Tag: real estate
COMMENT by BARRY HILL
When historians come to write the history of central Australia, the archive of the Alice Springs News will be uniquely invaluable. For the last 19 years it has been the most intelligent and fearless of the newspapers, one that goes after the news—political AND financial— in ways that its rivals, almost invariably owned by Rupert Murdoch, do not. It is also a paper with a special touch for the cultural life of the community in and around Alice. It is therefore lamentable that the paper has received a judicial heavy body blow.
I am in no position to challenge the details of the judgment except to say that paper’s professionalism has in the past impressed me, as has the quality of its motivation with regard to whatever it is reporting. If the paper was in the wrong, legally, I feel sure that one should also take into account its previous general demeanor and its tenacious regard for the public good. Those who know and like the paper will of course be able to put this moment in the necessary historical context. Those who do not, or those who feel they have their own reasons to even be pleased with the judgment, will probably be indulging resentments that have little to do with the public interest. We might want to say, for argument’s sake, that this was a case of fearless reporting that got carried away with itself and deserved punishment, but not punishment at the top of the range, which this seems to have been. What we can’t say is that the paper is one of those that has at last got what was coming to it. On the contrary, it has long deserved prizes for its achievements in journalism.
I should also add, in the interests of transparency, that I am a friend of the paper’s editors. Is also crucial to say that I became their friend very much out of admiration for what they have been doing in this wretched period of Central Australian history.
One last point. As things stand a poorly resourced paper, one that created itself out of grit and social conscience, is in massive debt to a flourishing real estate agent. What is the paper’s future? A deadly question created and left hanging from this case is this: would the Territory be better off if the likes of an Alice Springs News were owned by real estate agents?
Dr Barry Hill (pictured) is the award wining author of Broken Song – T G H Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession. His books The Rock: Travelling to Uluru and The Inland Sea (poems) also arose from a decade of work out of Central Australia.
By ERWIN CHLANDA
A deal to develop 260 residential blocks, a retirement village and shops just outside The Gap is at a stalemate. The picturesque land, 150 hectares on the southern flank of the ranges, off Ragonesi Road, is owned by Ron Sterry.
The project has been limping along for some 10 years with some of the roads, sewerage and storm water drains in place, but no work in progress at present.
Last year a consortium of local and interstate interests made an offer to Mr Sterry with the intention of starting work immediately towards the completion of the development. The head of the consortium, David Cantwell, who co-owns a project management and certifying business in Alice Springs, says the offer is worth $15m. Contracts were drawn up following an undertaking by Mr Sterry to proceed. However, Mr Sterry pulled out of the deal at the "very last moment".
Mr Sterry says: "I rejected the offer because I felt it was not it was not good enough." PICTURE: The picturesque site from the air.
By ERWIN CHLANDA
A native title holder says there should be an investigation into the ownership of the land in Mt Johns Valley now being developed as a residential estate.
William Craig says he and his sister Connie, both from the Antulye estate group, have been fighting for four years to get clarity about the deal.
The process by which the land came into the possession of LAE Nominees Pty Ltd needs to be investigated, he says. The town's native title body Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation (LAAC) had authority over the land and was the party to do a deal in its regard with the NT Government. The question is, how did the land end up in the hands of a private company over which LAAC has no control. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
DRAWING: Architect's impression of units at Mt Johns subdivision.
Pearce sole director of failed company: native title spokesman wants answers on Mt Johns real estate development
says yesterday's Centralian Advocate newspaper report about the Mt
Johns Valley residential development omits a crucial detail about the
defunct CDE Civil group.
He says the newspaper neglects to point out that its main source, Darryl Pearce (pictured right),
identified in the report as "native title holder Lhere Artepe's CEO",
is also the sole director of the company now in liquidation, defaulting
on significant debts to local contractors.
Alice Springs News Online reported Mr Pearce's position within CDE Civil earlier this month.
This is confirmed by an ASIC extract, dated September 19, when the company had gone into liquidation.
Mr Morony is a financial consultant based in Canberra. As the CEO of
Indigenous Business Australia between 1993 and 2010 he raised the
asset base of the organisation from $40m to $1b.
He is in Alice Springs for meetings with Lhere Artepe interests who
say they are keen to restore the influence of native title holders on
Mr Morony says he is concerned about the impact of the management failure of CDE Civic.
"I am constantly being asked by my relatives and local native title
members about what is happening in their name and they ask when will
accountability and common courtesy be extended to them." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.