Alice Springs news
Alice Springs news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspspers; Australia, Central; Alice Springs (N.T.); Newspapers
v. 17 issue 34
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
I cannot accept that any members of the corporation came away from that meeting with any understanding of the financial situation of the corporation and its subsidiaries and no appreciation whatsoever of the business of the corporation. Following this report directors demanded that there be four meetings of directors a year, and four financial reports, provided to the directors ahead of each meeting, that suitable premises are provided for the meetings and proper explanations are given. Ms Blunden says these demands were not met. Kurra committee meetings, of which also only one a year is being held, appear to be lively affairs, replete with heated arguments and threats of violence. In part they deal with issues relating to WETT, an organisation linked to Kurra with a focus on education, and a recipient of direct payments, tied to education purposes, from Newmont Mines. The Alice Springs News has obtained a copy of the minutes of last years meeting of the Kurra committee. Excerpts (The News has withheld most names):Talked about CLCs involvement with Kurra Corporation and their lack of fixture [sic] to the rules. Talked about how CLC need to take more of an advisory stance and stop telling people what to do with their money. You may have heard about Warlpiri boarding college and how we have made queries to WETT and we have not had any response. Goes on to ask people in Warlpiri for money to support this school. Please dont say no, it is time we stood our ground together. Later in the meeting support for the proposed Warlpiri Independent Secondary College was rejected. This is how the decision was minuted: Talks about the advisory committee and the fact that they have investigated this idea (Request for 1.4 million dollars, to conduct a study into the feasibility). All: Resolution not passed. The Alice News reported on the project (September 9), quoting Andrew White, executive director of Education Transformation (ET), which has opened a college on the Tiwi Islands. Mr White said the CLC sank a similar project at Yuendumu, while administering massive royalties, declining an application for funds from the Warlpiri Education Board. Ms Blunden, when asked by the Alice Springs News, says the college project was rejected because there was no opportunity of discussing it adequately. More from the minutes:-You never did answer me, you have a rude attitude, you people were born with a rude attitude, now I have a letter to leave with you, you can burn it, or you can kick me out the door! There are two laws, kartiya and yapa, and kartiya are giving our babies their education. Im proud to be a yapa man. If you want to be kartiya, you are going to have to paint me white. (Is quite emotional and continues in this strain.) There was an exchange between Mr MacAuslan and Ms Blunden about Kurra providing loans for housing. MacAuslan: Ive been doing this job for 15 years and Ive watched (several corporations) kill themselves. Im telling you now if you start sticking your hand in your investment, you will not stop. Blunden explains how Yapa are, and have been struggling for years because they only ever receive tiny royalties every year. Opening the investment is the only way to get ahead. MacAuslan: I have to stop the meeting if you want to look at opening your investment. I dont know whats available. I need to call the office and its nearly five now so no one will be there. I suggest we finish now and come back tomorrow morning. The minutes record (quoted in part) the opening of the meeting the following morning: MacAuslan starts by telling the Kurra Investment Committee that they will not be able to open up their investment to use for personal use, as it is against the corporations rules. Blunden: Why do you keep blocking me? I just want to buy those houses. Kurra is a company that can do whatever it wants with its money. MacAuslan: Show me a company in the world that will lend one of its directors 1.5 million dollars for an unlimited amount of time, interest free. [Ms Blunden told the Alice News the money would have been for five families in NT and Queensland, primary residences.] Other members: We have rights Neil, why cant you listen to us You need to listen to the directors Why is it always us you dont want to listen to? Its all a lie, land council is taking all of our money. MacAuslan: We cannot take any more than 5%. Members: You are getting greedy Arrente people get it all. MacAuslan: Arrente people get nothing. Arrente people look at you guys and think that [youre] millionaires, goes on to explain exactly what Arrente people get.
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