GENERAL News

FIRE DESTROYS FREGON COMMUNITY STORE

Kaltjiti/Fregon Community on APY Lands - Google Earth Image

Kaltjiti/Fregon Community on APY Lands – Google Earth Image

Police in the state’s Far North are investigating the circumstances of a fire that has destroyed the Kaltjiti/Fregon community store, causing an estimated $2m in damages.

The alarm was raised before midnight when a fire was noticed at the rear of the store about 11pm. The fire  quickly engulfed the store.

The Mintabie Fire Brigade responded but arrived 2 hours later to find the entire building and contents destroyed.

The fire is regarded as suspicious and fire cause investigators from Adelaide travelled to the site on Friday.

Police ask if anyone saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area around 11pm or if they have any information that may assist, to contact the police based within the APY Lands. Alternateively, call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Kaltjiti, formerly known as Fregon has a population of approximately 350 people.  The community straddles the banks of the Officer Creek a watercourse that is dry except for periods of very high rainfall which flows from South Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Woodroffe.

The Officer Creek is the main drainage channel for the water catchment basin and is located in the centre of the basin that also includes Pukatja and Umuwa to the north.

The community is situated on the plains approximately 45 Km south of the Musgrave Ranges.

 See: http://waru.org/communities/fregon/

According to Wikipedia, the general store is supplied fortnightly via road train and forms the main supply for the APY Lands.

Water is provided from 4 bores and placed in storage tanks for pumping to the community.

Kaltjiti has a sealed airstrip (to which mail is delivered twice a week).

Diesel power generation facilities supply power to the community.

Kaltjiti has the Aparawatatja Anangu school (Aparawatatja was the name of the community council formed when Fregon (later Kaltjiti) was incorporated in 1973).

Technical and further education (“TAFE” for short) opportunities are provided to the community.

There is a health facility run by Nganampa Health with a doctor based at the Kaltjiti clinic.

Kaltjiti has an Australian Rules Football field and a basketball court with night lights.

The community runs the Kaltjiti Arts and Crafts.

Kaltjiti does not have a permanent police presence. South Australian police are based at Marla and run patrols in the area. There is a rudimentary shed structure that serves as a police station when police are present.  The community is served in the absence of SA Police with 1 community constable.

As with most APY settlements, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service television are available.

The Uniting Church in Australia has a congregation in Kaltjiti.

A mobile polling booth visits Kaltjiti every 4 years for elections of the Parliament of South Australia.

A permit is required for a member of the public to visit any community on the APY Lands, as they are freehold lands owned by the Aboriginal people.

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