Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today called on the CLP Government to come clean on their planned cuts for public service agencies.
“Rumours are rife throughout the public service that the CLP Government is going to reduce Government agencies from 32 to 16,” Ms Lawrie said.
“The CLP Government held a cabinet meeting at Crab Claw Island resort last week. Did they discuss these extensive cuts to the public service?
“Why did Dave Tollner, the sacked Treasurer, attend this Cabinet meeting at Crab Claw Island resort? Is it to prepare for his return to Cabinet after the Casuarina by-election?”
Ms Lawrie said that Territorians deserve to know what the CLP Government has planned.
“A public service restructure of this scale would result in job cuts and millions of dollars in re-branding agencies that were split up after the 2012 election,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Public servants and businesses are hurting under the CLP chaos, with everyone wondering what will occur with the next reshuffling of the Cabinet deck chairs.
“While Education and Health have borne the brunt of budget cuts Adam Giles makes a $33 million injection into his own Department of the Chief Minister.
“The CLP Government can’t run themselves and can’t run the Territory. The Casuarina by-election gives Territorians a chance to send this arrogant Government a message.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today joined Territorians in paying respect to the Territory police officers that have been killed or injured in the line of duty at the National Police Remembrance Day service at St Mary Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin.
“National Police Remembrance Day gives Territorians an opportunity to honour the men and women who have given so much to serve and protect our community,” Ms Lawrie said
“It is an unfortunate reality that while protecting Territorians members of the Police force have been injured or lost their lives.
“As a community we are eternally grateful for their hard work and service and our thoughts are with the families affected by the loss of these brave men and women.
“We are also thankful to the families who every day send their loved ones to work to face these dangers, and to those Northern Territory and Australian Federal Police officers, Aboriginal Community Police officers and Police auxiliaries whose hard work keeps us safe.
“I was deeply honoured to attend today’s service led by Bishop Eugene Hurley.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today attended a rally in Darwin to support the Federal Renewable Energy Target.
“Energy demands in the Territory will only continue to rise and Territorians will need an affordable reliable source to meet these demands that will not negatively affect the environment,” Ms Lawrie.
“Renewable energy can meet some of this demand.”
Ms Lawrie said that since the CLP came to Government they have demonstrated a complete disregard for the Environment.
“The CLP axed the Office of Climate Change and axed a Minister for Climate Change,” Ms Lawrie said.
“The CLP Government has also cut funding for clean energy organisations in the Territory.
“When Labor was in Government, it had a Clean Energy Taskforce provide expert advice on bolstering our renewable energy industry in the Territory.
“High priority projects, recommended by the Taskforce, included roll-out of 10 megawatts of solar power in 46 remote communities which relied on diesel generators.
“This was not only good for the environment but also provided cost saving measures for these communities.
“A Clean Energy agenda would also provide employment opportunities for Territorians and businesses.
“The Territory needs the Federal Government to keep the Renewable Energy Target.”
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Ken Vowles, said Territorians were paying too much at the petrol bowser while Adam Giles dithers.
Mr Vowles said it's been nine days since the CLP flagged the potential use of Price Exploitation Prevention Act and now it is clear Territorians had been subject to a cruel stunt.
"Chief Minister Adam Giles has walked away from intervening in fuel prices using the price exploitation law but you have to wonder why it took more than a week of CLP chaos.
“Adam Giles has announced a Fuel Price Summit and we hope it's not just another talk fest,” Mr Vowles said.
“The cost of living in the Territory is too high and is hurting families and local businesses.
“The CLP Government made a promise to reduce the cost of living but instead we've seen inflation double, power and water price hikes, housing costs rising and fuel prices a killer.
“Territorians are fed up and are calling for less pain at the bowser. It's time for the CLP to fight the Liberal Canberra fuel excise increase that will add to price at bowser."
Mr Vowles said Labor hopes the CLP heeds the call of Territorians to reduce our crippling cost of living.
“The CLP Government has added to the burden of families and businesses with their PowerWater price hikes and another 5% increase will hit Territorians in January.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, has called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to confirm if the CLP Government is going to use the Price Exploitation Legislation to reduce the price of fuel.
“We continue to question if the CLP Government will take action to ease the pain Territorians are feeling at the petrol bowser. Territorians deserve an answer,” Ms Lawrie said.
“The high cost of living in the Territory is crippling families; high power and water bills, housing costs and fuel are stretching household budgets to breaking point.
”This legislation was never raised as an option to Labor in Government, if the CLP think it is an option then get on with it.”
Ms Lawrie asked whether the CLP political stunt of a week ago will be resolved. Is the legislation going to be used to tackle the exorbitant price of fuel?
“We’ve had conflicting messages from the CLP Government and buck-passing to a junior member of their parliamentary wing and now the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs,” Ms Lawrie said.
The Attorney General John Elferink says: “We’ve got Nathan Barrett, the parliamentary secretary, looking at this issue, working with the consumer affairs commissioner and we’ll see what comes out of it.” (NT News, 20/09/2014)
Minister for Tourism Matt Conlon: “I think we need to have a sobered, considered look at this. This Act is there, primarily and specifically, and really only to address situations in natural disasters or even threat to national security. It's not there to assist in markets with fuel prices or anything else.“ (Nine News, 22/09/2014)
Member for Daly Gary Higgins says: “It’s good for stopping rip offs and it’s good for controlling prices but only very much in the short term. It’s, to me it’s just not a long term solution.” (ABC Radio, 23/09/2014)
Deputy Chief Minister Peter Chandler: “It does sit with the Attorney-General. What I can say though is that if we’re serious about looking at this and you’ve got to go with the legal advice and I know that the Commissioner at the moment is seeking legal advice to see whether this particular legislation can be used at these times and not just in times of a national emergency.” (Territory FM, 24/09/2014)
Ms Lawrie said Territorians are sick of the buck-passing and it’s time for Adam Giles to let us know what advice his Government has received from the Solicitor General in relation to whether the legislation can be used to reduce petrol prices and whether or not they would act.
“End this chaos now. Let Territorians know if the legislation will be used to reduce petrol prices or hold an Inquiry into what actions can be taken to reduce price gouging at the bowser,” Ms Lawrie said.
Shadow Minister for Health, Nicole Manison, is calling on the CLP to shut down the bungled parking payment system at Royal Darwin Hospital.
Ms Manison said the CLP Government had admitted the car park payment system at Royal Darwin Hospital was a mistake and should do the right thing and shut it down.
"Every day Territorians are paying for this 'mistake' and facing expensive fines that are difficult to avoid," Ms Manison said.
"Patients and visitors are paying for the CLP car park bungle and this system needs to be immediately shut down and people reimbursed for their fines.
"How many millions of dollars have been ripped out of the pockets of Territorians trying to access the only hospital in Greater Darwin?
"How is it fair or reasonable that this costly bungle is causing daily financial stress and chaos while the CLP admit it is a mistake and then fail to shut it down?"
Labor candidate for Casuarina Lauren Moss said that the CLP Government had failed to fix the problem and the car park chaos had spilled over into the surrounding suburb.
"Residents of Tiwi are deeply concerned with the traffic hazard caused along Rocklands Drive and are calling for this mess to end," Ms Moss said.
"Our community is upset that this car park chaos drags on while CLP promises of a fix amount to a Band-Aid that shows they're not listening to residents and hospital patrons."
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Member for Nhulunbuy, Lynne Walker, today said that alarmingly, residents in the community of Yirrkala had been without power overnight and without water for much of today without any communication from Rio Tinto or the CLP Government.
“After a power outage which affected the Gove region last night, including Nhulunbuy, reports have come in that Yirrkala was without water for as long as 8 hours,” Ms Walker said.
“The local school and childcare had to close as a result.”
“Unacceptably, there has been no communication from the CLP Government, who are responsible for distribution for power and water supplied by Rio Tinto, as to what the problem is and in what timeframe it will be remedied."
Ms Walker also questioned whether the residents would be receiving the same sort of treatment if this incident had occurred last week when the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was in town.
“Last week Yirrkala was in the national spotlight thanks to the visit by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott,” Ms Walker said.
“This week it appears as though the CLP Government has returned the region to its usual state of “out of sight, out of mind” for the CLP Government.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, said today marks an important day in the pursuit of justice for the victims of abuse at Retta Dixon Home.
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse held a public hearing in Darwin today to allow the men and women who suffered sexual abuse while in the care of Retta Dixon Home to share their stories,” Ms Lawrie said.
“We hope that evidence given to the Royal Commission by these brave people will ensure governments, organisations and policy makers adequately protect future generations of children from abuse.
"The path to healing for these victims may be long and difficult but by we hope that by sharing their stories this process will be aided."
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today said Territorians are suffering from the CLP Government’s inaction on tackling the high cost of living in the Territory.
“Territorian wallets are being hit hard since the CLP Government came to power,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Families are hurting, and budgets have been stretched to breaking point to cover essentials.
“The pain has been caused by bad policy decisions by the CLP Government.
“Inflation rates have doubled under the CLP Government due to increases in PowerWater tariffs and motor vehicle registration costs.
"Why has the CLP raised the hope of tackling petrol prices by legislation and then ignored it?
“Housing affordability has suffered with the CLP Government with the scrapping of My New Home and Homestart Extra which supported low to middle income earners and first‑home buyers into home ownership.
“The CLP Government made a mistake by scrapping Weddell and is also relying heavily on Labor land releases to meet housing demand.
“The CLP Government even axed the basket of goods survey to try and cover up just how much Territorians are suffering.”
Ms Lawrie was joined by Labor Candidate for Casuarina, Lauren Moss, who said the high cost of living under the CLP Government was of great concern to the residents of Casuarina.
“The biggest issue being raised is the high cost of living in the Territory,” Ms Moss said.
“Families are struggling to pay their bills and are asking why the CLP Government is doing little to help their circumstances.
“Massive power and water bills, vehicle registration costs and high fuel prices are crippling families.”