25 July 2016 -
Labor Leader Michael Gunner has today announced the most extensive return of local decision making to Indigenous communities ever announced in the Territory.
Speaking from Maningrida, Michael Gunner said a Labor Government will introduce a 10 year roadmap that will see Indigenous communities take control over:
The implementation of the roadmap will be supervised by a Local Decisions Oversight Board made up of Indigenous Leaders from around the Territory reporting directly to the Chief Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
“I believe that the more local a decision is made the more likely it is to be right.” Michael Gunner said.
“Decisions made in Canberra or Darwin will never be as in touch with local needs and local solutions, as decisions made in the local community are.
“Governments of all political colours have made a habit of taking local decision making away over many years.
“If elected, a Gunner Labor Government will turn this policy approach around.”
Michael Gunner said the return of decision making will be done at a pace determined by the relevant Indigenous groups and people and in a manner and arrangement supported by locals.
“We recognise that building, supporting and investing in strong Indigenous governance is necessary to ensure local people drive local solutions and Indigenous organisations are supported.”
Local decision making will include:
In making sure that Labor understands what people want in what order of priority, Labor is committed to extensive consultation with Indigenous communities
“This is the most extensive roadmap to local decision making with the aim of placing Indigenous Territorians at the centre of control over their lives.”
“Labor will work with Indigenous people to determine the outcomes we both wish to achieve and will then bring their skills, knowledge and priorities into place to reach those outcomes.
“This is a massive change of direction by government. Until now the Territory Government has directed people from the top down. I look forward to helping people achieve the goals they set themselves,” Michael Gunner said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192
7 February 2016 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner said Adam Giles and the CLP have betrayed local business by handing the $40 million Government travel contract to an interstate corporation.
“It’s a complete breach of the ‘Buy Local’ campaign and Adam Giles has put small local operators out of business. Territorians have lost jobs as a result of this move,” Mr Gunner said.
“Adam Giles and the CLP don’t support local industry – they’re all talk and no action.
“The Territory cannot afford to have $40 million ripped out of our local economy. It will mean fewer jobs and push more people to leave the Territory.
“The CLP need to stop this contract before it is too late.”
Mr Gunner today met with local agent Sandra Lew Fatt, whose business will close in June this year after over 40 years of operation due to the CLP’s decision to go south instead of supporting locals.
“Unfortunately Sandra has had to let all her staff go and can no longer afford office space in the city and her business will fully shut down by June this year,” Mr Gunner said.
“Sandra’s is just one example of a number of businesses who are closing down or have already closed.”
Michael Gunner said that a Territory Labor Government would return the contract to Territorians.
“Keeping money local isn’t just the right thing to do it also makes economic sense, because every dollar spent in the Territory stays in the Territory which supports and creates jobs.
“A Territory Labor Government will do everything in its power to return the $40 million Government Travel contract to locals. If the contract can be returned immediately I will do that. If the contract is already let and legally bound we will return it at the end of that contract period.
“Adam Giles still has time to stop this and support our local jobs and local business.
“I call on Adam Giles to show some leadership and do the right thing by cancelling this southern contract and supporting locals instead.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
Labor Leader Michael Gunner today joined local business owner, Harry Maschke at Action Sheetmetal in Darwin to launch ‘A Fair Go for Territory Business’. The policy supports local businesses under the Government’s procurement program and will create more jobs for Territorians.
“The constant feedback I receive from local business is they are doing it tough and over the last three years the amount of business going elsewhere has increased – ‘A Fair Go for Territory Business’ is part of my plan to turn that around and grow our economy by increasing the number of jobs in the Territory,” Michael Gunner said.
“Improving the volume of work won by local business is the smart thing to do because more dollars stay in the Territory, which in turn generate and support more jobs in the community generally.
“A Labor Government will ensure local business has the tools and information to take full advantage of applying for and acquiring Government contracts. Labor’s policies are designed to strengthen the principles of supporting local business and using the Government’s buying power to promote and grow local business is key to achieving this.
“Territory Labor’s 10 year infrastructure plan will allow local businesses to be well briefed and prepared to maximise their opportunities in getting that work.
“A Territory Labor Government will also create a local implementation board that goes beyond just confirming credentials of local tenderers – the board will have powers to audit Government actions to ensure everything that can be done is being done to support local business winning local contracts.
“An annual list will be published detailing products and services purchased from interstate; this list will be published as a report titled 'Future opportunities for Territory Business'.
“Labor will grow the Territory by growing the number of jobs in the Territory. Supporting local business is a key part of that plan,” Michael Gunner said.
Territory Labor’s policy in A Fair Go for Territory Business includes:
View or download the full plan here.
13 December 2015 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner today committed $1.1 billion to fund the most extensive remote housing construction, repairs, maintenance and home extensions program in Territory history.
Launching Labor’s remote housing package in Ngukurr today Michael Gunner said that Labor’s program would result in thousands of additional rooms being built over 10 years to house remotely located Territorians.
“The most significant infrastructure deficit and social issue impacting on Territorians living in remote communities is the lack of housing.
“Every Labor bush candidate has told me that housing is the number one issue. I have heard it myself repeatedly as I travel through the bush.
“Labor has listened and if we are elected to Government we will work to fix this problem.”
Michael Gunner said that Labor would:
Michael Gunner said that the funding would begin in 2017-18 following a round of extensive consultation.
“Importantly, we will talk to the Australian Government and seek their participation to help resolve this major national, Territory and local problem. By demonstrating our commitment we will lead the way to increase the commitment from the Australian Government,” Mr Gunner said.
Media contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794
Opposition Leader, Delia Lawrie, says she is concerned about delays to the release of the suburb of Zuccoli due to the CLP Government’s focus on interstate developers over local businesses.
Ms Lawrie said tender assessment for the development of this new suburb commenced in July and now, in October, local developers appear to be out of the running.
“The industry is concerned the CLP Government is focused on bringing in an interstate developer to deliver Zuccoli Stage 3 and 4, over local developers with local experience and an existing workforce,” Ms Lawrie said.
“The CLP Government is ignoring the expertise of local companies that employ Territorians and invest back in the Territory.
“Every delay to the capital works program is making it harder for established Territory companies to maintain their workforce, risking local jobs.
“The extensive delays to tenders blow out the timelines for construction of new housing at Zuccoli, affecting building companies and homebuyers."
Ms Lawrie said Zuccoli is part of a four-suburb expansion of Palmerston East, planned and funded by the previous Labor Government, including Bellamack, Johnston, Zuccoli and Mitchell.
“Many local companies delivered the civil works for earlier stages of Palmerston East and the CLP Government should be focused on applying the expertise of local companies to the next stage of Zuccoli," Ms Lawrie said.
“This comes on top of the release of Berrimah Farm and the Government’s international developer approach, which will cut local developers out and reduce the capacity for competition in the market, achievable when releasing multiple parcels for development."
Media Contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
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
26 October 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, said today that CommSec’s State of the State report highlights that Adam Giles and the CLP Government are incapable of taking full advantage of the Northern Territory’s economic potential.
“The Territory has amazing potential and should be leading the rest of the country in terms of prosperity and growth, but that relies on careful economic management and planning which is lacking from the current government,” Michael Gunner said.
CommSec State of the States report, Page 7, reads:
In contrast to NSW and Victoria, it is clear that both the Northern Territory and Western Australia are losing momentum.
The mining and energy sectors are transitioning from investment phase to production. But unlike NSW and Victoria, housing demand is not filling the void.
“The Chief Minister is at pains to say that we have the best performing economy in the country, and while that was true under the previous Government, we have now fallen to third position and there was a 7.4% slowdown on last year,” Mr Gunner said.
“With the former Labor Government’s management, the Territory was the place to be if you wanted a job, but that is no longer the case; with the latest data ranking the Territory’s jobless rate at 4th overall. This means the jobless rate is now 19% above decade averages.
“The report makes clear we now have the slowest population growth in the country and an 88% decrease on the last decade’s averages. Our population impacts on our spending patterns. Local business is the backbone of our economy but the report highlights the CLP have dropped the ball on capitalizing on the fact that the Territory is the best place in Australia to live.
This greatly impacts on the ability for local business to recruit and retain staff.
As a result, we have:
“I have recently outlined a suite of initiatives that a stable, planned and transparent Labor Government will deliver to support jobs and economic development. This includes:
Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, made it clear that a Territory Labor Government will support the creation of jobs for Territorians to expand economic development and population growth.
“A future Labor Government will focus on innovation, supporting local business and embracing new technology,” Mr Gunner said.