Name of the blog | January 2016

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Taxpayer Funds Continue To Pay For Political Ads
Taxpayer Funds Continue To Pay For Political Ads

28 January 2016 - Documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) show the CLP’s taxpayer funded “On Track” advertisements have cost Territorians well over $200,000, as of September 2015.

 

Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison said the ‘On Track’ adverts should not be paid for by Territory taxpayers.

 

“Adverts of a political nature should be paid for by political parties, not tax payers,” Ms Manison said.

 

“These FOI documents show that the messaging in these adverts is about political spin and should not have been paid for by tax payers.”

                                                                          

“These adverts have costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.  By mid-September last year cost of the production and advertising buy was $200,000.  

 

“The ‘On Track’ advertising campaign has continued to run and the spend is now hundreds of thousands of dollars more – and paid for by Territorians.

 

“These documents also show there are concerns about correct procurement processes being followed as well.

 

“The ‘On Track’ ads are clearly political and we have referred them to the Auditor-General to determine whether they breach the Public Information Act.

 

“We will also be referring questions around the Government’s procurement rules to the Auditor-General.”

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


CLP Can’t Be Trusted to Protect Victims of Abuse
CLP Can’t Be Trusted to Protect Victims of Abuse

27 January 2016 - Shadow Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Lynne Walker, today slammed the CLP’s announcement that they’ll bring back Daniel’s Law which experts say will do more harm to victims of abuse.

 

“Protecting our children, especially those who are victims of abuse should be the top priority of any Government, but this legislation won’t achieve that and has the potential to do more harm to victims and even expose them publically,” Ms Walker said.

 

“The CLP have once again ignored advice from experts. The Children’s Commissioner of the NT, NAAJA, Victims of Crime NT, the Public Information Commissioner and the Law Society of the NT have all unanimously urged both sides of politics against passing this law.

 

“The CLP are ignoring the warnings from the Information and Children's Commissioners that the website could inadvertently identify child victims.

 

“No other jurisdiction in the country supports this legislation and key experts continue to actively oppose it. The CLP Government are ignoring the advice and refuse to listen, proving they simply can’t be trusted.

“Today’s decision is a backflip of a personal commitment that the CLP’s John Elferink gave to Independent MLA, Gerry Wood, in exchange for his vote during last year’s no confidence motion against the CLP Government.”

 

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 

 

“This proves once again that the CLP Government say one thing then do another,” Ms Walker said.

 

“If Mr Elferink wants to act to protect children from abuse, he can immediately restore the child protection positions that were cut, which resulted in over 10,000 child protection notifications being made without further scrutiny and investigation.

 

“It’s pretty clear that Gerry Wood has been taken for a ride again yet again by a CLP government that will say and do anything to hold on to power.

 

“The CLP have continually broken the trust of Territorians and they can’t be trusted to listen.”

 

 

 Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


More people leaving the Territory and fewer jobs on offer
More people leaving the Territory and fewer jobs on offer

27 January 2016 - According to today’s CommSec report, people continue to leave the Territory at record rates, our economy has fallen almost 14 per cent and unemployment is increasing.

 

Territory Labor Leader and Shadow Business Minister, Michael Gunner, said this latest negative report on the Territory is the result of a CLP Government who are not engaging with or listening to local business.

 

“Today’s CommSec reports contains similar outcomes to last week’s Sensis Business Index report – that the CLP are making the Territory into a place that fewer people are choosing to call home, business confidence continues to decline, and unemployment is increasing,” Mr Gunner said.

 

“Today’s report makes clear that the CLP Government is not listening to local business,” Mr Gunner said.

 

“I believe the Territory has the greatest economic potential in the national, so it is concerning to see report after report highlighting alarming trends. It’s clear that Adam Giles and the CLP can’t be trusted to run our economy beyond selling public assets against the wishes of Territorians.

 

"Adam Giles and the CLP continue to deny the evidence that is staring them directly in the face.”

 

Overall there are increasing factors indicating the Territory economy is under performing. Key results outlined in today’s CommSec Report include:

  • In contrast to other jurisdictions, the Northern Territory economy is down 13.9 per cent on a year ago;
  • While the Territory’s annual population growth is 78.3 per cent down on our decade average;
  • The NT’s 6.6 per cent jobless rate is 8.7 per cent above the decade average;
  • The Territory’s population growth is now the weakest in the nation;
  • Housing construction was down 2.8 per cent from decade highs;
  • Investment in new equipment is down 30.6 per cent on a year ago.

 

“The CLP have failed to support local business and jobs and as a result our economy is shrinking and business continues to lose confidence.

 

“Only Territory Labor has a plan to reengage with local business and create more jobs in the Northern Territory.”

 

 

Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794

 


Opening A Youth Dialogue with India
Opening A Youth Dialogue with India

25 January 2016 - In line with Territory Labor’s policy of transparency in relation to travel Lauren Moss, Shadow Minister for Youth and Multicultural Affairs, today released details of her upcoming trip to India as an invited delegate of the Australia India Youth Dialogue.

 

“It is an honour to be invited to attend the Australian India Youth Dialogue as one of 15 Australian young leaders including politicians, media, business and arts representatives” said Lauren Moss.

 

“This is an invaluable chance to strengthen relationships with leaders in India and identify opportunities to further build partnerships for entrepreneurship and innovation.”

 

The dialogue will take place in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore between the 27th – 31st January, and Ms Moss will also be a co-panellist with politicians from both nations to share knowledge about addressing issues of critical importance, including safety, unemployment, and engagement in the political system.

 

“I welcome ideas and feedback from Territorians on opportunities that could be pursued in our relationship with India, and look forward to reporting on what was learnt when I return,” said Ms Moss.

 

“The Northern Territory has a vibrant Indian community, and I look forward to strengthening these ties.”

 

Ms Moss has engaged with a number of key youth and multicultural organisations on program topics and discussed details of this valuable opportunity so as to be well informed.

 

There will be ongoing engagement upon Ms Moss’ return to ensure continued work towards strengthening relationships, including a report to parliament.

 

The Australian Indian Youth Dialogue is covering most associated costs including internal transfers, accommodation, and $1,600 of the flight value return. The remaining cost for this trip is $463.97

 

View the full program details here: http://aiyd.org/aiyd-2016/programme/ 

 

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


More Opportunity For Local Business = More Jobs For Territorians
More Opportunity For Local Business = More Jobs For Territorians

 

Labor Leader Michael Gunner today joined local business owner, Harry Maschke at Action Sheetmetal in Darwin to launch ‘A Fair Go for Territory Business’. The policy supports local businesses under the Government’s procurement program and will create more jobs for Territorians.

 

“The constant feedback I receive from local business is they are doing it tough and over the last three years the amount of business going elsewhere has increased – ‘A Fair Go for Territory Business’ is part of my plan to turn that around and grow our economy by increasing the number of jobs in the Territory,” Michael Gunner said.

 

“Improving the volume of work won by local business is the smart thing to do because more dollars stay in the Territory, which in turn generate and support more jobs in the community generally.

 

“A Labor Government will ensure local business has the tools and information to take full advantage of applying for and acquiring Government contracts. Labor’s policies are designed to strengthen the principles of supporting local business and using the Government’s buying power to promote and grow local business is key to achieving this.

 

“Territory Labor’s 10 year infrastructure plan will allow local businesses to be well briefed and prepared to maximise their opportunities in getting that work.

 

“A Territory Labor Government will also create a local implementation board that goes beyond just confirming credentials of local tenderers – the board will have powers to audit Government actions to ensure everything that can be done is being done to support local business winning local contracts.

 

“An annual list will be published detailing products and services purchased from interstate; this list will be published as a report titled 'Future opportunities for Territory Business'.

 

“Labor will grow the Territory by growing the number of jobs in the Territory. Supporting local business is a key part of that plan,” Michael Gunner said.

 

Territory Labor’s policy in A Fair Go for Territory Business includes:

  • Targeting Government procurement spending to more aggressively support local business
  • Increased emphasis on supporting local business within procurement principles and ensure lead contracts use nominated locals
  • Introduce an independent board to oversight the application of local content
  • Issue Tenders in a way that maximises the ability of smaller local business to win contracts
  • Pre-tender communication with local business
  • Strongly support the work of the Industry Capability Network NT
  • Joint future planning between Government and Business
  • Assisting business to joint venture for larger opportunities
  • Introduce a rolling 10 year infrastructure plan providing local business information on future projects
  • Work with industry, local government and agencies and the media to create a ‘Buy Local’ campaign.

 

View or download the full plan here.

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


Territory Labor Pledges Support to Foodbank NT
Territory Labor Pledges Support to Foodbank NT

14 January 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, joined CEO of Foodbank NT, Peter Fisher, during a food drive in Darwin today to announce Territory Labor’s commitment to provide $1.4 million over five years to support Foodbank NT.

 

“Labor is standing up for our community by providing certainty to the largest food relief provider in the Territory whose key role it is to ensure people don’t go hungry,” Mr Gunner said.

 

“From personal experience, I know exactly what it’s like to rely on organisations like Foodbank NT to put food on the family table.”

 

“Some 100 organisations, mostly other charities and non-government organisations and many whose resources are already stretched, also rely on the critical work Foodbank provides.

 

“Good governments provide backing to those who back the community.  A properly funded Foodbank NT means fewer people will go hungry, more kids will eat breakfast before school, and 100 organisations will have that critical support.

 

“Without a doubt the need for delivering meals in our community is real and that need has increased dramatically over time.

  • In 2010, Foodbank NT delivered 26,000 meals to Territorians.
  • In 2015, Foodbank NT delivered over 200,000 meals to Territorians.

 

“According to the Government’s consultants, Government grants only make up 16 per cent of Foodbank’s funding. For every dollar of that $160,000 current government contribution, Foodbank leveraged $8.80 dollars from other sources.

 

“The problem for Foodbank is right now. Unless Foodbank NT receives an urgent increased in funding, their doors will close in March of this year.

 

“I call on Adam Giles and the CLP Government to match Territory Labor’s commitment to Foodbank NT or at the very least, provide funding certainty to allow Foodbank NT to operate at full capacity until September of this year.

 

“Keeping Foodbank afloat means putting food on people’s tables. It’s the right thing to do.

 

 

Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794

 


TIO PREMIUM HIKES A BETRAYAL
TIO PREMIUM HIKES A BETRAYAL

12 January 2016 - Today’s announcement that some Territory residents could face insurance premium hikes of up to $10,000 is a complete betrayal of guarantees given by Adam Giles at the time he announced the sale of the TIO, Deputy Opposition Leader, Lynne Walker said.

 

“Adam Giles ignored overwhelming calls from Territorians not to sell TIO. As a result of his arrogance, Territorians are now facing significant insurance premium increases,” Ms Walker said.

 

According to Darryl Madden, Chief Executive Officer of TIO, some people in Katherine could be receiving bills in excess of $10,000 to insure against flood damage.

 

Reporter:        Is it likely that some people in Katherine will face annual bills of more than $10,000 from TIO?

Madden:       There may be a couple.

Darryl Madden, ABC Radio, 12 January 2016

 

Mr Madden also said today that a large portion of current TIO customers were facing an increase of more than $500.

 

“About 15% of our customers we believe are going to be impacted by more than $500.”

Darryl Madden, ABC Radio, 12 January 2016

 

At the time of the TIO sale Adam Giles told local media that Allianz had told the Government it would not increase premium prices:

 

Allianz would not change premium prices because they had purchased the "goodwill" of the business, and changing prices would mean "the loss of a fantastic business.”

 

"The guarantee is they said they're going to do that," he said.

Adam Giles, ABC News, 25 November 2014

 

“These giant price hikes again show Territorians just can’t trust an arrogant Chief Minister and the dysfunctional CLP,” Ms Walker said.

 

Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794

 


Giles must Audit Ministerial Travel
Giles must Audit Ministerial Travel

11 January 2016 - Territory Labor today called on Adam Giles to show leadership and order an independent audit into all ministerial travel which involved dealings with the disgraced Latitude Travel agency.

 

“It is critical to do a line by line check of all travel to ensure the Territory taxpayer is protected,” said Lauren Moss.

 

“The Chief Minister should want to get to the bottom of how many taxpayer dollars are owed back to the taxpayer, but to date Adam Giles has refused to act.

 

“Adam Giles has offered no explanation as to why he is not doing this.

 

“The courts have been told that Ministerial travel undertaken by Minister Price to New York contained inflated costs of around $13,500 when booked through Latitude Travel. On this basis alone Adam Giles must order an independent audit into all ministerial travel organised via Latitude Travel.

 

“Adam Giles must order this today or explain to Territorians why he is refusing to do it.

 

“Any independent audit into Ministerial Travel should include all dealing with Latitude Travel including the previous Labor Government’s time in office.  But clearly any investigation must also include the time the CLP has been in office from August 2012 to the present. Anything less would be simply absurd.

 

“The facts of the matter are that the corrupt and fraudulent dealings of Latitude Travel were uncovered during Adam Giles’ time in Government and a CLP Senior Adviser is up on corruption charges for dealings with Latitude Travel.

 

"If the Government has nothing to hide it will hold an independent investigation into ministerial travel booked through Latitude Travel.

 

“The CLP Government’s refusal to independently investigate overseas ministerial travel strongly indicates there is a culture of cover up.”

 

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

 


Giles must come clean on abandoning Community Housing Organisation
Giles must come clean on abandoning Community Housing Organisation

6 January 2016 - Territory Labor is calling for an explanation from the CLP Government after they cut the contract of an Indigenous owned and operated not-for-profit community housing organisation in Alice Springs.

“The Central Australian Affordable Housing Company (CAAHC) has lost its contract with the Department of Housing without any detail and that’s simply not good enough,” said Lauren Moss.

“The organisation has been successfully providing tenancy management services to town camps for approximately five years,” Ms Moss said.

“CLP Housing Minister, Bess Price, has had nothing but high praise for CAAHA. Just 5 months ago she said:

“The Central Australian Affordable Housing Company is held in high esteem through the local community and manages the seniors village at 19 Elliott Street, so they have the runs on the board”, Mrs Price said.

“In addition to sound management, the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company may be able to access additional rent revenue through Commonwealth Rent Assistance and connect tenants to additional services. The management of the complex includes rent and revenue collection, repairs, maintenance and tenancy management. – Bess Price, Press Release, 28 August 2015

“There are also local jobs at stake and for the CLP to cut the contract of a company without any reason is just not good enough. The CLP Government must be open and accountable,” said Lauren Moss.

“It appears on the surface that this latest cut by Adam Giles completely contradicts the Government’s own draft Housing paper, which promotes growing the community housing sector, a roll that CAAHC filled.

“If there is indeed a legitimate reason this contract was cut then Adam Giles should have no issue explaining to Territorians how and why this decision came about.”

 

 

Media Contact:  Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794

 


Giles Must End the Cover Up and Order a Full and Independent Investigation
Giles Must End the Cover Up and Order a Full and Independent Investigation

19 December 2015 - Territory Labor today called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to end the CLP Government’s farcical response to revelations of fraud and corruption involving government and ministerial travel.

 

Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison said it was time for the cover up to end and for a full and independent investigation to be commissioned into all Government and ministerial travel booked through Latitude Travel.

 

"If the Government has nothing to hide it will hold an independent investigation into ministerial travel booked through Latitude Travel. This is the CLP’s chance to be open and accountable," Ms Manison said.
 

“In the space of just four days we’ve seen acting Chief Minister Westra van Holthe refuse to conduct an investigation, Minister Styles support an independent review and the Department of the Chief Minister order a limited internal audit into departmental but not ministerial travel.

 

“The Chief Minister owes it to Territorians to recoup every single taxpayer dollar if it has been rorted through government or ministerial travel.

 

“This latest audit smacks of the same cover up which saw the previous review into ministerial travel exclude scrutiny of Minister Prices’ trip to New York which was the subject of recent court proceedings, and Minister Chandler’s trip to the US and UK, the cost of which he himself raised concerns about in parliament.

 

“If the Chief Minister is even remotely interested in recovering misspent taxpayer dollars he will announce a full and independent investigation.

 

“Anything less will confirm Territorians’ suspicions that the CLP Government is more interested in covering up the truth than exposing it.”

 

Media contact:       Kieran Phillips 0438 272 839

 


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