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Annual Reports Highlights a CLP Government That Just Can’t Get Its Act Together
Annual Reports Highlights a CLP Government That Just Can’t Get Its Act Together

23 November 2015 - Department Annual Reports are highlighting a Government that is taking its eye off the ball and should be removed from office as soon as possible, according to Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison.

 

“The reports show gaps in delivery and loss of services to Territorians. Several Departments report loss of frontline jobs, reduction in services and poorer outcomes,” Ms Manison said.

 

“The Annual Reports of Health, Education, Corrections, Police, Children’s Commissioner and other areas all make for concerning reading.

 

AREAS OF CONCERN

 

Education

  • A reduction in the number of indigenous students achieving a Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training;
  • Across the board declines in outcomes of indigenous outcomes in NAPLAN; and
  • Loss of 32 AO2 support positions, 12 assistant teachers, 60 classroom teachers and 16 senior teacher positions.

 

The Children’s Commissioner

  • There are now 997 children in out of home care and there were 110 substantiated cases of children abused while in the care
  • Priority 1 investigations, for children in danger, only commenced within 24 hours 89% of the time instead of 100%.
  • Only 44% of investigations were completed within 28 days, and a further 25% not completed within 62 days; and
  • The number of unresolved investigations as at 30 June was 1,301 an increase from 1,160 last year.

 

The Police

  • Full time equivalent staff has decreased in the last financial year (1406 to 1397);
  • The number of constables has decreased from 886 to 860;
  • The number of remote sergeants has decreased from 41 to 20 FTE; and
  • The number of police auxiliary has decreased from 129 to 118 FTE.

 

 

 

Correctional Services

  • 17 breakouts for Youth Justice;
  • Juvenile Justice only allocated $2.85 million towards diversion and rehabilitation grants instead of a budgeted $3.8 million – funds reallocated to operational expenditure;
  • It was budgeted that 92 would complete youth boot camps, but only 52 did;
  • Youth Justice Framework was signed off by Cabinet in May 2015 - but never released;
  • Twelve breakouts for adult prisoners in one year; and
  • Increase in the number of prisoners at 903 per 100,000, almost 5 times the national average and growing (847 in 13/14) – total prisoners 1,599 at 30 June 2015.

 

Health

  • National target for ED presentations to depart within 4 hrs was 83% - this occurred for only 60% of patients in Top End Hospital emergency departments.
  • Top End Hospitals did not meet any of their elective surgery targets, for categories 1, 2 and 3 as set by their Service Delivery Agreement – this means that people are waiting longer than their clinically appropriate time for treatment.

 

Alcohol:

  • Alcohol mandatory treatment annual figures show an abject failure; with the Tennant Creek centre scrapped and only 482 referrals for treatment (budgeted for 800) of which 275 commenced. There are no figures available for those people that completed treatment.

 

 

“The ongoing division and political crisis created by this government has provided uncertainty for business and the community.

 

“It is now clearly affecting the delivery of services to Territorians.

 

“It’s time for an election,” Ms Manison said.

 

 

Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


Territory Labor Commits to keeping fuel prices down by implementing ACCC recommendations
Territory Labor Commits to keeping fuel prices down by implementing ACCC recommendations

23 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner today announced a Labor Government will accept and implement all recommendations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on fuel prices in Territory.

 

“The ACCC’s recommendations will help lock in the reduced fuel prices resulting from the successful NT News, Channel 9 and Mix 104.9 FM media campaign,” Mr Gunner said.

 

The ACCC today has recommended:

  • regular publication of the difference between wholesale prices and retail prices along with benchmarking against other locations
  • providing current retail prices to motorists to help motorists shop around
  • regular reporting on market concentration
  • continued monitoring by the ACCC of future merger activity in the Darwin market
  • promotion of new entrants into the market
  • changing the Northern Territory Government’s fuel supply arrangements (it currently has a single supply arrangement with Puma Energy).”

“The success of the sustained media campaign by Channel 9, the NT News and Mix 104.9 is widely acknowledged as having driven down the price of petrol.

 

“Now we have an opportunity to place more downward pressure on those lower prices through the ACCC’s recommendations.

 

“If we can lock these prices over a long term it will be a significant ongoing benefit to Territorians,” Michael Gunner said.

 


Territory Labor Launches Innovation Strategy
Territory Labor Launches Innovation Strategy

22 November 2015 -  Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner today outlined a 10 point plan to create a culture of innovation in the Northern Territory.

 

“Nurturing creativity, encouraging collaboration and backing local innovators and entrepreneurs is the key to unlocking the Territory’s economic potential,” Mr Gunner said.

 

“Seizing the opportunities presented by an increasingly hi-tech global economy is crucial to creating jobs and prosperity.

 

“The Territory has some world class entrepreneurs and innovators across a wide range of industries and professions and I want to see a culture that celebrates them on par with our sport and artistic champions.

 

“Whether it’s engaging students in Arnhem Land through 3D printing or local start-up company Effusion winning global awards with its revolutionary Kinetic Manufacturing technology, a Territory Labor Government will celebrate, reward and support innovation and entrepreneurs.

 

Mr Gunner has tasked Shadow Minister for Information and Corporate Services, Lauren Moss, with developing policy which supports and drives innovation.

 

“We must back our own – both by creating a world class education system and by building and supporting local talent to prosper,” Ms Moss said.

 

Mr Gunner said that Territory Labor recognises how tough it is to turn innovative ideas in to thriving businesses.

 

“That’s why today I am announcing a package of measures aimed at nurturing and unlocking creativity, encouraging and facilitating collaboration, and doing everything we can to ameliorate the final risk associated with innovative and creative new businesses,” Mr Gunner said.

 

This package includes:

  • An additional $1 million to Business Innovation Support Initiatives grants.
  • Expand grants to include support through mentors and networks to take ideas through to commercialisation.
  • Pitch up events with attached seed funding;
  • A plan to work with business and industry to encourage “Angel Investors” into Territory innovation;
  • An Innovator in Residence program;
  • Expanding enterprise an innovation programs within schools, including $20 boss;
  • Supporting the establishment of strategically located innovation hubs and co-creation spaces in partnership with the sector and educational institutions

 

“The Territory must nourish an innovation ecosystem where new, creative, technology rich businesses and industries can flourish.

 

“We are seeking input from local innovators, businesses and creative thinkers as we refine our plans over the coming months.”

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


Kate Worden to contest Sanderson for Labor
Kate Worden to contest Sanderson for Labor

21 November 2015 - Territory Labor leader Michael Gunner today announced Kate Worden as the Labor candidate for Sanderson.

 

Mr Gunner said "I'm proud to announce today that long term Territorian and champion for her local community, Kate Worden, will be Territory Labor’s candidate for Sanderson in the upcoming Territory election."

 

“Kate first moved to the Northern Territory in 1985 and has lived in Ngukurr and Katherine before she and her family settled in Moil.

 

"Kate has worked at all levels across Federal, Territory and local governments including in Mines, Education, Health, and Consumer Affairs. Kate now works for the Department of Housing overseeing complaints and compliance functions for Territory Housing tenants and, in her spare time, gives her husband Wayne a hand running his painting business.

 

“Kate has served on the City of Darwin for the past three years, so she’s got a lot of experience getting things done for her local constituents.

 

"Kate has displayed a wonderful community spirit during her time volunteering for a number of sporting and other public organisations, including the Waratah Football Club, the Pints Football Club, the Waratah Netball Club, Neighbourhood Watch and the Life Education Board.

 

"Adam Giles and Peter Styles have taken an axe to the jobs and services of the people of Anula, Wulagi, Wagaman and Marrara. I’m looking forward to working with Kate as we head towards the next election.”

 

Ms Worden said "It’s been an honour to represent my local community as an Alderman. Like everyone else, I’ve been appalled at the arrogance of the CLP and their disregard for community feedback. Now it’s time to get involved and ensure the community is being listened to and consulted with. I’m proud to join with Michael Gunner and the Territory Labor team to hold the CLP Government to account."

 

Media contact: Kent Rowe – 0409 813 881


FOI reveals Chief Minister’s Office Ordered Taxpayer Funded Political Ads
FOI reveals Chief Minister’s Office Ordered Taxpayer Funded Political Ads

15 November 2015 - Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Nicole Manison, said today that documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation reveal that a senior political operative in the Chief Minister’s office directed a senior public servant to create and run advertisements of a political and misleading nature in the local press at the expense of the taxpayer.

 

"The advertisement in question incorrectly claims that the Territory Labor Party and Independents blocked new ice drug legislation. The ads cost the Territory taxpayer over $8,000," Ms Manison said.

 

"Territory Labor is calling on the Chief Minister to publicly apologise to Territorians and to ensure Territory taxpayers are fully reimbursed.

 

"The Government cannot use taxpayer dollars as their own personal slush fund to run their political agenda, misleading or otherwise.

“There are serious questions for the Chief Minister to answer:

 

  • Did the Chief Minister approve or have knowledge of the ads before they were published?

 

  • Why were they placed when they are so clearly in breach of the Public Information Act?

 

  • Why is the Chief’s Minister’s office directing public servants to run misleading political ads at taxpayers’ expense?

 

“The advertisement claims that Legislation to pass new drug laws on urgency was blocked by Labor and the Independents but that is completely false - while the urgency motion was blocked, the debate on the Bills was deferred until the November sittings so that proper consideration and consultation with the community could occur.

 

"This was a failed and desperate attempt to run a politically motivated scare campaign.”


The ads have since been referred to the Auditor-General by the Labor Opposition.

 

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


Local teacher Selena Uibo named as Labor candidate for Arnhem
Local teacher Selena Uibo named as Labor candidate for Arnhem

11 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today announced well respected local teacher, Selena Uibo, as Territory Labor’s candidate in Arnhem.
 
“I’m very proud to today announce Selena Uibo as our candidate for Arnhem,” Mr Gunner said.
 
“Selena was born and bred in the Territory. She has strong local family connections and completed her schooling in the Territory where she represented the NT in many youth programs including the Aboriginal Islander Tertiary Aspirations Program, YMCA Youth Parliament and the National Youth Round Table.
 
“Selena topped the class in her Arts/Education degree and has been teaching in the Territory since 2011 where she is currently the Acting Senior Teacher at Numbulwar School. Her hard work and dedication has been recognised by both the Commonwealth Bank Foundation and the NT Excellence in Teaching or Leadership awards.
 
“I am delighted to welcome Selena onto our team. She will bring a wealth of experience in education, and particularly remote education.
 
“A Territory Labor government will place children at the centre of government – there will be a Minister for Children and all Cabinet submissions will have an Early Childhood Impact Assessment component.
 
“The CLP have ripped 330 teachers and support staff out of our Territory schools. A Territory Labor Government will ensure appropriate investment in schools.”
 
Ms Uibo said she was proud to join a team with such a strong focus on children and their development.
 
“Territory Labor has a strong history of supporting remote education. I look forward to working with Michael and our Territory Labor colleagues and bringing back a strong voice for the people of Arnhem,” Ms Uibo said.


Media contact: Jamie Gallacher – 0419 863 803


Anthony Venes named as Labor candidate for Daly
Anthony Venes named as Labor candidate for Daly

9 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today announced Territory Labor’s candidate in Daly as Anthony Venes, who is a long term rural resident and has worked in a range of areas including with Indigenous and local sporting bodies.
 
“I’m very proud to today announce Anthony Venes as our candidate for Daly,” Mr Gunner said.
 
“Anthony has worked around the Territory including with local Tourism operators. He also worked for many years in Correctional Services, mostly with Indigenous people and external organisations with a focus on reducing recidivism.
 
“During this time, Anthony went back to study and completed Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Teaching before taking up a teaching role at Taminmin College.
 
“Anthony now serves as the General Manager of Strategy, Planning and Infrastructure of AFLNT.
 
“I am delighted to welcome Anthony onto our team. He will bring a wealth of experience in tourism, corrections, education, and sport and recreation.”
 
Mr Venes said he was looking forward to working with a team who were committed to looking after Territorians.
 
“The Territory has been good to my family and I. If elected, I look forward to working with Michael and my Territory Labor colleagues to make sure every Territorian gets access to the same opportunities,” Mr Venes said.
 
“I’m keen to hit the ground running in the Daly electorate, to meet with as many people as possible and listen to community views.”
 
 

Media contact: Jamie Gallacher – 0419 863 803


CLP Must Publically Release Today’s Palmerston Hospital Progress Report
CLP Must Publically Release Today’s Palmerston Hospital Progress Report

13 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, called for the CLP Government to publicly release the Palmerston Hospital Progress Report which is due to the commonwealth today.

Mr Gunner joined the newly announced Territory Labor Candidate for Blain, Damian Hale, in calling for the CLP to be open and transparent with Territorians on the state of the Palmerston Hospital.

According to the formal agreement signed with the Commonwealth, the CLP Government is today due to deliver a progress report on the construction of the Palmerston Hospital to the Commonwealth.

“With continued delays, cost blow-outs and the debacle of digging a hole then filling it in, we have seen the Palmerston Hospital project now referred to the Federal Auditor General for investigation. I am calling on the CLP Government to make today’s progress report public,” Mr Gunner said.

“This is not just a call to make the report public; this is a call for the CLP to be open and transparent with Territorians about the Palmerston Hospital. Territorians deserve to know what is happening.”

Mr Gunner said that the Palmerston Hospital debacle was just another reason why the Chief Minister should sack John Elferink who is also the Health Minister.

Territory Labor’s candidate for Blain, Damian Hale, joined today’s call to make the Palmerston Hospital Report public in an effort to give deliver some certainty to Territorians.

“Getting out and about in Palmerston I often get asked about the hospital, but the truth is, I just don’t know where it’s at, that’s why this report should be made public,” Mr Hale said.

Mr Hale said that as the former Member for Solomon he had fought hard to secure funding for the Palmerston Hospital and was disappointed to see continued delays.

“The recent failed public hole in the ground stunt made us into a bit of a laughing stock; but it has no one laughing in Palmerston, I can tell you that,” Mr Hale said.

“I know that those of us in Palmerston would really welcome an update, and given the report is due today, Mr Elferink should just make it public.”

 

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


How many more high risk prisoners are in low security prison or in our community?
How many more high risk prisoners are in low security prison or in our community?

11 November 2015 - Shadow Minister for Corrections, Natasha Fyles, called on the CLP’s John Elferink to publicly detail how many more high risk prisoners are in low security prison or allowed to venture into communities as part of the ‘sentenced to a job’ scheme, and how many of those already in the program had their classifications downgraded to allow them to take part.

 

“We have heard accounts of prisoners having their security rating downgraded in order for them to be eligible to take part in this scheme and that’s simply not good enough,” said Natasha Fyles.


“We have also heard that the Department of Corrections has been ordered to recall a number of prisoners away from the ‘sentenced to a job’ scheme as they do not meet the requirements that allow them to take part in the program.

The Minister for Corrections, John Elferink must answer:

  • Is it true that the number of prisoner’s eligible for ‘sentenced to a job’ went from 50 to 500 in the space of only a year?
    • If so, will Mr Elferink explain to Territorians how this was possible?
  • How many prisoners have had their classifications downgraded to accommodate his program?
  • How many more high risk prisoners are in the ‘sentenced to a job’ program?
  • How many more high risk prisoners are in low security work camp facilities?
  • Can he guarantee to Territorians that no prisoner has been downgraded to be able to take part in the program, potentially putting more communities at risk?

 

“The events in Nhulunbuy highlight that a very serious criminal was allowed to take part in a scheme with minimal supervision, while being housed in a low security setting.

“Territorians deserve to know that they are being kept safe.

“Territory Labor supports ensuring that prisoners take part in programs designed to give them skills and reduce recidivism rates, but never at the expense of community safety and never by downgrading a criminals’ assessed rating.”

 

 

Media contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


Adam Giles must sack John Elferink
Adam Giles must sack John Elferink

11 November 2015 - Territory Labor is today calling on Chief Minister Adam Giles to sack John Elferink from the CLP Government Ministry for his litany of failures as a Minister.

 

Yesterday’s news that a convicted axe murderer and rapist was at large in the township of Nhulunbuy is yet another in a long list of critical failures under John Elferink’s watch.

 

“Mr Elferink has had almost 24 hours to do the honourable thing and resign as a Minister, but the only thing he has indicated since this latest scandal is that a public servant may be for the chop,” Ms Walker said.

 

“John Elferink has been in the role for over three years and has yet to take any responsibility for the litany of failures under his watch.

 

“Chief Minister Adam Giles must sack his worst performing Minister, John Elferink, today. There are a multitude of reasons to support John Elferink’s sacking, including:

  • 36 prison escapees in 18 months under his watch;
  • Allowing a convicted axe murderer and rapist to be housed in a low security facility 500 metres from a community;
  • Closing down an important residential health facility in Nhulunbuy and converting it to a 50 bed prison for low level offenders with no community consultation prior to this decision;
  • Damning findings about the functioning of the Youth Justice system by the independent Vita Review;
  • Horrific findings by the Children’s Commissioner about the treatment of youths at Don Dale, including ongoing confinement in inhumane conditions, breaching legislation and the use of
  • spit-hoods on young people;
  • 3 disruptive relocations of youths in detention in one year;
  • The Department of Correctional Services $34 million budget blow out;
  • Failure to meet the majority of his own performance targets in Corrections and Juvenile Justice last financial year;
  • Orchestrating a stunt to fool the community and the Commonwealth that construction had started at Palmerston Hospital;
  • Placing vulnerable children in danger by lowering the target for investigations to commence within 24 hours from 100% to 85% for Priority 1 Child in Danger notifications;
  • His recent insensitive comments towards senior Territorians; and
  • Threatening to ‘slap’ a female parliamentarian.

“White Ribbon Australia sacked Minister John Elferink over just one of these incidents,” Ms Walker said.

 

“It is time that the Chief Minister did the same and showed Territorians that he is serious about community safety.”

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


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