Name of the blog | April 2016


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Territorians will have more choice, options and flexibility when purchasing their first home
Territorians will have more choice, options and flexibility when purchasing their first home

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.”


Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


AMA calls for return of Labor's BDR and scrapping of CLP's AMT
AMA calls for return of Labor's BDR and scrapping of CLP's AMT

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


COP THAT: CLP Break Promise to retain Police
COP THAT: CLP Break Promise to retain Police

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.


Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


CLP Economic bungle to cost NT taxpayers $60 Million
CLP Economic bungle to cost NT taxpayers $60 Million

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


Adam Giles sells out Territory Health
Adam Giles sells out Territory Health

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.”


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794

Anti-Social Behaviour Driving Away Tourists
Anti-Social Behaviour Driving Away Tourists

23 March 2016 - Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy, Natasha Fyles, today met with a local business operator to discuss how the CLP’s failed alcohol policies are hurting local business and driving away tourists.


Local Business operator, Claire De Silva, started a petition to bring back the Banned Drinkers’ Register (BDR) because the increase of anti-social behaviour is having negative impacts on her business.


“Anti-social behaviour impacts on our business, especially with the cruise ships that have come in recently. We’ve had tourists being afraid to go outside our store because they’re afraid they’re going to get hurt by the violence happening outside.

There are a lot of people that have commented that they actually stay away from the CBD and Nightcliff, all those areas, because it’s expected you’re going to see this sort of behaviour and everyone tries to avoid it.”

Claire De Silva, Local Business Owner, 23 March 2016


“It’s clear we need a Territory wide point of sale intervention system in place, and the Banned Drinkers’ Register (BDR) does that. That’s why Labor, if elected in August, will implement the BDR,” said Natasha Fyles.


“Under the BDR, if a person was banned from purchasing take-away alcohol from one location, they were banned Territory wide.”


“When the CLP scrapped the BDR, they effectively turned the tap back on for 2500 problem drinkers who could not access take away alcohol anywhere in the Territory.


“Adam Giles and the CLP have no ideas and no plans to tackle increased antisocial behaviour.


“It’s time for Adam Giles and the CLP to listen to the community, listen to local business and reinstate the Territory wide point of sale intervention: the Banned Drinkers’ Register.”



Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


CLP are failing our police and our community
CLP are failing our police and our community

16 March 2016 - Territory Labor Leader and Shadow Police Minister, Michael Gunner, said today that the CLP have not only failed to keep their promise of 120 extra police within three years, but the numbers are actually going backwards.

“This government’s three and a half years of chaos, infighting and broken promises has seen them to fail Territorians on tackling anti-social behaviour,” Mr Gunner said.

The Police Association President and CEO, Paul McCue, said today on local radio that the police numbers are less than they were three years ago.

"Obviously we look at last year’s annual report which was out quite late in the year I might add. You look at the numbers in there and in black and white; the numbers are less than they were three years ago so for us that’s a significant concern. I think we’ve had since October last year some 35 resignations and retirements and I would think we’re not even keeping up with that attrition and that’s a significant concern for us because it not only impacts immediately it impacts in the long term to address things like anti-social behaviour." -Paul McCue – NT Police Association President and CEO, Mix 104.9 16 March 2016

“Not only have the CLP already failed to deliver on their election promise of 120 extra police within three years, but they’ve failed to do any real work to attract more police.”

“As a result, police resources are stretched and the CLP have no plans to fix it.

“The CLP also promised to open the Nightcliff Police Station and make it operational 24/7 but once again, the CLP have failed to deliver on this key election promise to Territorians.

“Only Labor has a plan to tackle anti-social behaviour by properly resourcing our Police force and reintroducing the Banned Drinker’s Register which provided a point of sale intervention of alcohol for problem drinkers across the entire Territory.

“Police said that the Banned Drinker’s Register was the best tool they had at fighting alcohol related violence and crime.”


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


Vacancy rates demand action
Vacancy rates demand action

14 March 2016 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner said the CLP’s mishandling of the economy has seen small business closures, jobs gone and a loss of 3000 people south in 12 months.


“Now we are seeing the highest vacancy rate ever in commercial buildings in the Darwin CBD,” Mr Gunner said.


“This vacancy rate is at 21% overall but C Grade commercial premises are at 34.5% and B Grade vacancies at 31.6%. That means one third of these buildings in the CBD are vacant.”


“This is almost a tripling of vacancy rates in 12 months. That is a major problem and the warning signs were there some 12 months ago.”




January 2015 (%)


January 2016 (%)














C Grade and B Grade accommodation is usually taken up by retail outlets, corporate firms such as engineering, architecture and accounting firms and some government agencies.


Michael Gunner says this situation has come about because the CLP ignored warnings for the last year from the business community that the economy was in trouble.


“This now requires some creative policy thinking and some action to stop this closure of business in the CBD,” Mr Gunner said.


“Labor will undertake a five point plan to revitalise the Darwin CBD. We will:

  • Work with the Darwin City Council to implement its masterplan to grow the  CBD.
  • Build a new Northern Territory museum and other major new tourism attractions in the CBD to help the CBD revitalise.
  • Properly plan building usage and growth with the Property Council and property owners across Darwin and Palmerston.
  • Support businesses to repurpose buildings for new use through capital grants.
  • Revitalise the CBD’s underpinning infrastructure.


“Our plans will see the CBD revitalise over the coming years, returning growth to businesses and expanding the number of jobs.”


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


Ignorant Comments by CLP Transport Minister
Ignorant Comments by CLP Transport Minister

9 March 2016 - Shadow Minister for Transport Indigenous Policy, Ken Vowles, today said comments from CLP Transport Minister, Peter Chandler about why he won’t allow Uber to operate in the Northern Territory highlights the level of ignorance within the CLP government.


“The Minister for Transport, Peter Chandler today justified his own inaction on Uber with the utter rubbish that Aboriginal people might not have mobile phones or credit cards”, Mr Vowles said.


“Will the very nature of Uber coming to town provide a level of discrimination, given that 30 per cent of our population is indigenous, many of whom probably wouldn’t have credit cards or access to a smartphone?”

- Peter Chandler, NT News, 9 March 2016


“This comment is as ignorant and as offensive as those by former Treasurer Joe Hockey about poor people not having cars”, Mr Vowles said.


“The poorest people either don't have cars or actually don't drive very far in many cases.”

- Joe Hockey, 13 August 2014


“The CLP Transport Minister needs to stop blaming a sector of the community for his own inaction on Uber. The CLP need to get on with it and put regulations in place to protect our Taxi industry and prepare for the inevitability of Uber coming to the Territory.”



Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794



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