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
Media Contact: Sonia Peters 0437 762 881
The deafening silence from the Giles Government on remote area housing proves the CLP are continuing to fail Territorians in the bush, Shadow Minister for Public and Affordable Housing Michael Gunner said today.
“They have no plans and no interest in building new homes in the bush,” Mr Gunner said.
“The crisis in remote Indigenous housing has got so bad that one of their own, Senator Nigel Scullion, has criticised the NT Government’s failure to deal with chronic overcrowding.
“Adam Giles talked a big game in Opposition about solving the Indigenous housing crisis but we are into the third year of a CLP Government and he has failed to deliver on any of his big promises to the bush.
“His Remote Home Ownership program only allows people in three communities to buy existing homes.
“Senator Scullion has the power to fix this issue as his Government is providing the money to the NT.
“He should be demanding answers from his CLP colleagues about how they are spending money meant to provide housing and tackle overcrowding.
“The CLP made a lot of promises to the bush to win power but they have done nothing but ignore them since.”
Media Contact: Mandy Taylor 0414 634159
As the full second year of the dysfunctional CLP Government comes to an end the Opposition is counting the cost for Territorians.
The CLP have spent another year breaking their promise to reduce the cost of living, and from 1 January, Territorians will feel the pain in their hip pocket.
“Under the CLP hikes to power, water and sewerage charges the average family has had to pay an extra $2000 per year.
“From tomorrow, Territory households will have to brace for another 5% jump in power, water and sewerage costs.
“The power and water hikes are also hurting small business, particularly those struggling retail businesses unable to pass on the costs.
“In the bush it is even worse, where already families pay more for food than most other Australians, and these costs will keep rising with increasing power prices and operating costs for bush stores.
“The CLP had a choice between making Power and Water financially sustainable or making it profitable – and they have chosen profits over people,” Ms Fyles said.
Under the CLP price hikes, power charges increased by 30%, water increased by 40% and sewerage is up by 25%.
“The CLP’s hikes to power, water and sewerage charges are making the cost of living even harder for all Territory households.
“Essential services are just that and Territorians are being forced to pay more so the CLP Government can increase PowerWater profits to ready it for sale, with the CLP this year not ruling out a sale of this public asset.
“Just like they sold TIO, the CLP will sell our PowerWater without any concern about the impact on Territorians once this is sold, including higher charges and more blackouts.
“Under the CLP, the cost to buy a home has increased by 4.5% over the last 12 months, and first home buyers will be squeezed out of the market even further with the CLP cuts to first home buyer grants,” Ms Fyles said.
“Under the CLP the dream of owning a home is being put even further out of reach.”
“As well as paying more, Territorians are experiencing disruptions and cuts to essential government services like education and health.”
“Our schools have borne significant cuts to teaching and support staff positions. Under Global School Budgets set to start in January, many schools are facing more teacher cuts and less subject choices for students, cutting our education system to the bone.”
“There has been no real progress in improving remote Indigenous education and now another Minister for Education has been appointed to clean up the mess.”
“Programs supporting vulnerable families and children at risk are crumbling and resulting in an alarming and rapid increase in Territory children taken into care.”
“Child protection is going backwards with over 1000 reports unresolved while the CLP are more focused on cost-cutting rather than reducing the number of kids at risk of neglect or harm,” Ms Fyles said.
“Our health system continues to struggle with overloaded hospitals, continuing delays in access to treatment at our hospital emergency departments due to a lack of hospital beds and cuts to remote health services.
“The only improvements to our health system, after 2 years of a CLP government, have been projects approved and funded by Labor governments here and in Canberra.
“The CLP continue to talk up Northern Development, and allocate free water rights to CLP mates despite concerns from other stakeholders, but has made little progress in real regional economic development
“Territorians living in the bush are still waiting for improvements to roads and other infrastructure promised in the 2012 election. Again, they have only seen projects completed that were approved and funded by previous Labor governments.” Ms Fyles said.
“And the CLP continue to sit on the report of the Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking); the key current environmental issue for many Territorians.
“The CLP promised to be an open and accountable government, but that has been the biggest joke of 2014,” Ms Fyles said.
Media contact: Sonia Peters 0437 762 881
**Increase to housing costs: Territory Economic Review December 2014 www.treasury.nt.gov.au
Opposition Whip Michael Gunner says the Opposition would be holding the Government to account in this week’s Parliamentary sittings over its litany of broken promises on the Foundation 51 Inquiry, asset sales and the cuts to police numbers.
“Territorians are fed up with the CLP backflips that go to the heart of a failure of good governance,” Mr Gunner said.
“Chief Minister Adam Giles deceived the Member for Nelson into believing an Inquiry into political donations and Foundation 51 would be held and then attacked him when he was accused of being a con man.
“Leaked emails add to a growing mountain of evidence that slush fund Foundation 51 is directly linked to the CLP and has contributed significantly to funding election campaigns, and Adam Giles was keen to shut down any kind of inquiry which could have revealed serious breaches of the NT Electoral Act,” Mr Gunner said.
“The CLP clearly has something to hide because the full blown independent inquiry into political donations has been gutted to be nothing more than a watered-down analysis of legislation by his own Department of Chief Minister.”
Mr Gunner also said the Government’s double talk on asset sales was further proof of its deception.
“Under questioning from the Opposition last week Adam Giles admitted he has been considering the sale of TIO since March,” Mr Gunner said.
“Territorians deserve to have a say in whether they want their assets sold given the CLP had no privatisation plans at the last election.
“Labor is calling on Adam Giles to halt his planned asset sales and put the new-found policies to either a referendum or the 2016 general election.”
Mr Gunner said nothing was sacred under the CLP who showed they are tearing up election commitments.
“Police numbers have shrunk by 60 in the past 12 months, on top of the Government’s broken promise to employ 120 new police,” Mr Gunner said.
“With violent crime running at record levels in the past two years, we need more Police on the beat and not another broken promise.”
Media Contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924