Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Natasha Fyles, today said Adam Giles failed to defend his Government in a motion of No Confidence debate in Parliament today.
Ms Fyles said it was extraordinary that Mr Giles failed to contribute to the debate and respond to unprecedented criticism of his failure by Labor, Independent and CLP Government backbencher Robyn Lambley.
"Labor introduced the serious No Confidence motion on behalf of Territorians who are fed up with the chaos, dysfunction and infighting of the CLP Government," Ms Fyles said.
“Territorians have been shown contempt again by the Giles Government when they failed to defend their Government today - leaving the lone wolf John Elferink to defend the indefensible; their bad policy decisions, chaos, infighting and dysfunction."
CLP Member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, contributed to the debate by saying ‘this is a very important motion because despite what we’d like to present to the public we all know that the political instability within our government remains unresolved.’
‘Adam Giles was voted out of the position of Chief Minister on the 2nd February just 22 days’ ago. 9 members of his team decided that they no longer had faith in his leadership. 9 out of 14 CLP Parliamentary Wing members voted to have him removed from the position of Chief Minister …. His colleagues genuinely thought he had lost touch with average Territorians, he was arrogant and his general dishonesty was eroding any respect we had for him.’
‘International convention is such that once a government leader has lost the majority support of his or her colleagues, the resign. We were advised this was unprecedented in the history of Australian political history that a leader not resign under these circumstances but Adam Giles did not resign …Instead he threatened that he would prefer to bring down our government and take us to an early election rather than resign.’
‘In addition to sacking me from Cabinet, Adam Giles sacked my adviser, a gay gentleman with a wealth of experience as a ministerial adviser, and to top it off he also sacked a disabled woman I specifically employed when I was the Minister for Disability Services.’
‘Adam Giles is not the legitimate leader of this government. No vote has been taken in the parliamentary wing since 2 February 2015. Willem Westra van Holthe remains the anointed leader based on that vote. The truth is on 3 February Adam Giles threatened his way into remaining as leader in the subsequent parliamentary wing meeting. He threatened to bring the government down and take us to an early election just 22 days’ ago rather than conceive he lost support of nine out of 14 members of the parliamentary wing.’
‘I have no faith in a government led by Adam Giles. I have stated publicly I believe Adam Giles has no integrity. I stand by that statement and that alone is enough to mean he should not hold a position of community leadership’.
‘Certain members of this government and even the federal parliament do not seem to understand the community expects more from its leaders than getting drunk at topless bars of telling bare-faced lies.’
The Member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, said that the CLP, ‘drown under a pile of debris caused by Cyclone Giles’.
Ms Fyles said that Territorians were fed up with the Giles Government cuts to education, health, public service jobs; hikes to power water bills, sale of TIO without a mandate and the ongoing disputes with essential frontline staff.
“An early election is the only way to fix the mess created by Adam Giles and the CLP circus he purports to lead," Ms Fyles said.
“It was extraordinary, and yet another example of the arrogance of the CLP Government, that the majority of CLP members did not speak to the motion and explain to Territorians as to why they should be the Government of the Territory.
“Or is it a case of abstaining from debate as to not further expose the deep divisions of the CLP Government?
"Have the CLP members chosen the route of ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’?”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Natasha Fyles said Territorians are fed up with the ongoing CLP crisis and revolving door of Cabinet.
"CLP chaos and dysfunction continues in the wake of yet another CLP Minister moving to the backbench - sparking the 14th Cabinet reshuffle in just two and a half years," Ms Fyles said.
“The calamity of events over the last week has left an incompetent CLP Government proving they can't run themselves, let alone our great Northern Territory.
“Matt Conlan today resigned from Cabinet and abandoned his three portfolios of Transport, Infrastructure and Housing.
“Robyn Lambley has been sacked from Cabinet and lashed out at Chief Minister Adam Giles saying lacks ‘honesty, integrity and respect’.
“Dave Tollner, who resigned from Cabinet last year embroiled in a homophobic slur, is having his career revived by a desperate Adam Giles, despite referring to his CLP colleagues as a ‘nest of vipers’."
Ms Fyles said more than half of Adam Giles' colleagues votes to oust him as Chief Minister last week with a vote of nine out of 13.
“Nine out of 13 Members of the CLP Government don’t think Arrogant Adam Giles should be Chief Minister,” Ms Fyles said.
“Adam Giles admitted his deputy doesn’t have the ‘capacity, professionalism and tenacity’ to carry out the top job but rewarded his disloyalty with the Deputy position, pushing aside Peter Chandler.
“How are Territorians expected to believe that this, their 14th Cabinet reshuffle, will stick and instil some stability after two and a half years of dysfunction?”
Ms Fyles said the situation within the CLP Government has gone past ridiculous and Territorians are calling for an early election.
“How can the CLP govern the Territory if they can’t even govern themselves?” Ms Fyles asked.
“Territorians are fed up with the CLP debacle. They are too busy taking care of themselves rather than Territorians."
Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said today that the continuing instability in the CLP Government it is taking a devastating toll on critical services like Education.
“The Education Department in the Northern Territory has seen five ministers in the two and half years they’ve been in power,” Ms Manison said.
“This equates to almost a new Minister every school semester.
“The effect of this chaos results in paralysis for the Department.
“How can decisions be made, or direction taken when there is a revolving door of Education Ministers?
“We’ve, only weeks ago, seen the Former Minister for Education, Robyn Lambley, come in and try to clean up the mess of Global School Budgets left by the other Former Minister for Education, Peter Chandler, who was reeling from the budget cuts of the other Former Education Ministers, John Elferink and Robyn Lambley.
“Lambley, Elferink, Chandler, Lambley, Elferink - How long until Chandler gets his turn again? When will this chaos end?”
Ms Manison said the Education Department isn’t the only NT Government Department suffering from the effects of this CLP dysfunction.
“As soon as the ink dries on the Ministerial stationery, the CLP’s instability causes another round of musical chairs,” Ms Manison said.
“Major businesses and investors hardly know who to engage with in negotiations for projects. There is no guarantee that these Ministers or even the Chief Minister will be in the same position the next day.
“Sadly Territorians are the ones losing out while this epic power battle plays out.”
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.”
Shadow Minister for Health, Lynne Walker, said the CLP continues to ignore calls for an urgent review of clinical practice employed in the CLP’s Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT) program.
“Calls for an urgent review have been supported overnight by the Australian Medical Association who said that many questions remain about the standard of care available to patients in AMT,” Ms Walker said.
“The recent death of a patient in AMT has highlighted the need for urgent review of the medical support necessary to underpin the AMT program.
“The CLP has always sought to dress up AMT as a health service but won’t show how health outcomes are being delivered.
“Even the Health Department says on its web site that evaluation as the program is implemented will be critical.”
Ms Walker said what is needed, right now, is an independent medical review whose Terms of Reference include assessment of:
“Earlier this year Minister for Health, Robyn Lambley, said a review of the health outcomes of AMT would come later this year. The only evaluation to date has been a survey of views about the AMT legislation,” Ms Walker said.
“The year is nearly over and still no sign of any support for a proper clinical review of the AMT programs being delivered at a huge cost to Territory taxpayers, with $27m provided for AMT last year and a further $28.3m budgeted for 14/15.
“Territory taxpayers deserve to know that they are receiving a proper return on that investment of public funds and that the medical services being provided are both appropriate and adequate to meet the health objectives of AMT.”
Shadow Minister for Health, Nicole Manison, said the CLP Government is more interested in bulldozer stunts than delivering the long overdue Palmerston Hospital.
"The Health Minister, Robyn Lambley, is trying to spin progress on the site but it will take a lot more action to make people believe that the Palmerston Hospital will be built in the next four years,” Ms Manison said.
"The CLP has bungled the important Palmerston Hospital project from the outset when they scrapped a serviced site for bush land, delaying the project by years.
“Adding to the mishandling of this project the CLP Government has now started land clearing on the site without consultation or communication with local residents.
"At this rate how can we have any confidence a hospital will be built by 2018?
"The tragedy is that Royal Darwin Hospital is overcrowded now and our terrific doctors and nurses are working under constant pressure.
"Patients are enduring long waits in the Emergency Department as staff grapple with bed block and we see yet more bungling by the CLP."