The CLP’s 8th Deputy Chief Minister, Peter Styles, today called a press conference to display his spectacular economic incompetence.
“In a move that can only be described as crushingly humiliating, the CLP’s 8th Deputy Chief Minister today almost fell over himself in his haste and giddiness to endorse a report by BIS Shrapnel into Federal Labor’s Negative Gearing Policy,” said Ms Manison.
The key points here are:
Grattan Institute chief executive John Daley said the report and its underlying assumptions, "did not pass the giggle test" and were "manifestly ridiculous".
Mr Daley went on to say that, “Voters should be asking themselves whether a responsible government would rely on this sort of nonsense in a public policy debate".
BIS Shrapnel also admitted to the Australian Financial Review this morning that “The assumptions were set several months ago, and the analysis done late last year, well before (federal) Labor announced its policy. Therefore the assumptions do not align with (federal) Labor’s policy”.
“The CLP’s 8th Deputy Chief Minister today remained unfazed when faced with the facts and held a press conference to humiliate himself, the Government and his CLP Party.
“Peter Styles today proved what Territorians already know – the CLP Government won’t let the facts get in the way of a poorly run scare campaign.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
18 February 2016 - Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison today called on new Land Resource Management Minister Gary Higgins to restore trust to the portfolio in the wake of the damage to the Northern Territory’s reputation caused by his predecessor, the Member for Katherine, Willem Westra Van Holthe.
Ms Manison called on Minister Higgins to reveal all the details surrounding recent media revelations that Tropical Forestry Services’ (TFS) sandalwood project had received Major Project status.
“The new Minister for Land Resource Management has an opportunity to repair the damage caused by the scandal surrounding Mr Westra Van Holthe’s conflict of interest as the previous Minister,” Ms Manison said.
“He must also urgently act to ensure Territorians, businesses and potential investors have absolute confidence that the processes by which water and other valuable natural resources are allocated are open, transparent and economically and environmentally sound.
“Given the CLPs appalling record of awarding water without proper processes and ignoring the science around issues of sustainability, it’s crucial that Minister Higgins assures Territorians that Major Project status for the TFS sandalwood project will have an open and transparent process of water allocation. He must answer:
“Territorians want to see clear and transparent decisions made when it comes to do the allocation of water, and the new Minister has an opportunity to do this and address these serious concerns that have been raised.”
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794
28 January 2016 - Documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) show the CLP’s taxpayer funded “On Track” advertisements have cost Territorians well over $200,000, as of September 2015.
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison said the ‘On Track’ adverts should not be paid for by Territory taxpayers.
“Adverts of a political nature should be paid for by political parties, not tax payers,” Ms Manison said.
“These FOI documents show that the messaging in these adverts is about political spin and should not have been paid for by tax payers.”
“These adverts have costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. By mid-September last year cost of the production and advertising buy was $200,000.
“The ‘On Track’ advertising campaign has continued to run and the spend is now hundreds of thousands of dollars more – and paid for by Territorians.
“These documents also show there are concerns about correct procurement processes being followed as well.
“The ‘On Track’ ads are clearly political and we have referred them to the Auditor-General to determine whether they breach the Public Information Act.
“We will also be referring questions around the Government’s procurement rules to the Auditor-General.”
19 December 2015 - Territory Labor today called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to end the CLP Government’s farcical response to revelations of fraud and corruption involving government and ministerial travel.
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Nicole Manison said it was time for the cover up to end and for a full and independent investigation to be commissioned into all Government and ministerial travel booked through Latitude Travel.
"If the Government has nothing to hide it will hold an independent investigation into ministerial travel booked through Latitude Travel. This is the CLP’s chance to be open and accountable," Ms Manison said.
“In the space of just four days we’ve seen acting Chief Minister Westra van Holthe refuse to conduct an investigation, Minister Styles support an independent review and the Department of the Chief Minister order a limited internal audit into departmental but not ministerial travel.
“The Chief Minister owes it to Territorians to recoup every single taxpayer dollar if it has been rorted through government or ministerial travel.
“This latest audit smacks of the same cover up which saw the previous review into ministerial travel exclude scrutiny of Minister Prices’ trip to New York which was the subject of recent court proceedings, and Minister Chandler’s trip to the US and UK, the cost of which he himself raised concerns about in parliament.
“If the Chief Minister is even remotely interested in recovering misspent taxpayer dollars he will announce a full and independent investigation.
“Anything less will confirm Territorians’ suspicions that the CLP Government is more interested in covering up the truth than exposing it.”
Media contact: Kieran Phillips 0438 272 839
18 December 2015 - FOI documents obtained prove that there are serious contradictions within Government and its agencies around approval dates and payments around Ministerial Travel.
FACT: Minister Chandler went on a trip to the UK and USA with Planning Commissioner Gary Nairn in September 2013.
FACT: The Department of Lands and Planning approved payments of over $21,000 to Latitude Travel for the Planning Commissioner’s airfares on 3 September 2013 (See FOI document A) well before approval was received by Minister Chandler and the Chief Minister.
FACT: Departmental approval pre-dated the Chief Minister’s approval for this trip by 3 days which goes against government process (See FOI document B which shows the Chief Minister signed off on the approval on 6 September 2013 – three days after payment had already been made by the department to Latitude Travel).
FACT: FOI Document C shows that approval for the Planning Commissioners trip was still being sought from Minister Chandler as late as 18 September 2013.
FACT: FOI Documents A, B and C clearly shows that payment by the Department to Latitude Travel was done before receiving approval by both Minister Chandler and the Chief Minister which goes against Government process.
“Territorians deserve to know why it clearly appears that processes were broken,” Ms Manison said.
“Adam Giles must order an independent investigation into every Government agency and Ministerial office which had dealings with Latitude Travel to give people confidence that all funds were appropriately spent.”
14 December 2015 - Territory Labor's Government Accountability Shadow Nicole Manison today issued questions on notice to CLP Government Ministers on Ministerial travel.
"We are asking several outstanding questions to the CLP which will serve to provide Territorians open and transparent answers on travel,” Ms Manison said.
"CLP Ministers who have used Latitude Travel have questions to answer and we are doing this so that the CLP Government understands they must be accountable to the public.
“There is absolutely nothing stopping Adam Giles from calling for a full audit on every one of his Ministerial Offices which had dealings with Latitude Travel.”
The questions on notice for the CLP Government to answer are:
9 December 2015 - Adam Giles must act immediately to end the continuing chaos and dysfunction and sort out the mess that is the CLP Cabinet, Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Nicole Manison said today.
“Territorians deserve certainty and stability. At the moment, Adam Giles has two Senior Cabinet Ministers who are apparently out of control,” Ms Manison said.
“Adam Giles can’t control John Elferink, who it seems will say one thing and then do another.
“Last week, we saw Gerry Wood vote to save the government by abstaining from a no confidence motion, based on his understanding that Daniel’s Law would be withdrawn completely. But today John Elferink said that he still plans to introduce Daniel’s Law next year.”
Reporter: Daniel’s Law – has it been withheld for a period of time or totally withdrawn?
Wood: I got a phone call from John Elferink on Friday afternoon saying it will be withdrawn.
Gerry Wood, Mix 104.9, 30 November 2015
Elferink: In relation to Daniel’s Law, it hasn’t gone away. We’re doing more consultation. But I fully intend to bring it back next year.
John Elferink, ABC radio, 9 December 2015
“Adam Giles can’t control Dave Tollner, who up until today has been avoiding media since he was snubbed for preselection by the CLP,” Ms Manison said.
“Adam Giles needs to act now and confirm that the current cabinet is the one he will take to the election.
“If Dave Tollner and John Elferink keep their portfolios until August next year, Territorians will see another 8 months of backflips, chaos and tantrums from the CLP.
“If Adam Giles truly has the best interests of Territorians in mind, he will remove John Elferink and Dave Tollner from the Cabinet now so we can fix the crisis in Corrections and Child Protection and give someone time to construct a budget for next year.
“The CLP have continually broken the trust of Territorians. They just can’t be trusted. Territorians are once again paying the price for Adam Giles to cling onto power at any cost.”
8 December 2015 - The NTCOSS report that Territorians are paying an additional $1500 for insurance since 2009 is cause for concern given the average Territory Family is also paying around an extra $2000 since the CLP increased power by 30% and Water by 40%.
“The CLP broke their promise to reduce the cost of living when they increased Power and Water costs and sold TIO, and it’s for these reasons people are leaving the Territory in record levels,” said Nicole Manison.
“In 2014 the Northern Territory lost 3500 more people to interstate migration than we gained which means we lost 3500 taxpayers which skills who were contributing to the future of our Territory.
“In actual fact, the current losses are the worst experienced in two decades.
“Record levels of people leaving the Territory places immense pressure on local business because there are 3500 fewer people who won’t be spending their hard earned cash here at local businesses and shops.
“Local business is the backbone of our Territory economy, and when local business suffers, our economy suffers.
“The fact that 3500 people fewer people have taken their future elsewhere should be a wakeup call for the CLP Government.
“The CLP’s Adam Giles has dismissed the record levels of people leaving the Territory by saying we have always lost population, but that is simply not the case and completely contrary to NT Treasury documents.
“Treasury reports show net interstate migration in the period from 2007 to 2010 was positive - the Territory gained more people from interstate than it lost.
“Territory Labor will introduce a package which induces initiatives to help ease the pain Territorians have suffered through for three and a half years of this CLP Government.”
8 December 2015 - Today’s announcement by the CLP Government that they will scrap the Richardson Park upgrade is a win for common sense and the community.
“This has been a debacle from day one because the CLP refused to consult and listen to the community,” Ms Manison said.
“I am very concerned that today’s decision by CLP Chief Minister, Adam Giles, was again made without even consulting with the head of Rugby League.
“It’s clear the only reason Adam Giles made this decision has come about is a desperate bid by Adam Giles to gain votes less than nine months out of an election.
“Rugby League must have certainty about their future but the CLP must ensure that this time consultation takes place with all those concerned.
“Territory Labor has been consulting with Rugby League and the community and will continue to do so to ensure Rugby League has a home. Rugby League in the Territory has a long and proud history and they deserve to be supported.
“It is interesting to see that the CLP Party has dumped David Tollner and now we see this project has also been scrapped.”
2 December 2015 - Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said that the latest Department of Education Annual Report shows some worrying trends in remote education.
According to Departmental annual reports:
“The CLP’s teacher cuts to education are negatively impacting on results education in the bush and are also impacting on indigenous employment.
“The number of assistant indigenous teachers has been reduced by 40, the number of indigenous classroom teachers has been reduced by 9 and 12 Indigenous trainee teacher positions have also gone,” Ms Manison said.
“Reducing teachers and reducing indigenous staff in schools is now showing. The CLP’s lack of a strategy and investment in Early Childhood Development is showing up in the very real decline in children attending Government subsidised pre-school.
“There is no amount of spin that can hide these results by the Education Minister,” Ms Manison said.
NAPLAN RESULTS 2012 – 2015
PERFORMANCE MEASURE - STUDENTS ACHIEVING NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARD IN NAPLAN
WRITING – INDIGENOUS
NUMERACY - INDIGENOUS
*Note: 2012, 2013, 2014 results sourced from Annual Reports. 2015 – NAPLAN website