New COVID initiative rehashes old projects

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Projects that have long been on the back burner or are already under way are included in yet another of the NT Government’s COVID related initiatives.

 

Dale Wakefield, soon to be sworn in as the Minister for Central Australia, says in a media release a new committee will tackle projects including the bungled national Aboriginal art gallery and “a new home for rugby codes,” indicating the government’s resolve to use for the gallery their current home, Anzac Oval, controversially to be compulsorily acquired from the Town Council.

 

The release, which does not contain any financial information, also includes the six story residential complex for health staff (pictured) already under construction by a private consortium, some more “CBD Revitalisation”,  the “aircraft storage and part-out facility” – also in private hands – a renewables strategy and “Mutitjulu and Yulara Futures” – neither being explained.

 

This Central Australian Economic Reconstruction Committee is coming too late, says Territory Alliance candidate Dale McIver: “With just 80 days until the NT election, why are we only now seeing [these projects] prioritised?

 

“In the current Budget there are [projects costing more than] $125m that should have been well and truly commenced as we are now in the last month of this financial year … projects that have been forgotten, such as $19.4m for the Maryvale Road, $5.6m for a new multi day walking track and $11.9m for a new adventure and cycling track at West MacDonnell National Park.

 

“Where is the promised $11m for the hospital carpark from the Health Minister [Ms Wakefield]?”

 

Ms McIver says there is no clear economic reporting by the Gunner Government: “Will it be more and more debt that we simply cannot afford?

 

“We are currently borrowing over $4m a day and are on track to have a $7 billion debt in the near future.”

 

Apart form Ms Wakefield the committee includes Tourism Australia and Chamber of Commerce representatives as well as business people Justine Petrick, Chris Neck, Paul Ah Chee and Steve Brouwer.

 

UPDATE 9am

 

The Morrison Government has announced that from today until December 31 the Federal program HomeBuilder will provide all eligible owner-occupiers (not just first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.

 

Applicants will be subject to eligibility criteria, including income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples. A national dwelling price cap of $750,000 will apply for new home builds, and a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000 will apply to renovating an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.

 

The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around $680m.

 

 

 

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9 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. Frank Baarda
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Did you all see Scot Morrison announce [a similar] scheme?
    Coincidentally in the Eden-Monaro electorate.
    He and his mob were then told to get off the lawn by the homeowner. Priceless!

    View Comment
  2. Trevor Shiell
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Get to the real cost of building here. It cost me $315 just to get a local tradie 15 km out of town to give me a quote. When queried I was told “that”s what we charge the Government”.
    Brought an online switch from an electrical retailer here. Cost $23. Same switch at the green shed $6.50. A friend landed a four BR house here from Adelaide by truck.
    Dropped on block ready to occupy: $280K, thank you very much!
    Who is having whom on?

    View Comment
  3. Ralph Folds
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:00 am

    @ Nigel Adlam. By publishing your rather personal attack Erwin has shown his commitment to a free press.
    Lots of good journalism here and some is exceptional.
    “Trouble at the turn-off.”

    View Comment
  4. Nigel Adlam
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    What a biased, sneering, shallow report on a project that will do wonders for the Alice Springs economy. And right underneath you have the cheek to ask for money to support your “journalism”.

    View Comment
  5. Maya
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Grants for the rich to get richer. No housing for the homeless.

    View Comment
  6. Interested Darwin Observer
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Charlie, by welfare for the rich you mean it is returning tax payers dollars to those who actually paid it in the first place? 50% of tax comes from the top 10% earners.
    And yes, local tradies will definitely benefit! It is not unlikely to expect that middle class families may seek to add a bedroom and an en suite or similar works which can easily cost in excess of $150,000.
    Evelyne: Good question – how much is this costing us?
    And what does Dale know about (re)constructing?
    She has never been in the real economic world in her life. Her pet project of the upgrades to the women shelter is all she can claim – and that is hardly an economic driver with strong return for the town.
    I guess though it might have a comfortable office in it for when she loses her job in August!
    We would not need re-constructing if her mob had not sent us down the gurgler in the first place, with dud economic policy and an explosion in crime.

    View Comment
  7. Charlie Carter
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    The Morrison plan applies to “a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000”.
    Wow! This is serious welfare for the rich.
    You can get it if you own a house, and are prepared to spend upwards of 150 grand on a reno.
    I suspect it won’t help the local tradies much. A reno for more than 15 grand is probably more in the local price range.
    I’m sure Harbourside Mansion and co will be delighted.

    View Comment
  8. Psuedo Guru
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Borrowing $4m a day? Clowns running the circus.

    View Comment
  9. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I have two questions:
    • How much this committee will cost us, as I do not think that Dale will not get an extra allowance for her new portfolio and that the committee members do it pro bono.
    • Will the government listen to the decisions and findings or ignore the results like for the guidance from the National Reference Group for the art gallery?

    View Comment

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