Federal Inquiry Requested into ‘The Ayers Rock Resort’

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
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The Ayers Rock Resort
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Federal parliament has been asked to inquire into the acquisition of a landmark resort after it racked up huge losses.

Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) chair Dawn Casey made the request for a joint committee inquiry in a letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The Ayers Rock Resort was purchased by the council in 2010 for $317 million, using by “substantial” borrowings.

Dr Casey says that since then, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, an ILC subsidiary which manages the resort, has reported financial losses of more than $100 million.

This includes a $62 million writedown of the value of the property this financial year.

“Losses of this magnitude are unprecedented in indigenous affairs, and raise deeply serious questions about how the losses occurred,” Dr Casey said in a statement.

“The time has come for a formal parliamentary inquiry to be established to get to the bottom of these events.”

A parliamentary committee inquiry has the power to call witnesses and allow evidence to be given under parliamentary privilege.  A response is being sought from Mr Abbott’s office.

The Northern Territory resort offers a variety of accommodation styles, including the luxury five-star Sails in the Desert Hotel comprising 228 rooms and suites that can cost well over $400 a night.

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