“As a direct result of the CLP’s decision to put profit before people and hike up PowerWater tariffs by more than 25% we have families and businesses under stress,” Ms Moss said.
“And to add insult to injury the CLP are ignoring pleas for the Government to tackle our outrageously high fuel costs.
“It’s scandalous that we are paying up to 30 cents a litre more for petrol than people in Melbourne.
“I’m calling on the Chief Minister to lobby his Liberal counterparts in Canberra to immediately scrap their plans for two CPI increases a year on the cost of fuel through the excise hike.
She said the new tax would raise more than $4 billion, with Territorians carrying a disproportionate burden.
“I’m speaking up for the people of Casuarina, now Adam Giles needs to tell Tony Abbott that his petrol tax grab is not on.
“I’m also calling on the CLP to create an application giving Territorians price alerts on the cheapest bowser on any given day on their smartphones. Territorians could then use consumer demand to drive down the price at petrol bowsers.”
Ms Moss said the CLP had promised to cut the cost of living but had instead presided over power, water and sewerage price hikes and are rolling over to Canberra adding to petrol price increases.
“Voters are telling me that their household budgets are feeling the strain and the CLP just don’t get it.”
Media contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924
Shadow Minister for Police, Michael Gunner, has called on the Government to immediately provide a police strategy and urgently implement the findings of the bus interchange safety audit before another innocent passenger or bus driver is seriously injured.
“It’s been eleven days since Labor revealed the CLP Government was sitting on this report,” Mr Gunner said.
“We know about the 14 year old girl attacked last week, however indications are other incidents have occurred, including advice a driver was also assaulted the same night.
“It’s inconceivable that the Government has this safety report and is failing to act on its findings. How many more people have to be assaulted before the CLP Government does something?
“The CLP Government scrapped the Casuarina Square police beat -which patrolled the Casuarina bus depot - and have failed to deliver on their promise of an increase of 120 police offices. Both of these decisions put the safety of Territorians at risk.
“The community rightly expects the Government to increase police foot patrols and the security presence at the bus interchanges following the litany of violent incidents. Instead, eight months on, we are still waiting for a Government response.”
Mr Gunner was joined at the Casuarina bus interchange by Labor’s candidate for the Casuarina by-election, Lauren Moss, who raised serious concerns about whether the images from new CCTV cameras would be able to be viewed by the Police.
“I understand the cameras are being upgraded from analogue to digital, but that the necessary IT infrastructure for to allow Police to view the footage is not yet in place,” Ms Moss said.
“When will the new cameras be operational and when will the Police have access to the footage?
“And, will the Government be acting on a recommendation to increase the number of security cameras, which would have made sense to do as part of the technology upgrade.
“It would seem that the Government has failed to recognise the need for additional cameras and included that in the upgrade, which would have saved time and money.”
Mr Gunner said it was symptomatic of the chaos and confusion within the CLP Government that a technology upgrade of this nature had been botched.
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie said the chaos caused by the rushed split of PowerWater by the CLP Government was evident as the first round of split bills hit Territorians.
“As the first bills are going out from Jacana Energy, many Territorians have found to their shock that their former direct debits to PowerWater no long apply to their electricity bills,” Ms Lawrie said.
“PowerWater didn’t give customers the option of transferring their prepayment onto the electricity component of their bill and just left it at the water and sewage component.
“Some Territorians are finding out they are in credit for their water bill but owe large amounts for power.
“The CLP ran an expensive advertising campaign reassuring residents and businesses that the split of utilities wouldn’t affect them but this is not true.
“To make it even more confusing some Territorians are still receiving consolidated bills from PowerWater while others are receiving the two separate bills.”
Labor candidate for Casuarina Lauren Moss said pensioners and low income earners were being hit particularly hard by the direct debit fiasco.
“Many people on benefits use direct debit to pay their power and water bills and are only now finding out they have only been paying off the water and sewerage,” Ms Moss said.
“Power and water charges are a big part of the increasing financial pain Casuarina families tell me they are struggling with.”
Ms Lawrie said PowerWater should have been directed by Chief Minister Adam Giles to write to consumers who paid by direct debit to inform them the payment no longer applied to the electricity component.
“The CLP Government didn’t bother to tell Territorians they would need to set up a new system to keep paying off their ever increasing power bills,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Now we have businesses and families getting a double whammy of more expensive power and finding out their direct payments haven’t been paying off their bill.
“Adam Giles is again showing he cares more about profits than people with the rushed split of PowerWater.”
Media contact: Mandy Taylor 0414 634159
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?"
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today said the return of Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu to the CLP clears the way for Chief Minister Adam Giles to announce the date of the Casuarina by-election.
Ms Lawrie said that the CLP now has the numbers to continue to govern even if disgraced Fong Lim MLA Dave Tollner follows through on his threat to walk away from the "nest of vipers".
"With Dave Tollner still in hiding and huge doubts over his future with the CLP, the Government were delaying the Casuarina by-election but now the opportunity exists for Adam Giles to announce the poll date," Ms Lawrie said.
"The people of Casuarina should be represented in the October sittings of Parliament and there is nothing preventing the CLP Government from calling a by-election date for either October 11 or 18.
"Kon Vatskalis did the right thing by giving Government plenty of notice of his September 18 resignation date now the CLP need to announce the poll date."
Ms Lawrie said the by-election would give residents the chance to have their say on the spiralling cost of living under the CLP and crippling cuts to education and health.
"The CLP has broken its election commitments and torn up its contract with Territorians.
"They continue to be a dysfunctional government out of touch with the issues affecting our everyday lives.
"Families are struggling to make ends meet with crippling power and water bills causing enormous family and small business financial stress.
"I challenge the CLP to spend time in our classrooms and see the unreasonable demands on teachers now that they've increased class sizes and stripped away crucial support resources.
"Will anyone from the Government spend a night in our RDH emergency department which is in crisis due to bed block and has our wonderful doctors and nurses working under intolerable conditions trying to care for Territorians?"
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today congratulated the Territory Labor Candidate for Casuarina, Lauren Moss, on her pre-selection.
“Lauren brings with her energy, passion and a fresh new perspective, and is a fantastic candidate for Casuarina,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Growing up in the electorate, Lauren is very familiar with the issues facing Casuarina residents.
“Casuarina and Territory families are suffering under the CLP Government’s from the high Cost of living, brutal cuts to education and a health system in chaos.
“Adam Giles and the CLP Government are out of touch with Territorians.
“By voting for Lauren in the upcoming by-election Casuarina residents can send the CLP Government a strong message that their policies are hurting Territorians and won’t be tolerated.”
Ms Moss said it would be an honour to represent the community in which she grew up.
“The electorate of Casuarina was a brilliant place to grow up with its diverse cultures and vibrant community,” Ms Moss Said.
“But the CLP Government’s attacks on education, health and hikes to the cost of living are threatening to change what we all love about Casuarina.
“I hope to be a strong voice for Casuarina and help protect the electorate from the damaging policies of the CLP Government.”