Name of the blog | August 2014


Name of the blog


Description of the blog


Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie said business investment confidence is dropping as CLP Government paralysis enters another week.

"The leadership void and very public CLP parliamentary wing brawling leaves a trail of destruction that includes plummeting business confidence.

“The CLP has been a divided rabble since they were elected,” Ms Lawrie said.

“Territorians are wondering if the leadership will finally be settled at tomorrow's party wing meeting so that the paralysis which is damaging to everyone is dealt with."

Ms Lawrie said the deep divisions which were highlighted by former Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner on Friday were clearly unlikely to be truly resolved.

“It's clear the Government MLAs are a dysfunctional rabble and are unfit to govern given Mr Tollner’s description of them as a “nest of vipers”," Ms Lawrie said.

“The division comes from the top. The Adam Giles experiment as Chief Minister has been an abject failure and the CLP would be doing all Territorians a favour if they select an entirely new leadership team tomorrow,” Ms Lawrie said.

Ms Lawrie said consistent feedback is that Territorians are over this self-serving scandal-plagued CLP rabble and want a chance to go to the polls.

Media contact:   Michael Gleeson   0400 096 924


Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today called on Adam Giles to explain why he didn’t take serious allegations about Peter Maley to the Police.

Ms Lawrie said days after the allegations surrounding the Cash for Access scandal broke the Chief Minister, who is also the Police Minister, has failed to explain why he didn’t refer Norm McCleary’s email to the Police back in May.

“We have an extraordinary situation where the Chief Minister receives an email saying $10,000 was paid to the CLP for access to sensitive government documents and fails to refer it to Police. Why?” Ms Lawrie asked.

“Adam Giles needs to explain to Territorians why after sitting on serious allegations of corruption for months he went on to vehemently defend his appointment of Peter Maley as a magistrate.

“There is a stench surrounding the CLP that warrants a full inquiry by a formal judicial officer without ties to the CLP

“We have seen the Eight by Five methods in NSW and we see an eerily similarity with the CLP’s Foundation 51.

“Territorians are demanding answers and Labor will keep holding this circus of a Government to account.

“The Dave Tollner threats to walk out on the CLP and his attacks on his colleagues show that they have descended into farce.

“The very real danger of Adam Giles being dumped is a result of his failure in leadership.


Media Contact:   Michael Gleeson  0400 096 924


Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Ken Vowles has called on Chief Minister Adam Giles end the culture of cover up.

Mr Vowles said we were still waiting to see a draft terms of reference for an inquiry into political donations.

He called on Mr Giles to immediately refer the allegations made last night in Parliament to the Police Commissioner.

 “Adam Giles as Chief Minister and Police Minister needs to hand over to the Police all emails in his possession so that the allegations made in Parliament last night can be investigated," Mr Vowles said.  

 “The allegations are of a very serious nature and it is extraordinary that Adam Giles has been sitting on them for three months.

 “Only a full inquiry headed by a retired judge or someone of equivalent standing can get to the bottom of the CLP’s political donation irregularities,” Mr Vowles said.

 “The Inquiry must have the powers to investigate the allegations by Norm McCleary about Peter Maley and Dave Tollner as well as any donations which may have been given to the CLP by its Foundation 51.

 “Adam Giles needs to initiate an inquiry and the terms of reference must have teeth. If the Government tries to water down this inquiry people will justifiably ask what they have to hide."

 Media Contact:  Michael Gleeson  0400 096 924


Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today said the public brawling of the CLP has paralysed Government.

 During a visit to Galiwinku on Elcho Island to celebrate 40 years of bilingual education, Ms Lawrie deplored the deepening paralysis of Government.

 "Adam Giles has no leadership and can't even muster the support of his parliamentary colleagues," Ms Lawrie said.

 "The CLP party wing meeting on Monday will see more brawling and may result in a complete leadership spill.

 "The CLP are unfit to govern and it's unsurprising they are mired in scandals through their own behaviour.

 "Even today Dave Tollner is showing no remorse for his homophobic rant that saw him resign as Deputy Chief Minister last Friday. Now he is threatening to quit the CLP if not reinstalled on Monday."

 She said on radio today Mr Tollner made it clear he was prepared to quit the CLP Government when he said:

 “I want to see a bit of support for me from this team if you can call it that and if I don’t get it I don’t see how I can be a part of this team.

 “I’ve got a bunch of colleagues sitting behind me throwing knives in my back. I can’t operate in that environment. I can’t be a part of a party that doesn’t accept me and the work that I’m doing.”

 Ms Lawrie said Territorians deserved a Government who were focused on improved service delivery and fostering social and economic growth rather than being self-serving.

 "Many Territorians are now wondering whether we're headed for a general election or a few by-elections such is the deep crisis plaguing the Government," Ms Lawrie said.

 "We deserve better than the embarrassing CLP rabble."

 Media Contact:  Michael Gleeson   0400 096 924


After a career spanning 13 years the Member for Casuarina, Kon Vatskalis, will tonight mark his final sitting day in Territory Parliament.


“After 13 years of days and nights spent in Parliament sittings, tonight will mark the end of this era for me,” Mr Vatskalis said.


“When I retire from my position on 18 September, I make way for the next generation of Territory Labor.”


Mr Vatskalis was joined by the Territory Labor Candidate for Casuarina, Lauren Moss.


“Lauren will continue my hard work for Casuarina,” Mr Vatskalis said.


“She is energetic and passionate and will be a strong voice for the residents of Casuarina that are suffering under the CLP Government’s high cost of living, cuts to education and mismanagement of the health system in the Territory.


“One issue of major concern for residents in Casuarina, and the broader public, is the CLP Government’s bungling of parking at RDH.


“The CLP Government has failed to fix the parking debacle at RDH.


“Patients, visitors and staff still have to battle to find parking spots and then navigate a confusing and flawed parking system.


“Just before the last election the former Labor Government developed a master plan to solve the parking problems at RDH.


“The master plan provided for a multistorey car park to provide hundreds more car spaces for visitors and staff.


“Two years later, the CLP have done nothing, no new spaces and in a slap to the face of Territorians, they are charging fees for the car parking chaos they have created.


“This is also creating safety issues for the neighbouring community as people are forced to park outside the hospital boundaries.


“The CLP Government needs to get on with job and install an appropriate car parking system at RDH immediately.”



Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667


Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, will tomorrow introduce into Territory Parliament a Bill to include protection against racial and religious vilification in Territory law.

“There is no place for racial discrimination in today’s society,” Ms Lawrie said.

“However the Territory is the only jurisdiction which does not have anti-vilification provisions in legislation. 

“While the Federal Liberal Government appears to have backed off plans to water down section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act it is crucial that Territorians are protected from incitement to racial and religious hatred.”

  In May 2014 the Opposition Leader released a Discussion Paper seeking feedback from Territorians on the proposal and the Bill has been drafted in line with the feedback received. 


“After consultation with multicultural, Indigenous, religious, legal and other organisations it is clear that Territorians support protection against encouragement to racial or religious hatred,” Ms Lawrie said. 


“This Bill seeks to enshrine that principle in law to protect Territorians from racial and religious vilification. 


“In May the Territory Parliament, on a bipartisan basis, supported a motion on changes to the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act and I am hopeful that the government will support my Bill when it is debated in the parliament in October.” 



Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667



Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today said that as a parting gift by the former Treasurer, Dave Tollner, Territorians are set to be hit with another price hike in their power and water bills.


“In a letter to PowerWater Corporation Chairman, Ken Clarke, the former Treasurer and Shareholding Minister, Dave Tollner, directed the Corporation to increase network charges by 7.7 per cent in 2014-15 and a further 8 per cent in 2015-16,” Ms Lawrie said.


“Mr Tollner gave this direction to Power Water Corporation two months ago.


“These will be price hikes on top of the 5 per cent increase Territorians will be hit with in January next year – which is also on top of the $2000 an average Territory family has already had to find to cover power bill increases since the election of the CLP Government.”


Ms Lawrie said that the CLP Government has made PowerWater vulnerable by splitting off the revenue earners of Generation and Retail.


“In splitting up PowerWater the CLP Government has made a catastrophic mistake by taking away PowerWater’s revenue earning components; generation and retail,” Ms Lawrie said.


“Now Territorians will have to pay higher bills to cover the short fall needed to pay network charges.


“Territorians are already paying too much for their power, water and sewerage bills and this Government is signing off on more increases.


“The CLP Government’s preoccupation with privatising the Territory’s utilities assets will mean even more pain is on its way. Structural separation and privatisation of utilities in other states has resulted in price hikes.”



Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667


Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Ken Vowles, today branded the CLP Government as the most dysfunctional administration anywhere in Australia.

“Two years into Government the scorecard tells a story of rank incompetence, arrogance and chaos," Mr Vowles said.

"The CLP has torn up every election commitment and overseen rising cost of living, rising unemployment, frontline jobs slashed across the public service, 340 businesses hit the wall and no major land releases while housing costs rise.

"Without a mandate the CLP have split up PowerWater, increased tariffs and are preparing our public assets of the Port, TIO and power retail and generation for sale."

He said since the last election in 2012, the Territory has had: 

  •   Two Chief Ministers,

  •   Four Deputy Chiefs (now vacant),

  •   Four Treasurers,

  •   Four Education Ministers,

  •   Three Business Ministers,

  •   Three Employment Ministers,

  •   Three Local Government Ministers, and

  •   Two Health Ministers 

“Incredibly, the next reshuffle will be the 7th reshuffle in two years and Territorians are rightly asking when will this Government get its act together?

“In the past week alone the CLP has lost two votes on the floor of Parliament just by sheer ineptitude and on Friday lost their Treasurer and Deputy Chief Minister after his outrageous gay slur.

“If you can’t run your own party, you can’t run the Territory,” Mr Vowles said.

In two years their seats in Parliament have crashed from 16 to 13 because of their broken promises to the bush and extreme internal divisions."

He said the Giles Government was the worst in Territory history.

"The only good news for Territorians is that the strength of the economy due to Labor's effort in oil and gas and onshore resources will underpin economic growth," Mr Vowles said.

Media Contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924 




Shadow Minister for Corrections, Michael Gunner, today called for the Government to immediately establish an Inquiry by the Children’s Commissioner into the riot at the Don Dale juvenile corrections facility.

“It’s clear that the Children’s Commissioner Dr Howard Bath has concerns about what took place and it’s appropriate that as an expert third party he take a look at the procedures and the incident,” Mr Gunner said.

“Too many incidents; escapes, riots and children slipping out for the night are happening on John Elferink’s watch.

“The public, prison officers and the detainees all need to have confidence in the juvenile detention system.

“It’s a shocking situation when six teenagers effectively hold a three hour siege in our correction facility and the only solution is for them to be tear gassed.

“Tear gas is a powerful and painful chemical and we need to know what led up to it being used.

“No one wants to see it being used on our children, even those in detention.

“Dr Bath may be able to find solutions to assist our prison officers in such difficult circumstances and to make the situation safer for everyone.

Media Contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924 


Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, said that in an act of self-preservation, Chief Minister, Adam Giles, was forced to accept the resignation of Dave Tollner.


“It is disappointing that this incident was not dealt with appropriately immediately after it had occurred,” Ms Lawrie said.


“Adam Giles has defended the inexcusable and unacceptable behaviour of Dave Tollner for days and it was only after significant public outcry and his imminent dumping by the Parliamentary wing on Monday that the Deputy Chief Minister fell on his sword.


“This was action motivated by preservation not by what is right.


“Dave Tollner should have been sacked immediately.”


Ms Lawrie said the cracks are showing in the CLP Government.


“There are obvious deep divisions in the CLP Government that have been brought to a head by this scandal,” Ms Lawrie said. 


"Territorians are now speculating on who will be Deputy Chief Minister and how long that will last before Dave Tollner launches a bid to return to Cabinet.


"The CLP are a shambles and the worst Government the Territory has ever had.”



Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667


Giles 2016 Election candidates Adam Giles Alcohol Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Alcohol Policy Alice Springs Allianz AMT Cash for Access Casuarina Casuarina by-election Chief Minister CLP CLP broken promises CLP chaos CLP cuts CLP failure CLP Government CLP privatisation agenda COGSO Cost of Living Crime Darwin Port Darwin Ports Dave Tollner Delia Lawrie Donations Education Education cuts environment Foundation 51 fuel prices Fyles Gerry McCarthy Giles Global School Budget Global school budgets Government Accountability Gunner health ICAC Indigenous Affairs Infrastructure Ken Vowles Labor Candidate for Casuarina Land rights Lands and planning Lauren Moss Lawrie Leader of the Opposition Leadership Lynne Walker McCarthy Member for Casuarina Member for Nhulunbuy Michael Gunner Moss Natasha Fyles Nhulunbuy Nicole Manison No Mandate No Sale NT crime statistics On Track Opposition Whip Palmerston Hospital Peter Chandler petrol prices Police Police Commissioner power prices PowerWater PowerWater Corporation Privatisation remote housing Richardson Park Robyn Lambley Scullion Senate Inquiry Shadow Attorney-General Shadow Minister for Child Protection Shadow Minister for Corrections Shadow Minister for Education Shadow Minister for Essential Services Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Shadow Minister for Health Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy Shadow Minister for Police Territory Assets Territory Labor Leader TIO TIO Sale Tollner unacceptable behaviour Walker workers compensation Youth justice