The Shaws at Mt Nancy: what’s good for the goose …

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Is there an income test for people to qualify for government subsidised housing on town camps?
Yes.
Does it apply to the Shaw family, which has dominated Tangentyere Council for decades?
No.
We put the following questions to Tangentyere, funded until recently to provide municipal and residential services to the Alice Springs’ 19-odd town camps, as well as to the NT and Federal governments:-
Does Walter Shaw, Tangentyere’s current CEO,  live in Mt Nancy (pictured in this Google Earth photo)?
Does he earn a salary? How much?
Are there members of the Shaw family living at Mt Nancy who are superannuated, employed, capable of taking on employment or in a situation in which Centrelink would expect them to be available for employment?
If so, how many?
If so, how come they live in subsidised public housing?
Mr Shaw didn’t bother replying.
This is what Andrea Martin of the NT Department of Housing, which under the Transformation Plan has taken over the management of housing in the camps, told us: “Like public housing elsewhere in Australia, all prospective tenants for housing on the town camps must be eligible for public housing.
“Eligibility is based on household income, property assets, property ownership, residency and age.”
However: “Existing residents of town camps do not have to qualify for the income criteria.”
That’s handy for the Shaws who had turned most of Mt Nancy into their private domain while Geoff, now Tangentyere’s president, was its CEO, the position now occupied by his son, Walter.

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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. not surprised
    Posted December 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

    NTG position is a complete copout and undermines the policy – existing residents do not have to qualify for income criteria so business as usual!

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  2. Ian Sharp
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Mal Brough talked about rent seekers and gatekeepers. It is possible for people to mean well but ensure resources flow in the direction of their own self interest (look at the history of Australian tariff policy, Bob Katter still at it). Jenny Macklin seems determined to exercise more control over public monies going into organizations like Tangentyere. Heard her on ABC local radio last week, defending her refusal to write a blank cheque.

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  3. childsplay
    Posted December 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    The Google Earth photo illustrates another interesting point:
    (a) Alice Springs is supposed to have a chronic land shortage;
    (b) so much so that it was worth converting the adjacent motel / resort to residential housing;
    (c) the Mt Nancy town camp clearly has significant usable land available for residential buildings.
    So why not stop calling it a town camp, call it a suburb, and enter into an arrangement with a developer to build without cost to the public purse?

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