17 December 2015 - Labor today wholeheartedly welcomed NTCOSS’ vision for a coordinated service system to promote child and family wellbeing.
“We congratulate the NGO sector in working together over an 18 month period to develop a framework that supports the wellbeing of children and families through early intervention and prevention support,” said Lauren Moss.
“The NGO sector has shown real leadership in developing a framework which reflects contemporary childhood development evidence and has considered the recommendations of numerous inquiries and reviews of child protection, health and disability services in the Northern Territory.”
Lauren Moss said Labor is committed with working in partnership with the NGO sector to achieve better outcomes for Territory children.
“Territory Labor recognises the importance of investing in universal health and education programs for all children aged 0-4 years and targeted services for vulnerable children and families to divert individuals and families away from child protection and justice systems,” said Lauren Moss.
“Labor’s Early Childhood policy paper Changing the Future released in August has already committed to re-organising Government’s focus to support each and every child to start school on an equal playing field.
“Establishing a Minister for Children and investing in pre-school programs, parenting support, improved universal health services, increasing our Aboriginal workforce, and NGO support for vulnerable families are key initiatives that Territory Labor will pursue.
“The great enabler for Labor’s policy plans is housing, that’s why Labor has outlined an extensive billion dollar program to improve housing and wellbeing for all Territorians.”
View or download a copy of Territory Labor’s policy paper on Early Childhood here: http://tinyurl.com/pjuee65
View or download a copy of Territory Labor’s policy paper on Remote Housing here: http://tinyurl.com/nq63eq3
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
17 December 2015 - Adam Giles must order an independent investigation into each and every Government office which dealt with Latitude Travel to uncover how many taxpayer dollars were potentially misappropriated by Latitude Travel and endeavor to recoup missing taxpayer funds.
“Adam Giles has a duty to get to the bottom of how many taxpayers dollars were potentially misappropriated and seek to recoup those funds on behalf of Territorians,” said Natasha Fyles.
“Each day that goes by that the CLP Government refuses to do this is cause for question and concern.
“It has come to light that $13,500 was overpaid when Minister Price went to New York and it is estimated that the CLP Government spent approximately $800,000 through Latitude Travel. Given Minister Price’s New York trip cost $50,000 we could be dealing with over $200,000 of misappropriated taxpayer funds.
“Even Minister Chandler raised serious concerns over the cost of his own trips to the UK and China booked through Latitude Travel.
“Adam Giles should be doing everything in his power to find out how much more taxpayer funds were misappropriated and pledge to Territorians that the Government will do everything it can to recover the money that belongs to taxpayers. Instead, he has chosen to do nothing.
“The longer he delays this absolutely reasonable course of action to recoup missing taxpayer dollars the more it looks as though his Government has something to hide.
“The review by DCM into travel only covered the period between July 2014 and June 2015 - the majority of Government bookings through Latitude Travel happened outside of these dates.
“If Adam Giles fails to do this, then he must explain to Territorians why he is not doing everything he can to recoup missing taxpayer dollars.”
Joint Statement - 15 December 2015 - Chief Minister Adam Giles must stand down Minister Bess Price and order a full and independent investigation into all travel and accommodation booked through Xana Kamitsis and Latitude Travel.
Minister Price’s Office spent over $325,000 of taxpayer funds through latitude Travel over the last two financial years.
Xana Kamitisis is now serving jail time for submitting fraudulent invoices and corruptly providing benefits to Minister Prices’ Senior Advisor involving travel expenses incurred by Minister Prices’ Office.
Minister Price and the Chief Minister have consistently refused to answer questions surrounding when they became aware of these activities and what they did about it.
The Chief Minister’s internal audit into ministerial travel excludes the time frame in which offences Ms Kamitsis has been found guilty of took place.
For the sake of openness, transparency and assuring Territorians further corruption has not taken place the Chief Minister must order a full, open and independent investigation.
The Chief Minister has no choice but to stand Minister Price down while this independent investigation takes place.
Territorians deserve and expect nothing less.
14 December 2015 - Territory Labor's Government Accountability Shadow Nicole Manison today issued questions on notice to CLP Government Ministers on Ministerial travel.
"We are asking several outstanding questions to the CLP which will serve to provide Territorians open and transparent answers on travel,” Ms Manison said.
"CLP Ministers who have used Latitude Travel have questions to answer and we are doing this so that the CLP Government understands they must be accountable to the public.
“There is absolutely nothing stopping Adam Giles from calling for a full audit on every one of his Ministerial Offices which had dealings with Latitude Travel.”
The questions on notice for the CLP Government to answer are:
13 December 2015 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner today committed $1.1 billion to fund the most extensive remote housing construction, repairs, maintenance and home extensions program in Territory history.
Launching Labor’s remote housing package in Ngukurr today Michael Gunner said that Labor’s program would result in thousands of additional rooms being built over 10 years to house remotely located Territorians.
“The most significant infrastructure deficit and social issue impacting on Territorians living in remote communities is the lack of housing.
“Every Labor bush candidate has told me that housing is the number one issue. I have heard it myself repeatedly as I travel through the bush.
“Labor has listened and if we are elected to Government we will work to fix this problem.”
Michael Gunner said that Labor would:
Michael Gunner said that the funding would begin in 2017-18 following a round of extensive consultation.
“Importantly, we will talk to the Australian Government and seek their participation to help resolve this major national, Territory and local problem. By demonstrating our commitment we will lead the way to increase the commitment from the Australian Government,” Mr Gunner said.
Media contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794
13 December 2015 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner today said a Labor Government will focus five housing programs into remote Territory communities to ensure more rooms are available for thousands of Territorians.
“We will introduce 5 focused housing programs:
HomeBuild NT- A direct Territory Government investment in building new housing, living space and rooms in remote communities. These funds will be additional to the Australian Government’s commitment through the national partnership. Labor will provide $500 million over 10 years from Territory infrastructure budgets to pay for this program.
An additional $20 million per year of Territory Government infrastructure funds in repairs and maintenance of houses.
Labor will introduce a new program called Room To Breathe NT. This program will fast track the building of rooms, ‘granny flats’ and spaces designed to provide more living space, sleeping spaces and shelter for remote Territorians. The program will include outdoor living and cooking areas. $20 million per year will be provided from 2017- 18 onwards. Once underway this program is expected to provide around 200 more living areas and sleeping spaces each year.
An expanded Government employee housing program that is accessible by locally recruited remote Government employees. Labor will provide $20 million per year additionally to support this initiative.
An expanded Homelands Extra funding program. Labor will lift the program to $6000 per eligible family per year and reform the eligibility criteria.”
Michael Gunner said that Labor’s program was focused on increasing the number of rooms available to people across the Territory.
“Our new construction program in Home Build NT and in the Government Employee Housing program is designed to provide new, appropriately designed houses.
“The repairs and maintenance program will allow Territorians to live in houses that are not falling down around them.
“Most excitingly, our Room To Breath program will see a Labor Government working with communities to build ‘granny flats’ expand verandah and outdoor sleeping spaces and to provide healthy outdoor eating and living areas to free up space inside housing for people to sleep,” Michael Gunner said.
“If we do not provide more housing and more space to sleep for Territorians living in remote communities we will never overcome the health, education and employment gaps in those places.”
13 December 2015 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner said he will reverse the centralised decision making that currently surrounds housing and will devolve responsibility to shires, regional authorities or to approved housing groups. The people will have the decision making about what to build, where to build, how to build and who will build.
“Labor will work with Territorians living in remote communities to allow them to determine who will make these decisions. I will not impose any “one size fits all’ solutions. We will trust remote Territorians to make the right decisions about who should oversight and implement housing programs,” Michael Gunner said.
Mr Gunner said the impact of removing decision making from local communities has resulted in a housing tenancy program that was slow to resolve issues for tenants and confusion on the ground as to who is responsible for what parts of the program.
“I am determined to allow local people to make local decisions.
“I will ensure that a Labor Government works with communities to capacity build local people to manage these programs where required.”
13 December 2015 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner said today the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s decision to count all remote housing funding provided by the Australian Government as part of the GST allocation to the Territory will cost Territorians millions of dollars in lost revenue.
“This decision means there will be millions less dollars for services to remote communities.
“In the future all additional money provided to the Territory Government by the Australian Government through national partnership programs like NPARIH will be taken away from the GST allocation.
“Effectively this means the Australian Government will be giving with one hand and taking away with the other.
“Currently these programs provide housing for the poorest people in Australia. In the interests of equity, remote service delivery should be a major national project. States and Territories with extensive remote communities should partner with the Australian Government to improve the living conditions for thousands of Australians.
“Instead the Commonwealth Grants Commission has thrown spanner in the works and Labor calls on the Federal Treasurer to reverse this decision.”
9 December 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today called on the Territory Insurance Office (TIO) to urgently reconsider its decision to not compensate veteran fireman John (Jock) McLeod.
“I am deeply concerned that veteran firefighter, Jock McLeod, has had his bid for his workers compensation for work related illness rejected by TIO,” Mr Gunner said.
“Jock McLeod, like many other front line Territory emergency workers, has put his life on the line saving Territorians. Jock deserves to be looked after for his work related illness.
“Today’s decision is unjust and would not be supported by the majority of the Territory.
“Like anyone injured at work, Jock deserve to be adequately compensated,” Mr Gunner said.
9 December 2015 - Adam Giles must act immediately to end the continuing chaos and dysfunction and sort out the mess that is the CLP Cabinet, Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Nicole Manison said today.
“Territorians deserve certainty and stability. At the moment, Adam Giles has two Senior Cabinet Ministers who are apparently out of control,” Ms Manison said.
“Adam Giles can’t control John Elferink, who it seems will say one thing and then do another.
“Last week, we saw Gerry Wood vote to save the government by abstaining from a no confidence motion, based on his understanding that Daniel’s Law would be withdrawn completely. But today John Elferink said that he still plans to introduce Daniel’s Law next year.”
Reporter: Daniel’s Law – has it been withheld for a period of time or totally withdrawn?
Wood: I got a phone call from John Elferink on Friday afternoon saying it will be withdrawn.
Gerry Wood, Mix 104.9, 30 November 2015
Elferink: In relation to Daniel’s Law, it hasn’t gone away. We’re doing more consultation. But I fully intend to bring it back next year.
John Elferink, ABC radio, 9 December 2015
“Adam Giles can’t control Dave Tollner, who up until today has been avoiding media since he was snubbed for preselection by the CLP,” Ms Manison said.
“Adam Giles needs to act now and confirm that the current cabinet is the one he will take to the election.
“If Dave Tollner and John Elferink keep their portfolios until August next year, Territorians will see another 8 months of backflips, chaos and tantrums from the CLP.
“If Adam Giles truly has the best interests of Territorians in mind, he will remove John Elferink and Dave Tollner from the Cabinet now so we can fix the crisis in Corrections and Child Protection and give someone time to construct a budget for next year.
“The CLP have continually broken the trust of Territorians. They just can’t be trusted. Territorians are once again paying the price for Adam Giles to cling onto power at any cost.”
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794