23 September 2015 - The failure to investigate serious allegations of mistreatment within the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre is further evidence of a youth justice system which is spiralling out of control, Shadow Minister for Youth, Lauren Moss said today.
“Correctional Services Minister John Elferink’s complete lack of leadership and ‘head in the sand’ approach is indicative of an attitude that is allergic to transparency and accountability,” Ms Moss said.
“If the Attorney General isn’t up to the job, he should stand aside for someone who is.
“The Correctional Services Commissioner’s refusal to investigate incredibly serious allegation of mistreatment outlined at a forum on Monday is an appalling decision, and the Minister for Correctional Services should be making sure this occurs.
“Territorians have a right to know how children in the youth justice system are treated and what steps are being taken to ensure children are treated humanely.
“Mr Elferink must act on the advice of the Children’s Commissioner and ensure the appropriate investigations take place. Unfortunately his performance to date gives little faith that he takes these issues seriously.
“Under Mr Elferink’s watch we have seen disturbances at Don Dale jump from 5 in 2012 to 12 in 2014, a trend that seems to be continuing in 2015.
“Mr Elferink also sat on a Children’s Commissioner’s report for a month and has refused to provide a response to recommendations such as:
“It’s well and truly time for Mr Elferink to listen to the experts, and fix the crisis his approach to youth justice has created.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
21 September 2015 - Shadow Minister Lauren Moss today called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to repay funds which have been spent on a blatantly misleading and political smear campaign.
“It’s now clear that Adam Giles intends to use taxpayers money like it’s his own to fund a desperate spin and smear campaign, in clear breach of laws design to prevent such abuses of public money and trust,” Ms Moss said.
“Not only are the CLP using public funds to advertise their own political message they have now decided to use taxpayers’ money to fund attacks on other Members of Parliament.
“The fact that Adam Giles has now been forced to pull these advertisements is further evidence that the CLP knew that it was a complete fabrication of the truth and a waste of taxpayers’ money. That’s why I have today referred these advertisements to the Auditor General.
“Neither Territory Labor nor independent members of parliament blocked any laws. And to suggest anyone’s life has been put at risk is gutter politics at its best.
“We all know this government is sinking fast. The Chief Minister is a minority leader in a minority government, lacking any authority or leadership.
“If any integrity remains in this Government the Chief Minister must immediately answer the following questions:
“Now he’s thrashing around attempting to smear everyone. It’s time for this abuse to stop,” Lauren Moss said.
“This smear campaign is about trying to cover up for the appalling performance of his Parliamentary team.
“It’s a campaign based on the lowest possible political tactics. It reinforces the fact that the people of the Territory just cannot trust this government.”
Media contact: Ella Maguire 0408 773 647
13 September 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today announced his strong support for Federal Labor Leader, Bill Shorten’ s call for a national crisis summit on family violence.
“Despite a focus on domestic violence in recent years, the fact is that the situation in Australia is only getting worse,” Mr Gunner said.
“In the Northern Territory alone, an Aboriginal woman is 80 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than any other Australian.
“There’s little doubt that domestic violence in the Northern Territory is an epidemic, but it’s not just a problem here in the NT, it’s a problem right across Australia.
“A national crisis summit on family violence will bring together survivors, experts, services, the police and other jurisdictions to put renewed focus and action on what must do to stamp out this scourge.
“It’s for the reasons above that I fully support Bill Shorten’s call for a national crisis summit on family violence as a matter of urgency.”
Territory Labor remains skeptical about the CLP’s sudden sense of urgency given the police submission proposed similar expanded powers four months ago and the CLP failed to act on it.
The CLP also failed to respond to the community’s ICE concerns in February when Adam Giles didn’t support Territory Labor’s call for a robust Multi Agency Ice Taskforce.
Territory Labor’s approach is to listen and then act, however, given our bi-partisan approach on this matter; we will consider the CLP’s amendments ahead of next week’s parliamentary sittings.
27 August 2015 - Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, Natasha Fyles today welcomed Parliament’s decision to investigate the funding of rugby league facilities in Darwin, including the decision to spend $20 million to upgrade Richardson Park.
“The CLP Government is so out of touch, they even get a $20 million sport investment wrong,” Ms Fyles said.
“For years, Northern Territory Rugby League (NTRL) have been planning to move out of Richardson Park. They’ve said that Warren Park, at Marrara, would be ideal for Rugby in Darwin.
“At Estimates in June 2014, the then Sports Minister, Matt Conlan, said Richardson Park was “essentially past its use-by date” and that the CLP were in discussions with the NTRL about constructing a new venue at Warren Park.
“So it certainly was an interesting announcement in May this year, when the Treasurer, Dave Tollner announced a $20 million commitment to upgrade the Rugby facilities at Richardson Park.
“And then the final blow came yesterday from Chief Minister Adam Giles. When asked by a reporter if he was confident the Rugby facility at Richardson Park would still be built, the Chief Minister answered simply:
“No.” - Adam Giles, Nine News, 26 August 2015
“It is “Situation Normal” for Adam Giles – he’s caused chaos and confusion and just seems to be making things up as he goes along.
“I welcome the decision to refer this matter to the Public Accounts Committee, which can cut through the spin and deal with these kinds of issues. Maybe we might finally get some answers about what is going on with the future of Rugby in Darwin.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794
20 August 2015 - Opposition Health Minister, Lynne Walker, today expressed shock and condemned comments from CLP Health Minister, John Elferink, that money spent on caring for older and sick Territorians should be redirected to children.
“This is just wrong. The CLP Health Minister has today launched an attack on some of our most vulnerable and most respected members of our community,” Ms Walker said.
“Mr Elferink’s suggestion, as we celebrate Senior’s Month, goes against the Hippocratic Oath undertaken by our doctors, the absolute dedication of our nurses and the enormous goodwill and commitment of every single person working, in our public health system,” Ms Walker said.
"The fact is we've pretty much reached the limit of how old we can grow as a species. And yet we pour huge effort and resources into the last year of a person's life. If we are doing that, we are doing that at the expense of some other point in the medical system."
-Northern Territory Health Minister, John Elferink, ABC News, 20 August 2015
"Think of the work that could be achieved ... in the first year of life with a million dollars. You could probably touch hundreds of kids with that sort of money.
-Northern Territory Health Minister, John Elferink, ABC News, 20 August 2015
"I suspect if you spoke to somebody who ... for argument's sake, had end-stage renal failure and said: 'We can continue treatment but by discontinuing treatment your grandchildren would have a better opportunity'.”Many of those old people would say 'Yeah I accept that'."
“The Minister could fund care for the elderly by cutting some of the waste his government produces – such as extensive overseas luxury travel and failed alcohol mandatory treatment policies just to name two.
“A decent society looks after all its citizens, not sacrifices one part of our community for the sake of the other.
“This is not and never will be the Labor way.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794
19 August 2015 - Deputy Labor Leader Lynne Walker says it’s time to change the way the Territory Parliament operates.
Launching Labor’s “Parliamentary Reform- Opening Parliament to the People” Ms Walker said that to restore trust and integrity to the Territory’s democracy Labor believes that the Territory Parliament needs more participation from the community.
“Labor’s Parliamentary reform proposals are focused on reducing the adversarial nature of the Parliament and opening the parliament up to the community,” Ms Walker said.
“If elected, Labor proposes to establish an independent inquiry into the operations of Parliament. The inquiry would be headed up by a former judicial officer and include a retired parliamentary officer, retired Members of Parliament and the community.”
Ms Walker says that Labor will propose that the inquiry consider sweeping changes, including:
Ms Walker said that Labor welcomed comments and feedback on the proposals.
To view the discussion paper, visit www.territorylabor.com.au/IntegrityInGovernment
19 August 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, met with Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) today to chat about Territory Labor’s discussion paper on Early Childhood Development, which outlines plans to make put children at the centre of Government.
“Alice Springs is leading the way. Today I again met with Congress as I have a number of times and we talked about the delivery of their Family Partnership Program (FPP) on this trip,” Mr Gunner said.
“We will be looking at the evidence produced by programs and their applicability across the Territory.
“The FPP is an evidence-based home visiting program that provides ongoing parental education and support to families, from pregnancy until the child is two years old.
“The program was implemented in its current form by Congress in 2009 and is currently working with the University of South Australia on an independent evaluation in addition to the ongoing evaluation provided by the national support service.
“I received a briefing on Congress’ implementation of the FPP and took up the opportunity today to meet with the program staff.”
Michael Gunner said that hearing from and working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services will be critical to the development of Labor’s Strategic Plan and the implementation of effective programs – many of which have influenced the Childhood Development Discussion Paper.
In the meeting, Congress CEO Donna Ah Chee told Michael Gunner that early childhood is the key opportunity to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people.
“If we change the beginning we will change the whole story of a person’s life. We need to combine both support to parents and their families with direct education and support to children,” said Donna Ah Chee.
Key areas that Labor wants to hear back from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) are:
“Territory Labor is committed to supporting Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to deliver quality primary health care,” Mr Gunner said.
“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services will be a key service delivery partner for us in Government and we are very keen to hear their views as we embark on our discussions with community on a range of policy issues. The Early Childhood Discussion Paper is just the first.”
Mr Gunner said that evidence based early childhood programs are just one of the key things that will be discussed at the town hall community forum tonight in Alice Springs.
“The Alice Springs forum gives Territorians the opportunity to have input into Labor policy and also provide a valuable opportunity for Territory Labor to listen to the concerns and ideas of the community,” Mr Gunner said.
“We are keen to hear from parents, teachers, experts, academics, workers and anyone who shares our desire to give Territory children the best start in life. The information will be used to help Labor develop its final policy paper.”
18 August 2015 - Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Nicole Manison, said that recent events have made it clear that Adam Giles is actively being shunned by his own cabinet with Ministers constantly contradicting the Chief Minister.
“The constant and extensive list of contradictions between CLP Chief Minister, Adam Giles and his CLP Ministers, is evidence that Adam Giles has been shunned by his own team. No one is talking to Adam,” said Ms Manison.
The list of contradictions includes, but is not limited to:
POLICE NUMBER CONTRADICTIONS
“What we’ve done, we’ve put 120 extra police into the force in the Northern Territory and that’s helped us get more police on the frontline.” - Chief Minister, Adam Giles, Mix 104.9, 17 August 2015
“The goal (120 new police) hasn’t been achieved at the moment. That’s why we put an extra $8 million-plus into this year’s Budget.” - Police Minister Peter Chandler, NT Police Association speech, 17 August 2015
Yesterday Mr Chandler’s office also provided details on the latest police numbers. His office said that since August 31, 2012, the Government had added 84.83 extra police to the force. - Statement from Peter Chandler’s office, 17 August 2015
OVERSEAS MINISTERIAL TRAVEL CONTRADICTIONS
“The Minister is the one who determines where the travel should be, the process of travel, the expenditure of the travel and final sign off of overseas Ministerial travel is with the Chief of Staff.” - Adam Giles, CLP Chief Minister, ABC TV, 30 July 2015
“The process today, of course, is we have to take any travel to Cabinet, and ultimately it gets signed off by the Chief Minister.” - Peter Chandler, CLP Education Minister, ABC TV, 30 July 2015
“To obtain pre-approval, Ministers’ offices are asked to provide their Minister’s proposed program including the purpose of the travel, benefits to the Northern Territory and proposed travel schedule.” - Statement from Adam Giles’ Chief Ministerial Office, ABC TV, 30 July 2015
PALMERSTON HOSPITAL OPENING DATE CONTRADICTIONS
“No, not May, late August/September, it is in the third quarter of 2018.” - David Tollner, Estimates, 26 May 2015
When CLP Chief Minister, Adam Giles, was asked by Leader of the Opposition, Michael Gunner to confirm David Tollner’s assessment that the Palmerston Hospital would open in the third quarter of 2018, he said: “Yes.” - Chief Minister, Adam Giles, Estimates, 27 May 2015
When the CLP’s Health Minister, John Elferink, was asked about the opening date of the Palmerston Hospital, he said “May 2018.” - John Elferink, CLP Health Minister, ABC Radio, 28 May 2015