May 14, 1997

A bid by the Aboriginal owners of the Milner Road supermarket and liquor outlet to separate the two sections is being thwarted by legislation, according to Greatorex MLA Richard Lim.
He says a "source close to the owners" has told him about plans for a separate entrance to the liquor section, and to close it off from the food area. Dr Lim says: "I commend the Milner Road Foodtown for this most responsible move to lessen the impact of alcohol on our community.
"This would remove the subliminal association between food and alcohol.
"Shoppers would be less induced to think that while they get their food they might as well pick up their grog at the same time."
However, the Liquor Act treats the bottle shop as "ancillary" to the supermarket and appears not to allow separate premises.
Dr Lim says he hopes that the Liquor Commission will put forward recommendations to change this anomaly in the Act.
The store was bought last year by an Aboriginal consortium whose major partner is understood to be Tangentyere Council.
The store redeems food vouchers issued by Tangentyere.
Dr Lim has renewed his call for a full disclosure of where the money for the purchase of the store came from.
He says: "I asked this question publicly last year and again earlier this year but still have not received a reply.
"We know the store is owned by one or several Aboriginal organisations which may or may not have used public funds for the deal.
"I am not suggesting that any public funds are involved.
However, in view of the recent collapse of the Tangentyere owned Territory Business Suppliers and the many questions abut the source of funds used to purchase that business, the public needs to be reassured that the money for Milner Road Foodtown did not come from the public purse.
"I don't believe it is too much to ask for a public statement from the owners of the supermarket," Dr Lim says.

The Central Australian tourism lobby CATIA is low key about rumoured moves to have the Ayers Rock Resort Company Limited (ARRCL) listed on the stock exchange.
The company owns most tourism facilities at The Rock.
The NT Government announced recently that it will sell its 60 per cent holding in the ARRCL, provided the price is right.
The Advent syndicate - mainly interstate corporate investors - owns 40 per cent of the company.
CATIA chairman Wayne Tucker says his organisation won't comment on rumours, but it's a "good idea" for the government to be selling its share.
"We don't have a preference about a buyer or buyers," says Mr Tucker.
If a public float takes place, CATIA would not recommend to the government to impose conditions about who may or may not buy the shares.
Resort manager Grant Hunt said in a recent memo to ARRCL staff, obtained by the Alice News: "The Advent Syndicate ... has indicated that it would join with the government in selling its shares in the company.
"The board of ARRCL welcomes these announcements.
"A public float of ARRCL's share holdings is seen as the preferred method of sale.
"It would be a very positive move to have the company floated ... as not only would it give all Territorians the opportunity to buy shares in our unique and successful resort, but also it would give an opportunity for all staff to participate in the ownership of the resort through ... the stock exchange or through an employee share scheme, which the board have agreed to introduce immediately following a float."
Meanwhile, CATIA will need to replace its general manager, Kevin Lewis, who Mr Tucker said left "unexpectedly" after just 10 weeks on the job.

Prime Minister John Howard's 10 Point Plan responding to the Wik High Court ruling - finding that pastoral leases and Aboriginal rights can co-exist - does not offer relief for cattlemen in The Centre worried about native title claims.
However, the plan would prohibit claims over land within townships, although "native title holders ... would gain the same procedural and compensation rights as other land holders". Mr Howard's proposals, if implemented through Federal law, will extinguish native title only on land under "exclusive" tenure.
In the Northern Territory, Aboriginal access for traditional pursuits on pastoral leases is already guaranteed. In other words, Territory pastoral leases could not be regarded as "exclusive," so native title on them would not be automatically extinguished under the 10 Point Plan.
About 49 per cent of the NT's land mass is held under pastoral leases, numbering around 240, some of which are held by Aboriginal land trusts.
Most of the remainder is Aboriginal land held under the Land Rights NT Act.
In Queensland, by comparison, there are 1,530 pastoral leases covering 54 per cent of the state.
It is understood that pastoralists with "exclusive" tenure are mainly in NSW and Queensland.
In relation to agricultural leases the 10 Point Plan says native title will also be extinguished if "exclusive possession was intended".
Bob Lee, the new executive director of the NT Cattlemen's Association, says he will not comment on the 10 Point Plan until legislation is drafted.
Mr Lee, when asked whether his group wanted native title extinguished, said: "We wouldn't necessarily use the word extinguished."
Mr Lee would not explain what word he would use.
The Central Land Council (CLC) - the approved body representing native title claimants within Alice Springs - has spoken out against what it calls "myths" perpetrated by the NT Government in the past few weeks.
The CLC found it necessary to drop a leaflet into 10,000 mailboxes in Alice Springs last week explaining the current situation here.
In part the leaflet, entitled "Exposing the Myths about Native Title in Central Australia" says: "The Mbantuarinya Arrernte people, on whose traditional lands the town of Alice Springs has been built, want recognition and protection of their native title.
"So far the NT government has refused to negotiate about most issues, so the traditional owners have asked the Federal Court to make a decision on the existence of native title."
The CLC did not respond to requests from the Alice News for comment on the Howard plan.
Acting Chief Minister Mike Reed was stung into action calling the CLC flier "a futile exercise in waste and misrepresentation".
Mr Reed says: "Outrageous claims like the Central Land Council land grab over Alice Springs have prompted the need for the Howard Government's 10 Point Plan."
Mr Reed says the ongoing dispute about native title holders taking over the Alice Springs water supply (never a realistic possibility under the NT Water Act, according to the CLC) has been put absolutely beyond doubt by point number eight in Mr Howard's plan which spells out governments' rights to "regulate and manage surface and subsurface water, off-shore resources and airspace".
Despite an apparent reluctance to negotiate with native title claimants, the NT Government may find itself under some pressure to do so when and if the 10 Point Plan becomes law. Point number nine, while stating there will be a higher registration test for the right to negotiate for new and existing native title claims, also says there will be amendments to speed up the handling of claims and "measures to encourage the States to manage claims within their own systems".

Entering the nineties developers in Alice Springs were licking their wounds from the excesses of the eighties, recalls Ian Builder, erstwhile real estate agent, now auctioneer.
"From a real estate point of view I remember it as very, very tough," says Ian.
"Things weren't happening, building had slowed down, housing sales had slowed down, there was still plenty of vacant land out at Larapinta Valley."
Ian in fact pulled out as an active player in the real estate game, while continuing to keep an eye on what was happening.
The first movement came from Joe Golotta, who'd been badly knocked around in the late eighties.
"He came and started to build home units.
We wondered what would become of him but he proved to be right and us skeptics, including myself, were quite wrong.
"We'd thought people would be too used to living in more open spaces," says Ian.
The development of units evolved in the mid-nineties towards the introduction of "green streets".
This concept involves the developer developing the land, the buildings, the landscaping, all before he sells a single block.
"Now in developments like the Red Gums Estate, land is developed up in parcels that are much smaller than were acceptable in the seventies or the eighties," says Ian.
The size can go as low as 400 to 500 square metres, with certain restrictions placed on the way the blocks in cluster housing estates are developed.
Another recent example of this type of development is the area that was to have been a retirement village at Desert Springs.
It has now evolved as a private subdivision with blocks of land again much smaller than the accepted 800 square metres of the earlier days.
"We've seen a demand for land like we've never seen before," says Ian.
"As we got into the nineties we started to run out of residential land inside the Gap and we chose to develop rural lands.
"We went out to Ilparpa and that was developed up with a reduction in land size.
"Five acres or two hectares had been a minimum size and that's now gone back to one hectare.
"That's likely to reduce again perhaps to one acre, depending on where the move comes next."
The last few years have also seen the demise of some of the old caravan parks close to the centre of town.
They've become uneconomic to run and have been sold off and redeveloped.
Ian thinks the redevelopments have been reasonably good but on land of a smaller size than has been acceptable in the past.
Areas at the Gap are also being remodelled.
"That's not a bad idea," says Ian, "because the Gap is the entrance end of the town.
"It's one of the earlier developed parts of Alice Springs.
In the fifties it was known as Rainbow Avenue, it was the birthplace of the town, everybody was there.
"I don't say I like the way it's being developed but there is a move to take full streets like Ballingall Street, knock down the old dwellings, develop the land through the boundaries of the old blocks for cluster housing.
"There's a need for a certain amount of that type of housing in a township but I feel we're getting a bit overdone.
"Perhaps I'm wrong - a lot of people are happy with unit developments because they're business people or they want to spend time travelling, or out bush.
"The old days of our weekends being taken up with cutting lawns and mowing grass may be a thing of the past."
With the restriction on land came something developers never expected to see - the possibility of building duplexes, with the consent of neighbours, on residential blocks of over a 1000 square metres.
Then, starting with the larger blocks on the Eastside and areas like Clarke Street which were zoned R1 - large blocks with a house on them - came redevelopments with two houses on the one block.
This move was distinct from the development of R2 land, such as some of the bigger blocks along Larapinta Drive close to town and quite a few blocks around the Gap, which are available for unit development .
"The development of large R1 blocks was really brought on because of the restrictions placed on the town's development opportunities mainly by the native title claims that still remain over the town and neighbouring lands," says Ian.
"If, as it appears, that native title claims within town boundaries will not be forthcoming - and that includes all towns in Australia - I think we'll see a fairly open opportunity for land development inside the town as well as outside the Gap or out towards Undoolya.
"Where that will take us I don't know but we've been saying for some time if we want our young people to stay in the area it's important that we make provision for cheap land.
"I think that's probably the next thing on the agenda.
"Generally speaking, our land values have gone through the roof, quite unprecedented in my opinion for an isolated town like Alice Springs.
"We want to see a more stable situation."
Meanwhile, the real estate industry came from being on its knees in the early nineties to having the best period of sales turnover, of growth that has ever been seen in Alice Springs.

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