CLP pursue Tiwi Islands ‘land grab’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Chief Minister Adam Giles announced at the Property Council luncheon that the Government is on the verge of signing off a deal to secure a 99-year lease over 10,000 hectares on the Tiwi Islands.

 

I have deep concerns that traditional owner consultation hasn’t adequately occurred and have called on the Chief Minister to disclose all details of this secret deal to ensure Government transparency and accountability.

 

Traditional owners have raised their concerns directly with me and there are claims that the CLP Government have already handed over $1million.

 

Has the CLP Government fully consulted with the traditional owners rather than a select few?

 

Have meetings been held with the clan groups whose land will be secured in a 99-year lease?

 

How much is being paid by the taxpayer for the 99-year lease of 10,000ha? Is it $1million or more?

 

What is the business case and feasibility study for such a significant purchase?

 

Adam Giles told people attending the luncheon on Friday that the land will be purchased under a 99-year lease by the government-owned Land Development Corporation.

 

At what cost to Territorians is this proposed lease? Ultimately at what cost to the Tiwi people because do they truly know what is intended for this land when the Chief Minister says it will be on-leased so that people can buy land and have a holiday house there or grow pineapples?

 

There are far more questions than answers and I am concerned that due diligence hasn’t occurred.

 

I am concerned for the traditional owners who deserve to have all the details fully disclosed before signing off. Has this truly occurred?

 

I am concerned for the broader Territory taxpayer because the Northern Territory Government is entering into secret deals to purchase land without disclosing its intent, cost or due diligence. This is a very dangerous precedent.

 

Delia Lawrie

Leader of the Opposition

 

25 November 2013

 

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