12 million for a Grandstand?

Written by on 09/09/2019

natasha.emeck@news.com.au

CONCERNS have been raised about where the indebted NT Government will find $12 million to splash on a new Darwin Turf Club grandstand.

Independent Member for Nelson Gerry Wood said he thought the spending decision was “totally inappropriate” given the terrible state of the Territory’s budget debt, which is projected to hit $8 billion by 2022-23.

“The budget is in dire straights and this project isn’t a priority,” he said.

“It could easily have waited a few years and it’s not even clear about where the government will get this money from.

“I couldn’t see anything of this mentioned in the budget papers.

“I would think that a $12 million grant for someone would be highlighted but it doesn’t appear to be there.”

However Treasurer Nicole Manison has insisted that the capital grant will come out of the 2018/19 budget.

Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said he was also concerned about the funding.

“Despite the government’s claims, there appears to be no provision for this in the current budget,” he said.

Mr Wood also said the decision to award the project tender to a company run by the Darwin Turf Club’s chairman Brett Dixon needed to be examined by the auditor-general.

“It was also a bit strange that the tender was released only two weeks after Paul Kirby announced the project on July 5,” he said.

“It suggests the tender documents had already been substantially drawn up before the announcement was made.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he has asked for advice from the independent probity auditor who reported on the tender processes of the grandstand.


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