18 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today said a Labor Government will tackle poor student behaviour in schools.
He also committed a Labor Government to providing more resources to support students with disabilities.
“Labor has committed an additional $124 million to schools over four years. Of that, $32 million will be dedicated to providing resources to tackle poor school behaviour and to provide specialist support for students with disabilities.
“This money will improve the funds available to support schools, much of which has been cut by the CLP over the last four years.
“Poor behaviour is a major issue for teachers and for schools. It can impact on other students and can impact on student outcomes. Teachers need every bit of support they can get to tackle the badly behaved students so they can get on with educating those students who want to learn.
“Unlike the CLP, Labor understands that there are long term and short term issues behind bad behaviour. Labor’s focus on 0-4 year olds will prepare more children for school. This is the sort of long term work governments need to be doing to make long term changes.
“However, the problem is on the rise right now so Labor will work with teachers to immediately deal with bad behaviour,” Michael Gunner said.
Michael Gunner said that schools needed options for dealing with students.
“There is no one size fits all approach to this problem. Labor will provide funds to:
• increase assessment of students to understand if there is an underlying issue that must be dealt with;
• provide alternative pathways for students that gets them out of the classroom and into learning that engages them; and
• provide additional support in the classroom through teacher assistants and other support staff.
“We will work school by school to understand what is needed to improve behaviour and to free up teachers to teach those students wanting to learn,” Michael Gunner said.
Michael Gunner also said the funding increase would help support programs to deal with the increase in needs for students with autism, FASD, and students with hearing loss.
“These challenges must absolutely be identified and addressed before young children get to school and Labor will work through our Early Childhood program to tackle these major issues.
“Schools need additional support to ensure the students in schools are identified and supported through their education.
“It is resource intensive and it has been made worse by the number of psychologists, hearing support, disability support staff and other student support staff that have been cut from the Education Department by the CLP.
“Our commitment of an additional $8 million a year will restore those cuts and will provide flexibility for schools to deal with the impact on schools.
“It is part of our determination to lift Territory student outcomes and improve the lives of all Territorians,” Michael Gunner said.
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794
25 May 2016 - Today Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, announced a powerful policy to get Territorians into their first home and stem the tide of people leaving the Territory due to bad CLP policy.
“It’s important that people invest in the Territory. That’s why a good government must invest in people, and our announcement today does that,” Mr Gunner said.
“Under the CLP, we have seen record levels of people leaving the Territory. That means fewer taxpayers and fewer people spending their money locally and supporting local business. It’s a bad domino effect which only a Labor Government will reverse.
“Our policy will see more Territorians invest in the Territory and has the added benefit of supporting local business and jobs.”
First home buyers purchasing an existing property valued at up to $650 000 will receive:
First home buyers purchasing a new property will receive:
“Labor’s policy focuses on getting more people into their first home and does so by directing relief to those who need it most,” Mr Gunner said.
15 May 2016 - Territory Labor will invest an additional $124 million over four years into Territory Schools, Labor leader Michael Gunner announced today.
“We want every child in the NT to have the best possible future. That’s why we put kids first at every opportunity,” Mr Gunner said.
“Labor will always place the future of Territory children at the centre of our Government.
“This significant investment in schools will provide children with more options and better education outcomes.
“It will restore the teachers that have been ripped out of schools and more resources for schools to support their students.
“We will inject $20 million per year over four years from 1 January 2017 directly into school budgets enabling 164 more teachers to be employed across the Territory,” Mr Gunner said.
“The balance of this $124 million commitment will be detailed in future education announcements.
“Education is at the core of Labor’s values. Our opponents have ripped teachers and funds out of the education system and Labor is determined to restore education to the highest order of Government priority.
“Under the CLP we have fewer teachers, less subjects and crowded classrooms. Labor puts kids first but the CLP puts kids last.
“Labor believes a fully functional and thriving education system is the key to the future of a strong economy. A good education is also vital to building a strong society.”
16 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today reiterated his support to education and the future of our kids with a commitment to provide every Territory school with $300,000 for minor new works or repairs and maintenance projects.
“A Territory Labor Government will be defined by the way we support the future of Territory children,” Mr Gunner said.
“Each Territory school will receive $300,000 to put towards repairs and maintenance, extensions or a school minor works project.
“We will leave it to the schools, their School Councils and School Boards, to make the decisions about how to spend it.
“Schools will be able to contribute this money to co-fund a project from their own resources or use it directly on a smaller project or repairs and maintenance to boost the effectiveness of their school.
“There will also be a four year $5 million program for homelands schools repairs and maintenance and upgrades,” Mr Gunner said.
Michael Gunner said that the grant will also act as a stimulus package to boost work for small contractors across the Territory who are currently in an economic hole because of the failure of the CLP Government’s economic policies.
“These grants will be delivered in conjunction with our ‘Buy Local’ policy and that means we will directly support local business and jobs along with improving every school in the Territory and that’s a good thing,” Mr Gunner said.
“The grants will be one off and programmed to be delivered out over 4 years to the 189 schools in the Northern Territory, of which 152 are Government and 37 are non-government.”
The total cost of this commitment is $61.7 million over 4 years and it will be funded from within the capital works budget.
2 May 2016 - Michael Gunner today celebrated May Day by announcing that a Labor Government will put Territory workers first by strengthening the operations of Territory Work Safe and reversing many elements of the CLP’s draconian changes to the Return to Work Act.
“Labor will ensure that Territory workers are protected and safe. And if anything does happen to them that they are able to rehabilitate and get back into the workforce with the strongest possible support,” Mr Gunner said.
“Labor will reverse the CLP’s draconian changes to the Return to Work Act that has gutted Territory workers by reducing their entitlements and putting them in a worse position than some other states.”
Mr Gunner said that workers had previously been able to receive benefits to retirement age provided they could prove they remained incapacitated for work. Now, after CLP changes, workers only received payments for 5 years and medical expenses for 6 years even if they are up to 15 per cent permanently incapacitated. After that, they’re on their own, including meeting the costs of future medical bills associated with the injury.
“A Labor government will return to the model that was effectively in place since 1987 to ensure our workers are looked after up to the end of their working lives. It’s a model that has been proven sustainable by both governments for almost 30 years.
“These benefits require regular medical assessments and should someone be found to have recovered, whether after one year or 10 for example, then they will be expected to return to work. Labor believes these changes are important to ensure our workers have peace of mind and will also serve to encourage workers from other jurisdictions around the country to make the Territory their home.
“What the CLP are doing is shifting the cost of caring for workers from insurance agencies to the public health and hospital system.
“Anyone at work, regardless of the type of work, should know there is a safety net if the unthinkable happens and serious injury is suffered as part of their regular duties at no fault of their own.
Michael Gunner said that a Labor Government would also ensure active education programs as well as strong enforcement programs from Worksafe.
“Business needs to be properly educated and supported in doing the right thing in their work place,” Mr Gunner said.
“However, workers need to also know that there is proper enforcement of work safety laws. Labor will separate these arms of work safe and ensure that enforcement is part of the Department of Justice.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
5 April 2015 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner confirmed that a Territory Labor Government will provide first home owner grants and financial relief on new AND existing homes throughout the Territory.
“The CLP’s decision to remove first home owner support on existing buildings has locked many Territorians out of purchasing their first home,” Mr Gunner said.
“Many people don’t want to buy a newly built home, they want to buy an existing one.
“Labor will give Territorians the ability to make that choice. This will allow more Territorians to have more options to get into their first home and that is critical to keeping people in the Territory.
“It’s also an important measure in reducing people’s cost of living.
“Territorians will have more choice and flexibility and we will keep more people here in the Territory. It’s a win-win.
“More details on our plan will be released before the Territory election.”
5 April 2016 - Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Nicole Manison, welcomed calls from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to return the Banned Drinker’s Register (BDR) and scrap the failed and costly CLP Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT).
“The AMA is the most influential body representing medical practitioners and exists to promote and protect professional interest of doctors and the health care needs of patients and communities,” Ms Manison said.
“We welcome the AMA’s call for the return of a point of sale intervention system Territory wide in the Banned Drinker’s Register, and their call to scrap the CLP’s failed and costly AMT policy.
"Probably one of the worst things that Terry Mills did in the short time he was Chief Minister was abolish the BDR, which was a very effective method of containing problem drinkers in the Territory.
I think everyone is aware that the elephant in the room is that the Mandatory Alcohol rehab, which the government had to develop following the abolition of a very successfully alcohol control policy, has been an absolute disaster from the word go, and they’re always trying to make excuses and try and catch up but the whole thing just hasn’t worked." - Robert Parker, President of the AMA - ABC Radio, 5 April 2016
“The CLP’s failed AMT policy is costing taxpayers $30 million per year and two thirds of the beds available are empty – highlighting an expensive but poorly thought out and implemented policy,” Ms Manison said.
“Anti-social behaviour continues to hurt our community, and something must be done. According to Police statistics, 2013 and 2014 were the most violent years in the Territory’s history.”
“The AMA’s comments about the effectiveness of the BDR echo recent comments by the Police Association of the Northern Territory saying the Banned Drinker’s Register did have an impact.”
"When you look back at the Banned Drinkers Register, it was certainly having an effect." - Paul McCue, President of the NT Police Association - Mix 104.9, 16 March 2016
“The CLP must listen to the experts and listen to the community – Adam Giles must implement a Territory wide point of sale intervention system, and they can do that by bringing back the Banned Drinker’s Register,” Ms Manison said.
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
4 April 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, says reports that the CLP Government were disbanding the Metropolitan Patrol Group and cutting 36 of the 94 positions will send alarm bells across Darwin and Palmerston.
“Police have advised that the CLP Government will not fund the 94 strong group that had been funded by the Australian Government, representing yet another broken promise,” Mr Gunner said.
“This (CLP) government has made a commitment that should funding from the federal government ever cease, we would keep those numbers the same. We will back that.
- Then CLP Police Minister, Peter Chandler, Hansard, 26 August 2015
“I am advised that 36 of those positions will be removed and the patrol group is to be disbanded,” Mr Gunner said.
“This Patrol Group was responsible for running the Darwin and Palmerston Social Order patrol. This patrol tackled anti-social behaviour across the two cities.
“The 94 police were always included in the Government’s annual police report.
“It is incredible that the CLP’s Adam Giles would consider cutting police given anti-social behaviour continues to harm our community and local business.”
Michael Gunner said a Territory Labor Government will fund all 94 positions and called on Adam Giles and the CLP to keep their promise and do the same.
“The CLP must commit to their original election promise of an additional 120 police and retain all 94 positions of the Metropolitan Patrol Group in this upcoming budget. Labor has committed to doing both.
“The CLP promised an additional 120 police on top of the 94 federally funded police. That means there should be around 1588 full time equivalents (FTEs) in the Northern Territory Police Force classification.
“Last year’s annual report says that there are only 1398 FTEs across the Territory - 190 short on their promise.
“Recently the NT Police Association said that we have fewer police in the Territory than we had three years ago and we are not even keeping up with natural attrition, which is very concerning.
“Territorians have a right to question the priorities and the competence of this Government.
“The CLP can’t be trusted to fulfil their promises and keep our community safe,” Mr Gunner said.
4 April 2016 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner today said the CLP’s two serious mistakes with the North East Gas Interconnector pipeline project shows the Giles Government can’t be trusted to get economic growth and development right.
“First, the CLP imposed an inflexible and highly restrictive timeline at the very time the world gas market is at its lowest point. We now know from Jemena that the timeline imposed an impossible schedule for them,” Michael Gunner said.
“Second, the CLP failed to ensure that a 14 inch pipeline was the minimum size allowed for this project. We now know that an alternate tenderer for the pipeline, APA, committed to a 14 inch pipeline unconditionally and this should have been the baseline of any agreement the CLP entered into to build this project.
"Simply put, if the CLP wanted a 14 inch pipe, Territorians could have had a 14 inch pipe. This is a monumental stuff up."
“Territory Labor supports the pipeline but what we cannot support is the CLP asking taxpayers to fork out $60 million for Adam Giles’ economic blunder.
“The CLP have proven once again that their constant infighting and scandals distract them from the work of Government and they cannot be trusted with our economic growth.
“The CLP could have instead used this money to fund local jobs, support local business, properly fund Foodbank NT, or come good on their promise of 120 additional police,” Michael Gunner said.
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794
1 April 2016 - The CLP Chief Minister had one job at COAG, to reverse the federal government’s cuts of $777 million to our Health and $335 million to our schools, and he has failed.
“Instead of reversing our huge cuts, Adam Giles has instead signed us up to a deal which leaves our health system $50 million worse off year in year out,” Mr Gunner said.
“Both the Prime Minister and Adam Giles have failed to recognise that it’s harder to deliver and run a health clinic in Borroloola than it is in the heart of Geelong.
“To put it into perspective, the Territory Health budget is $1.42 billion. The commonwealth’s proposed $30 million represents a 2% increase to our health budget, which contradicts the NT Government’s own health budget papers citing health costs increasing by 7% per year.
“Adam Giles has signed Territorians up to a very bad deal and in doing so has completely failed in his role as the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister.”