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RESPECTING TERRITORY SENIORS
RESPECTING TERRITORY SENIORS

10 August 2016 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner and Shadow Minister for Senior Territorians Lauren Moss say a Labor Government will work hard to support senior Territorians and to keep seniors in the Territory with a new package of incentives released today.

 

“It is critical that we respect the contribution of our seniors and the role they will play into the future. We must keep our seniors.” Mr Gunner said.

 

“We believe that if the grandparents leave, then families with grandchildren will follow soon after.

 

“We also believe senior Territorians should be rewarded for their years of support for the Territory.

 

“That’s why Labor will introduce a seniors package that supports our Territorians staying in the Territory.

 

“The Labor package will include:

 

  • Bringing back concessions to reduce the cost of living to Territory seniors.
  • Better housing options in retirement
  • The opportunity to continue part time work in the public service.
  • Introduce more age friendly planning and
  • Act against elder abuse.

 

“Labor will restore senior concessions for the 3000 people knocked out by the CLP in 2014 to the value of $2.1 million.

 

“Labor will provide those people with $700 in a debit card every 2 years, allowing them to choose how they wish to spend it on items that reduce their cost of living.

 

“We are also committing a Labor Government to working with Treasury and seniors organisations to bring back relief for seniors on power and water costs.

 

“This is particularly the case for those people in retirement villages who have lost this concession because of the ownership structures of these residences.

 

“Labor will provide free bus travel to all senior Territorians who receive a seniors card or pensioner concession card.”

 

“These concessions will encourage senior Territorians to stay in the Territory. The past two years has seen weak population growth here in the Territory. Part of that is as a result of seniors moving down south.”

 

Michael Gunner and Lauren Moss said Labor will develop retirement villages in the rural area, Darwin’s inner suburbs, as well as in remote and regional centres.

 

“People want to retire in the area where they live.  In the Territory this is very difficult to do.

 

“Rural residents deserve better retirement options than what they have at the moment. Labor will work with the private sector and is prepared to provide the land for the establishment of this new village.

 

“The same applies in the Darwin inner suburbs and regional towns such as Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine.

 

“Labor will also support the development of culturally appropriate facilities such as those proposed by the Greek orthodox community.”

 

Michael Gunner and Lauren Moss also announced that Labor’s $1.1billion investment into remote housing will include housing for seniors.

 

“The importance of seniors continuing to be able to work will not be ignored by a Labor Government.

 

“We will undertake a joint project with the Commissioner for Public Employment to change working arrangements in the public service to accommodate older workers who wish to work part time hours,”

 

Labor has also committed to a coordinated approach to reporting elder abuse and supporting the victims of this abuse.

 

Click here for Labor's plan for Respecting Seniors

 

COSTINGS

ITEM

2016-17 $m

2017-18 $m

2018-19 $ m

2019-20 $m

Recurrent Funding

 

 

 

 

New Concessions Scheme

(costing Option 3)*

 

2.1

 

2.12

Elder abuse program

(funded from within)

 

 

 

 

Seniors within the work place.(funded from within.)

 

 

 

 

Free bus travel from 1 Jan 2017 (Alice Springs and Darwin)

0.2

0.35

0.35

0.35

 

*This assumes full take up of the benefits as opposed to the 75% costed by the CLP.

^ Assumes part year introduction.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192


STATEMENT Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth detention systems of the Northern Territory
STATEMENT Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth detention systems of the Northern Territory

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

 


LABOR FULLY SUPPORTS ROYAL COMMISSION
LABOR FULLY SUPPORTS ROYAL COMMISSION

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:

  1. Close Don Dale Centre as soon as possible
  2. Move youth justice out of the Corrections Department
  3. Work with the NGO sector to develop a contemporary youth justice and rehabilitation system
  4. Establish an independent oversight mechanism for the youth justice system

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


THE MOST EXTENSIVE RETURN TO LOCAL CONTROL IN THE TERRITORY’S HISTORY
THE MOST EXTENSIVE RETURN TO LOCAL CONTROL IN THE TERRITORY’S HISTORY

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:

  • Housing
  • Local Government
  • Education and Training
  • Health
  • Looking after children and
  • Law and Justice

 

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:

  • Support for strengthening local authorities in local government.
  • Tenancy management and building, repairs and maintenance of public housing will be managed by local groups.
  • Community Led Schools run by Local School Boards.
  • Growing and developing Indigenous non-government organisations focussed on looking after children in out of home care.
  • Increasing the use of a local court system that includes traditional leadership in its decision making.

 

In making sure that Labor understands what people want in what order of priority, Labor is committed to extensive consultation with Indigenous communities

We will:

  • Consult and work with Traditional Owners.
  • Consult and work with the organisations that represent Indigenous Territorians.
  • Ensure the voice of Indigenous women is heard loud and clear.
  • Continue to support First Circles as a development opportunity for youth leadership.
  • Continue the Community Champions program.
  • Bring back Community Cabinet meetings with an emphasis on remote Territory meetings.

 

“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


Protecting Limmen Bight – Protecting Jobs, Lifestyle and Culture
Protecting Limmen Bight – Protecting Jobs, Lifestyle and Culture

24 July 2016 - Shadow Environment Minister and Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy, today announced how a Territory Labor Government would safeguard the future of Limmen Bight while creating jobs and protecting lifestyle and culture.

Mr McCarthy said the creation of Limmen Bight Marine Park by Labor in 2012 had been a big step forward, but unfortunately progressed had stalled under Adam Giles and his CLP Government.

“Limmen Bight is a special part of the Gulf, rich in marine life, including extensive seagrass beds and mangrove forests supporting commercial and recreational fishing, and the Territory’s largest population of dugongs, as well as dolphins and turtles,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Limmen Bight is iconic for Territory anglers, for its catches of mud crabs, barramundi reef fish and prawns.

“However, this important area like many others along our coast is faced with new and concerning pressures including seabed mining and extensive mangrove die-off.

“By the end of 2019 a Territory Labor Government will complete Limmen Bight Marine Park by finalising sensible, science based and well consulted management arrangements.”

A Territory Labor Government will invest $400 000 to:

  • Ensure adequate funding to conduct a comprehensive consultation process, ongoing management and fair fisheries structural adjustment;
  • Ensure a ban on seabed mining in the park - seabed mining is not compatible with a healthy marine environment in such as sensitive area;
  • Seek to create and support ongoing employment opportunities for local Traditional Owners via cooperative management and coordination with Labor’s Indigenous Rangers support initiatives;
  • Identify opportunities for sustainable and well managed tourism in the region through a properly consultative process;
  • Develop the management arrangements in accordance with formal and accepted consultation processes under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and Native Title Act; and
  • Develop a best practice monitoring and evaluation framework in cooperation with Traditional Owners and other stakeholders.

“Labor’s plan while provide an innovative model of marine management which protects biodiversity, respects indigenous culture, safeguards lifestyle and creates sustainable jobs,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Only Labor can be trusted to get it right and protect Limmen Bight.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192


Protecting Jobs and our Marine Environment
Protecting Jobs and our Marine Environment

24 July 2016 - ​Member for Nightcliff Natasha Fyles today outlined how a Labor Government would preserve the Territory’s precious marine resources.

Ms Fyles said Territory Labor understood that protecting marine ecosystems was crucial for creating jobs, maintaining our lifestyle and safeguarding indigenous cultural values.

“The Territory is home to unique and precious marine habitats,” Ms Fyles said.

“These habitats support an incredible array of flora and fauna, thousands of jobs in our fishing, tourism, aquaculture and research industries, and are a crucial source of cultural value for Indigenous Territorians.

“There are many threats facing the health of our marine environment.

“Recent mangrove deaths and coral bleaching both in the Territory and across Australia show the vulnerability of these ecosystems to changes in climate.

“A Territory Labor Government will manage our marine resources by listening to the community, respecting science and investing in innovative partnerships and programs which build knowledge and management capabilities.

A Territory Labor Government will:

  • Develop a Coastal and Marine Management Strategy that will safeguard our coasts boosting recreational fishing opportunities, preventing damaging pollution, foster sustainable industries and safeguard the Territory’s unique lifestyle
  • Reinstate the Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee to develop a comprehensive plan of management for Darwin Harbour
  • Invest $400 000 to develop a comprehensive plan of management for Limmen Bight Marine Park which protects of the rich biodiversity of the region, supports Indigenous aspirations for economic development opportunities and management of the area, and protects access for recreational anglers
  • Provide $200 000 to the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University for urgent mangrove research to understand the threats posed by climate change and possible adaption strategies to pursue
  • Stop the CLP’s plans to expand Bayview and the resulting mangrove destruction

Together with Territory Labor’s polices to support Indigenous ranger groups, strengthen and streamline environmental regulation, and sustainably manage our ground water resources, these new initiatives provide for an integrated and science based approach to protecting these vital habitats.

“Unfortunately climate change is not the only threat facing the Territory’s marine environment,” Ms Fyles said.

“The appalling record of Adam Giles and his CLP Government includes:

  • A significant deterioration in the health of Darwin Harbour according the Government’s own report cards
  • Major developments like Port Melville taking place in sensitive marine habitats without any environmental assessment
  • Regular disdain shown for scientific advice and community views on important environmental issues like the management of the Darwin Harbour and water resources across the Territory
  • Ad hoc development approvals without any consideration given to the cumulative environmental and economic impacts of such decisions

“Our marine environment and the jobs, lifestyles and culture that rely on it simply can’t afford another four years of Adam Giles and his CLP Government.”

 

RECURRENT COSTS OF THE DARWIN HARBOUR / LIMMEN BIGHT PROPOSAL

ITEM

2016-17 $ m

2017-18 $ m

2018-19 $ m

2019-20 $ m

Research Grant CDU

0.2

 

 

 

Costs associated with

Limmen Bight

 

 

0.2

0.2

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192

 


ADAM GILES AND THE CLP CAN’T BE TRUSTED ON POWER PRICES
ADAM GILES AND THE CLP CAN’T BE TRUSTED ON POWER PRICES

21 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, said that Adam Giles should stop his deceitful attacks on renewable energy and admit his modelling has nothing to do with Labor’s 50% renewable target by 2030.

His deceitful 400% figure is based on:

  • An immediate switch to between 70-100% solar in Alice Springs – this is not Labor policy
  • The need for 7 days back up battery storage in Alice Springs – this is not Labor policy
  • Not having the capacity to utilise gas power energy – this is not Labor’s policy

“Labor has a proud record of supporting the gas industry, and will continue to do so if elected in August,” Mr Gunner said.

“But we also recognise that investing in renewables creates jobs and will lead to lower power prices for Territorians.

“Adam Giles and the CLP can’t be trusted on power prices and Territorians haven’t forgotten the betrayal of their 30% increases.

“Adam Giles and the CLP will sell our power water assets if they are re-elected and we know that this will lead to further price rises.

“Labor will release our policy to sensibly transition to more renewable energy in the coming weeks.”

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 110 794

 


CLP CRY CROCODILE TEARS ON CRIME
CLP CRY CROCODILE TEARS ON CRIME

21 July 2016 - In contrast to Labor and community opinion, Peter Styles and the CLP have spent the last three years claiming crime was under control and not an issue - but now with 6 weeks until the election, the CLP claim it’s a huge issue, which proves they simply can’t be trusted.

If the CLP were serious about cutting crime they would have:

  • Not scrapped the banned drinkers register, which police said was the best tool they had to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour and crime – Labor will bring this back.
  • Kept their promise to deliver an additional 120 police – which Labor will do.
  • Kept their promise to fund the 94 metropolitan police patrol group into our local police – which Labor will do.
  • Properly resource police – which Labor will do.

The two most violent years in the Territory’s history occurred in the CLP’s term of government.

Labor is already on the record as supporting electronic monitoring for juvenile offenders.

 

Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 110 794


LABOR WILL COMMIT TO THE NDIS AND DISABILITY SERVICES
LABOR WILL COMMIT TO THE NDIS AND  DISABILITY SERVICES

21 July 2016 - Territory Labor has today reaffirmed its commitment to supporting children and families through the release of its disability policy.

 

Territory Labor’s $32 million commitment to increase the assessment of children with challenging behaviours, support alternative pathways to education and increase supports in the classroom will improve our response to disability in the community.

 

This significant announcement includes:

 

  • $32 million over 4 years has been allocated to provide specialist support for students with a disability and tackle challenging behaviours.  This includes:
    • Increased assessment of students to understand underlying issues
    • Alternative pathways that engage students, in and out of classroom
    • Provide additional support through teachers’ assistants and other support staff such as allied health staff
  • A full rollout of MindMatters, which will help schools tackle bullying and develop smart strategies to support students with a disability.
  • 20 scholarships per year to attract Territory teachers to improve their skills in teaching children with a disability, including for autism, dyslexia and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 

 

Territory Labor also reaffirmed that the Office of Disability within the Department of Health would be responsible for the planning and services development for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

 

“For too long, there has been a lack of willingness to accept responsibility for FASD in our community. Territory Labor accepts the challenge and will immediately commence the review and implementation of the Parliamentary Inquiry findings.” Ms Moss said.

 

“Territory Labor reaffirms its commitment to the NDIS through a dedicated Minister to oversee and work with the sector to make the transition as seamless as possible.

 

“Labor will establish a long term plan to enhance post school options for young Territorians with a disability. This includes but is not limited to education and employment options, and social and recreational programs.

 

“Acknowledging the reduced rates of people with a disability employed in the public service, Territory Labor will revise the Disability Employment Strategy and setting targets to achieve greater rates of employment throughout our society.

 

“In bringing back the Arafura Games, Labor will give para-athletes the opportunity to compete in an international sporting competition. We also hope the Arafura Games will once again be a recognized Paralympics qualifying event.”

 

Costings for Labor’s announcement are as follows:

 

Policy Initiative

$m

16/17

$m

17/18

$m

18/19

$m

19/20

 

TOTAL

Specialist support for Teachers, including MindMatters and Teacher scholarships

8.0

8.0

8.0

8.0

$32 million included in Education policy costings

 

** All other initiatives to be funded from within existing resources 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192 


Territory Labor to halve suicide rates in 10 years
Territory Labor to halve suicide rates in 10 years

20 July 2016 - Territory Labor Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Lauren Moss, pledged to halve the rate of suicide within the next 10 years in the Northern Territory.

 

As part of Territory Labor’s plan, we will:

  • Fund 30 nurses and 15 Aboriginal family support workers to roll out the Nurse Family Partnership program supporting more than 500 children and their families, supporting perinatal mental health of mothers and early childhood development.
  • Work with the Commonwealth to secure a headspace service in Katherine for young people with early onset psychosis. Katherine has been identified as an area of need and we will commit $150,000 towards the establishment of the service.
  • Provide $3 million to trial the implementation of the Housing Accommodation Support Initiative in Darwin, a partnership between the Department of Health, the Department of Housing and the NGO sector to provide support services. This trial will provide support and stability of tenancy to up to 200 people each year.
  • Partner with the tertiary education sector to offer 10 postgraduate scholarships per year for registered nurses and enrolled nurses who would like to specialise in mental health nursing.
  • Work with local communities and Aboriginal community controlled health organisations to improve identification and early response to the needs of people of people in community.

 

“These measures are vitally important to reducing a person’s risk of suicide and supporting families and communities in response to a suicide.

 

“Territory Labor recognises that there is significant pressure on our inpatient facilities, so Territory Labor will pilot the Housing Accommodation Support Initiative that will provide funding for the NGO sector to support up to 200 people with a mental illness within public housing.

 

“This is an evidence based program that can dramatically reduce readmission to hospital for patients, improve their quality of life by staying well, and that of their neighbours by having their mental health better managed with greater NGO support. It’s a simple program and extremely effective.”

 

Labor will ensure greater inclusion of the voices of those with lived experience in policy and service design and delivery.

 

 

Territory Labor will also provide scholarships to support mental health specialisation by registered and enrolled nurses and for Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Community Workers to specialise in mental health support and care.

 

Costings for Territory Labor’s policy are as follows:

Initiatives

$m

16/17

$m

17/18

$m

18/19

$m

19/20

TOTAL

Nurse Family Partnerships

 

1.0

2.0

5.0

$8 million 

Securing headspace for Katherine

0.15

 

 

 

$150,000

Implementation of the Housing Accommodation Support Initiative

0.75

0.75

0.75

0.75

$3 million

Workforce Initiatives

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

$800,000

** All other initiatives to be funded from within existing resources 

 

Media contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192


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