Tag: Delaware North
A fight for public access is brewing over a prime piece of waterfront land in Darwin being sold off by international casino group SkyCity.
- Little Mindil was put on the market in 2019 and is now under contract
- It was sold to SkyCity casino group by the NT government amid controversy in 2008
- A Darwin alderman says any future development plans will spark protests
Little Mindil is in the process of being sold by SkyCity, which bought it off the NT Government for $6.6 million — a public asset-sale described by protesters as “giving away a classic Territory asset” back in 2008.
The ABC understands the 5.6 hectare plot of land is now under contract.
The land’s prospective buyer, cost, and any agreements the buyer has made with SkyCity to retain public access, however, remain unclear.
New Zealand-based SkyCity declined to comment on the sale.
Darwin alderman Andrew John Arthur said “there will definitely be protests” if the site’s next owner tries to develop on the site’s current green space.
“My word there will be protests — the development of Little Mindil was never a part of the original agreement, and there will be a great community outcry from across the board,” Mr Arthur said.
“People will be very distraught.”
In selling off the piece of public land, then-NT chief minister Paul Henderson described it as “a win-win for Darwin, a win-win for the tourism industry and a win-win for SkyCity”.
Mr Henderson said SkyCity had agreed to preserve Little Mindil, protect its creek and foreshore, and maintain public access to the beach from Bullocky Point.
Public access non-negotiable: Alderman
Mr Arthur was among protestors who held a demonstration against the sale to SkyCity in 2008.
The current alderman said the community did “not want to lose this green space”.
“The community expects access to the beach, so it must be inherent in any new arrangement,” he said.
Little Mindil is also valued by anglers currently able to access both the beach and connected creek.
Craig Humphris said he had fished at the spot for 20 years, and to lose access would “devastate the fishos around town”.
“We’d lose one of the best fishing spots close to town: the creek,” he said.
“It’s been known to pull metre barra out of there on the top of the tide.
“If the land is sold, there should still be public access to the beach, so we can access all around to the point.”
‘We want to see more transparency’
Mr Arthur called on SkyCity to consult more widely with the Darwin community over the sale.
Darwin Turf Club provided $3.5m Government guarantee
The Silks Club was given a multi-million dollar Government guarantee to see a new sports bar with gaming machines built, despite the Government’s heavily touted aspirations to curb anti-social behaviour.
“It would be nice to know who has purchased it and what the purpose is for. We want to see more transparency,” he said.
“Eventually they will have to put in an application with the Development Consent Authority, and I guess the community will find out then … [but] it would be nice if the community were brought on board with any new proposal.”
SkyCity sold its Mindil Beach casino and resort to US firm Delaware North in April 2019 for $188 million but put Little Mindil on the market separately.
A spokesman for Delaware North said the firm did not purchase the neighbouring site, expressions of interest for which closed in March.
Colliers International is the selling agent for the land but was unavailable for comment.