28 February 2016 - Opposition Whip, Natasha Fyles, said that Adam Giles and the CLP are trying to buy the election using taxpayers’ money.
“Public servants are reporting that the CLP intends a major taxpayer funded blitz to advertise their proposed fiscal stimulus,” said Natasha Fyles.
“The CLP must not spend taxpayer dollars to run a political campaign.
“The Country Liberal Party already owes the Territory taxpayer $500,000 due to their ‘Ice’ and ‘On Track’ ads. We have now also written to the Auditor General referring an additional item we consider to be political in nature.
“Instead of slashing spending, constantly infighting and being concerned only about themselves and jobs for their mates, Adam Giles and the CLP should have been listening to Territorians and developing plans to create jobs.
“They should have been investing in infrastructure, investing in education, investing in innovation, investing in children.
“Instead we’ve had 8 Deputy Chief Ministers, reshuffle after reshuffle, scandal after scandal, serious corruption allegations, and across the board incompetence.
“The CLP's belated plan to roll out a stimulus package is sadly too little, too late for the many Territory businesses who won’t survive to see any of the benefits.
“Labor will support any sensible plans to create jobs, to invest in infrastructure and to invest in education and innovation.
“That’s why we have already laid out our extensive plans in many of these areas – with more to come.”
Media contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
17 December 2015 - Adam Giles must order an independent investigation into each and every Government office which dealt with Latitude Travel to uncover how many taxpayer dollars were potentially misappropriated by Latitude Travel and endeavor to recoup missing taxpayer funds.
“Adam Giles has a duty to get to the bottom of how many taxpayers dollars were potentially misappropriated and seek to recoup those funds on behalf of Territorians,” said Natasha Fyles.
“Each day that goes by that the CLP Government refuses to do this is cause for question and concern.
“It has come to light that $13,500 was overpaid when Minister Price went to New York and it is estimated that the CLP Government spent approximately $800,000 through Latitude Travel. Given Minister Price’s New York trip cost $50,000 we could be dealing with over $200,000 of misappropriated taxpayer funds.
“Even Minister Chandler raised serious concerns over the cost of his own trips to the UK and China booked through Latitude Travel.
“Adam Giles should be doing everything in his power to find out how much more taxpayer funds were misappropriated and pledge to Territorians that the Government will do everything it can to recover the money that belongs to taxpayers. Instead, he has chosen to do nothing.
“The longer he delays this absolutely reasonable course of action to recoup missing taxpayer dollars the more it looks as though his Government has something to hide.
“The review by DCM into travel only covered the period between July 2014 and June 2015 - the majority of Government bookings through Latitude Travel happened outside of these dates.
“If Adam Giles fails to do this, then he must explain to Territorians why he is not doing everything he can to recoup missing taxpayer dollars.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
22 October 2015 - Opposition Whip Natasha Fyles today called on the DPP to explain why Foundation 51 would not be prosecuted for breaches of electoral laws.
Ms Fyles said it was crucial that confidence in the electoral process and our justice system was maintained.
“Territorians rightly expect that the law is applied without fear or favour,” Ms Fyles said.
“Given that an investigation found a prima facie case and a reasonable prospect of conviction, it is entirely appropriate for the community to expect that the matter would go to court.
“Only a clear and full explanation of the DPP’s reasons not to proceed will give the community confidence that all Territorians are equal before the law.
Ms Fyles also highlighted the arrogant and dismissive attitude of the CLP Government as evidenced by former CLP Treasurer and Foundation 51 Director Graeme Lewis’s “slap on the wrist” comments.
“Today marks one year since the Adam Giles and his CLP Government broke their promise to have an inquiry into political donations,” Ms Fyles said.
“Graeme Lewis’ claims that he would have got a slap on the wrist and a $200 fine if found guilty of breach electoral laws, shows appalling arrogance and ignorance of the electoral act.
“These are serious offences that can carry up to 12 months imprisonment or fines in excess of $150 000.”
‘Graeme Lewis’ comments are typical of a CLP culture which thinks it is above the law and that the electoral act can be breached with impunity.
“While Adam Giles and the CLP remain in power, Territorians can have no confidence that the electoral process is open and transparent and their Government behaves with integrity.
Media contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794
“Last week Adam Giles pulled the full page ads detailing false information on Ice Legislation because they were referred to the Auditor General but has failed to apply similar principals to the current ‘on track’ political spin ads which have also been referred.
“The only thing the CLP Government is “On Track” for is to spend more taxpayer money on a politically fueled print and tv ad campaign designed to try and spin the worst government in Territory history,” said Natasha Fyles.
“As of today, the CLP have run 49 full page ads in just over four weeks.
“Last week, Adam Giles decided to cancel a series of advertisements which contained false and misleading information on Ice Legislation after Labor and Independent members referred the ads to the Auditor-General.
“In reference to those one page Ice Legislation ads, Adam Giles said:
“While that process is going on I've said let's not do any more ads."
- Adam Giles, ABC News, 21 September 2015
“By the Chief Minister’s own admission and self-set precedent, he must also pull his ‘On Track’ ads.
“The ‘On Track’ spin campaign also includes a series of television commercials running throughout the Northern Territory.
“To date, the CLP have refused to release costings associated with the production of their ‘on track’ campaign.
“Labor referred the ‘On Track’ ads to the Auditor-General weeks ago, because they are clearly politically motivated.”
“The Government does have a duty to advertise and promote relevant programs and events – but this is political spin which should be paid for by the party, not the taxpayer.
“Adam Giles must explain why he’s pulled the ICE ads but not the ‘On Track’ ads.
“Last sittings Labor introduced legislation which would put a stop to taxpayers’ funds being wasted on political advertising.
“Only a change of Government will restore integrity to Government and stop the abuse of taxpayer funds by Adam Giles and the CLP.”
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