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30 October 2015 - Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy, Natasha Fyles, said the CLP’s continuing incompetence has led to the scrapping of Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT) in Tennant Creek in an apparent admission of 3 years of wasteful mistakes.


“Just days after Territory Labor revealed that the CLP’s inability to govern was impacting on delivery of AMT, Minister Elferink has made the extraordinary announcement that the whole thing has been scrapped in Tennant Creek,” Ms Fyles said.


“We saw the CLP pass amendments to AMT on urgency nearly a year ago, but they were too busy infighting to sort out the regulations and allow health professionals to refer people onto the AMT program.


“Now they’ve wasted millions of dollars on a program that everyone said wouldn’t work from the start.


“Minister Elferink says that the AMT program will be reviewed, but there has still not been an announcement about the successful tenderer for an independent evaluation of the program.


“The unworkable AMT policy has been scandal-ridden from the start. It’s our understanding that there have been zero referrals to the Darwin AMT centre for some time – is that going to be scrapped next?


“One has to wonder how John Elferink even keeps his job. In the past few months we’ve seen:

  • His wildly offensive comments directed at Seniors, during Seniors month;
  • His unacceptable bullying behaviour in threatening violence against female MLAs, which saw him disendorsed as a White Ribbon ambassador;
  • Continuing turmoil in our Corrections system, including his callous dismissal of serious allegations from Human Rights groups about the treatment of youth in detention; and
  • The utterly unbelievable debacle of the Palmerston hospital concrete pour, which would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.


“The CLP are unable to govern. They are blinded by bad politics and bad policies.


“By contrast, NT Labor's comprehensive response to alcohol substance abuse, the Banned Drinker's Register, is accepted by the community and accepted by health professionals and the police.


“A Territory Labor Government will put an end to “thought bubble” politics. We will listen and consult, gather evidence and then act.”



Media Contact: Ella Maguire 0408 773 647


CLP AMT Urgency Motion not so Urgent while Beds remain Unused
CLP AMT Urgency Motion not so Urgent while Beds remain Unused

28 October 2015 - Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy, Natasha Fyles, said that CLP amendments passed on urgency in November 2014 to give health professionals the ability to refer Territorians to Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT) facilities are still not in effect 11 months later.


“To pass something on urgency and not act on it 11 months later speaks directly to the Giles Government’s incompetence and is further proof that they can’t be trusted to perform to the most basic of functions,” said Natasha Fyles.


Back then the CLP argued the amendments on urgency were designed to “strengthen and increase the referral pathways to AMT”  - a key recommendation of a Review of the Act commissioned by the Government and delivered in March 2014.

The urgent AMT Bill sought to amend Section 8 of the Act and insert:

          (d) is, in accordance with procedures prescribed by regulation:

(i) referred by a health practitioner to a senior assessment clinician for an assessment; and

                   (ii) taken to an assessment facility


This latest error is in addition to a number of scandals associated with the establishment of this unworkable policy, including:

  • The CLP Government is only pursuing a police response to what is clearly a social problem;
  • AMT was initially established at the medi-hotel at the expense of remote patients seeking treatment and accommodation in Darwin and the secure care facility in Alice Springs was initially utilised for AMT patients instead of its required use;
  • Minister Lambley promised 182 beds in Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Gove and Katherine while Minister Elferink confirmed only 138 beds in Darwin, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek at Estimates this year;
  • The 2013/14 Annual Report shows that only 400 out of 800 projected people were treated at AMT centres showing underutilisation;
  • There was a death in care in October 2014. The Coroner was critical about the lack of procedures and the lack of an evidence base for the forced detainment of people for three months and recommended an independent evaluation, and;
  • There has still not been an announcement about the successful tenderer for an independent evaluation of the program.

“There are also claims that as a result of capital works to protective custody police facilities in Darwin, there have been zero referrals to the Darwin AMT center for some time, which means:

  • No one is being assessed at the 12 bed unit run by the Department of Health, and;
  • There are no referrals for treatment to the 78 bed facility in Berrimah, opened in late 2014.


“The incompetence of this CLP Government has left Territorians without the most basic levels of service we all rightfully expect. The sad truth is that no one trusts the CLP to follow through on anything they say.”



Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794



Shadow Attorney General Natasha Fyles is calling on the CLP to tackle the rivers of grog fuelling anti-social behaviour and crime.

Ms Fyles said that the CLP reliance on police Temporary Beat Locations (TBLs) had stretched Police resources and left Darwin and Palmerston residents suffering increased anti-social behaviour and crime.

“Many people in my Nightcliff community are experiencing or witnessing unacceptable incidents of anti-social behaviour, including violence.

“The problem across Darwin is the worst it has been with incidents of alcohol fuelled violence taking place constantly, including in broad daylight.

“Local businesses are struggling with the impact of public drunkenness affecting customers and shopkeepers themselves being placed in threatening situations.

“Police are trying to do their best with limited resources, but the CLP government has turned its back on the community, closing the Nightcliff Police Station and the Casuarina Police Beat.

“The CLP scrapped the Banned Drinkers Register; turning 2500 people back onto grog and everyday Territorians are feeling the impact.

“The latest crime statistics issued in February showed assaults in Darwin are up 8.4% while motor vehicle theft was up 22.8% in Darwin and a staggering 44.9% in Palmerston.

“Our community is sick and tired of not being able enjoy our great Territory lifestyle. Over the past few weeks I have had numerous complaints.

“Adam Giles needs to acknowledge the issue, properly resource the police and put policies in place so the community can feel safe once again.”

Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241 211


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