atsic - waste of money

  1. Yak
    13,672 Posts.
    I've been in Australia for >30 years and I've been hearing of these stories ever since.

    What a waste of tax-payers money!!!

    I particularly like the sentences in bold.

    I played golf the other day with a fullblood Aboriginal who told me he went into the local ATSIC office to see if he could apply for a home loan with the subsidised rate (luv that one too!!!!!)

    He was told all the money allocated to the region was already earmarked. When he asked to see to whom....the list was made up of all their family members - hence nothing left.

    He argued that it wasnt fair or open and they shrugged.

    $3m tuna boat held over default
    By Misha Schubert and Emily Broadbent
    October 1, 2003

    THE $3 million tuna fishing boat at the centre of ATSIC's ambitious foreign trade agenda has been impounded in the West Australian port of Geraldton after defaulting on a taxpayer-funded loan.

    The new federal agency, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, has hired private security guards to protect the boat after sending in a receiver-manager last week.

    The Australian revealed in August that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission had issued a $3million loan to the indigenous fishing company, which was part-owned by an ATSIC regional council chairman - Barry Taylor - and the son of ATSIC commissioner Terry Whitby.

    Mr Taylor, who chairs ATSIC'S Ngarda-Ngarli-Yarndu regional council, admitted ATSIC had loaned "too much" to the start-up venture because a proposed joint venture partner had pulled out.

    Sources within ATSIS said Pilbara Fishing Ventures, which owns the $3 million tuna boat, had failed to make loan repayments for at least 12 months and was deemed insolvent by the receiver, who will issue a final report in two weeks' time.

    "The whole construction of the deal was so unrealistic it was never going to work," one source said. "On the basis of their earning capacity, I don't think they ever could have (met the repayments)."

    The 30-metre catamaran, named Titchtjarla ("a fishing place"), had been docked at Geraldton Fisherman's Wharf since last week, when the catch was unloaded and the crew were asked to leave, local sources said.

    The boat is under 24-hour surveillance by Midwestern Security.

    An ATSIS spokesman said the organisation could not comment on the venture because of secrecy provisions in the ATSIC Act.

    A spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Philip Ruddock, in Geneva at a UN committee meeting, said the matter was being handled by ATSIS.

    But Mr Whitby, whose son Corey is a director of the failed fishing company, said the venture was "going great" and had suffered only because of a market slump driven by high levels of mercury in some fish species.

    He said the decision to call in an administrator was taken not by ATSIS but by the company's directors, who wanted to develop a new business plan to keep the enterprise going.

    Mr Whitby said the company had missed only a couple of the monthly $36,000 instalments on the $3 million loan.

    "The boys called it on themselves to organise a restructure of the loan and to look at converting to snapper," he said. "They were maybe two months behind, but nothing like 12 months." He said critics should welcome such a project for the region and "cut out" the community jealousy.

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