24 July 2016 - Shadow Environment Minister and Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy, today announced how a Territory Labor Government would safeguard the future of Limmen Bight while creating jobs and protecting lifestyle and culture.
Mr McCarthy said the creation of Limmen Bight Marine Park by Labor in 2012 had been a big step forward, but unfortunately progressed had stalled under Adam Giles and his CLP Government.
“Limmen Bight is a special part of the Gulf, rich in marine life, including extensive seagrass beds and mangrove forests supporting commercial and recreational fishing, and the Territory’s largest population of dugongs, as well as dolphins and turtles,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Limmen Bight is iconic for Territory anglers, for its catches of mud crabs, barramundi reef fish and prawns.
“However, this important area like many others along our coast is faced with new and concerning pressures including seabed mining and extensive mangrove die-off.
“By the end of 2019 a Territory Labor Government will complete Limmen Bight Marine Park by finalising sensible, science based and well consulted management arrangements.”
A Territory Labor Government will invest $400 000 to:
“Labor’s plan while provide an innovative model of marine management which protects biodiversity, respects indigenous culture, safeguards lifestyle and creates sustainable jobs,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Only Labor can be trusted to get it right and protect Limmen Bight.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192
3 March 2016 - Shadow Minister for the Environment, Gerry McCarthy, and Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy, Ken Vowles, today pledged to return integrity, sustainability and consultation to water policy in the Northern Territory.
Mr McCarthy said a Territory Labor Government would reject the CLP’s arrogant, dishonest and unsustainable approach to allocating water.
“Territorians are appalled by the way the CLP and former Minister Westra Van Holthe have ignored the science, refused to consult and failed to follow proper processes when allocating water,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Information recently obtained by Territory Labor shows that many aquifers are either over allocated or at the limits of their sustainable yield.
“Territory Labor’s strong track record of protecting the Daly, listening to the community and being guided by science will once again inform our approach to water policy.”
A Territory Labor Government will:
“Only a Labor Government can be trusted to allocate water in a way which secures the long-term health of our environment and the many industries that rely on it,” Mr Vowles said.
“And only a Labor Government can be trusted to do so in a way they treats all stakeholder fairly.”
Click here for Policy document – Sustainable Water Use
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794
In line with Territory Labor’s commitment to transparency and honesty in Government, Member for Barkly Gerry McCarthy today released information and costings around his upcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Association study trip to the United Kingdom.
Mr McCarthy said he would be attending the CPA’s Small Branches Workshop to share experience and learnings around how smaller jurisdictions use Parliamentary Committees to effectively scrutinise Governments.
“The effective use of Parliamentary committees to scrutinise policy and legislation is an important part of our democratic process, especially in a unicameral system like the Territory’s,” Mr McCarthy said.
“I have worked on six Legislative Assembly committees and this workshop will provide an opportunity to learn how other similar jurisdictions use Parliamentary committees and how they operate.”
“I am particularly interested in hearing how other similar parliaments deal with the constraints of having a small number of members serving on committees and how this affects scrutiny of Government activity, policy and legislation.
“I will also be presenting at the workshop about my experiences as a committee member.”
Mr McCarthy said this was the first time he had nominated for a CPA professional development opportunity, after serving as an MLA and CPA member for seven years.
The CPA meets the cost of travel, accommodation and meals for the workshop, which is being held August 17 to 21 on the Isle of Man.
“These professional development opportunities are important and this one in particular interested me given the direct relevance to the work we do on committees here.”
“The Territory Labor team has committed to providing itineraries, costs and an explanation as to how overseas travel will benefit the Northern Territory.
“I will also be presenting a report to Parliament about the visit and my learnings on my return.”
Travel and accommodation funded by the CPA include economy airfare total cost $3699.87 and meeting accommodation and meal costs at the Palace Hotel, Douglas Isle of Man.
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
Dramatic CLP changes to workers’ compensation in the Northern Territory will favour insurance company profits over the injured worker, Shadow Minister for Business Gerry McCarthy said.
The changes, first flagged on the day TIO was sold to Allianz last November, are being debated in the legislative assembly today.
“The changes will see many Territory workers no longer under the workers’ compensation scheme because the definition of an employee has changed.” Mr McCarthy said.
“The CLP government’s new scheme will abandon Territory workers and won’t help promote safe workplace practices. It will promote more litigation with injured workers pitted against their employer in a true definition of a worker.
“The current scheme is a ‘no-fault’ scheme providing for the rehabilitation and compensation of injured workers and funded on this basis since 1987.
“The amendments now introduce a 5 year limit for payments and a 6 year limit for medical or other costs for injured workers.
“Only a handful of workers will meet the very high bar – over 15% of what’s termed ‘whole person impairment’ - to be able to continue receiving payments and support,” Mr McCarthy said.
“A childcare worker or nurse who’s severely injured their back and needs spinal fusion requiring multiple surgeries over many years, only gets to 14%.
“Under these amendments, their compensation payments end after five years, with no future medical costs paid a year later.
“A crane operator who suffers knee injuries and can’t climb a ladder or walk up any kind of mild gradient, still injured after 5 years, will be cut off.
“The CLP’s government’s new amendments ignore ongoing psychological or psychiatric effects of being injured, completely denying justice for the worker.
“We applaud the firefighters in their long campaign to have occupational cancers covered by workers’ compensation.
“Well done, you’ve finally got what you deserve.
“Territory Labor has given a commitment that, if elected, we will amend the Act that limits claims to firefighters contracting cancer within 10 years’ of their last shift.
Shadow Minister for Local Government, Gerry McCarthy, today called on the CLP Government to step in and provide leadership to help resolve the uncertainty at the Litchfield Town Council.
“Litchfield residents are not being represented effectively at a local government level because of the internal council conflict,” Mr McCarthy said.
“This prolonged dispute has now spilled over to the public domain and it needs to be resolved as quickly as possible so that a functioning council is restored.”
“The Local Government Act provides the Minister with powers that need to be exercised to resolve this dispute. Has a departmental team been instigated to mediate a resolution?”
“There have been several Ministers for Local Government through CLP Cabinet reshuffles and support for councils and shires has floundered rather than strengthened.”
Mr McCarthy said, “that the CLP has consistently mismanaged the Local Government portfolio with neighbouring Councils the Victoria-Daly Regional Council shedding jobs after boundary changes and the West Daly Regional Council needing financial ‘top-up’ for sustainability.”
“The CLP Government need to stop failing ratepayers and step up to the task of supporting Councils in crisis and Litchfield is definitely in need of Territory Government leadership and support to resolve this uncertainty affecting residents.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
On the eve of Christmas 2014 Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy, on behalf of the Territory Labor team, wishes all Territorians and visitors a safe and happy Territory Christmas.
"Christmas is a great time to enjoy the company of family and friends, to reflect on the year gone by and to plan for a happy and productive 2015," Mr McCarthy said.
"It is also a time when many Territorians are travelling and a time to be especially careful on our roads.
"It has been great to see so many people travelling on holiday in the Territory including lots of holiday traffic along the Stuart Highway and passing through my home town of Tennant Creek.
"This is a fabulous time for catching up with old friends, making new friends and supporting Territory businesses on the track, but it is also an important time to be especially careful on our roads and highways.
"None of us want to remember this Christmas with sadness so it is timely to make an extra effort to be safe, including a careful watch for water on the road after local rain and other unexpected hazards.
"And, of course, it is a time to be especially careful not to drink and drive.
"Christmas and the holiday period is time to enjoy the company of family and friends, but plan well and always make sure that includes a safe trip home from all your Christmas and New Year festivities.
"Let’s all enjoy a great time with our family and friends but let’s also make a real Territory effort to stay safe, look after our loved ones and be able to look back and remember this holiday season with joy and happiness.
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Treasurer, Gerry McCarthy, said that the NT Cost of Living Report by Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) confirms that Territorians are still suffering the high cost of living under the CLP.
“Territorians are suffering under the high cost of living in the Territory,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Territorians are paying more than the rest of the country for food, health care, fuel and rent.
Australia average weekly expenditure on food is $221.50; in Darwin $232.80 for the NT outside Darwin $256.90.
Mr McCarthy said that the report claims that households who depend on remote stores for their shopping are spending more than one third of their income on food and are paying nearly 50 percent more on food than Darwin households.
“Territorians in remote areas are paying a lot more for food than those in urban centres like Darwin,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Food security becomes a real issue in remote areas when other cost of living pressures, such as high power and water costs, compound.
“For example a family in a remote area, who has spent the $256.90 a week on food as detailed in the NTCOSS report, may not be able to afford a power card to keep the fridge working.
“The CLP Government promised to lower the cost of living at the 2012 election.
“Serious consideration needs to be given to the recommendation in the NTCOSS report that would provide food security for Territorians in the bush.”
Media Contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Treasurer, Gerry McCarthy, says the Treasurer’s Annual Financial Report tabled in Parliament today shows the true extent of financial pain being inflicted on Territory businesses and families.
“The CLP Giles Government is the highest taxing in our history, with the 13/14 financial year reaping an additional $81.1 million in taxes from the pockets of businesses and families,” Mr McCarthy said.
“While the CLP crows about an improved budget operating result it has come at the expense of Territorians who have seen reduced services, cuts to the all-important capital works program that fuels our construction sector and tax and tariff hikes that are filling the Government’s coffers.”
Mr McCarthy said the CLP tax grab consisted of an extra $50.1 million in payroll tax, an extra $20.8 million in stamp duties and a staggering $10.2 million increase on gambling, insurance and motor vehicle registration. (see page 112)
“It is little wonder that under the CLP, in just two years 340 Territory businesses have closed and Territorians are struggling under a crippling cost of living burden,” Mr McCarthy said.
“The Public Non Financial Corporation Sector Cash Flow Statement (page 29) shows an extra $230 million in revenue gained in our corporations … you don’t need to be Einstein to work out that is a result of the escalating tariffs in Power, Water and Sewerage that is improving the balance sheet of our corporations but sending Territorians broke,” Mr McCarthy said.
“The General Government Sector budget has a 13/14 deficit of $62.5 million compared to a $247.8 million deficit in the 12/13 financial year (page 25) which is an improvement of $185.3 million.
“So the CLP crows about strong financial management but when you stack up a $185.3 million reduction in the deficit against a $187 million gain from the extra $81 million boost from taxes, an additional $22.9 million in GST and $83.5 million gain in other Commonwealth payments we certainly aren’t getting the results they are trying to present.
“In addition the Government benefited from a $39.5 million increase in mining royalty collections due to the combined effect of the moderation of the Australian dollar and increased commodity prices and production levels and a further $22 million from an as-yet undisclosed legal settlement.
“Of concern to our construction sector would be the reductions in the Government’s capital works spend of $98 million (page 112) so it’s not surprising that the sector is saying businesses are increasingly desperate for work.”
Mr McCarthy pointed out that the overall improvement since the May 2013 Budget “is largely the result of the revised timing of the handover of the $521 million Darwin Correctional Precinct from 2013/14 to 2014/15, increased taxation revenue and the revised timing of Commonwealth-tied funding and associated expenditure between years. The result was further influenced by a reduction in net capital payments during the year and the improving financial position of PWC.” (page 15).
“In short, the highest taxing government in our history is reaping the benefits of a massive $81million tax take from Territorians, slashing the construction program that literally builds our Territory and fuels our critical construction sector and the power, water and sewerage price hikes,” Mr McCarthy said.
“All of this while the CLP has taken the axe to crucial services such as education and health. It’s a grim outcome for Territorians.
“With all their chest beating on debt the truth is out … the 12/13 net debt was $3.1 billion with a net debt to revenue ratio of 58% and despite all the pain inflicted on Territorians the 13/14 net debt is $3 billion with a net debt to revenue ratio of 53%.” (page 9)
Deputy Leader of the Opposition Gerry McCarthy says it’s impossible for Chief Minister Adam Giles to do justice to 13 portfolios and wonders why the Northern Territory is coming last in considerations.
Mr McCarthy has called on Adam Giles to sort out the chaos, appoint a Government MLA into the vacant Cabinet position and reshuffle portfolios for a realistic workload.
“Adam Giles has been woeful in his original six portfolios and it’s just ludicrous to suggest that he can take on an additional seven vacated by Dave Tollner," Mr McCarthy said.
“Critical portfolios such as Treasury, Business, Alcohol Policy and Local Government require a Minister with the capacity to give them the time and effort required.
“Based on a 40 hour week, and not taking into account his electorate work, this gives him 3.07 hours a week per portfolio.
“It’s just not possible to do the job properly dedicating so little time to each Ministry. Even if he was to work 56 hours a week he would still be short-changing critical portfolio areas," Mr McCarthy said.
He said no other Minister had more than five portfolios with some having as few as two.
“It’s the reason the Government is in paralysis. Adam Giles is spending so much time trying to quell the divisions in his Cabinet that to suggest he could handle 13 portfolios and a divided party is ridiculous. Government cannot be all about Adam."
Media contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924
Shadow Minister for Resources, Gerry McCarthy, has called on Parks Minister and Member for Stuart, Bess Price, to come clean about her activities around the possible nomination of a nuclear waste dump site in her electorate of Stuart.
“It’s important that the Minister and local member is open and honest with the people of Stuart,” Mr McCarthy said.
“We’ve been receiving disturbing information that the Minister has been talking to traditional owners in her area about a possible nuclear waste dump and may even have flown over an area in the Rabbit Flat region.
“There are important questions that the people of Stuart deserve answers to.
“What role is she playing with traditional owners about the possible location of a nuclear dump site in Stuart?
“What promises are being made to traditional owners to encourage them to consider giving up their land to house a dump site?”
Mr McCarthy said traditional owners need clear, unbiased information about the ramifications of setting a nuclear waste dump, not political pressure and spin.
He said the Minister should also reveal whether the siting of a nuclear waste dump in Stuart was something that may potentially benefit her personally, as a traditional owner of lands in the electorate.
Mr McCarthy said the ALP’s position was clear, that any siting of a nuclear waste facility should be based on sound science and should involve a discussion with the whole country, not be based on secretive deals.