The Mintabie Township Lease and Lease Agreement was signed on 20 April 2012. It is noted that the Mintabie Miners’ Progress Association has not signed the Agreement, which came into operation on 1 July 2012. This Agreement expires on 30 June 2027. The Agreement allows for negotiations to commence on or after 30 June 2022 if the Lease is to be extended.
The Mintabie Township Lease area is reserved from the Mining Act 1971 and the Opal Mining Act 1995. This means that no activities that are administered under these two Acts can be carried out in the Township area (e.g. prospecting or mining for opal).
The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy is responsible for managing and administering the Mintabie township lease area. Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation in the Department of State Development assists where required, more especially in relation to the shop licensing system and regulation.
After more than a decade of concerns having been raised with the Government about certain practices occurring in Mintabie Township, the State Government is reviewing the Mintabie Township Lease Agreement in partnership with the Anangu Pitjantatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executive and the Federal Government, which will include a review of all commercial and residential licenses and of the Mintabie lease arrangements more generally. The Minister has indicated that a Task Force will be set up.
According to a news release on 1 June 2017 from Minister Kyam Maher, the review follows the Federal Court’s findings in November 2016 that the store operator of Nobby’s Mintabie General Store had been engaging in credit activity which contravened the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth). This activity included providing credit to customers through ‘book-up’ and accessing customers’ bank cards and PIN numbers. The court found that the Nobby’s store operator had withdrawn almost $1 million from customers’ accounts over approximately 18 months, including $56,944 in one 24-hour period. On April 13 he was ordered to pay $167,500 in penalties.
The State Government has cancelled the store operator’s commercial licence, which means that his store can no longer trade. The store operator’s application for a residential licence is under consideration.
The APY Lands Mintabie Township Lease Area: Commercial Licencing Policy, states that as from 1 June 2017, additional criteria have been introduced for the granting of commercial licences in the Mintabie Township Lease Area.
The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy will no longer grant any commercial licences that permit book-up or store credit.
While the review is underway, commercial licences in the Mintabie Township Lease area:
* may be renewed for existing shops/ businesses
* may not be issued to new shop owners/ business operators.
The only payment methods approved for use under a commercial licence at Mintabie will be cash, EFTPOS, cheque, credit card, or Centrepay. This means that no-one can use book-up or hand over their PIN number to any store operators.
For previous Anangu Lands Paper Tracker website posts about Mintabie, please see the following links: