Press Release re Municipal Services

MACKLIN BLOCKS COMPETITION FOR SERVICE DELIVERY ON THE APY LANDS

Jenny Macklin has given substantial public funding for service delivery on the APY Lands to an Aboriginal Corporation in Special Administration ("AP Services") without any kind of procurement process.

"We invited Coffey International Development to the Lands and worked with them for the past eight months to see if they thought they could make a difference and add value by managing the tax payer dollars and putting in place a quality, competitive service delivery on the ground which builds Anangu capacity as they do for AusAid overseas" said Chairperson Bernard Singer. “They said yes. They were very interested" said Mr Singer.

Deputy Chairperson Ronnie Brumby spoke about how his community benefited from competition for service delivery. "We didn’t want AP Services" said Mr Brumby. "Bungala gave us a great MSO and everyone is really happy. The Court had to cancel criminal sittings because of lack of work because the community is so happy" said Mr Brumby.

Taxpayers will be shocked at the “lawyer’s picnic Minister Macklin paid for involving over $670,000 taxpayer dollars on lawyer’s fees in the 18 months prior to the appointment of the Special Administrator of AP Services in February of this year.  "Much of the money was wasted on completely unnecessary and misconceived court cases started by or paid for by AP Services as the attacker” said Mr Singer.

One case ($174,000) against APY was dismissed by the Supreme Court in April 2009 with an order for costs in favour of APY. A second case ($143,000) saw AP Services instructing a claim for a small remote aboriginal community which was almost entirely struck out by the Court a short time ago with an order for costs against the community. Mrs Macklin, AP Services and the Solicitor then dumped the community which now faces the whole case being thrown out with a large costs order against the community. The community has now turned to APY for help. At least one other case started by AP Services has been withdrawn.

Another $700,000 was wasted in fees paid to consultants with no prior knowledge or experience in Aboriginal affairs and who produced nothing. Instead they got involved in Anangu politics with long billable hours spent by writing people’s names on whiteboards working out how to undermine them. APY General Manager Ken Newman said "We can’t get an accounting from the Special Administrator and the way I see it maybe $500,000 of rent collected from Anangu could be outstanding."

Mr Newman said “APY proved conclusively there is a very competitive market for service delivery. We attracted Coffey although they always knew they would have to tender for the public dollar. Well, at least that’s the way we thought it would work. If they are interested, other big players in the development community might also be interested. We created competition between Bungala and AP Services. Anangu have been the winners.

“Anangu are very sad and angry” said Mr Singer. “We lined up the ducks to get international development best practice and they force on us those with a record of failure and which include those who don’t have a clue."

For further details, please contact Ken Newman, General Manager on 08 8954 8132.

Bernard Singer, Chairperson
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