There is one thing Ninti One – translated as Clever One – has practised persistently in its first decade of operation: spin: The camel cull, telemetric cattle management, Aboriginal tourism and enterprises are flops, pie in the sky or nice ideas – and now the world's most researched ethnic group is going to research itself (photo). And all that behind a wall of silence. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Taxpayers are getting humped with cost of an ineffectual camel cull.
This is how Senator Sean Edwards (Liberal, SA) describes the Feral Camel Management Project run by Ninti One, a not-for-profit company that grew out of the former Desert Knowledge CRC based in Alice Springs. Ninti One now manages the CRC for Remote Economic Participation.
Says Sen Edwards: "It's another pink batts debacle in the making."
He says: “By the end of next financial year, $19 million will have been spent on the Project and of the targeted 350,000 feral camels, a mere 36,000 were exterminated in the first two years.
“The cost per head of shooting the camels from helicopter had blown out, with the latest provided estimated being about $212 per head, plus direct operation costs, whatever they might be.
“This is not counting the $6m of State and Territory Government funds to date as well. That puts the cost per head to over $400 a head.
“Surely it time for the authorities to rethink what they are doing, acknowledge that it is not working and try something else – such as capturing the more accessible camels and transporting them to abattoirs."