de Castella says Mr Bell was a volunteer and had declined to accept money so as not to affect a disability pension. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Picture by Dan Himbrechts, Adelaide Now. Robert De Castella with (left to right) Charlie Maher, Juan Darwin and Caleb Hart.
A spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said this afternoon she understands the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is currently looking into issues surrounding the use Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) funds by a company linked to the Lhere Artepe native title organisation.
The spokesperson said this was to "ensure that all ABA funds have been used appropriately.
"Grants from the ABA are made to support projects which benefit Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”
The Alice Springs News on Tuesday reported it had obtained an email exchange revealing a bitter dispute about the purchase of shares in a company.
The exchange casts more light on the deal by an affiliate of Lhere Artepe. However, the main players are keeping mum on what appears to be an unfolding scandal.
The company, CDE Civil, collapsed soon after the majority shareholding was bought by Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.