Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Desert Knowledge Australia set for reinvigoration

Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) in Alice Springs is to embark on a new direction.

Minister for Business David Tollner said following the recent DKA review government has decided the timing is right to put a new focus on the organisation.

DKA was an initiative of the former Country Liberals Government in 2001 and was conceived as an expert organisation that would harness local knowledge of arid environments locally and commercialise that expertise.

“Sadly our dream was not shared with the same enthusiasm by the former Territory Labor Government,” Mr Tollner said.

“While DKA generated a number of programs and attracted investment to Alice Springs clearly more value could have been generated for Territorians if there had been closer engagement between Government and DKA.”

Mr Tollner, said the Country Liberals government wanted to reinvigorate DKA so it represented better value for taxpayers and better fulfilled its objectives.

“DKA can play an important role in helping inform public policy in not only Central Australia but across all of remote Australia. The organisation has the potential to drive real and beneficial social and economic change, but it needs a fresh approach,” he said.

“As a Statutory Authority there is an opportunity to more closely align DKA’s agenda to government’s priorities – particularly economic development and in support of the Northern Australia agenda.

“To take this new direction forward a new board and senior management will be appointed and the government, unlike the previous, will be more closely involved.

“We are sincerely thankful for the efforts of the present Chair, board and management of DKA who have provided the foundation for the future.”

“I am very proud of what has been achieved by DKA so far, “ said Fred Chaney, who has been Chair of DKA for the past seven years.

“We have established some key approaches to tackle the underlying barriers to growing the economy and strengthening the desert community and brought partners together to create enduring capacity for Alice Springs.

 “I take this opportunity to thank DKA’s many partners and sponsors, supporters and our staff. I know that the dedicated staff of DKA stand ready to work towards the new future.”Mr Tollner said the process of appointing new board members was already underway.

“On behalf of the Government I thank the departing board members for their service and wish them all the best,” Mr Tollner sai


Media Contact: Communication Adviser Jon Taylor 0417710687