26 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner said that the shocking images on 4 Corners overwhelmed him with a deep sense of grief, anger and shame.
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission into the Youth Justice system of the Northern Territory and it has Territory Labor’s full support,” Mr Gunner said.
“I offer bipartisan support to the Giles Government to get this Royal Commission underway as soon as possible.
“Anyone watching that program would be horrified, as I was. The sort of behaviour seen on the program must not be allowed to exist in Australia or the Northern Territory today.
“Whatever those children have done, or been charged with doing, there is no way what was seen was a proper response. It is not how we treat children. It is unacceptable.
“We have failed these kids. We have let them down.
“There must also be an immediate police investigation launched into the actions seen on the program. I have never seen those videos before and I am convinced crimes have been committed.
“There are actions we can and must commit to taking now, including:
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
28 July 2016 - Territory Labor is disappointed that adequate consultation has not taken place with Territorians, in particular Indigenous organisations and the Territory’s Youth Justice sector.
Given the real fears of many in the community that the involvement of the current CLP Government will compromise the independence of the Royal Commission, it is inappropriate for the NT Government to be involved in the drafting of the terms of reference, the selection of the Commissioner and the administration of the Royal Commission.
If elected, Labor will fully co-operate with the Royal Commission but will not seek to have any involvement in its administration.
The Royal Commission must provide a roadmap for youth justice which focuses on early intervention, prevention and rehabilitation and the reduction of the incarceration of young people in the Northern Territory.
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794
Opposition Michael Gunner today renewed his commitment to create an Independent Commission Against Corruption should Labor win the next Territory election.
Mr Gunner said it was crucial that this body has strong powers to investigate the sorts of serious allegations that have plagued the CLP Government over the last three years.
“Only Labor will create an Independent body to investigate and fight corruption in the Northern Territory,” Mr Gunner said.
“Only Labor will ensure all Territorians have a chance to have a say about how such a body works and what powers it has.
“Today’s announcement by the Attorney General John Elferink is a knee jerk reaction to another controversy in a series of scandals.
It is a desperate and cynical move by a CLP Government which is rotten to the core.
“From the party that gave you travel rorts, dodgy water licenses and F51, today’s announcement amounts to a sick joke. It’s gammon.
“The Attorney General made clear how disingenuous today’s announcement is when he stated today that there were no real problems out there.
“People are saying well is there a serious problem out there? I don’t believe it is a serious problem.”
- Attorney General, John Elferink, 14 August 2015, Mix FM Radio
“Territorians will not be fooled by the CLPs move to change the sign out the front of the Office for the Commissioner of Public Disclosures.
“Territorians do not trust the CLP to do this properly and independently after all the CLPs scandals and when CLP members have repeatedly argued the reasons to not create an ICAC.”
“Only Labor will create an ICAC, and only Labor will consult Territorians about how it should operate.”
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
I rise today to speak on behalf of the thousands of Territorians who know they deserve a better Government.
Territorians deserve a Government with integrity and a Chief Minister that they can trust.
A Government that understands education is the key to unlocking the potential we all share.
A Government that has a plan to create and secure safe, high wage jobs for all Territorians.
A Government that invests in delivering health services right across the Territory because it’s the fair and decent thing to do.
And a Government that trusts and respects local decision making.
Labor is the party of jobs, growth, health and education.
We share the confidence of Territorians about our future and the determination to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead.
Today I will outline the values that would underpin the Labor Government I want to lead, and begin to give shape to some of the key policies we will develop with Territorians over the next 16 months.
These values will underpin Labor budgets.
We will listen to the aspirations of Territorians, and channel their ingenuity and creativity into strong policies for good government.
We look forward to having this mature conversation.
Restoring Integrity to Government
Territorians want and deserve a Government they can trust.
An open, accountable and transparent Government is essential for this trust to exist.
Without confidence in the integrity of public officials and without confidence in Government processes, it will not be possible for the Territory to meet the considerable challenges that we face and to grasp the opportunities that we share.
Not only is open government the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.
Open Government and the trust that it builds is the bedrock for the partnerships and collaboration we need as a community to improve the lives of all Territorians.
It is the only way we take advantage of modern technology and find new ways of connecting, engaging and organising Government.
Open and accountable government is a core Labor value.
That’s why we passed the Territory’s first ever Freedom of Information laws and introduced the first budget estimates process.
When the CLP came to power in 2012, they inherited the most open and transparent system of Government in the Territory’s history.
... and they have trashed it every day since.
Territorians do not trust this Chief Minister or his Government and hold no faith in the political institutions which are supposed to serve them.
Trust is critical in this budget, as it has been framed by the Chief Minister and the Treasurer. And they are asking Territorians to trust them to deliver the services Territorians need.
But they cannot- there is a trust deficit between this CLP Government and Territorians.
And there is a trust deficit between the Chief Minister and his colleagues.
The Member for Araluen said, and I quote:
“I have no faith in a government led by Adam Giles. I have stated publicly that I believe Adam Giles has no integrity. I stand by that statement. That alone is enough to mean he should not hold a position of community leadership.”
She went on to say:
“In addition to having no faith in the Chief Minister, I have no faith in the Treasurer, nor do I believe he is an appropriate person to be a leader in our community.”
Removing the stain this lack of integrity has left across our body politic requires a new approach to governing the Territory.
An approach that restores integrity, shines light on the processes of government and regains the community’s trust in our public officials and government.
Labor has begun to outline how we would begin this task in Government.
On coming to office Labor will introduce an independent body to deal with allegations of corruption, a body at arms lengths from politicians and public officials.
It will be called the Northern Territory Anti-corruption Commission.
This body will be structured to suit Territory circumstances.
My colleagues and I will seek input from Territorians into its shape and practice.
A body such as this is now an important feature of jurisdictions around the country except the Northern Territory- and this is a situation that should not continue.
I have publicly outlined reforms to overseas travel by Ministers.
To restore public trust in Ministerial travel a Labor Government will ensure that:
This is surely a basic set of rules that any government committed to accountability would undertake. Only a Government allergic to accountability would object to these rules.
The community must have confidence that all Territorians are treated without fear or favour by Government, and that the resources of Government are always employed in the public interest. They have the right to know that their dollars are being spent properly.
We will have further to say in the coming months about how we intend to restore integrity to Government and we look forward to discussing and refining our plans with Territorians.
Labor believes that education and training are the most important keys to changing people’s lives.
Unlike the CLP, we will invest in them.
Invest in the knowledge, creativity and ingenuity of Territorians. This is the best insurance in a complex, uncertain and volatile world.
And it’s the only way we can hope to fulfil our potential as a community.
My government will create a world class education system.
It will be planned in consultation with the educational experts we have and the community as a whole.
It will be long term. It will be a long journey and it will take time. We acknowledge that there are no quick fixes in education.
We will ensure good evaluation processes are also in place.
Investing in education today requires patience to see the results but we will make that investment.
The focus of our investment will be in our schools.
This government has made a lot of mistakes but none has been graver or more damaging to the future of our community than the attack on Territory schools.
I see it in every school council that I attend, every assembly, every event.
My colleagues and I hear it in the anxiety expressed to us by parents, teachers and principals.
Schools feel battered.
Educators feel they have borne the main brunt of every cut the government has made.
The CLP has ripped $82 million in real term from Government education since 2012.
The latest CLP budget cuts $7.5 million from Pre Schools and cuts $12 million from Primary schools.
Mr Speaker, this must stop.
I will detail Labor’s plans for investment in schools over the coming months.
I will do so in consultation with educators, students and parents.
In addition to investing in our schools Labor will be investing in knowledge, science and creativity right across the community, economy and at all stages of peoples life – before school, pre and primary school, secondary school, university, training and lifelong learning.
But I intend to define the next Labor Government by its commitment to the children of the Northern Territory.
The years between birth and four years of age are the most crucial in determining future educational, health and social achievement.
Get it wrong in these years and the impact can be life-long.
Get it right and the impact WILL be life-long.
I intend to lead a government that heavily invests in our youngest Territorians.
Just as our government, public service, non-government organisations and community come together to meet challenges such as cyclones I will bring the Territory together to address the future of our children.
It will be done collaboratively, in partnership with parents, educators, non-government organisations and service providers.
It will be done through engaging the Australian Government.
Labor will have a detailed, integrated, whole of government policy that drives our support for children.
This early childhood policy will have the goal of ensuring that on day one of term one of year one at school every child is able to learn, ready to learn and given the chance to unlock their potential.
This policy will work to support all children across the Territory.
It will ensure that those children who begin life behind due to social circumstances will be picked up and supported.
We will ensure that those who don’t reach the benchmarks by age 4 continue to get the support they need in the following early years.
It will also ensure that those who begin life comfortable, loved, protected and supported have the support to excel.
Investing in this stage of Territorians’ lives is the only way we will start to turn around the crime figures, educational disengagement, poor health, anti-social behaviour and substance abuse that confronts our community.
It is not just an investment in the future of those children, it is an investment in the future harmony, cohesion and productivity of our society.
It is a long term challenge.
And it will be hard.
But it is the right thing to do and Labor will do it.
This package will form a centre piece of our policy work over the next 12 months.
Among many other things it will see increased investment in the Families as First Teachers policy, another Labor success story.
It will ensure that all government agencies act together in a joined up way.
It will remove the silos between health and education and will focus on the child and their needs.
And we will work seamlessly with all levels of Government.
I look forward to detailing the elements of this policy in the future.
The right to be healthy and to be able to access quality health services is a core Labor value – Labor in the Northern Territory and Federally has a strong track record of delivering better health services.
From delivering Medicare and saving it from attacks at the Commonwealth level, to building the Alan Walker Cancer centre, securing funding for the Palmerston Hospital and investing expanding health services in the bush, Labor stands for healthier Territorians.
Investing in healthier Territorians is also the corner stone of a smarter, more prosperous and more harmonious community.
The 2015 Budget fails the health test.
We know that health costs rise higher than inflation. You really need to put in around 7% extra every year just to keep pace.
Last year the Government spent $70 million on primary health care last year. This year they are budgeting $64 million.
Our Top End Hospitals have been cut by $4m.
When you combine this budget with proposed slashing of Federal funding to this critical area there must be alarm about the support for health services.
The Federal government’s shift in hospital funding from an activity-based model that recognises the reality of health needs across the Territory, to a population based model with our funding determined by numbers is a bad, bad decision especially for the Territory.
I have outlined Labor’s approach to shifting the long term effort by investing in Territory children. We must tackle the causes of ill-health before it reaches our health clinics and hospitals.
In the meantime I expect Government to get on with the job of providing decent health services and building the Palmerston Hospital, hospital construction that would be well underway under a Labor Government.
The CLP has missed every deadline for the Palmerston Hospital.
Labor wants the government to get on with its promise of an upgrade to the existing children’s ward. We have seen little progress on this front.
Similarly we have seen no progress in the development of a new private hospital in Alice Springs, as promised by the CLP.
There is no progress in securing new funding for additional aged care beds, especially in Darwin, to help provide adequate services for our ageing population and reduce bed block in RDH
No movement on the CLP promise of a new Katherine hospital.
No progress in improving morgue facilities in the bush.
Critically we see continuing delays in the CLP accepting $10 million dollars in new federal funding for support of renal patients in the bush.
There have been five ministers for health. And this constant rotation and distraction has removed attention from the work required to get the health job done.
The CLP need to just get on with the job.
The most vulnerable Territorians deserve so much better from their Government.
Empowering local decision making
How we empower people living in the bush is an important decision for government.
Labor has listened to Territorians in the bush and in Government we will restore local decision making to the people on the ground.
A Labor Government will work with community members, the Chief Magistrate, magistrates and the legal profession to allow local courts to hold community courts where appropriate.
Under this model senior local community members will be invited to assist the court with sentencing. This will help empower community members to participate more fully in the justice system.
This will be a significant formal advancement on the informal arrangements some magistrates and community leaders already have that properly recognises the importance of traditional leadership and decision making.
We recognise every community is different and any move to change current arrangements will be done in careful consultation with communities.
In coming months we will make further announcements regarding restoring local decision to Territorians living in the bush.
Jobs and Training
Securing safe, well-paying jobs has been the Labor ethos for the 124 years of our existence.
Ensuring that our economy is strong and providing jobs and that people are skilled and ready to take them on is at the core of Labor’s values.
We have a solid record of driving training and job creation.
We have delivered major projects against the odds.
We delivered large infrastructure budgets focussed on supporting small and medium sized businesses as well as large projects because we acknowledge that they are the life blood of jobs across the Territory.
However, investing in infrastructure alone is not enough. Government’s need to invest in training so that Territorians can reap the benefit of the jobs that have been created.
One of the most important tasks a Government can undertake is to transition a student from school to a job or an unemployed person from unemployment to work.
In Government Labor will re-introduce Jobs Plans that focus on strategies to provide strong jobs growth and set clear jobs and training targets. That plan will be developed in partnership with industry, unions, investors and the community.
But critically, that plan will be backed up by a training plan that develops and skills Territorians from school age through their life.
The development of the Northern Territory will be hampered if we do not invest in training.
Labor will train Territorians to take on the jobs created by economic growth. Territorians must benefit from the riches produced by growth. Our priority will be to ensure that local people, as much as possible, benefit from the available jobs.
I went to school in the Territory, university in the Territory, got a job in the Territory and I want other Territory kids to have the same opportunity.
To achieve this Labor will invest in vocational learning and vocational education and training in our schools.
70 per cent of Territory students transition from school to a job or further training at the end of their 12 years of education.
We will ensure that those young people are supported by providing the opportunity for them to gain skills they need.
We will bring our schools, industry and business together to ensure that these pathways to the workforce and into the economy are clear and supported.
I believe that planning is essential for the post INPEX construction Territory economy.
We are already seeing the effects of this reality. In its budget yesterday the Government sought to diversify the economy.
I support this approach.
What is required is a sensible plan, created together with the business community and clearly articulated to Territorians.
The Chief Minister has to give up his addiction to thought bubble policies and quick fix deals.
The future economic growth of the Territory depends on proper planning.
I know that there are jobs to be created in the pastoral and rural industries.
There is no doubt that the efforts of successive governments in creating strong overseas live cattle trade markets as well as the growth in demand for meat by the growing middle class of Asia provides a shining opportunity for our beef industries.
Government must continue to cultivate those markets and I support the efforts by the Deputy Chief Minister to do so.
Importantly Government must have the infrastructure in place to ensure that the beef industry can get its product to markets- and that is through better roads and improved port infrastructure.
Roads are vital to all areas of the economy and continued investment in roads will have a strong push from a Labor Government.
However, unlike the CLP, we will not be driving the expansion of the Port by selling it or selling a lease. Our recent study of Ports shows there is an alternative approach.
Beyond the beef industry the rural sector in general provides strong opportunities. I understand the significant work that is being done to develop horticulture in Central Australia. This is particularly the case with new industries such as almonds.
Work is also being done in the west of the Territory linking us to the Ord project.
Labor supports the work being done by the people engaged with the Developing the North program. This combined public sector and industry approach is a good one.
Strengthening the tourism sector, developing the relationship with Asia, supporting the expansion of the mining industry and ensuring that our red tape is not a hindrance to development has been a bipartisan approach for decades. This will not change.
We may disagree from time to time about some of the elements but Labor believes in jobs and development and we clearly demonstrated that in government.
In looking at these larger industries we cannot ignore smaller industries including important micro industry development in indigenous communities.
Labor supports the work being done to develop community based fisheries industry across the Top End.
Territory Labor also has a strong record of protecting and looking after workers through appropriate conditions and safeguards – including a fair and decent workers compensation scheme.
Territorians injured and incapacitated deserve fair and just compensation.
It’s the fair thing to do. It’s the decent thing to do. It’s the Labor thing to do.
The efforts by the CLP to water this down through the changes to the Territory workers compensation scheme passed just weeks ago will be repealed by a Labor Government.
Today’s budget, especially the fiscal position of the Government is not the result of planned economic management by the Country Liberals.
It is about spending the returns achieved by selling off the TIO.
This is the same approach that the Government will take to other Territory assets and it is not supported by the Labor Party.
Selling off the silver ware has never worked as a strategy for proper economic management.
It certainly does not get to the underlying issues that Territorians struggle with each day.
The Government’s fiscal position going forwarded is also predicated on GST figures that I would best describe as vulnerable.
Should Western Australia get its way or the national mood on the GST carve up change then those very minimal surplus figures are unlikely to be achieved.
The 2015 budget indicates our GST position shifted negatively due to population decreases. Population growth is predicted to be slow.
This will damage our fiscal position over time and says to me that the Government needs to have a strategy in place to attract more people to live and work in the Territory as a matter of urgency.
One of the key underlying reasons why we are losing population is because of the cost of living, especially the cost of power.
The budget has failed to address this.
It has failed to reduce crime by 10% every year.
It’s failed to provide the promised infrastructure in bush communities. It lacks the innovation required to address the growing public housing waiting lists.
This all stands in stark contrast to the push by CLP Ministers to travel in high class around the world.
We’ve seen the Minister for Health spend $45 000 and six weeks in the United States while the child protection system crumbles around him.
We’ve had the Minister for Education jet between London, New York and Honolulu, at a time when he has cut the budget to schools.
And we’ve seen the Minister for Housing spend $50 000 living it up at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, while she depletes the Territory’s public housing stock, and breaks her commitment to deliver housing in remote communities.
Nothing could paint a clearer picture of the CLP Government’s priorities than this obscene waste of taxpayers’ money.
Territorians know they deserve better.
Madam Speaker, the Territory has a bright future.
We are a place of incredible opportunity.
But we also face many challenges.
Only a government with the right values and the right priorities can work with Territorians to meet these challenges and opportunities.
Territorians cannot afford an arrogant and untrustworthy CLP Government, focused on themselves and more interested in junkets overseas than investment in jobs, health and education.
Labor can restore trust in Government.
Labor will invest in Territory children.
Labor will invest in jobs, health and education.
We will listen and consult as we develop the policies Territorians want and the Territory needs.
We look forward to continuing this conversation with Territorians as we work together to build a better future for all.
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.
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:
“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: www.territorylabor.com.au/Portals/territorylabor/StrongSchoolsGoodOutcomesGreatOpportunity.pdf
Launching the Territory Labor Health policy position paper, Healthy, Strong Communities, Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Health Minister, Lynne Walker, pledged to make significant inroads into health promotion, prevention and early intervention services to reduce the high rates of chronic disease associated in the Northern Territory.
“Territory Labor will seek to tackle the big issues affecting the health of Territorians and we will do so in consultation with Territorians,” Ms Walker said.
“This position paper builds on the long term approach that was outlined in Territory Labor’s Early Childhood and Remote Housing position papers released last year. We know that we have to invest better and smarter across our health services and improve housing environments in remote communities, otherwise we won’t make inroads into closing the gap on the health of Territorians.”
“That’s why this Health position paper outlines targets for a child and adolescent health plan, with a particular focus on reaching those vulnerable children in out of home care, youth detention or crisis accommodation.
“Territory Labor will invest significantly into our health workforce, supporting skills development, building career pathways specific to our health requirements and supporting specialisation in nursing, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Community Workers.
“Territory Labor has already committed to 500 scholarships to train local nurses, police and teachers as the backbone of all communities as part of our Jobs Plan released two weeks ago. Our partnerships with the tertiary sector will be critical in delivering on the health needs of Territorians.
“We know that planning needs to start now to replace our ageing Royal Darwin Hospital. We will finalise detailed business planning in our first term, along with supporting master planning for all hospitals in the Northern Territory.
“Territory Labor will incorporate major capital works as part of our 10 year infrastructure plan, supporting local jobs and investment. Our capital works and equipment replacement program will be driven by clinical and population health needs, not politics. This includes:
“A Territory Labor will drive down elective surgery and emergency department wait times by finishing the delivery of the Palmerston Hospital, and investing in strategies such as improving our information systems, role redesign and partnerships with the broader health sector to reduce demand.
“We will support the expansion of aged care places in partnership with the private sector, as a way to improve the availability of places for our elders and reduce bed block in our hospitals. We will consider a nurse to patient ratio in aged care settings to improve the quality of care in our aged care facilities.
“Territory Labor will implement key recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiries into Youth Suicide, Ice and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder that have not been progressed and support the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”
Partnerships will be a feature of Territory Labor’s approach to delivering health services:
“NGOs and peak body organisations are at the frontline of supporting Territorians to lead healthy lifestyles. It just makes sense to ensure Government has strong partnerships with these organisations,” Ms Walker said.