Name of the blog | May 2016


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29 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today announced that a Territory Labor Government will build an indoor netball complex consisting of four courts with one being of a national standard.


“Netball is one of the largest participation sports in the Territory and that’s why if elected, Labor will invest $10 million which will deliver four more courts, one of which will be up to a national standard,” Mr Gunner said.


“Just over 3000 Territorians play netball and that figure continues to grow each year.


“In line with Labor’s approach of listening and consulting, we will work with Netball NT and all netball clubs to ensure we put forward the best plan possible by engaging with the experts.”


Mr Gunner said that today’s announcement is also about targeting high level netball games to be featured in the Territory.

“Territorians expect high level netball games and with a national grade court Territorians will have the opportunity to witness more netball games of a national standard than ever before,” Mr Gunner said.

Mr Gunner said that today’s announcement will also boost local business and support jobs as it will be delivered in conjunction with labors strong ‘buy local’ policy.


“It’s not enough just to create a policy called ‘buy local’ and then let work go intestate, like we have seen with the CLP,” Mr Gunner said.

“Our buy local policy will actually result in more locals getting the work which is not only the right thing to do, but is economically sound. Every dollar we keep in the Territory supports our economy and keeps it moving forward.”


This commitment to Netball NT is part of Labor’s additional $100 million stimulus.



Media contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


25 May 2016 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner today outlined his alternative 2016 Territory Budget saying a Labor Government will grow jobs, invest in children and restore integrity to government.




Michael Gunner said that growing Territory jobs is an urgent task for any Government elected in August.


“We have seen a loss of jobs across the Territory with worse to come when the Inpex construction phase is finished.


“To grow jobs Labor will:


  1. Get money flowing through the local economy.
  2. Create certainty through proper planning and stable, competent Government.
  3. Restore confidence by listening to Territorians and delivering tangible results.


Michael Gunner has said that the Labor Government will get the money flowing through the Territory economy by:


  • injecting an additional $100 million into infrastructure spending;
  • providing Territorians buying their first home with a $34 000 windfall to reinvest into the Territory economy; and
  • An extra $5 million over two years to boost Government efforts to attract tourists from China and India.


“The Territory economy is in a deep hole. We are losing jobs. When we lose jobs, we lose people interstate.


“Labor will create jobs right across the Territory. Labor’s infrastructure investment will be focussed on repairs and maintenance and small works projects.


“This stimulus will be implemented with Labor’s tough Buy Local policy making sure that the jobs stay local.



Michael Gunner said that Labor’s infrastructure stimulus projects will be announced over the coming months but will include:


  • $20 million injected immediately into Labor’s Room to Breathe NT that will provide more outdoor living spaces, verandahs and granny flats on existing lots;
  • $10 million for the Iconic National Arts Gallery Trail in East Arnhem and $10 million for the expansion of the Art Gallery and Cultural centre in Katherine;
  • upgrading Marrara Stadium with $700 000 provided for upgraded women’s facilities providing strong support for growing women’s sport;
  • $5 million per year for ablution blocks, scoreboards and shading for ovals in remote communities;
  • $5 million for an upgrade of sports and recreation facilities in Tennant Creek; and
  • Lights at the Gardens oval and Nightcliff oval.






Michael Gunner also announced $34 000 for first home buyers across the Territory.


Michael Gunner said the introduction of a first home buyers package was designed to reduce the cost of living for first home buyers, getting them to invest in the Territory and stimulating the Territory housing and building industry.


“Under Labor’s plan, the first $500 000 of any existing home purchased by a first home buyer will be exempt from stamp duty. This will be capped at homes valued at $650 000.


“This will result in first home buyers saving $24 000 in costs.


“Additionally, first home buyers purchasing an existing home will be eligible for a $10 000 first home owners renovation package that can be spent on renovations and the purchase of white goods and household furniture (up to $2000), provided those purchases are made in local stores.


“First home buyers purchasing a new home will retain the current $26 000 grant, and in addition to this, will receive $2 000 for purchase of white goods and furniture, provided those purchases are made in local stores.


“This package will be available for two years and will result in jobs being created right across the small contractors industry,” Michael Gunner said.






Michael Gunner said that tourism will be an important part of stimulating more jobs in the Territory.


“We have to take advantage of the low Australian dollar. Right now, Darwin airport is reporting fewer international arrivals. We have to address this.


“Labor will add $5 million over the next two years to add to funds targeting Chinese tourists. We also want to spread that focus to Indian tourists - who are now a large part of our international arrivals.


“We believe that India has been ignored in our push into Asia and it is now important to include this fast growing economy into our sight.”






Michael Gunner has repeated his commitment to investing in children and the early childhood years.


“I said a Labor Government will be defined by its commitment to children, and I mean it.


“Labor will extend the Nurse Family Partnership Program with an additional $8 million over 4 years. This will see more Child Health nurses and more home visits from nurses to newly pregnant women. This program has been successful in reducing parental smoking, fewer injuries for children, improved home environments and closer monitoring of child progress and welfare.


“Labor will also re-invest an additional $124 million into Territory schools over four years beginning on January 1, 2017. This will consist of:

  • $20 million per year directly into school budgets to replace teachers cut by the CLP;
  • $8 million per year into early intervention, behaviour management and disability support in schools;
  • $2 million per year to create a program of school sport, arts and health across the Territory; and
  • $1 million per year to support schools with Business Managers so Principals can focus on their role as education leaders, instead of administration work.






Michael Gunner said that restoring trust and integrity to government is the third goal of a Labor Government.


“No one needs to be told of the scandals that have beset this Government.


“Four years of the CLP’s dodgy deals, jobs for mates and an arrogant disdain for transparency and accountability has seen Territorians’ trust in Government hit rock bottom.


“Labor will introduce a Northern Territory Independent Commission Against Corruption.


It will:

  • Be independent from Government;
  • Have broad ranging and self-referral powers;
  • Have the power to compel witnesses and documentation;
  • Have the power to investigate matters which took place prior to its establishment.


“We also understand that restoring trust in Government requires tackling the perception that large donations influence important public policy considerations, that private interest can trump the public interest.


“Over the coming weeks I will announce the most comprehensive reforms to electoral donation laws in the Territory’s history.


“These reforms will give Territorians the confidence that the public interest, and not the size of your wallet, determines public policy in the Northern Territory,” Michael Gunner said.






Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794



21 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today outlined to the Australian Education Union Annual Conference that a Labor Government will reverse the CLP cuts to education and teachers by funding more teachers, increasing teacher and student support services and building better schools by making education and the future of our kids a priority of his Government.

Mr Gunner said a Labor Government will also introduce Community Led Schools in remote indigenous communities reversing the CLP’s indigenous education review, introduce a new School Principal Leadership training program, invest in challenging high achieving students and provide teacher mentors for new teachers in their early years on the job.


Michael Gunner also reaffirmed Labor’s plans to invest an additional $124 million into Territory education with an extra $31 million put into the education budget on 1 January, 2017.


“Under Labor, education and our kids will always come first, unlike with the CLP who can’t be trusted with education,” Mr Gunner said.

“One of the fundamental principles underlying the CLP Government’s Indigenous Education Review is the centralisation of decision making away from communities and schools in a range of areas. Labor will reverse this,” Mr Gunner said.

“We will devolve the decision making in remote schools back to communities. We will introduce community led schools with local school boards made up of community members leading schools. We believe that unless indigenous people living in remote communities have a genuine say in how their schools operate, the Territory will always suffer disconnection between the system and the people.


Michael Gunner said that Labor’s additional $124 million investment in schools would provide:

  • $20 million per year over four years from 1 January 2017 directly into school budgets enabling 164 more teachers to be employed across the Territory.
  • $8  million per year over four years to improve support services, resources and staff to tackle poor student behaviour and support students with disabilities in our schools
  • $2 million per year over four years to create a program of school sport, arts and health across the Territory.
  • $1 million per year to support schools with Business Managers so Principals have more time to focus on educational leadership, supporting staff and students and working their community.


“I am also announcing today that Labor will invest in developing a leading program for School Principal training. School leadership is a critical part of improving student results. I intend to provide a training program for aspiring school leaders that will prepare them for the tough job of being a School Principal,” Michael Gunner said.


“Labor will also upgrade the support given to new teachers in the early years of their career by providing a strong mentoring program.”


The Labor Leader said that the Labor Government will also invest in supporting the Territory’s high achievers.


“By challenging and pushing our high achievers we believe we will improve results right across the school,” Michael Gunner said.


“Labor’s announcement’s this week and particularly today spell out a major investment in the Territory’s schools that will reverse the CLP’s savage cuts and provide strong schools, good outcomes and great opportunity.”


For more details, you can view or download a copy of the ‘Strong Schools, Good Outcomes, Great Opportunity’ document here:




Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794



$32 million to tackle student behaviour in schools
$32 million to tackle student behaviour in schools

18 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today said a Labor Government will tackle poor student behaviour in schools.


He also committed a Labor Government to providing more resources to support students with disabilities.


“Labor has committed an additional $124 million to schools over four years. Of that, $32 million will be dedicated to providing resources to tackle poor school behaviour and to provide specialist support for students with disabilities.


“This money will improve the funds available to support schools, much of which has been cut by the CLP over the last four years.


“Poor behaviour is a major issue for teachers and for schools. It can impact on other students and can impact on student outcomes. Teachers need every bit of support they can get to tackle the badly behaved students so they can get on with educating those students who want to learn.


“Unlike the CLP, Labor understands that there are long term and short term issues behind bad behaviour. Labor’s focus on 0-4 year olds will prepare more children for school. This is the sort of long term work governments need to be doing to make long term changes.


“However, the problem is on the rise right now so Labor will work with teachers to immediately deal with bad behaviour,” Michael Gunner said.


Michael Gunner said that schools needed options for dealing with students.


“There is no one size fits all approach to this problem. Labor will provide funds to:

•           increase assessment of students to understand if there is an underlying issue that must be dealt with;

•           provide alternative pathways for students that gets them out of the classroom and into learning that engages them; and

•           provide additional support in the classroom through teacher assistants and other support staff.


“We will work school by school to understand what is needed to improve behaviour and to free up teachers to teach those students wanting to learn,” Michael Gunner said.


Michael Gunner also said the funding increase would help support programs to deal with the increase in needs for students with autism, FASD, and students with hearing loss.


“These challenges must absolutely be identified and addressed before young children get to school and Labor will work through our Early Childhood program to tackle these major issues.


“Schools need additional support to ensure the students in schools are identified and supported through their education.


“It is resource intensive and it has been made worse by the number of psychologists, hearing support, disability support staff and other student support staff that have been cut from the Education Department by the CLP.


“Our commitment of an additional $8 million a year will restore those cuts and will provide flexibility for schools to deal with the impact on schools.


“It is part of our determination to lift Territory student outcomes and improve the lives of all Territorians,” Michael Gunner said.




Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


25 May 2016 - Today Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, announced a powerful policy to get Territorians into their first home and stem the tide of people leaving the Territory due to bad CLP policy.


“It’s important that people invest in the Territory. That’s why a good government must invest in people, and our announcement today does that,” Mr Gunner said.


“Under the CLP, we have seen record levels of people leaving the Territory. That means fewer taxpayers and fewer people spending their money locally and supporting local business. It’s a bad domino effect which only a Labor Government will reverse.


“Our policy will see more Territorians invest in the Territory and has the added benefit of supporting local business and jobs.”


First home buyers purchasing an existing property valued at up to $650 000 will receive:

  • Up to $24 000 in stamp duty relief; and
  • $10 000 to put towards renovations – a maximum of $2 000 of which may instead be used to purchase locally sourced whitegoods and furniture


First home buyers purchasing a new property will receive:

  • The Government’s existing grant of $26 000; and
  • $2 000 to purchase locally sourced whitegoods and furniture.


“Labor’s policy focuses on getting more people into their first home and does so by directing relief to those who need it most,” Mr Gunner said.



Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794


15 May 2016 - Territory Labor will invest an additional $124 million over four years into Territory Schools, Labor leader Michael Gunner announced today.


“We want every child in the NT to have the best possible future. That’s why we put kids first at every opportunity,” Mr Gunner said.


“Labor will always place the future of Territory children at the centre of our Government.


“This significant investment in schools will provide children with more options and better education outcomes.


“It will restore the teachers that have been ripped out of schools and more resources for schools to support their students.


“We will inject $20 million per year over four years from 1 January 2017 directly into school budgets enabling 164 more teachers to be employed across the Territory,” Mr Gunner said.


“The balance of this $124 million commitment will be detailed in future education announcements.


“Education is at the core of Labor’s values.  Our opponents have ripped teachers and funds out of the education system and Labor is determined to restore education to the highest order of Government priority.


“Under the CLP we have fewer teachers, less subjects and crowded classrooms. Labor puts kids first but the CLP puts kids last.


“Labor believes a fully functional and thriving education system is the key to the future of a strong economy. A good education is also vital to building a strong society.”




16 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today reiterated his support to education and the future of our kids with a commitment to provide every Territory school with $300,000 for minor new works or repairs and maintenance projects.


“A Territory Labor Government will be defined by the way we support the future of Territory children,” Mr Gunner said.


“Each Territory school will receive $300,000 to put towards repairs and maintenance, extensions or a school minor works project.


“We will leave it to the schools, their School Councils and School Boards, to make the decisions about how to spend it.


“Schools will be able to contribute this money to co-fund a project from their own resources or use it directly on a smaller project or repairs and maintenance to boost the effectiveness of their school.


“There will also be a four year $5 million program for homelands schools repairs and maintenance and upgrades,” Mr Gunner said.


Michael Gunner said that the grant will also act as a stimulus package to boost work for small contractors across the Territory who are currently in an economic hole because of the failure of the CLP Government’s economic policies.


“These grants will be delivered in conjunction with our ‘Buy Local’ policy and that means we will directly support local business and jobs along with improving every school in the Territory and that’s a good thing,” Mr Gunner said.


“The grants will be one off and programmed to be delivered out over 4 years to the 189 schools in the Northern Territory, of which 152 are Government and 37 are non-government.”


The total cost of this commitment is $61.7 million over 4 years and it will be funded from within the capital works budget.


2 May 2016 - Michael Gunner today celebrated May Day by announcing that a Labor Government will put Territory workers first by strengthening the operations of Territory Work Safe and reversing many elements of the CLP’s draconian changes to the Return to Work Act. 

“Labor will ensure that Territory workers are protected and safe. And if anything does happen to them that they are able to rehabilitate and get back into the workforce with the strongest possible support,” Mr Gunner said. 

“Labor will reverse the CLP’s draconian changes to the Return to Work Act that has gutted Territory workers by reducing their entitlements and putting them in a worse position than some other states.” 

Mr Gunner said that workers had previously been able to receive benefits to retirement age provided they could prove they remained incapacitated for work. Now, after CLP changes, workers only received payments for 5 years and medical expenses for 6 years even if they are up to 15 per cent permanently incapacitated. After that, they’re on their own, including meeting the costs of future medical bills associated with the injury. 

“A Labor government will return to the model that was effectively in place since 1987 to ensure our workers are looked after up to the end of their working lives. It’s a model that has been proven sustainable by both governments for almost 30 years. 

“These benefits require regular medical assessments and should someone be found to have recovered, whether after one year or 10 for example, then they will be expected to return to work. Labor believes these changes are important to ensure our workers have peace of mind and will also serve to encourage workers from other jurisdictions around the country to make the Territory their home. 

“What the CLP are doing is shifting the cost of caring for workers from insurance agencies to the public health and hospital system. 

“Anyone at work, regardless of the type of work, should know there is a safety net if the unthinkable happens and serious injury is suffered as part of their regular duties at no fault of their own. 

Michael Gunner said that a Labor Government would also ensure active education programs as well as strong enforcement programs from Worksafe. 

“Business needs to be properly educated and supported in doing the right thing in their work place,” Mr Gunner said. 

“However, workers need to also know that there is proper enforcement of work safety laws. Labor will separate these arms of work safe and ensure that enforcement is part of the Department of Justice.”



Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


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