Leader of the Opposition, Lia Finocchiaro, says she is extremely proud, in a year riddled with Labor Government failures, that the CLP has held the Gunner Government to account and has taken the lead to combat the soaring crime rate and the economic abyss that Labor has plunged us into.
“In what has been a tough year for Territorians I’m proud that the CLP has been able to give people hope for the future.
“We are a strong and united team committed to the Territory and that is why we wake up every day ready to fight against a bad government and put forward our own plan for a stronger future.
CLP TERRITORY COORDINATOR LEGISLATION
“This year the CLP unveiled its plan to offset Labor’s economic failures, with the introduction of a Territory Coordinator. The Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission (TERC) and the Langoulant ‘Plan for Budget Repair’ identified the need to overhaul the current major projects system and establish a single point of coordination for major project investment.
“The Opposition’s Territory Coordinator Bill 2020 does just that – and key stakeholders agreed, providing nothing but overwhelmingly positive feedback for our proposed legislation.
“Labor voted it down, despite the fact a Territory Coordinator, independent of government and with broad legislated powers to coordinate agency responses, would have the ability to slash unnecessary red tape, fast-track approvals and if necessary direct government agencies to comply with fast-tracked decision-making timelines.
“It’s shameful the Gunner Government recklessly dismissed a key recommendation from two of its own taxpayer-funded reports to kick start private sector investment and revive our economy. Labor used its numbers to vote down the CLP’s plan to repair the Territory’s sluggish major projects system.
“After rejecting the Opposition’s legislation to establish the Territory Coordinator, the Chief Minister was forced to cobble together his own plan. Yet, he announced not one, but three Commissioners: Territory Investment, Major Projects, and Infrastructure – with no teeth, no legislative powers and a combined salary of more than $1 million per year.
CLP BAIL AMENDMENT BILL
“The CLP has heard victims loud and clear on crime and took the lead this year on combating the Territory’s escalating crime wave by introducing crucial bail reform. The Opposition is committed to putting victims first, and after five years of inaction from the Gunner Labor Government the CLP put forward the Bail Amendment Bill 2021.
“Our Bill set a presumption against bail for repeat adult and youth offenders, reinstated breach of bail conditions as an offence and imposed mandatory electronic monitoring if a repeat offender is granted bail.
“These important bail reforms targeted serial offenders who repeatedly put the community at risk and make them accountable for their crimes.
“Labor had the chance to show it was listening to the community, listening to police, listening to key industry bodies and taking the first step to fix the Territory’s crime crisis.
“Instead, the Chief Minister and the Gunner Labor Government voted down the Opposition’s move to urgently debate our Bail Amendment Bill 2021.
“In response, Labor introduced its own watered down amendments that have had absolutely no impact on repeat youth offenders. Earlier this month it was revealed 167 youths were charged with almost 400 crimes in the three months to the end of October, 2021. Of those 167 youths, 79 were already on bail at the time they were apprehended. That means almost half of youths apprehended were allegedly repeat offenders. Labor also arranged a payout to youth offenders of $35 million, whilst ignoring victims.
LABOR ‘COCAINE SEX’ SCANDAL
“Despite the Chief Minister’s protests of internet gossip and rumours, and the extraordinary lengths he went to cover it up – the CLP fought to uncover the full extent of the Labor ‘Cocaine Sex’ Scandal.
“After almost a fortnight of sustained pressure from the Opposition, Labor booted the Member for Blain from its Caucus and agreed to refer him to the Privileges Committee for an investigation into allegations he misled Parliament.
“Disgracefully, the Gunner Labor Government stooped to shocking new lows to abuse the Parliamentary process, by using its numbers to quash that formal probe into the Member for Blain’s ‘dishonesty’.
“The Labor-dominated committee refused to consider any evidence other than the Member for Blain’s statement made to the Parliament – the very statement they were meant to assess for dishonesty, refused to call witnesses, refused to consider transcripts, emails, text messages or news articles as evidence, and refused to allow public submissions or a public hearing.
“The Chief Minister admitted the Member for Blain acted dishonestly and the CLP believe he fundamentally breached community standards with his behaviour. The Member for Blain was elected under false pretences. It’s not good enough and the people of Blain deserve better. Both Mark Turner and Michael Gunner should resign over their involvement and handling of this mess.
$4.3M CONSULTANCY TO ICAC
“Back in May, the Opposition called on the Health Minister to make public a consultancy which was originally commissioned to review the Department of Health’s COVID-19 response and quietly morphed into recommendations to guide an extensive internal restructure of NT Health – and reveal the price tag. Minister Fyles refused, citing ‘Cabinet in Confidence’.
“In response to Opposition questions submitted through a formal Parliamentary process, Minister Fyles claimed that the tender was not required to be released publicly because it was approved under an emergency procurement exemption process and instead was awarded through ‘direct contracting’.
“In December it was revealed the consultancy, which started out with a $700,000 price tag, has actually cost taxpayers $4.3 million – and that the tender was not approved under the emergency procurement exemption process.
“That is why the CLP Opposition has referred this very serious matter to ICAC for further investigation.
$12 MILLION DODGY GRANDSTAND DEAL
“In July we called out the Chief Minister and his cowardly Labor Ministers over his dodgy grandstand deal. We insisted that the Gunner Government must waive Cabinet confidentiality and publicly release the document relied on by Cabinet to approve the $12 million deal.
“Territorians and the Opposition have been saying since the release of the damning ICAC report that the Chief Minister orchestrated and is responsible for this deal.
“It was Michael Gunner who was desperate to have a pet project completed in time for the 2020 NT election. It was Michael Gunner who had his Chief of Staff work with the Darwin Turf Club and departments, to develop the proposal.
“Everything contained in the document taken to Cabinet is in the public interest and far outweighs any claim of confidentially by the deceitful Gunner Government. If Labor don’t address this head on, it casts a permanent shadow over every grant approved by Cabinet.
“Michael Gunner, Nicole Manison and Natasha Fyles have consistently lied to Territorians that ‘normal Cabinet’ processes were followed. The ICAC found was that the Gunner Government didn’t have anything from the Darwin Turf Club until 13 June 2019, the day before Cabinet approved the grant.
ALICE SPRINGS YOUTH HUB
“Opposition questions, submitted in July through a formal Parliamentary process, have revealed that crime, including assaults, break-ins and property damage has skyrocketed from 86 incidents in the nine months from 1 November 2019 – 18 July 2020, to 163 in the same period for 2020-21.
“The Member for Braitling called on government to close the city hub and move to a town camp community centre model.
“In response to Opposition pressure the Minister responsible earmarked $500,000 for the establishment of youth drop in centres in three Alice Springs town camps.
LIGHTING UP PARLIAMENT HOUSE FOR POLICE REMEMBRANCE
“The CLP Opposition was honoured to commemorate our fallen Northern Territory police officers and lead bipartisan support to light up Parliament House blue to mark National Police Remembrance Day on September 29. We paid tribute to those officers who have died in the execution of their duty, whilst serving and protecting the people of the Northern Territory.
“We proudly worked with the NT Police Association to light up Parliament House blue and pay our respects to the officers who have sadly made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as recognising the important and often dangerous work our police undertake every single day.
DUNDEE HEALTH CLINIC
“The CLP Opposition is committed to being a strong voice for Territorians beyond the Berrimah line who have been forgotten by this arrogant Darwin-centric Gunner Labor Government.
“The CLP successfully lobbied Labor and was able to secure a commitment for a facility at Dundee Beach and the Opposition will hold the Gunner Government to account on its promises for Daly.
“Labor needs to deliver for the bush and we will continue to champion those Territorians living in rural, regional and remote areas to ensure they are afforded the same level of road infrastructure, housing and services as those above the Berrimah Line.
“2022 will be a big year and Territorians can be confident that the CLP will be there for them.” said Mrs Finocchiaro.