Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie said today the Chief Minister must end the cover up on CLP slush fund Foundation 51 and finally tell Territorians the truth about its shady operations.
Adam Giles has persistently denied that there is any relationship between the CLP and Foundation 51 – but this is not true.
In the Legislative Assembly on 7 May 2014 Adam Giles said “There is no direct connection between Foundation 51 and the Party.”
“But late funding disclosure returns lodged with the NT Electoral Commission indicate the CLP received hundreds of thousands of dollars of support from Foundation 51.
“The Chief Minister is a member of the CLP Management Committee and it is inconceivable he did not know about Foundation 51 donations to the CLP,” Ms Lawrie said.
A leaked email from Foundation 51 Director Graeme Lewis to then CLP President Braedon Early indicates that as long ago as November 2012 the CLP Executive Committee was aware of the extent of the financial support Foundation 51was providing to the CLP.
But this financial support was not disclosed as required by the Electoral Act until the CLP was pressured do so by leaked emails, questions in Parliament from the Labor Opposition and media scrutiny.
In the email Graeme Lewis stated “Like you, I will be mortified if this information becomes widely known. It must be closely held for obvious reasons.”
And in an email on 26 March 2014 to the Chief Minister, Graeme Lewis said that “He (the Chief Minister) and I have on many occasions discussed the matter of the Foundation and he is well disposed to having the Foundation continue its activity.”
"The CLP is adopting a deliberate strategy to distance itself from the Foundation 51 but Territorians will see through this deception” Ms Lawrie said.
“The Chief Minister should tell Territorians and the Legislative Assembly the truth about Foundation 51 and stop the deception.”
Foundation 51 is being investigated by the Australian and Northern Territory Electoral Commissions and the NT Police.
Media Contact: Sonia Peters 0437 762 881
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today said the Giles CLP Government’s 2015 Budget fails to deliver the 120 extra police promised by the CLP before the last election.
“The Chief Minister and former Police Minister has failed to deliver on a key promise to the police and our community, when across the Territory we are seeing rises in crime, with house break-ins, car thefts, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled assaults.
“The budget funding announced does not even fill current vacancies in the force – let alone the 120 extra police promised.”
Police numbers have gone backwards under the CLP, last year the Police Annual Report showed numbers fell by 61.
“The CLP are running out of time to deliver this commitment before the next election, and this cynical ploy indicates they have no intention of keeping to their commitment.
“This budget announcement is a slap in the face to our hard-working police, right across the Territory, and is another example of how the CLP can’t be trusted.
The Police Association, representing police members, have clearly identified “the government is not meeting its election commitment, it’s a commitment that they made and now they’re trying to spin their way out of it.” *
Police Association President Vince Kelly also said, “a bit of honesty and integrity from these guys would go a long way or alternatively simply meet your election promise.” *
“Our police force is bearing the brunt of poor CLP policy on alcohol that is seeing police officers being used as a replacement for the Banned Drinkers Register – it is unsustainable and is negatively affecting police resourcing and morale.
“Last year’s $9 million in funding cuts to crime prevention and general policing under the CLP is adding to the difficulties for police to respond to crime,” Ms Lawrie said.
In Government, Labor delivered an extra 434 police officers and a further 94 extra officers, funded by the Federal Government, providing in total 494 additional police, growing police numbers by almost 50 per cent from 2001.
* Mix radio, 9 April 2015
Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie has called on Chief Minister Adam Giles explain what he is doing to ensure crucial programs at Ngukurr School aren’t abandoned followingIndigenous Advancement Strategy funding cuts.
“I have been asked by parents at Ngukurr to speak out on behalf of their school to try and save the nutrition program and horse program that have failed to receive important ongoing funding,” Ms Lawrie said.
“I have met with community leaders in Ngukurr who are dismayed and shocked with CLP Senator Nigel Scullion’s decision to cut funding to two key programs supporting students and providing local Indigenous employment.
“The Nutrition program and Horse-Riding programs are delivering great outcomes for children and providing local jobs, but will face closure under the savage IAS cuts.
The Nutrition Program provides breakfast, recess and lunch, it supports five local jobs and is jointly funded by parents and the school, but will lose federal funding of about $200,000 per annum which makes it unaffordable to run.
“This funding decision fails to take into account the fact families are living in very overcrowded conditions, many with family living in the kitchen area that makes it unable to function and it provides a school canteen to ensure children are fed which is crucial to learning outcomes,” Ms Lawrie said.
Ms Lawrie praised the Riding Program which is has created two local jobs and is credited by community leaders as being a great support to school attendance and providing a pathway for students to employment in the cattle industry. This fantastic program is facing the axe due to a $230,000 funding cut.
“Ngukurr School is in the top six of Northern Territory remote schools for student attendance, averaging 74 per cent, yet the programs that support attendance are being cut,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Remote students and local Indigenous jobs are losing out under CLP Senator Nigel Scullion’s cruel funding cuts and the Territory Government need to ensure sustainable funding for these programs. If Senator Scullion ignores this need then the CLP need to ensure funding in this coming Budget.
“The CLP Giles Government received funding under IAS, but Adam Giles is yet to say what that funding is for. Is he willing to ensure these two crucial school programs are funded?
“Adam Giles has broken every promise he’s made to the bush. It’s time he stop the funding cuts to valuable services that support children to achieve great education outcomes and a pathway to employment, while employing local residents.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today called on the Federal Government to provide Territory input into the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums taskforce.
“The establishment of this Taskforce is an acknowledgment of the real risk to Territorians of skyrocketing premiums following Adam Giles selling TIO,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Adam Giles sold TIO without a public mandate and in the face of evidence of market failure in Queensland following the sale of their public insurer.
Head of the Senate Inquiry, Warren Entsch, publicly stated on ABC Radio that he warned Adam Giles not to sell TIO, saying, “I was concerned that by selling it we would end up in the same situation we are in the rest of Northern Australia.”*
The Federal Senate Inquiry heard evidence that following the sale of Suncorp in Queensland, insurance became unaffordable or unavailable, and insurers withdrew cover in some regions.
“The Federal Government’s Taskforce is a welcome response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia to reduce insurance premiums back to an affordable level,” Ms Lawrie said.
“It has been reported the Taskforce will consider two options: a government-run reinsurance pool or community-owned Northern Australia mutual insurer providing cyclone-specific cover.
“We want to ensure that flood and storm-surge cover is also considered, alongside cyclone cover, as well as the provision of affordable contents insurance for non-home owners.
The Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and the NT Council of Social Service are two organisations that could represent Territory industry and community on the Taskforce, to address concerns about affordability and accessibility of insurance coverage in the Territory.
“With three months to prepare an interim report, I call on the Federal Government to immediately invite Territory participation onto the Taskforce and release the consultation plan to ensure there is appropriate community and stakeholder engagement.”
*ABC Radio 12 November 2014
Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241 211
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Natasha Fyles, today said Adam Giles failed to defend his Government in a motion of No Confidence debate in Parliament today.
Ms Fyles said it was extraordinary that Mr Giles failed to contribute to the debate and respond to unprecedented criticism of his failure by Labor, Independent and CLP Government backbencher Robyn Lambley.
"Labor introduced the serious No Confidence motion on behalf of Territorians who are fed up with the chaos, dysfunction and infighting of the CLP Government," Ms Fyles said.
“Territorians have been shown contempt again by the Giles Government when they failed to defend their Government today - leaving the lone wolf John Elferink to defend the indefensible; their bad policy decisions, chaos, infighting and dysfunction."
CLP Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, contributed to the debate by saying ‘this is a very important motion because despite what we’d like to present to the public we all know that the political instability within our government remains unresolved.’
‘Adam Giles was voted out of the position of Chief Minister on the 2nd February just 22 days’ ago. 9 members of his team decided that they no longer had faith in his leadership. 9 out of 14 CLP Parliamentary Wing members voted to have him removed from the position of Chief Minister …. His colleagues genuinely thought he had lost touch with average Territorians, he was arrogant and his general dishonesty was eroding any respect we had for him.’
‘International convention is such that once a government leader has lost the majority support of his or her colleagues, the resign. We were advised this was unprecedented in the history of Australian political history that a leader not resign under these circumstances but Adam Giles did not resign …Instead he threatened that he would prefer to bring down our government and take us to an early election rather than resign.’
‘In addition to sacking me from Cabinet, Adam Giles sacked my adviser, a gay gentleman with a wealth of experience as a ministerial adviser, and to top it off he also sacked a disabled woman I specifically employed when I was the Minister for Disability Services.’
‘Adam Giles is not the legitimate leader of this government. No vote has been taken in the parliamentary wing since 2 February 2015. Willem Westra van Holthe remains the anointed leader based on that vote. The truth is on 3 February Adam Giles threatened his way into remaining as leader in the subsequent parliamentary wing meeting. He threatened to bring the government down and take us to an early election just 22 days’ ago rather than conceive he lost support of nine out of 14 members of the parliamentary wing.’
‘I have no faith in a government led by Adam Giles. I have stated publicly I believe Adam Giles has no integrity. I stand by that statement and that alone is enough to mean he should not hold a position of community leadership’.
‘Certain members of this government and even the federal parliament do not seem to understand the community expects more from its leaders than getting drunk at topless bars of telling bare-faced lies.’
The Member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, said that the CLP, ‘drown under a pile of debris caused by Cyclone Giles’.
Ms Fyles said that Territorians were fed up with the Giles Government cuts to education, health, public service jobs; hikes to power water bills, sale of TIO without a mandate and the ongoing disputes with essential frontline staff.
“An early election is the only way to fix the mess created by Adam Giles and the CLP circus he purports to lead," Ms Fyles said.
“It was extraordinary, and yet another example of the arrogance of the CLP Government, that the majority of CLP members did not speak to the motion and explain to Territorians as to why they should be the Government of the Territory.
“Or is it a case of abstaining from debate as to not further expose the deep divisions of the CLP Government?
"Have the CLP members chosen the route of ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’?”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy, Ken Vowles, said the Giles Government had failed Indigenous Territorians for two and a half years with a litany of broken promises in the bush.
Mr Vowles said the latest Closing the Gap report tabled in Federal Parliament yesterday was an indictment on the CLP and Liberal Governments who had taken the axe to funding across crucial programs.
“Adam Giles has failed to fight against $500m in Federal funding cuts to Indigenous programs,” Mr Vowles said.
“Despite over 35 percent of the Territory's population being Indigenous, and over 70 percent of that population is living in our regional and remote townships and Homelands across the Territory, Adam Giles has only just reinstated the Indigenous Affairs portfolio that he scrapped it in 2012.
“Closing the Gap initiatives are critical for all Territorians and the future well-being and prosperity of the Territory.
“The Giles Government has failed to build on the momentum gained under the former Territory and Federal Labor Governments.”
Mr Vowles said that when the Closing the Gap report was tabled in Federal Parliament yesterday it was described by the Prime Minister as “profoundly disappointing” with progress stalling in nearly all indicators.
“Adam Giles did not fight when the Federal Liberal Government ripped more than $11 million in funding from primary health care in the Territory; including funding for important programs like ‘Tackling Indigenous Smoking’ and activities linked to alcohol and other drugs,” Mr Vowles said.
“Adam Giles also said in May last year the Federal Government should get out of health, housing and education but has failed to show his government can agree on the right priorities to deliver in any of these areas fundamental to Closing the Gap.
“He continues to fail in delivering any new and substantial Commonwealth funds for health, education and regional economic infrastructure in the bush.”
Mr Vowles said Adam Giles had sacked the Remote Service Delivery Co-ordinator General position and failed to renew the Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement that expired in June last year.
“Instead of working with key Indigenous organisations, Adam Giles is pursuing an agenda to create chaos across remote Northern Territory by removing existing rights of Land Councils,” Mr Vowles said.
“NLC CEO Joe Morrison yesterday launched a stinging attack on the CLP, saying it was in the ‘DNA of the CLP to attack the Land Rights Act’.
“Instead of working in partnership, Adam Giles is creating upheaval with his divisive approach. This needs to stop.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to come clean on why Jodeen Carney’s position as Chief Executive of the Department of Children and Families is “no longer tenable”.
“What has caused Jodeen Carney to resign from the Chief Executive position in the Department of Children and Families?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“Ms Carney is a close associate of Adam Giles, he hired her onto his staff when he became Chief Minister where she worked prior to landing the plum job in the public service.
“What caused Ms Carney’s job to be ‘untenable’?
“What is behind this latest CLP departure? What does Adam Giles know?
“Adam Giles has the chance to drop the veil of cover up and explain why Ms Carney has resigned due to her position being ‘no longer tenable’.
“It’s time to lift the CLP veil of secrecy and be honest with Territorians if they wish to restore integrity in Government.”
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Natasha Fyles said Territorians are fed up with the ongoing CLP crisis and revolving door of Cabinet.
"CLP chaos and dysfunction continues in the wake of yet another CLP Minister moving to the backbench - sparking the 14th Cabinet reshuffle in just two and a half years," Ms Fyles said.
“The calamity of events over the last week has left an incompetent CLP Government proving they can't run themselves, let alone our great Northern Territory.
“Matt Conlan today resigned from Cabinet and abandoned his three portfolios of Transport, Infrastructure and Housing.
“Robyn Lambley has been sacked from Cabinet and lashed out at Chief Minister Adam Giles saying lacks ‘honesty, integrity and respect’.
“Dave Tollner, who resigned from Cabinet last year embroiled in a homophobic slur, is having his career revived by a desperate Adam Giles, despite referring to his CLP colleagues as a ‘nest of vipers’."
Ms Fyles said more than half of Adam Giles' colleagues votes to oust him as Chief Minister last week with a vote of nine out of 13.
“Nine out of 13 Members of the CLP Government don’t think Arrogant Adam Giles should be Chief Minister,” Ms Fyles said.
“Adam Giles admitted his deputy doesn’t have the ‘capacity, professionalism and tenacity’ to carry out the top job but rewarded his disloyalty with the Deputy position, pushing aside Peter Chandler.
“How are Territorians expected to believe that this, their 14th Cabinet reshuffle, will stick and instil some stability after two and a half years of dysfunction?”
Ms Fyles said the situation within the CLP Government has gone past ridiculous and Territorians are calling for an early election.
“How can the CLP govern the Territory if they can’t even govern themselves?” Ms Fyles asked.
“Territorians are fed up with the CLP debacle. They are too busy taking care of themselves rather than Territorians."
NT Shadow Minister for Police, Lynne Walker, today called on the Chief Minister, Adam Giles, to remove himself from any role in creating the Terms of Reference for an Independent Judicial Inquiry as there are serious unanswered questions as to what he knew, and when, surrounding the allegations of the former Police Commissioner’s interference in a criminal investigation.
“Adam Giles has said he will make available his emails, phone records and text messages when he announced the Judicial Inquiry would be established. If even he has identified he’s the subject of rumours then he has a clear conflict of interest and should stand aside from any involvement in establishing the Inquiry,” Ms Walker said.
‘Last week Adam Giles said:
“The allegations that have been coming out about senior members of the police force actively running a coup or a campaign in cahoots with some alleged politicians, is a significant problem. That is spreading to the point of the Police Commissioner being removed albeit under a cloud of allegations and also this challenge today.” (Media conference Tuesday 3 February.)
“I have good evidence that this has involved an orchestrated political coup to get rid of the police commissioner, the former one, and there have been the involvement of members of parliament. The judicial inquiry will have a look at it. If I find that there is evidence they'll go, and I'll take them to court. (Alice Springs branch meeting secret recordings Wednesday 4 February.)
“The circumstances around the undermining process, spreading rumours about myself by one parliamentary member in particular and the upper echelons of police, I think is very bad and signifies a significant problem within police, hence the judicial inquiry that I've just announced.” (Alice Springs branch meeting secret recordings Wednesday 4 February.)
“I will be making available to the judicial investigator in regards to this process, access to all emails, phone records, text messages and to find out who knew what, when. There have been a series of allegations and rumours made today, particularly in relation to some senior police and members of the political fraternity on the Country Liberals party side.” (Alice Springs branch meeting secret recordings Wednesday 4 February).
“What evidence does Adam Giles have? Has he provided that evidence to the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner or the Ombudsman who are currently investigating the allegations into the former Police Commissioner John McRoberts?" Ms Walker said.
“Will Adam Giles come clean on who in the Country Liberals party he is accusing of being involved in a political coup?”
Ms Walker said that the outrageous attack Adam Giles made against Police, that he now says ‘went too far’ has made his position untenable.
“We have a Government embroiled in political infighting and a Chief Minister who shoots from the hip with unsubstantiated outrageous allegations. That is no way to run the Territory,” Ms Walker said.
“If they can’t run themselves, they certainly can’t run the Territory.”
Labor Shadow Minister for Essential Services, Nicole Manison, said Chief Minister, Adam Giles, is proving Territorians can’t trust what he says as he tried to dodge responsibility for the painful Power tariff increases he has inflicted.
“Adam Giles last week claimed on ABC radio that the CLP ‘took the power price increase from 30% back to 20%’, but the fact is people are paying 30% more now for power,” Ms Manison said.
“Adam Giles signed off on the latest 5% power tariff increase that came into effect on 1 January this year and his mate Dave Tollner signed off on the previous 5% power tariff hike.
“So far we’ve seen increases of 20% in January 2013, another increase of 5% in January 2014 and now another painful 5% increase on 1 January this year – with the CLP fully implanting an overall increase of 30% in power prices.
“Households have also had staggered increases to water and sewerage costs; with water up 40% and sewerage up 25% since the CLP came to office.
“For large households this means having to find and extra $2000 dollars a year just to keep the lights on.”
Ms Manison said that these massive power, water and sewerage price hikes are also hurting small businesses, who either have to pass the cost on to consumers or affect their capacity to grow their business and jobs.
“Adam Giles has held the role of Treasurer and shareholding Minister for Power and Water since Dave Tollner resigned in disgrace from Cabinet,” Ms Manison said.
“We’ve had five Treasurers under this chaotic CLP Government and we’ve been waiting since last Wednesday to find out who the next Treasurer will be.
“The cost of living burden on Territorians has worsened under this arrogant and chaotic CLP Government.”