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Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Natasha Fyles, today said the Opposition welcomes Adam Giles’ backflip on rushing ahead to privatise Darwin Ports.

“The Territory Opposition has consistently called on the Government to halt their asset sales program and consult with Territorians,” Ms Fyles said.

“Territorians know they cannot trust Adam Giles to operate in their best interests, given his track record of rushing to privatise TIO without any form of public consultation.

“We are yet to see the terms of reference and details of the committee, but on first glance we wonder if five weeks is long enough for proper consultation.

“This timing suggests the Chief Minister is engaging in a cynical exercise with the report due on the eve of the March sittings, ready in time to push through the sale legislation.

“A good place to start is for the government to immediately release its business case and cost/benefit analysis, which they should have done before they announced this late last year.

“While it is great to see Adam Giles is trying to change his approach but Territorians are not naïve and know that the cautionary tale of the fate of the now disposed QLD LNP Leader, Campbell Newman, would be influencing Giles’ about face.”

Ms Fyles said the Privatisation of Darwin Port will have a detrimental effect on the cost of living for Territorians as Territorians will foot the bill of freight increases of commercial rates.

Ms Fyles said the Darwin hearing of the Senate Inquiry into the Privatisation of state and territory assets and new infrastructure will be held on Monday.

“Territorians do not want their public assets privatised,” Ms Fyles said.

“The Senate Inquiry will hear evidence about the CLP’s actions to sell TIO without a public mandate under the guise of attracting federal government incentive payments and concerns about the potential sale of other Territory assets.”


Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667


Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today called on the CLP Government to halt their bid to sell the Darwin Port and instead disclose details to Senate Inquiry into the privatisation of state and territory assets and new infrastructure which will be held in Darwin on 16 February.

“The Senate Inquiry into the privatisation of state and territory assets and new infrastructure, being chaired by Senator Sam Dastyari, will be holding a hearing in Darwin on 16 February,” Ms Lawrie said.

“Territorians have already suffered the arrogance of the CLP Government selling TIO without a mandate, and quickly the CLP are rushing ahead with moves to sell our Port.

“Three companies, including Deutsche Bank, have been reported to be interested in buying the Darwin Port assets and again the Chief Minister has not consulted with Territorians.

“If Adam Giles and the CLP Government have a genuine business case for the sale of the Darwin Port then they should take that to the Senate Inquiry.

“Territorians will also have an opportunity to make submissions to the Senate Inquiry detailing how the sale of the Territory’s public assets will affect them and their businesses.”

Ms Lawrie said Labor is steadfastly opposed to the privatisation of these assets as it would be against the Territory’s interests with resultant job losses and a higher cost of living.

“We’d see job losses at the Port and a private company reaping profits through increased Port freight costs that would be passed on to consumers and businesses,” Ms Lawrie said.

“The Port is just starting to hit its straps, generating a record $17 million profit last year. Port revenue could be used to invest in our schools and hospitals.

“We know Adam Giles is also setting up our PowerWater assets for sale and he needs to explain to the Senate Inquiry how he would prevent tariff increases and replace revenue once he’s sold off our assets.

“How would a Government regulate a monopoly owner to ensure we all don’t suffer from profit gouging?”


Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667 


Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today announced the Chair of the Senate Inquiry into the Privatisation of State and Territory Assets and New Infrastructure, Senator Sam Dastyari, has confirmed his intention to hold hearings in the Territory in response to community concern about the CLP Government’s plan to sell TIO without public consultation.

As the Giles government repeatedly refused to undertake adequate community consultation, Ms Lawrie called on the Senate Inquiry to hold public hearings in the Northern Territory and she welcomes Senator Dastyari’s commitment to provide Territorians with an opportunity to voice their concerns.

The Labor Opposition calls on the CLP Government to halt any decision to sell TIO until public hearings can be held early next year.

“Territorians have been very clear, they do not want TIO sold,” Ms Lawrie said.

“A staggering 82 percent of people polled in the electorates of Sanderson, Katherine, Goyder and Daly last night do not agree with the sale of TIO.

“Adam Giles is pushing ahead with his plans to sell TIO without any real consultation with Territorians. When his colleague Willem Westra van Holthe consulted with residents in Katherine he heard loud and clear they do not want their insurer sold.

“Motivated by a quick cash-grab to pork barrel his way to the next Territory election, Adam Giles is jeopardising the insurance safety net of Territorians who will face massive insurance premium hikes and reduced coverage in a private insurance market.

“The CLP Government does not have a mandate to sell the Territory’s public assets and a Senate inquiry provides the level of scrutiny required for such a significant change. It is disgraceful that the Territory Government has arrogantly forged ahead with its plans to sell TIO without a Territory inquiry into the proposal.

“Adam Giles needs to stop his plans to sell TIO until Territorians are given an opportunity to have their say.”

Media contact:        Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667

      Cameron Sinclair (Senator Dastyari’s office): 0407372711


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