The KI connection – that ‘shack’ at Western Cove

A “shack” at Western Cove, Kangaroo Island has been making national news in the past week.

Security company Paladin Group had listed 134 Nepean Esplanade as its headquarters.

The Australian Financial Review newspaper last week broke the news that Paladin Group was awarded $423 million in government contracts to provide security provide security for refugees on Manus Island.

Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie said she was going to be asking questions about the Paladin Group at a Senate Estimates committee hearing on Monday afternoon. 

The Australian Financial Review reported the company was founded by former Australian Army soldier Craig Thrupp and his business partner Ian Stewart. 

There is some confusion over the location of the shack due to the sometimes chaotic street numbering system on Kangaroo Island.

The property identified by Google Maps as 134 Nepean Esplanade and featured in national coverage may not be the shack in question.

The SA Government’s LocationSAmapviewer website lists 134 Nepean Esplanade as further to the east down the Esplanade and different to the Google Maps location. 

The Islander on Monday visited the both the “shack” featured in the national media coverage and also the newer house listed as 134 Nepean Esplanade on the Government website.

This was a newer double story house with signs of tiling and home improvements underway. Nobody was home at the time of our visit on Monday afternoon. 

A real estate website included information that 134 Nepean Esplanade was sold privately in September 2018.

In another bizarre KI connection, The Islander has spoken to a local Army veteran who served with Mr Thrupp in The 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, including active duty in East Timor.

The former colleague said he was unaware of Mr Thrupp having any connection to Kangaroo Island or even South Australia.

The Australian Financial Review has since reported that Paladin had shuffled its ownership structure, removed information from its website, and also moved its local headquarters from Kangaroo Island to a serviced office in Canberra.

One issue that raised concern in the Review’s coverage was Paladin's peculiar head office set-up.

The Kangaroo Island address had no listed phone number and could not receive mail from Australia Post.

Western Cove does not have mail service and residents need to receive mail at post office box in Kingscote.