You can’t choose your neighbours

2466 Dale WakefieldBy ERWIN CHLANDA


Minister Dale Wakefield and Territory Families claimed that her department “consulted with the neighbours of all three properties during the establishment process” when bail accommodation for young people was being set up in Alice Springs and Darwin.


But the same courtesy is not afforded to home owners in Alice Springs who have houses in their neighbourhood where children “in the care of the CEO of Territory Families” live.


Anglicare NT, which operates as a provider to Ms Wakefield’s department, is approaching neighbours after the fact – when a house has already been bought for the purpose.


A letter from Anglicare’s Deputy Regional Operations Manager Adrian Scholtes, addressed to “The Householder,” stated last week it had “recently purchased the property [address here] for four young people aged 12 to 17 years in the care of the CEO of Territory Families.


“The young people will be assisted to make their home in the community whilst being supported to reconnect with their families or transition into independent living.


“The house will be staffed at all times on a 24/7 roster basis.


“It is our intention to ensure that the operation of the household does not impinge on you as our neighbours. And indeed we look forward to developing a neighbourly relationship with you!


“We have called around today to introduce ourselves and to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. We are happy to meet with you at any time or to take your calls or respond to an email.”


Mr Scholtes says Anglicare NT has been providing a community based accommodation service for young people in the care of the CEO of Territory Families for many years.


“The letter and visit to the neighbours of the property were made to advise them of the purchase and use of the property with a view to developing an ongoing neighbourly relationship.”


[Editor’s Note: The description “in the care of the CEO of Territory Families” is clearly spin: The phrase used to be “in the care of the Minister”. Of course, Minister Ms Wakefield is responsible for the actions of CEO Ken Davies, but the link isn’t quite so obvious.]


We have invited Ms Wakefield to respond.




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