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26 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner said that the shocking images on 4 Corners overwhelmed him with a deep sense of grief, anger and shame.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission into the Youth Justice system of the Northern Territory and it has Territory Labor’s full support,” Mr Gunner said.

“I offer bipartisan support to the Giles Government to get this Royal Commission underway as soon as possible.

“Anyone watching that program would be horrified, as I was. The sort of behaviour seen on the program must not be allowed to exist in Australia or the Northern Territory today.

“Whatever those children have done, or been charged with doing, there is no way what was seen was a proper response. It is not how we treat children. It is unacceptable.

“We have failed these kids. We have let them down.

“There must also be an immediate police investigation launched into the actions seen on the program. I have never seen those videos before and I am convinced crimes have been committed.

“There are actions we can and must commit to taking now, including:

  1. Close Don Dale Centre as soon as possible
  2. Move youth justice out of the Corrections Department
  3. Work with the NGO sector to develop a contemporary youth justice and rehabilitation system
  4. Establish an independent oversight mechanism for the youth justice system


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


25 July 2016 - 

Labor Leader Michael Gunner has today announced the most extensive return of local decision making to Indigenous communities ever announced in the Territory.

Speaking from Maningrida, Michael Gunner said a Labor Government will introduce a 10 year roadmap that will see Indigenous communities take control over:

  • Housing
  • Local Government
  • Education and Training
  • Health
  • Looking after children and
  • Law and Justice


The implementation of the roadmap will be supervised by a Local Decisions Oversight Board made up of Indigenous Leaders from around the Territory reporting directly to the Chief Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

“I believe that the more local a decision is made the more likely it is to be right.” Michael Gunner said.

“Decisions made in Canberra or Darwin will never be as in touch with local needs and local solutions, as decisions made in the local community are.

“Governments of all political colours have made a habit of taking local decision making away over many years.

“If elected, a Gunner Labor Government will turn this policy approach around.”

Michael Gunner said the return of decision making will be done at a pace determined by the relevant Indigenous groups and people and in a manner and arrangement supported by locals.

“We recognise that building, supporting and investing in strong Indigenous governance is necessary to ensure local people drive local solutions and Indigenous organisations are supported.”

Local decision making will include:

  • Support for strengthening local authorities in local government.
  • Tenancy management and building, repairs and maintenance of public housing will be managed by local groups.
  • Community Led Schools run by Local School Boards.
  • Growing and developing Indigenous non-government organisations focussed on looking after children in out of home care.
  • Increasing the use of a local court system that includes traditional leadership in its decision making.


In making sure that Labor understands what people want in what order of priority, Labor is committed to extensive consultation with Indigenous communities

We will:

  • Consult and work with Traditional Owners.
  • Consult and work with the organisations that represent Indigenous Territorians.
  • Ensure the voice of Indigenous women is heard loud and clear.
  • Continue to support First Circles as a development opportunity for youth leadership.
  • Continue the Community Champions program.
  • Bring back Community Cabinet meetings with an emphasis on remote Territory meetings.


“This is the most extensive roadmap to local decision making with the aim of placing Indigenous Territorians at the centre of control over their lives.”

“Labor will work with Indigenous people to determine the outcomes we both wish to achieve and will then bring their skills, knowledge and priorities into place to reach those outcomes.

“This is a massive change of direction by government. Until now the Territory Government has directed people from the top down. I look forward to helping people achieve the goals they set themselves,” Michael Gunner said.


MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192


21 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, said that Adam Giles should stop his deceitful attacks on renewable energy and admit his modelling has nothing to do with Labor’s 50% renewable target by 2030.

His deceitful 400% figure is based on:

  • An immediate switch to between 70-100% solar in Alice Springs – this is not Labor policy
  • The need for 7 days back up battery storage in Alice Springs – this is not Labor policy
  • Not having the capacity to utilise gas power energy – this is not Labor’s policy

“Labor has a proud record of supporting the gas industry, and will continue to do so if elected in August,” Mr Gunner said.

“But we also recognise that investing in renewables creates jobs and will lead to lower power prices for Territorians.

“Adam Giles and the CLP can’t be trusted on power prices and Territorians haven’t forgotten the betrayal of their 30% increases.

“Adam Giles and the CLP will sell our power water assets if they are re-elected and we know that this will lead to further price rises.

“Labor will release our policy to sensibly transition to more renewable energy in the coming weeks.”


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 110 794



21 July 2016 - In contrast to Labor and community opinion, Peter Styles and the CLP have spent the last three years claiming crime was under control and not an issue - but now with 6 weeks until the election, the CLP claim it’s a huge issue, which proves they simply can’t be trusted.

If the CLP were serious about cutting crime they would have:

  • Not scrapped the banned drinkers register, which police said was the best tool they had to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour and crime – Labor will bring this back.
  • Kept their promise to deliver an additional 120 police – which Labor will do.
  • Kept their promise to fund the 94 metropolitan police patrol group into our local police – which Labor will do.
  • Properly resource police – which Labor will do.

The two most violent years in the Territory’s history occurred in the CLP’s term of government.

Labor is already on the record as supporting electronic monitoring for juvenile offenders.


Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 110 794


18 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner today announced plans to support Indigenous Rangers protect the environment and create jobs right across the Northern Territory.


Mr Gunner said Territory Labor understands the crucial frontline role Indigenous Rangers play in understanding and protecting valuable ecosystems and providing employment opportunities for Indigenous Territorians in their own communities.


“Our $14m plan will provide jobs on country, improve our knowledge of the Territory environment and the best way to protect it and give local Indigenous Territorians more say over their land and their future,” Mr Gunner said.


“We want to give ranger groups the state of the art technology and tools they need to do their job, the legislative recognition and support they deserve and additional funds to forge for new and innovative employment and conservation partnerships.


“Our ecosystems are under threat from the effects of climate change and recent coral bleaching and mangrove death events are extremely concerning given their importance for our environment but also the economic opportunity they provide through our tourism and fishing industries.


“The work of ranger groups is crucial if we are to understand the impacts of climate change and create new and innovative ways to give our ecosystems the best chance to adapt.”


A Territory Labor Government will:

  • Provide $4.1m for one off capital grants of up to $100,000 for Indigenous ranger groups to help with the purchase of essential items like vehicles, boats and radio and communications equipment;
  • Establish a land management and conservation fund of $2m per year to improve conservation practices on Aboriginal lands and sea country, and support Indigenous ranger groups;
  • Amend the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act to specifically recognise the role of Indigenous ranger groups in managing for conservation across large areas of the NT;
  • Provide $500,000 per annum to establish an Indigenous carbon unit within Government to deliver carbon abatement and economic development on Indigenous land.


“Recent reports that the CLP’s Commonwealth Indigenous Affairs Minister plans to drastically cut the Indigenous ranger program are extremely concerning.


“Territorians simply can’t trust Adam Giles and the CLP to back Indigenous rangers and protect our unique environment.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192






 18 July 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, said Adam Giles and the CLP have released an unfunded, uncosted policy on housing which proves they can’t be trusted to deliver in the bush.


“Territorians simply can't trust Adam Giles and the CLP to deliver on housing when they haven’t put a single Territory dollar towards it,” Mr Gunner said.


“The CLP has built one new house in two years, and with just six weeks to go before a Territory election, they release a policy with no information as to where the money is coming from.


“Indigenous Territorians living in remote communities deserve better.

“In sharp contrast – Territory Labor announced in December 2015 a fully costed policy to deliver more houses and rooms in the bush. At $1.1 billion dollars of Territory funds, our remote housing policy remains the biggest commitment in the history of any Territory Government if we are elected.

“Labor recognises that the Northern Territory does not have the budget capacity alone to achieve the outcomes required in this area and we will be seeking Australian Government support, in addition to Territory Labor’s $1.1 billion commitment. We believe this is an investment in nation building.


“To successfully argue the case for increased investment from the Australian Government, Labor believes the Territory Government needs to bring some real funds and commitment to the table and that’s what our policy does.


“Labor has also committed to returning control over housing back to locals. Local control means local control. Aboriginal people will control the building of housing, repairs and maintenance and housing allocations.


“We will work in partnership with locals to ensure they receive the training and jobs from our commitment to remote housing.  


“Territory Labor’s commitment is fully funded and will be a reality if we are fortunate to be elected in August. The CLP’s commitment is uncosted, unfunded and unbelievable.

“This latest desperate and deceitful effort from Adam Giles shows he simply can’t be trusted to deliver on remote housing.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794



12 July 2016 - Territory Labor has today released our commitment to motorsport in the Northern Territory.


Motorsport is a big part of the Territory lifestyle. Clubs and facilities operate across the Territory, and in all of our major centres. That is why Labor is making this important announcement.


There are 10,000 licensed motorsport competitors, pit crew, volunteers and officials in the Territory, as well as 150,000 participants and spectators annually. It’s one of the biggest sports and economic drivers here in the Territory.


Labor’s commitment will deliver broader funding for Territory motorsport, as well as specific commitments for Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek.

A Labor Government will:

  • Replace the 50-year-old administration facilities at Hidden Valley, which are being used for Motorsports House, with a new structure with a lower viewing balcony, 1st floor corporate area and 2nd floor administration facilities worth $6 million.
  • Deliver $1.3 million for the Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association, for the upgrade of lighting to LED and added cover breaking area.
  • Deliver $1 million to the Top End Motor Cross Club for track lighting within Motor Cycling Australia lighting requirements and reduced expenditure of hire lighting and generators.
  • Contribute $500,000 to the Finke Desert Race Masterplan, including improvements to the finishing straight, rainwater tanks, a multipurpose shed and improved lighting facilities.
  • Install ring main and separate mains along with toilet facilities at Katherine Motor Sports Complex, worth $1 million.
  • Install a permanent clubhouse, race control tower and canteen facilities to replace existing containers at the Central Australian Drag Racing Association, valued at $1.6million.
  • Upgrade of safety walls, fencing, lighting at the Tennant Creek Speedway worth $1.65million to enable compliance with National Speedway Association safety requirements.
  • Deliver $2 million annually over 4 years to Motorsport NT.
  • An appropriate parcel of Crown Land to be leased to the Alice Springs Rally Club.

The previous Labor Government strongly supported Territory motorsports and delivered upgrades to Hidden Valley worth tens of millions of dollars, including upgrades to the dragstrip worth $4million, as well as our continued support of the Hidden Valley leg of the V8 Supercars.

If elected, my government will continue to support the motorsport industry across the Territory.

A yearly breakdown of Labor’s additional funding, on top of the ongoing funding to Motorsport NT, is below:

  2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Upgrading Motorsport across the Territory   $6.55m $6.5m

MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus   0404 021 192




5 July 2016 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner has announced that a Labor Government will invest almost $40 million over five years to develop the Darwin Middle and High Schools as the leading science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) schools.


Mr Gunner said Labor would equip the schools to provide nation leading learning in the rapidly evolving new technologies that would see students graduating highly skilled and ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.


“A Labor Government will work with the school community to make this campus the focus of the Territory’s efforts to drive advanced STEAM learning across the Territory through the onsite Northern Territory School of Distance Education (NTSDE), and place the school at the forefront of a Labor Government’s push into international education,” Mr Gunner said.


“The Darwin Middle and High School campus have more than 2000 students from Darwin and Palmerston and easily 200 staff. It has outgrown its capacity and now needs proper investment to give students the best possible chance of learning.


“Labor wants to see the students at this school graduating with advanced skills preparing them to tackle the 21st century with all of its challenges, ready for further education and skilled work as future leaders of our industry and our community,” Michael Gunner said.


Darwin High School Chair and leading Territory architect, Hully Liveris, joined Opposition Leader Michael Gunner to welcome today’s announcement.


“The master plan is well overdue and urgently needed to address future education needs,” Mr Liveris said.


“The world of education, information and technology and societal expectations has moved significantly in multiple of directions in recent years and consequently the infrastructure needs to be adapted in order to cope with, reflect and predict these extraordinary changes.

“This master plan allows for the first time a whole of site assessment to enable the considered evolution and development of the Bullocky Point Education Precinct as a key focal point for education in the Top End of Australia as well as Asia.

“The master plan adopts a collegiate approach which encourages the interaction of the faculties grouped around and along tropical breezeways, outdoors rooms, and


courtyards which sensitively consider this unique peninsular headland setting,” Mr Liveris said.


Territory Labor’s plans will see:

  1. $15 million to modernise Blocks A and B with a new central library and Fabrication Laboratory able to teach and train students in cutting edge technology, engineering, robotics and science. This would be Stage One. 
  2. $12 million to the Darwin Middle School for a multipurpose hall for the school. This would be Stage Two. 
  3. Stage 3 with $12 million for student accommodation provided on site to expand the school’s international reach and to provide accommodation for bush students undertaking NTSDE programs. 

This will provide an important facility to progress both the Labor Government’s remote education plans as well as our international education plans.

“This investment is part of Labor’s plans to grow jobs now and into the future,” Mr Gunner said.


“It will create construction industry jobs building this school. We will train our young people for future smart jobs when our employment looks very different from today and we will launch a real plan for growing international education, which all experts agree is an important direction for the future of our economy.


“Most importantly this investment will prepare our students for more up to date learning, better outcomes and a better future,” Michael Gunner said. 



Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794



29 May 2016 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today announced that a Territory Labor Government will build an indoor netball complex consisting of four courts with one being of a national standard.


“Netball is one of the largest participation sports in the Territory and that’s why if elected, Labor will invest $10 million which will deliver four more courts, one of which will be up to a national standard,” Mr Gunner said.


“Just over 3000 Territorians play netball and that figure continues to grow each year.


“In line with Labor’s approach of listening and consulting, we will work with Netball NT and all netball clubs to ensure we put forward the best plan possible by engaging with the experts.”


Mr Gunner said that today’s announcement is also about targeting high level netball games to be featured in the Territory.

“Territorians expect high level netball games and with a national grade court Territorians will have the opportunity to witness more netball games of a national standard than ever before,” Mr Gunner said.

Mr Gunner said that today’s announcement will also boost local business and support jobs as it will be delivered in conjunction with labors strong ‘buy local’ policy.


“It’s not enough just to create a policy called ‘buy local’ and then let work go intestate, like we have seen with the CLP,” Mr Gunner said.

“Our buy local policy will actually result in more locals getting the work which is not only the right thing to do, but is economically sound. Every dollar we keep in the Territory supports our economy and keeps it moving forward.”


This commitment to Netball NT is part of Labor’s additional $100 million stimulus.



Media contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794


25 May 2016 - Labor Leader Michael Gunner today outlined his alternative 2016 Territory Budget saying a Labor Government will grow jobs, invest in children and restore integrity to government.




Michael Gunner said that growing Territory jobs is an urgent task for any Government elected in August.


“We have seen a loss of jobs across the Territory with worse to come when the Inpex construction phase is finished.


“To grow jobs Labor will:


  1. Get money flowing through the local economy.
  2. Create certainty through proper planning and stable, competent Government.
  3. Restore confidence by listening to Territorians and delivering tangible results.


Michael Gunner has said that the Labor Government will get the money flowing through the Territory economy by:


  • injecting an additional $100 million into infrastructure spending;
  • providing Territorians buying their first home with a $34 000 windfall to reinvest into the Territory economy; and
  • An extra $5 million over two years to boost Government efforts to attract tourists from China and India.


“The Territory economy is in a deep hole. We are losing jobs. When we lose jobs, we lose people interstate.


“Labor will create jobs right across the Territory. Labor’s infrastructure investment will be focussed on repairs and maintenance and small works projects.


“This stimulus will be implemented with Labor’s tough Buy Local policy making sure that the jobs stay local.



Michael Gunner said that Labor’s infrastructure stimulus projects will be announced over the coming months but will include:


  • $20 million injected immediately into Labor’s Room to Breathe NT that will provide more outdoor living spaces, verandahs and granny flats on existing lots;
  • $10 million for the Iconic National Arts Gallery Trail in East Arnhem and $10 million for the expansion of the Art Gallery and Cultural centre in Katherine;
  • upgrading Marrara Stadium with $700 000 provided for upgraded women’s facilities providing strong support for growing women’s sport;
  • $5 million per year for ablution blocks, scoreboards and shading for ovals in remote communities;
  • $5 million for an upgrade of sports and recreation facilities in Tennant Creek; and
  • Lights at the Gardens oval and Nightcliff oval.






Michael Gunner also announced $34 000 for first home buyers across the Territory.


Michael Gunner said the introduction of a first home buyers package was designed to reduce the cost of living for first home buyers, getting them to invest in the Territory and stimulating the Territory housing and building industry.


“Under Labor’s plan, the first $500 000 of any existing home purchased by a first home buyer will be exempt from stamp duty. This will be capped at homes valued at $650 000.


“This will result in first home buyers saving $24 000 in costs.


“Additionally, first home buyers purchasing an existing home will be eligible for a $10 000 first home owners renovation package that can be spent on renovations and the purchase of white goods and household furniture (up to $2000), provided those purchases are made in local stores.


“First home buyers purchasing a new home will retain the current $26 000 grant, and in addition to this, will receive $2 000 for purchase of white goods and furniture, provided those purchases are made in local stores.


“This package will be available for two years and will result in jobs being created right across the small contractors industry,” Michael Gunner said.






Michael Gunner said that tourism will be an important part of stimulating more jobs in the Territory.


“We have to take advantage of the low Australian dollar. Right now, Darwin airport is reporting fewer international arrivals. We have to address this.


“Labor will add $5 million over the next two years to add to funds targeting Chinese tourists. We also want to spread that focus to Indian tourists - who are now a large part of our international arrivals.


“We believe that India has been ignored in our push into Asia and it is now important to include this fast growing economy into our sight.”






Michael Gunner has repeated his commitment to investing in children and the early childhood years.


“I said a Labor Government will be defined by its commitment to children, and I mean it.


“Labor will extend the Nurse Family Partnership Program with an additional $8 million over 4 years. This will see more Child Health nurses and more home visits from nurses to newly pregnant women. This program has been successful in reducing parental smoking, fewer injuries for children, improved home environments and closer monitoring of child progress and welfare.


“Labor will also re-invest an additional $124 million into Territory schools over four years beginning on January 1, 2017. This will consist of:

  • $20 million per year directly into school budgets to replace teachers cut by the CLP;
  • $8 million per year into early intervention, behaviour management and disability support in schools;
  • $2 million per year to create a program of school sport, arts and health across the Territory; and
  • $1 million per year to support schools with Business Managers so Principals can focus on their role as education leaders, instead of administration work.






Michael Gunner said that restoring trust and integrity to government is the third goal of a Labor Government.


“No one needs to be told of the scandals that have beset this Government.


“Four years of the CLP’s dodgy deals, jobs for mates and an arrogant disdain for transparency and accountability has seen Territorians’ trust in Government hit rock bottom.


“Labor will introduce a Northern Territory Independent Commission Against Corruption.


It will:

  • Be independent from Government;
  • Have broad ranging and self-referral powers;
  • Have the power to compel witnesses and documentation;
  • Have the power to investigate matters which took place prior to its establishment.


“We also understand that restoring trust in Government requires tackling the perception that large donations influence important public policy considerations, that private interest can trump the public interest.


“Over the coming weeks I will announce the most comprehensive reforms to electoral donation laws in the Territory’s history.


“These reforms will give Territorians the confidence that the public interest, and not the size of your wallet, determines public policy in the Northern Territory,” Michael Gunner said.






Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794



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