17 August 2015 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner has told today’s Police Association’s Annual Conference that a Territory Labor Government will fund dedicated and sworn welfare officers to provide support to Northern Territory Police.
“Police do a difficult job,” said Michael Gunner.
“Serving police officers, executive members of the Police Association and retired officers have raised concerns about the assistance provided to officers to do that job on behalf of all of us.
“To support the police Labor is prepared to boost the welfare support they and their partners and families receive.”
Reintroduce Sworn Welfare Officers with;
“I will also support the proper resourcing of a police chaplain, including a part-time chaplain in Alice Springs,” Mr Gunner said.
Michael Gunner re-iterated Labor’s intention to reintroduce the banned drinkers register. He also announced:
Michael Gunner also spoke on the issue of paperless arrests.
“Police gave powerful evidence to the Coroner that paperless arrests are increasing the pressure and workload on frontline police and the watchhouse. The Coroner has made strong practical arguments to repeal the legislation.
“Police and legal bodies like NAAJA are in agreement.
“Labor is listening to the Police, NAAJA and the Coroner. We will find a way to reduce pressures on police and courts but still have justice done.
“We are currently exploring options around infringement notices for more offences. This allows police to act immediately, reduces demands on courts but still allows legal bodies like NAAJA to take an issue to court if it is needed,” Mr Gunner said.
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
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 CLP government needs to explain why it has taken so long to commence the criminal investigation into former NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts.
They must also assure the public that the memorandum of understanding and terms of reference are broad enough to cover the serious allegations made by Chief Minister Adam Giles in early February, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Police Lynne Walker said today.
“I am alarmed to hear that the criminal investigation can’t start because the government hasn’t drawn up the paperwork,” she said.
“I’m also concerned that the terms of reference won’t be wide enough to investigate the CLP’s involvement or receive the evidence that Adam Giles said he’d collected when he raised very serious allegations about senior police and CLP politicians colluding to damage him.
“Adam Giles has undermined public confidence in the criminal justice system and has made public comments which tarnish our hard working police men and women.
“He promised to hold a Judicial Inquiry into these serious matters but walked away from that undertaking.
“Media reports yesterday indicated that the Police Minister, Peter Chandler is confused about the arrangements.
“This is just more dysfunction from an incompetent government.”
“Peter Chandler needs to confirm that the memorandum of understanding and the terms of reference for the investigation are wide enough to capture all the allegations made by the Chief Minister.”
“Has the Chief Minister referred all the evidence he says he has to the AFP – emails, phone records, text messages to find out – in his own words ‘who knew what, when’?”
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Lynne Walker said today there are still serious questions that the Chief Minister must answer.
The CLP government announced late on Sunday that they would not proceed with the judicial inquiry announced by Adam Giles early in February.
“Adam Giles was Police Minister until he suddenly gave up the portfolio in mid-December last year. He’s made it clear that he wants the portfolio back, so why did he offload it then?
“He still hasn’t come clean about what he knew and when.
“He is on the record as saying he has evidence of a conspiracy or coup between senior police and members of his government.
“On 3 February, Adam Giles made this extraordinary claim to the media:
‘I will be making available to the judicial investigator…access to all emails, phone records, text messages and to find out who knew what when, There have been a series of allegations and rumours made today, particularly in relation to some senior police and members of the political fraternity on the Country Liberals party side.’
‘The allegations that have been coming out about senior ministers of the police force actively running a coup or a campaign in cahoots with some alleged politicians is a significant problem.'
“Will he or has he provided that evidence to the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner’s delegate or the Ombudsman?
“Will he provide it to the investigation by two officers from another Australian police force that was announced today?
“He can answer these questions right now so Territorians are assured he wasn’t playing politics in making the grave allegations he did in early February.”
Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241 211
NT Shadow Minister for Police, Lynne Walker, today called on the Chief Minister, Adam Giles, to remove himself from any role in creating the Terms of Reference for an Independent Judicial Inquiry as there are serious unanswered questions as to what he knew, and when, surrounding the allegations of the former Police Commissioner’s interference in a criminal investigation.
“Adam Giles has said he will make available his emails, phone records and text messages when he announced the Judicial Inquiry would be established. If even he has identified he’s the subject of rumours then he has a clear conflict of interest and should stand aside from any involvement in establishing the Inquiry,” Ms Walker said.
‘Last week Adam Giles said:
“The allegations that have been coming out about senior members of the police force actively running a coup or a campaign in cahoots with some alleged politicians, is a significant problem. That is spreading to the point of the Police Commissioner being removed albeit under a cloud of allegations and also this challenge today.” (Media conference Tuesday 3 February.)
“I have good evidence that this has involved an orchestrated political coup to get rid of the police commissioner, the former one, and there have been the involvement of members of parliament. The judicial inquiry will have a look at it. If I find that there is evidence they'll go, and I'll take them to court. (Alice Springs branch meeting secret recordings Wednesday 4 February.)
“The circumstances around the undermining process, spreading rumours about myself by one parliamentary member in particular and the upper echelons of police, I think is very bad and signifies a significant problem within police, hence the judicial inquiry that I've just announced.” (Alice Springs branch meeting secret recordings Wednesday 4 February.)
“I will be making available to the judicial investigator in regards to this process, access to all emails, phone records, text messages and to find out who knew what, when. There have been a series of allegations and rumours made today, particularly in relation to some senior police and members of the political fraternity on the Country Liberals party side.” (Alice Springs branch meeting secret recordings Wednesday 4 February).
“What evidence does Adam Giles have? Has he provided that evidence to the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner or the Ombudsman who are currently investigating the allegations into the former Police Commissioner John McRoberts?" Ms Walker said.
“Will Adam Giles come clean on who in the Country Liberals party he is accusing of being involved in a political coup?”
Ms Walker said that the outrageous attack Adam Giles made against Police, that he now says ‘went too far’ has made his position untenable.
“We have a Government embroiled in political infighting and a Chief Minister who shoots from the hip with unsubstantiated outrageous allegations. That is no way to run the Territory,” Ms Walker said.
“If they can’t run themselves, they certainly can’t run the Territory.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today called on Adam Giles to explain why he didn’t take serious allegations about Peter Maley to the Police.
Ms Lawrie said days after the allegations surrounding the Cash for Access scandal broke the Chief Minister, who is also the Police Minister, has failed to explain why he didn’t refer Norm McCleary’s email to the Police back in May.
“We have an extraordinary situation where the Chief Minister receives an email saying $10,000 was paid to the CLP for access to sensitive government documents and fails to refer it to Police. Why?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“Adam Giles needs to explain to Territorians why after sitting on serious allegations of corruption for months he went on to vehemently defend his appointment of Peter Maley as a magistrate.
“There is a stench surrounding the CLP that warrants a full inquiry by a formal judicial officer without ties to the CLP
“We have seen the Eight by Five methods in NSW and we see an eerily similarity with the CLP’s Foundation 51.
“Territorians are demanding answers and Labor will keep holding this circus of a Government to account.
“The Dave Tollner threats to walk out on the CLP and his attacks on his colleagues show that they have descended into farce.
“The very real danger of Adam Giles being dumped is a result of his failure in leadership.
Media Contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924