Press Release re Weatherill

Minister Weatherill’s most recent allegations made on ABC Radio about APY are again incorrect. No person involved in electricity generation or roadworks has been denied a permit. APY has learned today the Manager of the Umuwa Central Powerhouse has resigned due to a dispute with the Workshop Manager of AP Services. In relation to roadworks, APY has productive relations with DETI which have opened up roadworks to public tender for the first time. All tenderers for roadworks for the financial year beginning 1 July 2009 and relevant public servants have been given permits.

Mr Singer said "It is completely untrue to say we are obstructing a court. I ask the Minister to identify the recommendation in the Mullighan report requiring a court at Umuwa. I cannot see any such recommendation in the Mulligan report.” “Recommendation 13 recommends our new Anangu housing as an urgent matter. This was stalled until Minister Rankine took over."

APY General Manager, Ken Newman said, "As recently as our March Executive meeting, our Planning Officer reported the State Government was reviewing the purpose for which the State Administration centre at Umuwa would be used. DETI has confirmed that no development application for the proposed centre has been lodged with DAC. This creates obvious difficulties in any consultation process.”

In relation to conveyancing and land transfer procedures, “You can’t provide secure tenure to the Commonwealth by going to the Land Titles Office with a lease, annexing a Google photograph, instead of a file plan after development approval, and tell the Registrar General that unless he registers it the Minister will name him in Parliament. These are requirements of State Law and basic land transaction procedures. Things have been very silly for a very long time. APY has had enough," added Mr Newman.

“If Mr Weatherill wants to talk about roadworks, well, that suits us” said Mr Singer. “In opening the roads maintenance work for tender, one of the first things uncovered was that the insolvent service provider, AP Services (in administration), did not have a basic minimum industry accreditation which was the minimum standard needed for obtaining taxpayer funded works contracts. Despite tens of millions of taxpayer funded dollars invested in road plant, AP Services was ineligible to tender for the publicly funded roadworks.”

“We were shocked” said Mr Brumby, a former Chairperson of AP Services who was overthrown by non-Anangu staff in November 2007 when he and a majority of AP Services Directors took steps to try to improve service delivery and called for an independent financial report. “Before we broke their monopoly last year, they were returning only 35 cents in the dollar to the lands in services, having wasted over $1.3 million taxpayer dollars on lawyers and consultants fees which had nothing to do with service delivery.”

The whole exercise involving service delivery on the APY Lands has been one of capacity un-building for the Anangu and this has happened despite our best efforts to bring about change and get value for money from taxpayer dollars.

For further details, please contact Ken Newman, General Manager on 08 8954 8132.

Bernard Singer, Chairperson
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