10 November 2015 - Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Justice Minister, Lynne Walker, said today that the Territory’s youth justice system continues to lurch from crisis to crisis.
“This is the third relocation of youth detainees in a year, which will yet again lead to another budget blowout for the Youth Justice system,” Ms Walker said.
“This latest crisis is not about difficult detainees, this is about a system that is not working – not for the youths detained, not for staff and not for the community.
“Just this year, the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre received over $200,000 in works to install a 4 meter high anti-climb mesh fence and an electronic fence on and over the new mesh fence.
“Despite this, three youth escaped last month climbing over the fence.
“Earlier this year, the Vita report made damning findings and recommendations about the Alice Springs facility, including that there were ‘non-existent, outdated and inadequate detention centre procedures and standard operating procedures at Don Dale, Holtze and Alice Springs YDC’s’…. ‘and that their procedures manual had not been updated since 2009’.
“CLP ideology is to lock people up first and ask questions later. The latest 2014/15 annual report shows this. In 2015 the Government has budgeted for the daily average of youth detainees to increase from an average of 41 to 100 youths detained at any one time.
“By contrast, John Elferink is failing in the areas we know to work in youth justice:
“Young people in the justice system hold the best prospects for rehabilitation, but this is not possible 1,500 kilometers from home and family and the social and health supports needed to successfully turn their lives around.
“It’s not good enough for the Minister for Corrections to cry legacy issues. This is the one portfolio that has not had a revolving door of Ministers as part of the CLP Government’s own chaos.
“Minister Elferink needs to be accountable for this latest decision in a string of bad decision making. Minister Elferink needs to explain what is really going on in youth justice.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
10 November 2015 - The NT prison system has plunged into crisis again with the escape of a convicted rapist and murderer who is the 36th escapee from a Territory correctional facility in the past 18 months.
The CLP Government and the Corrections Minister in particular are utterly incapable of keeping Territorians safe said NT Shadow Corrections Minister Natasha Fyles.
“When will John Elferink take responsibility for debacles happening in his own department under his watch?” asked Natasha Fyles.
“The CLP government that has completely lost control because they’re too busy fighting amongst themselves to actually get on with the job.
“The CLP’s John Elferink has some very serious questions to answer, including how it came to be that a convicted axe murder and rapist was eligible for the ‘sentenced to a job’ scheme.”
According to the Department of Corrections’ own website:
The Datjala Work Camp is located in the former Nhulunbuy Health Department Centre facility on the outskirts of the Nhulunbuy township.
The facility can accommodate up to 50 sentenced and remand, low and open-security male prisoners.
No sex offenders or prisoners of public interest are considered for placement.
Eligible prisoners must hold the appropriate security classification and must be deemed medically fit and complete all necessary programs.
All prisoners are required to follow a strict regime which includes giving back to the community through undertaking community enhancements, maintenance and beautification projects.
The work camp will be used to educate and rehabilitate prisoners through meaningful training, education, employment and support programs.
“Territorians demand better from this CLP government that has utterly dropped the ball on our justice system and correctional services. The CLP Government is in complete paralysis.
“All the evidence to date points to the very real fact that this CLP Government is too busy fighting amongst themselves to worry about keeping Territorians safe.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
9 November 2015 - Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Nicole Manison, today announced that Territory Labor will call on the legislative assembly to support a full judicial inquiry into Foundation 51.
Ms Manison said only an open and independent judicial inquiry will have the means and authority to help restore the public trust and confidence in Government.
“Territorians must have confidence that the electoral system is open, transparent and free from corruption,” Ms Manison said.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that despite investigations by both the Police and the Electoral Commission, Territorians have been denied the ability to fully scrutinise what transpire between the CLP, Foundation 51 and this CLP Government.
“There are many questions that remained unanswered and Territorians have a right to know.
“The public interest demands that we get to the bottom of how and why Foundation 51 was created and operated, and why it failed to discharge its duties under the electoral laws of the Territory.
“Only by answering these questions can we hope build a more open and transparent electoral system and restore the trust in Government that has been destroy by Adam Giles and his CLP Government.
The Terms of Reference for the Judicial Inquiry are to establish:
The extent of the relationship between Foundation 51, the Country Liberal Party and the Northern Territory Government;
Whether Foundation 51 Pty Ltd has complied with the provisions of the Northern Territory Electoral (the Act);
The extent of any conflicts of interest between the Directors of Foundation 51 and their public duties under Government appointed positions;
The evidence from the investigations conducted by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission and NT Police into Foundation 51 that led to the outcome that there were prima facie breaches of the electoral Act and a reasonable chance of conviction existed, and;
Any other matters the inquiry thinks fit.
The Inquiry will report back to the Legislative Assembly no later than 31 May 2016.
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
6 November 2015 - Shadow Minister for corrections, Natasha Fyles said crime statistics show that the CLP can’t be trusted to reduce property crime in Palmerston and they have broken their election promise to reduce crime by 10 per cent per year.
During the 2012 Territory Election, the CLP Promised to reduce crime by 10 per cent per year:
“We will reduce crime by 10% per year.” – CLP Election Pledge during 2012 Territory Election.
“Property crime in Palmerston has increased by 41 per cent since the CLP Government took office, which means the CLP Government has broken its election promise by a staggering 71 per cent,” said Natasha Fyles.
“The Government’s own crime statistics show that not only has the Giles CLP Government failed to achieve their target, but property crime in Palmerston is now higher than it was when they took Government in 2012.”
5 November 2015 - Shadow Minister for corrections, Natasha Fyles said crime statistics show that the CLP can’t be trusted to reduce crime against the person in Darwin and they have broken their election promise to reduce crime by 10 per cent per year.
“The Government’s own crime statistics show that not only has the Giles CLP Government failed to achieve their target, but crime against the person in Darwin is now higher than it was when they took Government in 2012,” said Natasha Fyles.
“The CLP have failed on their commitment to reduce crimes against the person in Darwin by 56% - which means crimes against the person in Darwin have actually increased by 26% since they took office.”
5 November 2015 - Three key economic reports issued this week highlight that the CLP government is not capitalising on the enormous potential of our Territory.
The reports released this week show that Business Confidence in the NT has plummeted, Building Approvals have dried up and retail spending has crashed:
“Under CLP we are simply not capitalising on our enormous potential. Small business, residential construction and the retail sector are the heart of the NT's economy and jobs,” Ms Manison said.
“Selling off our Territory assets to build the CLP’s election war-chest is not an economic plan.
“The last two weeks also saw the release of the Commsec State of the State reports show that in just three years of CLP rule, the Northern Territory economy is lagging behind the rest of Australia with a 7.4% slowdown in the economy, the jobless rate now ranked fourth, and the slowest population growth in the country.
“By contrast, a stable and transparent Labor Government will invest in the Territory’s potential by:
“Business confidence is down because they don’t feel like the Territory Government is working for the whole business community, only the interests of a few.
“Only Labor has a plan to get the Territory growing again.
“The CLP says it has a plan for economic development, but really it is a plan of asset sales to support their re-election prospects.”
4 November 2015 - Shadow Attorney General, Lynne Walker, said that police data proves that the CLP can’t be trusted to reduce crime in the Territory and have broken their election promise to reduce crime by 10 per cent per year.
During the 2012 Territory Election, the CLP Promised to reduce crime by 10 per cent per year, but the Territory’s overall crime stats shows that, not only has the Giles CLP Government failed to achieve their target, the overall crime is higher now than it was when they took Government in 2012.
The CLP have failed on their commitment by 37% - which also means that overall, crime in the Territory has increased by 7% since they took office.
The Territory’s Chief Justice has called on the government to appoint a seventh Supreme Court Judge after a 35 per cent increase in criminal cases.
“A significant portion of the criminal activity arises out of the abuse of alcohol leading to acts of violence,’’ -Chief Justice Trevor Riley, 2 November 2015.
“A Territory Labor Government will return to evidence and consultation based policy to reduce crime and we will restore the discretion for police to make decisions about the best use of their resources to fight crime. We will not make 180 degree decisions just because another party instigated a policy,” Ms Walker said.
“Territory Labor believes it is up to the police, not government, to decide how they use their resources but it is paramount that our police are supported – that’s why Territory Labor will reinstate the Banned Drinker’s Register (BDR).
“Temporary Beat Locations (TBLs) were introduced by the former Labor Government, and a future Labor Government will reinstate our police with the powers to manage TBL’s as they see fit.
“The BDR was developed in consultation with and publicly supported by the health and alcohol sector, including the AHA, Responsible Drinkers Lobby, NT Council of Social Services, Aboriginal Medical Services, Amity, FORWAARD, People’s Alcohol Action Coalition, and NT Police.”
“Police did see it as one of the most powerful tools if not the most powerful tool available to police to actually deal with the source problem of antisocial behaviour and the violence that was occurring in the community.” -Then Assistant Commissioner of Police, October 2011.
“The BDR already effectively exists in Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek, Groote Eylandt, and the recent Alcohol Management plan in Alice Springs which called for a point of sale intervention (POSI) is essentially a BDR. The BDR can only be effective if it is territory wide, otherwise it simply pushes the problem to other areas.
“A Territory Labor Government will reintroduce the BDR but we are willing to work with the CLP right now to help re-introduce it before the election.”
3 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner said today that Rugby League deserves a proper home, just like other codes.
“League should have a family friendly home suitable for locals who love to play and watch the game,” Mr Gunner said.
“Territory Labor supports the local community and the Ludmilla Primary School Council’s call to halt the tender process until genuine consultation has occurred with the sporting and broader community.
“All the available evidence, including Northern Territory Rugby League’s original submission, identifies Marrara as the best home for League.”
In 2012, after identifying the obvious drawbacks of Richardson Park and in a unanimous decision, Northern Territory Rugby League (NTRL) proposed to relocate from Richardson Park to Warren Park at Marrara Sporting complex.
“Owing to the existing infrastructure already present at Marrara, NTRL estimated that a 1500 seat stadium with sensible facilities would serve their current and future needs of the game, priced at $16 million,” Mr Gunner said.
“We support the decision to invest $20 million in League having a new home; we just believe after talking with people and looking at the evidence that the new home should be at Warren Park, Marrara not Richardson Park.”
“Richardson Park has not been played on for two years, it has only one road entrance, limited parking, a limited buffer zone and the only way to have two ovals - which is a minimum requirement of professional level games - is to take away valuable oval space from Ludmilla Primary.
“In contrast, Marrara is a first rate sporting precinct that can handle traffic, parking and has a massive buffer zone between it and local residents.
“For one off major events, TIO stadium at Marrara has television quality lighting and a proven track record of hosting high level events.
“If we truly want to put the Territory on the map as an appropriate host for major events it makes sense to use the first rate facilities we already have. That would provide a better return on investment for the taxpayer - and we have to be smart about how we spend taxpayers’ dollars.
“The CLP have failed the test – yet again - on how to consult, consider evidence and make long term plans in the best interests of Territorians.
“Territory Labor will talk with all the rectangular field codes - League, Union, Soccer as well as Touch - about their needs and how we can work with them to develop a proper long term plan, with the priority absolutely being that League has a proper home.
“If we work together we have the exciting potential of having 6 to 7 rectangular fields in a row in the one sporting precinct and an opportunity through co-operation for codes to host major multi-field tournaments in Darwin.
“Let’s be smart and get this right for all Territorians.”
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794
3 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today announced senior lawyer, current councillor and treasurer of the NT Law Society and former fire fighter, Jeff Collins, as Territory Labor’s candidate in Fong Lim.
“I’d like to congratulate Jeff Collins on being Territory Labor’s candidate in Fong Lim,” Mr Gunner said.
“Jeff brings with him a wealth of experience, energy and integrity and will be a very strong voice for Territorians in Fong Lim.”
Mr Collins is a senior lawyer (associate) with Ward Keller and runs his own practice.
He left school at 16 and prior to becoming a lawyer, worked as an electrician and later as a professional fire fighter.
While working as a fire fighter, Jeff went back to study and completed an arts degree and then later a law degree.
Mr Collins is also currently a councillor and treasurer of the Law Society of the Northern Territory.
“Jeff Collins represents an amazing breadth of experience and I look forward to working closely with Jeff and the rest of our Labor team in the lead-up to August 2016,” Mr Gunner said.
Mr Collins said it was an honour to be selected as Territory Labor’s candidate in Fong-Lim and is looking forward to knocking on doors and engaging with the electorate.
“I hope to be a strong voice for the people of Fong Lim and ensure that Territorians are being consulted and engaged with on all levels,” Mr Collins said.
Media contact: Jamie Gallacher – 0419 863 803
30 October 2015 - Celebrating World Teachers’ Day today Shadow Education Minister, Nicole Manison said that the Territory has dedicated, passionate teachers working to support our students.
"We have fantastic teachers right across the Territory working hard in the classroom to support our students," Ms Manison said.
"Today we should be thanking our dedicated teachers for their contribution to the Territory.
“The hard work and dedication of our teachers should be acknowledged and they deserve our support.
“Sadly, we’ve seen massive cuts to school staff, right across the Territory under the CLP.
“The Minister for Education confirmed earlier this year that 330 staff had been cut from Territory schools.
“With both teaching positions and school staff positions being cut from schools, the results are obvious – more and more pressure on teachers.
“A Territory Labor Government will ensure teachers and schools get the support they need so they need."
Media contact: Ella Maguire - 0408 773 647