Name of the blog | October 2015


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When will the Chief Minister take responsibility for his major project debacles?
When will the Chief Minister take responsibility for his major project debacles?

21 October 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today called on the CLP Chief Minister and Minister for Major Projects, Adam Giles to take responsibility and explain the complete shambles surrounding Richardson Park and Palmerston Hospital.


“Richardson Park and Palmerston Hospital fall under Major Projects status which Adam Giles has complete carriage of,” said Michael Gunner.


“Adam Giles has thrown Garry Higgins under a school bus over the Ludmilla Primary School and Richardson Park Oval disaster, and has flung John Elferink into a hole over the Palmerston Hospital scandal.


“The Chief Minister must stop ignoring his responsibilities and letting his ministers take the blame for projects which he has ultimate ownership of.


“The two debacles go to the heart of why Territorians don’t trust Adam Giles and the CLP to deliver for Territorians.


“Ultimately these major projects are directly tied to Adam Giles– he must stop avoiding his responsibilities and face the public today.”



Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

Justice demands DPP prosecute Foundation 51
Justice demands DPP prosecute Foundation 51

21 October 2015 - The decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Police Special Unit not to prosecute the CLP’s Foundation 51 for breaches of the Electoral Act despite saying there is a “prima facie case and reasonable prospect of conviction”  is a savage blow to the foundations of an open, transparent and fair system of democracy and justice in the Northern Territory.


“The DPP and the Police must immediately explain why fundamental breaches of the law will not be prosecuted. They must explain in whose interest they think it is not to prosecute,” said Michael Gunner.


“Territorians expect that when an organisation breaks the law, whether it is big or small, like the government, the CLP or anyone, a prosecution will follow.


“In fact, it is in the interest of the public to ensure that these sorts of prosecutions do take place, not the reverse.


Mr Gunner said that the proper functioning of political parties under the Electoral Act is critical to the proper functioning of democracy in the Territory.


“It is evident that the CLP’s Foundation 51 has not abided by this process and Territorians will want them appropriately punished for that,” said Michael Gunner.


“A failure to prosecute these breaches sends an appalling signal to the community.  To publically state it is not in the interests of Territorians must be explained and explained now.” 


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

Adam Giles can’t be trusted on jobs for Port workers
Adam Giles can’t be trusted on jobs for Port workers

15 October 2015 - Territorians don’t trust Adam Giles when he says there will be no jobs lost as a result of his sale of the Darwin Port, Nicole Manison, Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, said today.


“This CLP government has form. They keep selling off our public assets and saying to the workers ‘Your job is safe, nothing will change’. Then before we know it Territorians are facing job losses and cuts to conditions,” Ms Manison said.


  • Darwinbus Network

THEN: "Jobs are secure, employee entitlements are preserved and all permanent staff will be able to transfer to the new operator."

CLP Transport Minister Peter Styles, ABC News, 6 December 2013


LATER: “Darwin's bus drivers are "devastated" by the loss of paid lunch breaks following the bus service's privatisation, according to the transport workers' union.”

ABC News, 30 October 2014


  • Territory Insurance Office (TIO)

THEN: “Under this new model nothing changes for customers. The TIO name remains, branches stay open, policies stay the same, flood and storm surge cover continues and staff keep their jobs.

CLP Chief Minister Adam Giles, Media release, 24 November 2014


LATER: “Fourty-three TIO/Allianz employees will lose their jobs just five months after the Giles Government sold the insurer and told them their jobs were safe.”

NT News, 30 April 2015


  • Darwin Port

NOW: “This morning, Mr Giles told 105.7 ABC Darwin he could also guarantee permanent workers would keep their jobs to 2018.”


Asked if any workers would lose their jobs after 2018, Mr Giles answered in the negative.

ABC News, 14 October 2015


“The evidence is clear - you just can’t trust Adam Giles and the CLP to protect Territory jobs," Ms Manison said.


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


STATEMENT: Sale of our Port - Michael Gunner
STATEMENT: Sale of our Port - Michael Gunner

13 October 2015 - Today Adam Giles and the CLP sold away the Territory's long term strategic interests.

This is a short sighted decision that is not in the long term interests of Territorians. A new and growing Port has now been taken out of the control of Territorians and Territorian decision making.


The CLP has taken the easy way out and have put their own interest ahead of the interest of Territorians. They have chosen to take the cash and remove the Port from the control of Territorians.


By contrast Labor would have retained control of the Port and did the hard yards seeking investment in Port infrastructure through joint agreements - just as we did with the Marine Supply Base.


The CLP has no mandate to sell or lease the Port. A decision of this magnitude should always be determined by the people. With an election now just 10 months away there was time to take this route.


The CLP has not provided an open and transparent cost benefit analysis. As usual this Government is taking the view that it knows best. Territorians know you cannot trust the CLP.


This is an arrogant decision. It is exactly the same way Adam Giles and the CLP treated Territorians when they sold TIO.  

This is nothing more than another one-off cash grab by the CLP government - just like the last budget and TIO. 


Territory workers are also at risk here - The CLP promised to protect TIO workers before they sold it, then 43 Territorians employed at TIO lost their jobs. The CLP must ensure our Territory Port workers’ conditions and job security are unaffected and this must be their top priority.


The CLP must also now explain how it intends to protect the rights of workers at the Port.


The lease of the port represents a legal and binding contract, and if Territory Labor receives the gift of government, it is our responsibility to honour that contract.


The CLP should have taken this to an election and not left it as an inheritance and strategic impediment to a future Government. 


Giles Must Obtain Mandate to Sell Territorians’ Port
Giles Must Obtain Mandate to Sell Territorians’ Port

13 October 2015 - Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Natasha Fyles, announced today that Territory Labor will introduce a Bill at the next sittings in November to defer sale or lease of our Port until after the next year’s general election.


“Adam Giles and the CLP do not have a mandate to sell our port and with the election only 10 months away the CLP must take this decision to the people,” said Natasha Fyles.


“This is a real opportunity for Adam Giles to actually listen to Territorians instead of arrogantly rushing forward with another once off cash grab. Adam Giles and the CLP can’t be trusted with the sale of our public assets. We saw this firsthand when they sold TIO - 43 locals lost their jobs.


“Territory Labor’s Bill will also provide that the sale or lease of the Port can’t proceed unless supported by a majority vote in the Legislative Assembly after the election.


“In effect this means the sale or lease of the Port will only proceed subject to a mandate from Territorians; as it stands, the CLP do not have a mandate to sell or lease our Port.”


Natasha Fyles said that our port is a key strategic asset for the future development of our economy and emerging industries.


“The Northern Territory has a number of emerging industries, many of which are in the birth of their development; that’s why it’s crucial Government maintains strategic control of our port.”


Natasha Fyles said port workers are concerned for their job security given the CLP’s track record on failing to keep jobs and conditions safe in previous public asset sales.


“Port worker job security should not be disposed of or disadvantaged as TIO workers were following the sale of TIO,” said Natasha Fyles.


“Adam Giles tabled a document in Parliament claiming port workers would be no worse off if the port was sold or leased. Despite Adam Giles’ promise it is now clear entitlements including job security and superannuation for port workers are under threat.


“Adam Giles and the CLP must have a mandate to sell our port; otherwise it’s just another cash grab from a Government that refuses to listen to Territorians.


“A Territory Government has the capacity to acquire private capital into our port without the need to sell it off, as was demonstrated by the former Territory Labor Government and the marine supply base project.”



Media contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


9 October 2015 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner today told the Property Council that a Labor Government’s key commitment will be to creating jobs for Territorians to expand economic development and population growth.


“I commit a future Labor Government to a renewed focus on innovation and new technology,” Mr Gunner said.


“A Labor Government will have three key goals:

  1. Restore the trust of Territorians in their Government;
  2. Tackle long term intransigent social issues by focussing on supporting children; and
  3. Create jobs to expand our economy and grow our population.”


Michael Gunner said Territory Labor will go to the 2016 election with a fully costed Jobs Plan.


This plan will be focussed on:

  • Certainty in government and policy;
  • Transparency in our relationships and in our decision making;
  • Government investment that leverages private sector investment;
  • A coordinated promotion and marketing of the Territory that will chase major projects and markets for existing industry; and
  • Embracing innovation and emerging technology and unleashing the creativity of the Territory’s own private and public sector.


In commitments made today Michael Gunner said a Labor Government will:

  • Introduce a 10 year infrastructure plan to allow business to plan for future work;
  • Re-instate Team NT  and charge it with the responsibility of promoting the Territory to Australia and the region. One of its first tasks will be to help stem the flow of Territorians leaving us for life interstate;
  • Re-introduce Business Roundtables;
  • Support the building of the North East Gas Interconnector;
  • Focus on small business by helping to build its capacity;
  • Keeping it as local as possible will be a key theme of the government;
  • Support for the Darwin and Palmerston CBDs with a commitment to Darwin City that he will back their Master Plan


  • Do the master planning for the rural area and Weddell in Labor’s first term. During our second term, we would start investing in the infrastructure that makes capable the expansion to Weddell so that future Governments can turn land off;
  • Work to develop Alice Springs as the inland capital, Tennant Creek as a future Mt Isa, Katherine as a major defence hub;
  • Work with indigenous people and indigenous representative groups to develop the bush;
  • Protect and preserve the environment for future generations.


Michael Gunner told the Property Council that the future of the Territory is a future that requires innovation.


“I believe the CLP has dropped the ball on innovation and new technology in the Territory. By embracing new digital technologies we have the chance to confound the tyranny of distance and deliver services at a fraction of the cost, create new industries and super-charge the one we already excel in,” Mr Gunner said.


Mr Gunner said that Labor will release a detailed discussion containing commitments to:

  • A culture of evidence based policy;
  • A culture of making all our data available so many minds can mine the data and find solutions;
  • A public service genuinely independent and free to provide fearless advice;
  • Reforming Government to make it open, flexible and responsive to the needs of Territorians through the use of digital technologies;
  • A clear whole of Government ICT strategy;
  • A procurement policy for ICT services that backs the Territory’s own, builds local capacity and fosters innovation and creativity;
  • A partnership with Charles Darwin University and the private sector for the development of innovation hubs;
  • Generous start-up and innovation grants scheme;
  • Investment in world class ICT infrastructure – particularly remote areas;
  • Introduce training in computer coding into Territory primary and secondary schools.


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794

Territory Labor Will Maintain Infrastructure Fund
Territory Labor Will Maintain Infrastructure Fund

6 October 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner welcomed today’s announcement of the establishment of the Northern Territory Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF).


But Mr Gunner said Labor remains totally opposed to the sale of the TIO and other assets like the Darwin Port.


“The Territory needs strong investment in infrastructure and the IDF is a step in the right direction but it should not have come about as a result of the CLP’s broken promise not to sell TIO,” said Michael Gunner.


“CLP Treasurer, David Tollner, sought bi-partisan support for this proposal and Territory Labor has provided that support after a detailed briefing made clear the IDF would be at arm’s length of government and independently managed.


“Adam Giles and the CLP went against the wishes of Territorians and sold TIO, but now that has happened, any revenue raised by our forced asset sale must be appropriately invested.


“Adam Giles and the CLP justified selling TIO because the Northern Territory would get Commonwealth funding of $60 million under the Federal Governments Asset Recycling Scheme - nearly a year after the CLP sold off TIO Territorians have got nothing.


“The Territory now faces a similar situation with the CLP pushing for the sale of our Territory port.


“Territory Labor does not support the sale of the port or selling a lease to the port.


“Our port is a strategic asset for the future development of our economy and emerging industries. That’s why I believe it’s crucial the port remains in Government hands.


“The CLP have no mandate to sell our port and the CLP must take this to the 2016 election which is only 10 months away.”


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

False Evidence in CLP Press Release
False Evidence in CLP Press Release

1 October 2015 - Today the CLP Government today issued a press release claiming they are well on the way to delivering on their commitment for an extra 120 new police officers.


“The CLP seem to have ignored what their election commitment was and this is further proof the CLP can’t be trusted,” Ms Manison said.


The CLP’s election commitment is:

“The Country Liberal Party will deliver 120 new police and have them on the streets within two years of our first term.” – CLP Election Commitment Flyer August 2012


“The CLP are into their third year – the CLP broke their commitment 13 months ago.”


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

Outstanding Questions on Ministerial Travel
Outstanding Questions on Ministerial Travel

1 October 2015 - Only four of eight CLP Ministers have answered written questions issued months ago asking whether they had received gifts, benefits or a discount from or persons associated with Latitude Travel.


“Under standing orders of the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory, written questions should be answered within 30 days,” Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison said.


“There are four CLP Ministers now months overdue on answering very clear and concise questions.”


The two questions put to all eight CLP Ministers are:

1: Have you ever received a gift, benefit or discount from Latitude Travel or anyone associated with Latitude Travel?

2: If so, would you please itemise and indicate the estimated value of each gift, benefit or discount received?


“Answers have been received from Adam Giles, Bess Price, Gray Higgins and Peter Chandler,” Ms Manison said.


“In contrast, David Tollner, John Elferink, Willem Westra van Holthe and Peter Styles have not provided answers to very simple and clear questions which are now well overdue.


“Territorians have the right to know the answer to these very simple questions."


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


“Last week Adam Giles pulled the full page ads detailing false information on Ice Legislation because they were referred to the Auditor General but has failed to apply similar principals to the current ‘on track’ political spin ads which have also been referred.


“The only thing the CLP Government is “On Track” for is to spend more taxpayer money on a politically fueled print and tv ad campaign designed to try and spin the worst government in Territory history,” said Natasha Fyles.


“As of today, the CLP have run 49 full page ads in just over four weeks.


“Last week, Adam Giles decided to cancel a series of advertisements which contained false and misleading information on Ice Legislation after Labor and Independent members referred the ads to the Auditor-General.


“In reference to those one page Ice Legislation ads, Adam Giles said:

“While that process is going on I've said let's not do any more ads."

- Adam Giles, ABC News, 21 September 2015


“By the Chief Minister’s own admission and self-set precedent, he must also pull his ‘On Track’ ads.


“The ‘On Track’ spin campaign also includes a series of television commercials running throughout the Northern Territory.


“To date, the CLP have refused to release costings associated with the production of their ‘on track’ campaign.


“Labor referred the ‘On Track’ ads to the Auditor-General weeks ago, because they are clearly politically motivated.”


“The Government does have a duty to advertise and promote relevant programs and events – but this is political spin which should be paid for by the party, not the taxpayer.

“Adam Giles must explain why he’s pulled the ICE ads but not the ‘On Track’ ads.


“Last sittings Labor introduced legislation which would put a stop to taxpayers’ funds being wasted on political advertising.


“Only a change of Government will restore integrity to Government and stop the abuse of taxpayer funds by Adam Giles and the CLP.”


Media contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


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