24 July 2016 - Shadow Environment Minister and Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy, today announced how a Territory Labor Government would safeguard the future of Limmen Bight while creating jobs and protecting lifestyle and culture.
Mr McCarthy said the creation of Limmen Bight Marine Park by Labor in 2012 had been a big step forward, but unfortunately progressed had stalled under Adam Giles and his CLP Government.
“Limmen Bight is a special part of the Gulf, rich in marine life, including extensive seagrass beds and mangrove forests supporting commercial and recreational fishing, and the Territory’s largest population of dugongs, as well as dolphins and turtles,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Limmen Bight is iconic for Territory anglers, for its catches of mud crabs, barramundi reef fish and prawns.
“However, this important area like many others along our coast is faced with new and concerning pressures including seabed mining and extensive mangrove die-off.
“By the end of 2019 a Territory Labor Government will complete Limmen Bight Marine Park by finalising sensible, science based and well consulted management arrangements.”
A Territory Labor Government will invest $400 000 to:
“Labor’s plan while provide an innovative model of marine management which protects biodiversity, respects indigenous culture, safeguards lifestyle and creates sustainable jobs,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Only Labor can be trusted to get it right and protect Limmen Bight.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192
24 July 2016 - Member for Nightcliff Natasha Fyles today outlined how a Labor Government would preserve the Territory’s precious marine resources.
Ms Fyles said Territory Labor understood that protecting marine ecosystems was crucial for creating jobs, maintaining our lifestyle and safeguarding indigenous cultural values.
“The Territory is home to unique and precious marine habitats,” Ms Fyles said.
“These habitats support an incredible array of flora and fauna, thousands of jobs in our fishing, tourism, aquaculture and research industries, and are a crucial source of cultural value for Indigenous Territorians.
“There are many threats facing the health of our marine environment.
“Recent mangrove deaths and coral bleaching both in the Territory and across Australia show the vulnerability of these ecosystems to changes in climate.
“A Territory Labor Government will manage our marine resources by listening to the community, respecting science and investing in innovative partnerships and programs which build knowledge and management capabilities.
A Territory Labor Government will:
Together with Territory Labor’s polices to support Indigenous ranger groups, strengthen and streamline environmental regulation, and sustainably manage our ground water resources, these new initiatives provide for an integrated and science based approach to protecting these vital habitats.
“Unfortunately climate change is not the only threat facing the Territory’s marine environment,” Ms Fyles said.
“The appalling record of Adam Giles and his CLP Government includes:
“Our marine environment and the jobs, lifestyles and culture that rely on it simply can’t afford another four years of Adam Giles and his CLP Government.”
RECURRENT COSTS OF THE DARWIN HARBOUR / LIMMEN BIGHT PROPOSAL
2016-17 $ m
2017-18 $ m
2018-19 $ m
2019-20 $ m
Research Grant CDU
Costs associated with
1 February 2016 - Opposition Leader Michael Gunner today announced that a Territory Labor Government will develop the Northern Territory into world’s premier destination to experience Indigenous arts and culture, beginning with a commitment to creating Australia’s iconic National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
“Labor will develop Alice Springs as Australia’s inland capital,” Mr Gunner said.
“An iconic National Indigenous Art gallery is part of that plan. When people arrive in Australia they will know that to experience indigenous art and to see firsthand the skills, knowledge and culture of Australia’s indigenous people they will need to come to Alice Springs and the Northern Territory.
“Labor will engage with the Alice Springs and Central Australian community, particularly indigenous people and their representatives in the design and development of this project.
“We will also engage with other national galleries, major national companies and the Australian government to ensure we are maximizing input from across the country.
“In addition to a National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs, we will develop a significant Indigenous Arts Trail right across the Territory. Labor will work with the people of Tennant Creek, Katherine and East Arnhem Land to ensure those communities are properly linked to this trail.
“We will work with established galleries in indigenous communities to ensure that visitors to the Territory know that some of the world’s best art is on the shelves of some of the Territories remote communities. These projects will be linked and form an Indigenous Art trail across the Territory.
“We will have a grants program that will allow art galleries in communities to upgrade their facilities, their back of house production areas, put in dining areas and café and improve their displays.
“Indigenous art centers are important centers of knowledge which intrinsically link language, law, land and culture through a rich and long history of art. These centers are integral to sharing and preserving that history while providing significant economic leverage.
“These undertakings will increase tourism, create and support hundreds jobs during the construction phase and brings added attention to smaller, private or community owned galleries and galleries based in communities as part of a Territory wide promotion.
“Territory Labor’s vision will strengthen our local economy as more visitors around the country and around the world decide to choose the NT as the premier place to visit to experience one of the world’s oldest cultures.”
Michael Gunner indicated strong support from a future Labor Government for the development of a National Indigenous Cultural Centre based in Alice Springs.
“I am aware of the enormous work already put into this project by an Indigenous led group of Centralians and I am happy to back that work,” Mr Gunner said.
“In Government Labor will assist with the consultations around this National Cultural Centre, we will provide legal and financial advice where required and we will ensure that the iconic National Indigenous Art Gallery and the National Indigenous Culture Centre are linked and developed cooperatively.”
Michael Gunner said Labor would spend the first three years of its first term getting the details around the National Indigenous Art Gallery right, including site, design, contributions from across Australia and connection to other facilities.
“I expect the construction to be getting underway by 2020,” Mr Gunner said.
“Labor will commit $100 million to getting the capital works in place to develop the stage one of this National Indigenous Arts Trail.
“Those capital funds will get the National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs built, make a financial contribution to the National Indigenous Cultural Centre and get work started in regional centers.”
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.
GROWING TERRITORY JOBS
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:
Michael Gunner has said that the Labor Government will get the money flowing through the Territory economy by:
“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:
FIRST HOME BUYERS PACKAGE
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.
CHINA / INDIA TOURISM INJECTION
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.”
INVESTING IN CHILDREN
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:
RESTORING TRUST AND INTEGRITY
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.
“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
Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie today condemned the CLP for its culture of corruption following leaked emails which suggest criminality known at the highest levels of the CLP.
Ms Lawrie said the leaked emails between Foundation 51 Director Graeme Lewis and then Chief Minister Terry Mills in late 2012 show that at least $200,000 was funnelled into the CLP election campaign via the party’s slush fund and never declared as required under law.
“The latest media reports on Foundation 51 donations to the CLP show a breach of the provisions of the Northern Territory Electoral Act which requires the declaration of a gift of $1500 or more to, or for the benefit of, a registered party,” Ms Lawrie said.
NT Electoral Act Section 194 sub-section (7) If a person makes a gift to any person or entity with the intention of benefiting a registered party, the person is taken for this section to have made the gift to the party.
NT Electoral Act Section 215 makes it an offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 12 months for a person not to properly declare donations in returns to the Electoral Commission.
Last night the ABC reported that it had obtained an email written by Foundation 51 director Graeme Lewis and sent to the then Chief Minister Terry Mills and five other members of the CLP executive team eight weeks after the CLP took Government in 2012.
“Once again, the contributors were clearly aware, and did generally stipulate that the funds raised would be devoted to NT elections in 2012 or thereafter,” Mr Lewis wrote on 26 November 2012.
“I will be mortified if this information becomes widely known. It must be closely held for obvious reasons.” (Graeme Lewis)
Earlier leaked emails (ABC 10 October) from Mr Lewis about the purpose of Foundation 51 and who controls it to then CLP President Braedon Earley show:
“I am the sole director and shareholder, with Terry Mills for obvious reasons, not appearing on registers, but adopting a directorial role throughout,” Mr Lewis wrote.
“As you very well know, it was set up for, and supported by numbers of business people and has necessarily had to operate absolutely separately from the Party in order to keep its activities away from public scrutiny.”
Ms Lawrie said these emails show a direct link between Foundation 51 and the CLP and that it had supported CLP election campaigns.
“These latest leaked emails expose a culture of corruption and a culture of criminality which appears to have been known and tolerated at the highest levels of the CLP. If that is how they run their party, is it also how they run Government?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“It is disgraceful that Chief Minister Adam Giles has been consistently denying a direct link between Foundation 51 and the CLP when it is inconceivable that he did not know of the link. It is already public knowledge that Foundation 51 Director Graeme Lewis sent a draft Foundation 51 press release to Mr Giles on (11 May 2014) for his comment.
“Is Adam Giles trying to distance himself from something which he knows is illegal?
“Adam Giles has ignored calls to immediately stand down Terry Mills from his $750,000 taxpayer-funded ‘ambassador’ post in Jakarta. He has already torn up the new standards of behaviour announced when accepting the resignation of the disgraced David Tollner.”
Ms Lawrie said Adam Giles has to date failed in his duty to act on a motion of Parliament passed in the August Sittings, when the Government was missing in action, to hold an inquiry into the Foundation 51 donations scandal.
“Is Adam Giles dragging his heels on the political donations inquiry until after tomorrow’s Casuarina by-election so he can use the upcoming fortnight of Sittings and the Government’s numbers in the Parliament to amend the Terms of Reference to dodge the Foundation 51 inquiry?” Ms Lawrie asked.
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
18 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner today announced plans to support Indigenous Rangers protect the environment and create jobs right across the Northern Territory.
Mr Gunner said Territory Labor understands the crucial frontline role Indigenous Rangers play in understanding and protecting valuable ecosystems and providing employment opportunities for Indigenous Territorians in their own communities.
“Our $14m plan will provide jobs on country, improve our knowledge of the Territory environment and the best way to protect it and give local Indigenous Territorians more say over their land and their future,” Mr Gunner said.
“We want to give ranger groups the state of the art technology and tools they need to do their job, the legislative recognition and support they deserve and additional funds to forge for new and innovative employment and conservation partnerships.
“Our ecosystems are under threat from the effects of climate change and recent coral bleaching and mangrove death events are extremely concerning given their importance for our environment but also the economic opportunity they provide through our tourism and fishing industries.
“The work of ranger groups is crucial if we are to understand the impacts of climate change and create new and innovative ways to give our ecosystems the best chance to adapt.”
“Recent reports that the CLP’s Commonwealth Indigenous Affairs Minister plans to drastically cut the Indigenous ranger program are extremely concerning.
“Territorians simply can’t trust Adam Giles and the CLP to back Indigenous rangers and protect our unique environment.”
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie has called on the CLP Government to rule out selling off any of the NT’s Parks and Reserves under moves to commercialise the Territory parks estate.
“The Territory’s national parks are some of our biggest assets, a treasure trove of natural wonders enjoyed by locals and visitors,” Ms Lawrie said.
Labor candidate for Casuarina Lauren Moss said residents loved the Casuarina Coastal Reserve and don't want to see it commercialised.
“Under the CLP’s Expression of Interest, the reserve’s enormously popular turtle release program is identified as a potential commercial opportunity," Ms Moss said.
“Does this mean Territorians may have to pay to participate in what has to now been a free activity?"
“Given this Government’s record with undercover deals, Territorians are right to be suspicious about their plans to make money out of our assets without laying the plans on the table.”
Ms Lawrie was speaking today at Casuarina Coastal Reserve, one of the 52 national parks, reserves and conservation areas in the Northern Territory.
“Hundreds of thousands of people visit this reserve every year, with local families and visitors taking in the beautiful sunsets, picnicking, cycling, flying kites and enjoying the spectacular natural setting," Ms Lawrie said.
“What impact will the CLP’s plans to commercialise parks have on places like Casuarina Coastal Reserve?"
Media contact: Mandy Taylor 0414 634159