Opposition leader Peter Dutton is heading up a conspiracy trying to pour $12 million of Indigenous funding into a school that is being used as a slush fund / fraud scam where the mother of Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jacinta Price, Bess Price, works.
There are already outstanding allegations of fraud at the school which I will outline below, but firstly the background to $12 million scam for the school boarding house project.
Senator Jacinta Price is pushing for the project with the support of Shadow Education Minister Sarah Henderson and others. But as you will see in the below video Jacinta’s mother Bess Price is a major driver for the grant and works at the school. It is a conflict of interest that should be declared by everyone pushing for the $12 million grant, but no one is doing it.
National Party leader David Littleproud is in on the scam and even used parliament question time to put pressure on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to hand over $12 million to the Yipirinya Independent Aboriginal School in Alice Springs and failed to declare the blatant conflict of interest.
The Bess Price conflict is nothing more than the tip of the iceberg of the fraud scam as you will see below.
Jacinta Price’s Wikipedia page says:
She has been a senator for the Northern Territory since the 2022 federal election. She is a member of the Country Liberal Party, a politically conservative party operating in the Northern Territory affiliated with the national Coalition. She sits with the National Party in federal parliament. She has been the Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs since April 2023. (Click here to read more)
Bess Price’s Wikipedia page says:
Aboriginal Australian activist and politician. She was a Country Liberal Party member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 2012 to 2016, representing the electorate of Stuart, and was Minister for Community Services in the Giles Ministry. She lives in Alice Springs in Central Australia, in the Northern Territory. (Click here to read more)(born 22 October 1960) is an
In 2022 Bess Price was appointed Assistant Principal Yipirinya Independent Aboriginal School and Community Engagement Officer and Warlpiri Teacher, Alice Springs.
The Yipirinya Independent Aboriginal School’s website makes no mention of Bess Price being an “Assistant Principal” which might be because they apparently have 3 Assistant Principals which if true looks like a blatant scam as it enables higher wages to be paid to the 2 extra Assistant Principals. The website only mentions Bec Peters as an Assistant Principal.
Watch all three of the below videos as Bess Price, Peter Dutton and David Littleproud all raise the $12 million grant 3 days in a row which shows it is a coordinated plan to get the $12 million and they all link it to the referendum discussion. Are Dutton and Littleproud pushing the $12 million grant as payback for Bess Price and Jacinta Price helping the “No” vote getting up in the referendum?
The below video is Bess Price and her husband David (parents of Jacinta) on referendum night (Saturday the 14th of October 2023) being interviewed on Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda channel Sky News Australia. At the end of the interview Bess Price starts whinging about the school not getting the grant for the boarding house. Price says the school wants to provide accommodation for the students and the minister Linda Burney has visited the school but it has fallen on deaf ears and when Bess Price says that she is obviously talking about the $12 million grant she wants.
In the below video, the day after the referendum vote, and the day after Bess Price spoke above to Sky News, (Sunday the 15th of October) Peter Dutton avoids the question and talks about the need for an audit on Indigenous spending. He says “Jacinta’s got an excellent idea in relation into putting accommodation into some of the schools in the Northern Territory so kids can get a good night sleep etc”.
The key part is “into some of the schools in the Northern Territory” because Bess Price only mentioned one school, her school, Yipirinya, and David Littleproud only mentioned the Yipirinya School. So who are these other schools that Peter Dutton refers to and why isn’t anyone naming them and where are their applications for grants?
In below video from Australian Parliament question time Monday the 16th of October. which is the day after Peter Dutton’s interview above and 2 days after Bess Price’s interview above, David Littleproud asks Prime Minister Anthony Albanese about the $12 million grant for Yipirinya school grant.
Why does Littleproud only ask about the $12 million grant for Yipirinya school when Peter Dutton said there was more than one school wanting the funding for student accommodation?
I published the below video on Tuesday (17/10/23) and I was later tipped off that Littleproud had asked about the Yipirinya school grant and that Bess Price worked at the school but Littleproud didn’t declare it.
At the 1 minute and 21 seconds mark in the below video David Littleproud says “the government has wasted $450 million while the Yipirinya school in Alice Springs has been asking for just $12 million to provide accommodation for at risk indigenous children to help close the gap. Will the Prime Minister commitment to this funding?”
At the 3 minute and 30 second mark David Littleproud interjects on a point of order.
In the above videos Peter Dutton says “Jacinta’s got an excellent idea in relation into putting accommodation into some of the schools” but Bess Price only mentioned her school, Yipirinya, and David Littleproud only asked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese about Yipirinya school.
And neither Peter Dutton nor David Littleproud mentioned that Bess Price worked at the Yipirinya school.
Why was the Yipirinya school $12 million grant raised at the highest level 3 days in a row by the coalition? Why did Dutton and Littleproud jump when Bess Price told them to jump?
Bess Price previous scandal’s
In January 2017 Bess Price was accused of eroding “the public’s trust in politicians”. Nine reported:
The Northern Territory chief minister says former CLP Housing Minister Bess Price’s new job with a company she awarded contracts to erodes the public’s trust in politicians.
Four months after losing her seat at the NT election, ex-Country Liberals minister Ms Price is now employed by Zodiac Business Services, a private firm.
Her department awarded more than $6 million in management contracts to Zodiac during 2014 and 2015, the NT News reports.
Labor leader Michael Gunner says taking the role was a mistake. “It appears the minister has breached that code of conduct and we all pay the price for that,” he said. “This goes to an erosion of trust in politicians in the Territory.” (Click here to read more)
Bess Price getting a job with Zodiac Business Services is similar to the current $12 million school funding scandal because Peter Dutton, Jacinta Price and David Littleproud etc would all know they have to declare the conflict of interest with Bess Price working at the school and pushing for the funding as it will also erode “the public’s trust in politicians” by failing to declare it, which they currently are.
In 2014 the then NT Community Services Minister Bess Price defended a decision to cut off water to Whitegate and had protesters outside her office in Alice Springs. (Click here to read more).
But then Bess Price denied having any responsibility for the embattled Whitegate camp. “In a statement today Bess Price says its residents continue to be hurt by “mistruths and poor advice from people with a political agenda” without specifying who these people are nor what they are saying.” (Click here to read more)
I raised the water issue above because it shows Bess Price making statements that are vague at best, not supported and nothing more than an attempt to avoid answering the question.
Dave Price – Bess’s husband and Jacinta’s father
From Dave Price’s LinkedIn page which hasn’t been updated for a while:
I started Jajirdi Consultants with my wife Bess Nungarrayi, now MLA for Stuart, in 1997. I now work with our daughter Jacinta who has been with us since the beginning. We offer cultural awareness training for both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians interested in the balanced and sustainable development of the Northern Territory. We also undertake remote community liaison, educational and social research and Warlpiri language services. (Click here to read more)
Someone on Facebook wasn’t so kind:
Dave, originally an Irish Catholic from Newcastle, heads up the family business, Jajirdi Consultants, which carries out cultural awareness training programs for mining companies, government departments and has even had a contract with Pine Gap at one stage – basically anyone with big bucks who need to manipulate First Nations communities. They were involved with Centrelink during the early days of the NT Intervention. (Click here to read more)
I wonder if Gina Rinehart or Rupert Murdoch has paid any money to Jajirdi Consultants for “consulting services”.
The Yipirinya school’s website says:
Yipirinya School has been teaching two ways in Alice Springs since 1978. Yipirinya is a community controlled, independent NT school that is governed by an Aboriginal School Council.
The school has a current enrolment of 302 students across both primary and secondary, of whom 100% speak a language other than English. Yipirinya School employs 90 staff of which 65% are Aboriginal. (Click here to read more)
On the 28th of April 2023 the Alice Springs News website published article titled “$12m school row: hostel or boarding facility?” which detailed the facts.
But the dynamite was in the comments section below the article with allegations and insinuations of fraud at the school which went unchallenged by the School Principal Gavin Morris. Even though the Alice Springs News website offered Mr Morris a right of reply before they approved and published the most damaging comment Mr Morris refused to respond.
The Alice Springs News article starts off:
A row is brewing over plans for a $12m boarding facility planned to be added to the Aboriginal-run Yipirinya School.
NT Senator Jacinta Price, who sits with the Coalition, is pushing for the project, with the support of Shadow Education Minister Sarah Henderson.
But now ALP Member of Lingiari Marion Scrymgour has pointed out that Senator Price’s mother, Bess, a former CLP Member in the Territory Parliament, is the school’s assistant principal.
The school newsletter for Term 1 this year shows there are three assistant principals, Bess Price being one, specifically the Upper Primary Hub Coordinator, Language and Culture.
The Alice Springs News has asked Senator Price whether she has declared an interest. There was no mention of her mother’s position in a media release on the matter, issued this morning (28 April).
Senators Price and Henderson are calling for “urgently needed funding” in the Federal Budget.
Dr Gavin Morris, who took the principal job 18 months ago, says in that time the enrolment grew from 100 to 300.
Attendance is about 50%. (Click here to read the full article)
The most damaging comment in the comment section was by Paul Mcloughlin and the School’s Principal Gavin Morris was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations but refused to do so.
The comment in full:
Paul Mcloughlin 29 April 2023 at 3:04 pm
It appears Mr Morris likes to play free and loose with the truth. It would be very interested to put these questions to him.
Of the quoted 300 students how many are “real”?
In achieving 50% attendance are you telling us 150 attend each day on average?
Has your staffing increased threefold to well over 100 during your tenure? What are your current staffing levels?
How many of your new staff have the requisite clearances?
This one was put to him in a Sky News interview with Sharri last Thursday: “Is it true that some days you have more teachers turn up to school than students?”
Response (sitting up abruptly in chair): “I refute that, it may have been the case when I first started and there were only 25 to 30 children.”
A better question could be: “Have there been any days this year when student attendance exceeded staff attendance?”
Yipirinya, I’m told, receives $41,000 per student. Government primary schools $11,000 (some variable factors here).
At the risk of stating the obvious, this is why the numbers game is so critical: 300 students at Yip = $12.3m.
One only has to google “Gavin Morris NRL rugby referee” to question his suitability to lead any school.
[ED – The Alice Springs News spoke to Dr Morris on Sunday about this comment and yesterday invited him by email to respond to it. We gave him a deadline of noon today, when we published Mr Mcloughlin’s reader’s comment. We’ve had no response from Dr Morris but will publish it should we receive one. Our intention had been for Mr Mcloughlin’s comment and any response from Dr Morris to appear at the same time.]
And another interesting comment:
Susan Sidler 30 April 2023 at 11:30 am
Yipirinya School should demonstrate accountability for the massive funding it already receives before more is provided.
At the heart of the problem of accountability is that Yipirinya is a family school.
It employs about 20 teachers and a staggering 55 non-teaching staff.
By comparison it employs more non-teaching staff that Yirara College which is a boarding school and in charge of students full time rather than just school hours.
Interesting to know what all these Yipirinya non-teaching staff do on a day to day basis?
Adding to the accountability question is that the school is not registered under ORIC [Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations] but under the old Corporations Act and so much less subject to scrutiny.
Who will be the main beneficiaries of the new initiative aimed at accommodating staff and students?
PS: Last year’s NAPLAN data says attendance is 31% not 50%. (Click here to read the full article and other comments)
The School’s website says it has 90 staff and 302 students and if the NAPLAN data is correct and it has a 31% attendance record then most days it would have 90 staff and 93 students which is scandalous.
That is a strong pointer to jobs for the boys and girls with the jobs not existing or the employees not existing which is financial fraud. It is also a pointer to the School Principal Gavin Morris lying to the reporter from Alice Springs News.
Having control of a school’s multi-million-dollar finances and being able to put friends and family on the payroll would come in handy during elections when you need a large group of volunteers to help. Controlling who gets the school’s supply contracts could also be rorted especially if they were given a lazy $12 million to spend.
There are serious allegations of fraudulently cooking the books to increase the student count to boost government funding. School principle Gavin Morris knows about the allegations but he hasn’t challenged them even though it is on the Alice Springs News website.
And why does a school that size need 3 Assistant Principals and why does the school’s website only name one? Does the Assistant Principal’s role have a higher pay rate? Of course it does.
And given Bess Price is pushing for the funding, via her daughter Jacinta, would she get a bonus if the school gets the $12 million grant? And is the family business “Jajirdi Consultants” receiving any payments from the Yipirinya school?
Peter Dutton and Jacinta Price are calling for an audit of all Indigenous spending and I agree and the first place they should start is the spending at the Yipirinya school and the $12 million grant application. They could also start with the fraud outlined in my article published on the 15 of October 2023 titled “Scott Morrison’s Hillsong mates ripped off $millions in Aboriginal grants and tenders. Why is no one talking about that?”. (Click here to read more)
I’ll email Peter Dutton, David Littleproud and Jacinta Price and the school and put some questions to them. If they respond, I’ll either update this article or publish another article.
The only thing stopping me making a complaint to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) regarding the Yipirinya grant is that money has not changed hands at this point but if it does I will make a complaint to the NACC.
There is widespread fraud across Indigenous Affairs government spending and readers have contacted me with other alleged frauds but it is too much to put in one article so I will do other articles and/or videos in the near future.
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Categories: Peter Dutton