14 January 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, joined CEO of Foodbank NT, Peter Fisher, during a food drive in Darwin today to announce Territory Labor’s commitment to provide $1.4 million over five years to support Foodbank NT.
“Labor is standing up for our community by providing certainty to the largest food relief provider in the Territory whose key role it is to ensure people don’t go hungry,” Mr Gunner said.
“From personal experience, I know exactly what it’s like to rely on organisations like Foodbank NT to put food on the family table.”
“Some 100 organisations, mostly other charities and non-government organisations and many whose resources are already stretched, also rely on the critical work Foodbank provides.
“Good governments provide backing to those who back the community. A properly funded Foodbank NT means fewer people will go hungry, more kids will eat breakfast before school, and 100 organisations will have that critical support.
“Without a doubt the need for delivering meals in our community is real and that need has increased dramatically over time.
“According to the Government’s consultants, Government grants only make up 16 per cent of Foodbank’s funding. For every dollar of that $160,000 current government contribution, Foodbank leveraged $8.80 dollars from other sources.
“The problem for Foodbank is right now. Unless Foodbank NT receives an urgent increased in funding, their doors will close in March of this year.
“I call on Adam Giles and the CLP Government to match Territory Labor’s commitment to Foodbank NT or at the very least, provide funding certainty to allow Foodbank NT to operate at full capacity until September of this year.
“Keeping Foodbank afloat means putting food on people’s tables. It’s the right thing to do.
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Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, has called on the CLP Government to respond to growing community concern over the epidemic of methamphetamine “Ice” abuse in the Territory.
Ms Lawrie has asked for the immediate establishment an “Ice Room” at Royal Darwin Hospital which has construction underway now to expand the Emergency Department.
Ms Lawrie has also called for an interagency taskforce of Police, Health and the Department of Children and Families to recommend urgent actions to tackle this scourge.
“Territory families and frontline workers are dealing with a growing Ice epidemic that is affecting and harming Territorians,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Ice related property crime is also on the rise with Territory Police confirming that Ice users are motivated to steal to support their drug habits. (NT News 8 January 2015)
“Immediate focussed action is needed to combat this growing crisis.”
Ms Lawrie questioned Adam Giles in Parliament Question Time today about whether he would immediately implement measures to tackle the scourge of Ice in the Territory.
“The first step that needs immediate action is improving facilities for medical staff to manage patients on Ice who present to their Emergency Departments,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Nurses and doctors on the frontline need support and appropriate facilities to treat patients that present to them while under the influence of Ice. This facility is critical for the safety of hospital staff and patients.”
Ms Lawrie said that the Chief Minister was failing to understand the need for a multi-faceted approach that included Police, Health and support services for families.
“A multi-agency taskforce consider education and awareness, training for frontline professionals and support services. Who do families turn to and what support can they receive for early recognition and intervention?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“Our Police and nurses are doing a great job in tough circumstances. Let’s give them the tools and support they deserve. Let’s help families who are suffering the consequences of this scourge.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
The Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today gave notice of a no-confidence motion against the Government which will be debated next Tuesday.
“Territorians have lost confidence in Adam Giles and his CLP Government,” Ms Lawrie said.
“At a time when Territorians should be reaping the rewards of a strong economy they are instead struggling under the burden of a CLP leader unfit to govern.
“Territorians are fed up with the CLP Government’s constant infighting, dysfunction and chaos.
“The events of the last couple of weeks have proven to Territorians that they are not a priority for Adam Giles and his CLP Government.”
Ms Lawrie said Territory Labor has listened to Territorians and if given the opportunity is ready to govern for Territorians.
“In Government Territory Labor will work to undo the damage to the Territory caused by Adam Giles and the CLP Government,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Labor would halt the CLP’s privatisation push and immediately review crippling PowerWater tariff hikes that are an intolerable cost of living burden for families and businesses.
“We would halt the sale of the Port and work with industry to expand business opportunities with Asia. Our existing Port operates well under capacity and we'd work with trade and resources industries to grow opportunities.
“We would initiate a high-level task force to review the impact of the TIO sale and work with the Federal, QLD and WA governments to implement the recommendations of Pivot North to deliver an affordable public insurance model that promotes investment in Northern Australia giving families and businesses the insurance coverage they need.”
Ms Lawrie said Labor in Government would work with school communities, the Australian Education Union, COGSO and our educators to reinvest in Education to secure a better future for our children.
“We'd restore integrity to Government and appointments based on good governance rather than the jobs for mates approach of the CLP Government,” Ms Lawrie said.
“We will return to working with our fine Police and restore the Separation of Powers so disgracefully torn down by the CLP.
“The first legislation we will introduce will be compensation for our firefighters with cancer and it will be retrospective.
“We would get on and build the Palmerston hospital - fast-tracking construction rather than bogging it down in the quicksand of private operator models that fail to meet the needs of Territorians.
“We will work in partnership with Indigenous organisations and Land Councils to realise the vast potential of Indigenous Territorians, restoring respect rather than the CLP divide and conquer mentality.”
Labor is committed to reinstating funding to the Environment sector and will establish an Office of Climate change to drive investment in renewable energy.
“We would address the tragedy of the Ice epidemic by immediately installing an Ice room at RDH and establishing an Inter-Agency Taskforce of Police, Health and Children and Families to report within six weeks of action that can be taken to combat the scourge of Ice in our communities,” Ms Lawrie said.
“We will continue to seek tourism opportunities and work with the sector to improve domestic and international visitation and restore our relationship with our neighbours by bringing back the much-loved Arafura Games.
“Nhulunbuy structural adjustment opportunities will be pursued to return health to this vibrant community and region.
“We will be a government for all Territorians that promotes harmony and cultural diversity and we will introduce 18C legislation to make racial vilification unlawful.
“We will consult with and listen to Territorians.
“We will encourage debate and be accountable for our decisions. We will restore decency to Government and care for the people of our great Territory.”
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.”
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to refocus on his broken promises to deliver for Central Australia and start by announcing what flood mitigation measures he will be funding in Alice Springs.
“Last month Alice Springs suffered some of the biggest floods in more than 20 years and many houses and businesses were inundated,” Ms Lawrie said.
“But the Chief Minister has earmarked no money for flood mitigation for Alice Springs in the $50 million package announced for Darwin and Katherine flood works using funds from the sale of TIO.
“The January floods showed there is a need for further flood mitigation works in Alice.
“In Government, Labor funded local flood mitigation works including successful rechannelling works in the Todd River.
“But the CLP Government continues to snub Alice Springs and ignore the wishes of the community."
Ms Lawrie said that this week the Chief Minister tried to handball responsibility for escalating youth issues in the town to a Regional Coordination Committee.
“We don’t need further delays to deal with these urgent issues," Ms Lawrie said.
“He has had months of warnings from youth workers, police and the business community about what’s going on but he ignored Alice Springs.
“Workers on the front line have said continually that funding has to be restored to a co-ordinated approach to after-hours programs.
“Alice Springs has been paying the price for the CLP’s cuts to after-hours youth services in town and now Adam Giles is finally admitting they got it wrong.
“The CLP Government needs to support existing services that are grounded in the community to do their job effectively, to get kids at risk of the streets at night and improve community safety.
“Adam Giles is more concerned with punishing the Member for Araluen than delivering real economic and social benefits for Alice Springs and the wider region.
“Sadly it’s Central Australians who lose out while the CLP plays its power games.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie today called for a general election to end the dysfunctional CLP circus.
“The people of the Northern Territory want a functioning Government and don’t deserve this CLP circus which has made the Territory a laughing stock,” Ms Lawrie said.
“The CLP Government is in paralysis again with another leadership coup overnight as Willem Westra van Holthe announced he had the CLP numbers to be Chief Minister and John Elferink to be Deputy Chief Minister.
“With this latest CLP brawl we’re facing a third Chief Minister and fifth Deputy Chief Minister in just two and a half years.
“The CLP has been dysfunctional with internal brawling for two and half years that has regularly spilled over into the public, with leadership changes, Cabinet reshuffles and CLP members walking out of the party.
“The Territory deserves a stable Government. Business needs stability for investor confidence, the public service needs stability for crucial service delivery – instead it’s been constant chaos.
“It’s time for a general election to let the people decide and get the Chief Minister they voted for – that is true democracy.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today said Adam Giles is arrogantly pushing ahead with plans to privatise the Darwin Port, showing he has learnt nothing from the LNP drubbing in Queensland on the weekend.
“Adam Giles, Campbell Newman and Tony Abbot are like peas in a pod. Ignoring the wishes of the people and undertaking no consultation about matters people really care about,” Ms Lawrie said.
“I call on Adam Giles to immediately halt his plans to privatise the port. He should withdraw the Darwin Ports bills from Parliament.
“He needs to front the Senate Privatisation Inquiry in Darwin on 16 February to justify why he’s sold our busses, our government printer and TIO and explain what other public assets he wants to privatise.
“This is an opportunity for him to start consulting with Territorians. He had no mandate to sell public assets and he has failed to explain the impact on Territorians.
“If he was fair dinkum about acting in the interests of Territorians, he would seek their mandate at the next election.
“It’s not too late for Territorians to have their opinions heard by the Senate Inquiry. Territorians can contact the Senate Economics Committee and put your name forward to be heard.”
Ms Lawrie urged Territorians to contact the Committee secretariat on 02 6277 3540 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if they want to make an oral or written submission.
“I will be presenting Territory Labor’s commitment to not sell our public assets to the Inquiry and will use it as an opportunity to promise to Territorians that we won’t be a government of surprises and broken promises after the next election,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Queenslanders did not tolerate the LNP’s arrogance and broken promises and Adam Giles is foolish if he steadfastly fails to grasp that Territorians don’t want their public assets sold.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today congratulated Annastacia Palaszczuk and her QLD Labor team on their victory last night.
"Labor’s commitment to a fairer and better Queensland, and people power rejecting being treated like fools over a litany of broken election promises, delivered a historic change of Government," Ms Lawrie said.
"The QLD Liberal National Party (LNP) broke promises, and like the Territory CLP, planned to privatise public assets, to the detriment of residents.
"Territory Labor will continue to fight the Adam Giles privatisation plans all the way to the next election.
"We will not let the CLP get away with breaking their promises to Territorians. They have cut health and education budgets and failed to increase the police force as they promised while violent crime increases.
"Territorians have also suffered massive increases to power and water bills; a painful reminder of the broken promise to cut the cost of living."
Ms Lawrie said Territorians can be assured that Territory Labor will fight to save our public assets and invest in frontline services to support our communities.
"We will put Territorians first."
Opposition Leader, Delia Lawrie, today called on the Member for Blain, Nathan Barrett, to fully disclose all details surrounding the $10,000 loan he received from Foundation 51 Director, Graeme Lewis.
Ms Lawrie said Territorians deserved to know the truth following conflicting public comments between Mr Barrett and Mr Lewis over the payment, with Mr Barrett saying he accepted the $10,000 loan from Mr Lewis – a man he says he had never met before - while Mr Lewis is reported as saying: “he was a friend of mine ….I knew him quite well”.
According to an NT News report today, Mr Barrett said the terms of the loan were: “If you win, pay it back as soon as you can. If you don’t win, we’ll call it a day and you know, I lost 10 grand – which I thought was pretty good of him but I had actually never met him before that.”
Ms Lawrie said that in the interest of transparency and accountability Mr Barrett owes a full explanation of all the details of the loan to residents of Blain and the Northern Territory Parliament.
He needs to answer the following questions:
Who was the mutual friend and party member who introduced Mr Barrett to Mr Lewis?
On what day was the offer of the $10,000 made?
On what day did Mr Barrett accept the Loan?
Was a loan contract drawn up, and if so, will he publicly release it?
When did he actually receive the loan?
When did he repay the loan?
Ms Lawrie said that these revelations about a $10,000 loan were extraordinary.
“Has any other member of the CLP parliamentary team received a donation or loan from Graeme Lewis or Foundation 51?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“The Chief Minister Adam Giles needs to come out of hiding and demand that his Parliamentary Secretary reveal all details.”
The Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today questioned whether Adam Giles has taken leave to avoid facing scrutiny over the handling of a spate of issues that have underpinned this month.
“Deputy Chief Minister, Peter Chandler, and new Education Minister, Robyn Lambley, have been left behind to clean up the CLP Government’s mess,” Ms Lawrie said.
“It is extraordinary that the Chief Minister could dump the responsibility of the travel agent scandal that prompted the resignation of Police Commissioner, John McRoberts, to his deputy. Can you imagine any other government leader not returning from leave to deal with such a major issue?
“With many questions about the scandal outstanding the Chief Minister Adam Giles has remained in hiding.
“Adding to the drama-packed January, this week’s $23 million backflip on Global School Budgets has happened while the Chief Minister, who is also Treasurer, is missing in action. The Government knew there was a shortfall last year, so why the delay until Adam Giles was away?
“With violent crime escalating across Darwin and Palmerston and some liquor outlets introducing their own supply reduction measures will the new Police Minister and Acting Chief Minister, Peter Chandler, increase police numbers by 120 as promised in the election but reneged on by Adam Giles?
“The EBA disputes between the Government and firefighters and paramedics should have been resolved before Christmas, but they are still dragging on so now is the chance for the Acting Chief Minister to clean up that mess too.
“Territorians are heartily fed up with the chaos of the Giles Government and a clean-up is long overdue. Restoring funding to education should be just the start.”