I keep newspaper clippings. Why I have no idea but I recently spent a few days going through my clippings for the period August 2012 to date and came across the following choice quotes that may be of interest to readers.
Most come from what passes for the Northern Territory’s journal of political record, the often vilified, frequently hilarious and occasionally insightful Northern Territory News.
This selection is entirely subjective and is far from complete – in part because some days I just forgot to clip an item of interest or was travelling out of town or the country.
And before anyone accuses me of bias against the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party, all I can say is … they are the government.
The Terry Mills era. Terry Mills led the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party to victory on 25 August 2012 after 11 years of Labor government. He was deposed in a coup led by Adam Giles on 13 March 2013.
“I’ve got a lot of homework to do haven’t I? Look, I’m from Alice Springs, there is a lot I don’t know about Darwin.” Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley, October 2012.
“A good and competent government should be honest and accountable.” Chief Minister Terry Mills. October 2012.
“Your a lying Maggot Terry and I as someone in Blain who voted for you cant wait to see the back of you. Wanker.” Comment on Terry Mills Facebook post, January. 2013.
“People are angry – and they are ready to express that anger in the most effective way available to them: at the ballot box. Northern Territory News editorial, February 2013.
“ABC election guru Antony Green said it was the worst swing against any first-term government in decades.” Northern Territory News article referring to Labor’s 12.7% swing away from the CLP in the Wanguri by-election. February 2013.
“There are two things that spell death for a politician, two things from which there is no way back – ridicule and distrust. Mr Mills is now suffering both.” Northern Territory News editorial, February 2013.
Mr Mills said he was “not particularly worried that he would get a no confidence vote from the CLP’s central council at their meeting in Tennant Creek on Saturday.” Northern Territory News. February 2013.
Transport Minister Adam Giles said: “Terry Mills is the Chief Minister. Terry has my full support. I have no intention of ever challenging.” Northern Territory News. February 2013.
Another day and another CLP politician was forced to rule out a leadership bid. Health Minister Dave Tollner was the latest one to deny he wanted Chief Minister Terry Mills’s job.” Northern Territory News. February 2013.
“We’ve been silenced by Terry Mills and we’re going to take our party back,” the [CLP] member said. Northern Territory News. February 2013.
“Mills loses support of branches.” Northern Territory News headline. February 2013.
“A bid for power by Attorney-General John Elferink ended in embarrassment when he mustered only one vote—his own.” Northern Territory News. February 2013.
“I hate to say it but I am embarrassed, even ashamed to say I am a member of this [CLP] party … make no mistake, it is do or die time for this party.” CLP member, March 2013.
“ … there has even been talk of the Police being called in to bring order to Cabinet meetings.” Northern Territory News editorial. March 2013.
“It was extremely disturbing and I resigned as deputy Chief Minister the next day.” Former CLC Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley, August 2015 referring to events in the CLP Cabinet Room in March 2013 when then Health Minister Dave Tollner reportedly hurled a heavy folder of budget papers at the head of then NT Chief Minister Terry Mills.
“If this whole drama wasn’t so damaging for the Northern Territory’s governance and economy, it would be laughable.” Northern Territory News editorial, March 2013.
“And so the wounded animal that is the NT government staggers on. The major problem is that Mills is not his own man.” Nigel Adlam, Northern Territory News. March 2013
The Adam Giles era. Adam Giles replaced Terry Mills as NT Chief Minister on XX March 2013 while Mills was on a trade mission in Japan.
“Chief Minister Adam Giles defended the Northern Territory’s drinking culture as a “core social value”.” Kristy O’Brien reporting on Giles comments at an Australian Hotels Association annual awards dinner in Darwin. ABC News. May 2013.
“Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner told the gathering that the previous Labor government’s alcohol policies had treated Territorians like “criminal suspects” and publicans like “heroin traffickers”.” Kristy O’Brien reporting on Giles comments at an Australian Hotels Association annual awards dinner in Darwin. ABC News. May 2013.
“Trips? I’ll take lots: Tollner”. Headline, Northern Territory News. June 2013.
“ … the NT is now run by political cowboys who are out of touch with the national consensus in significant policy issues.” Political Developments in Australia. June 2013. Endeavour Consulting Group.
“The more we see of Giles the more his style reminds us of the unlamented former Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. We confidently expect to see more leadership instability in the NT government.” Political Developments in Australia. July 2013. Endeavour Consulting Group.
“Abetted by poor media scrutiny, a politics of backstabbing has won out. A new government with a plan to do things differently has sagged back into the old habits of those that went before.” Amos Aikman, The Australian. September 2013.
“Since Giles took over, a curtain of mystification has come down … a picture has emerged of Giles and Tollner’s authoritarian leadership style. “It’s all about them,” one parliamentarian told The Australian.” Amos Aikman, The Australian. September 2013.
“Tension has been brewing for some time over the Giles government’s perceived neglect of the bush.” Amos Aikman, The Australian. September 2013.
“Giles’ major problem is that the NT vote in the September Federal election saw a collapse in the CLP vote which would tip him out of office … at the very least, the swings indicate considerable local community disappointment at the performance of the Indigenous MPs. What is most striking is that this negative sentiment has developed so quickly since the NT elections!” Political Developments in Australia. September 2013. Endeavour Consulting Group.
“Dissatisfaction has been growing within the CLP over Mt Giles’ and his deputy Dave Toller’s dictatorial leadership style, their clumsy handling of the gas to Gove saga and the dumping of Ms. [Alison] Anderson. “There’s dissent in the ranks,” one minister said. Amos Aikman, The Australian. October 2013.
“Even the most jaundiced observer of NT politics would have to concede that Chief Minister Giles and his team have finally settled down to a more traditional pattern of administration, free of the constant leadership tensions and Ministerial reshuffles.” Political Developments in Australia. February 2014. Endeavour Consulting Group.
“The sitting week has been a train wreck for the Country Liberals, who have spent most of their time in Parliament bogged down by the perception of internal fighting.” Ben Smee, Northern Territory News. March 2014.
“It is hard to know what to make of the bizarre events in NT Parliament yesterday. What is clear is that “Conlangate” – as it has become known – has bought the CLP to the brink of open warfare. Northern Territory News editorial. March 2014.
“Three-Ring Circus. Bush MPs walk out, leaving CLP in crisis.” Front page headline, Northern Territory News, March 2014.
“She [Alison Anderson] has been deeply involved in attempts to roll four chief ministers, including – as can now be revealed – her old mate, Terry Mills.” Paul Toohey, Northern Territory News. March 2014.
“I’ve basically given up because there’s no hope for Aboriginal people in this [CLP] party. There isn’t.” Larisa Lee, Northern Territory News. April 2014.
“Giles just cannot be trusted,” Ms Anderson said. “We just want Territorians to make sure they don’t trust this little boy.” Alison Anderson, Northern Territory News. April 2014.
“For more than six months, Larisa Lee’s office in Parliament House has served as the base of operations for plans to roll Chief Minister Adam Giles.” Ben Smee, Northern Territory News. April 2014.
“The Palmer United Party’s new leader in the Northern Territory, Alison Anderson, says “lots and lots” of Country Liberal party members will defect to her latest political home.” Northern Territory News. April 2014.
“It’s the political equivalent of wearing fishnet stockings.” Attorney-General John Elferink [apropos of not very much]. Northern Territory News. April, 2014.
“A smart politician does not handle money.” NT Chief Minister Adam Giles. Northern Territory News. May 2014.
“The bizarre quality of NT political debate also received a strong contribution from the remaining indigenous CLP Minister, Bess Price.” Political Developments in Australia. June 2014. Endeavour Consulting Group.
“Former CLP deputy leader Dave Tollner has called his colleagues a “nest of vipers” who have knifed him in the back and will probably move to kick him out of the party.” Christopher Walsh, Northern Territory News. August 2014.”
“Political stench still thick in air.” Northern Territory News editorial. August 2014.
“The only person dividing and damaging the cause of Aboriginal people in the Territory with her self-interest and inability to work with others is Ms Anderson herself.” Northern Territory News editorial. September 2014.
“Mr Giles said last week he “bumped his phone” and accidentally called Mr Kurrupuwu, but did not speak with him … “. Christopher Walsh, Northern Territory News. September 2014.
“Mr [Dave] Tollner has been missing in action since threatening to leave the CLP after he was forced to resign over homophobic slurs directed at a staffer.” Christopher Walsh, Northern Territory News. September 2014.
“Chief Minister Adam Giles told Territorians to “have faith” in Government’s ability to investigate explosive allegations that have shaken the very foundations of its democracy. Exactly how one would do that these days is a mystery.” Northern Territory News editorial. January 2015.
“NT’s leadership lunacy. Member for Katherine rolls Giles in latest CLP power battle.” Front page leader, Katherine Times. February 2015.
“I don’t want to suggest that Adam got things wrongs but I think the pressures of [the leadership challenge] on Tuesday … he may have made a slip in suggesting there was a connection there to politicians and police.” Former deputy Chief minister Dave Tollner, Mix 104.9. February 2015.
“I am still the Chief Minister,” Adam Giles trumpeted after what was the Northern Territory’s most chaotic and frantic race for the leadership I’ve ever seen.” Daniel Bourchier, SkyNews Darwin Bureau Chief. February 2015.
Chief Minister Adam Giles is still yet to explain or apologise to senior NT Police for his unprecedented comments last week that senior police officers were involved in the attempted “coup” staged against him last Monday night. Northern Territory News. February 2015.
“It’s been a big mess. I think [the CLP’s] party members have been let down by all fourteen of our politicians unfortunately.” CLP President Jason Newman, ABC News. February 2015.
“The community expects more from its leaders than getting drunk at topless bars or telling bare-faced lies.” CLP MLA Robyn Lambley. February 2015.
“You are paid to represent us, not make us the laughing stock of the nation.” Northern Territory News editorial. February 2015.
“Adam Giles yesterday again re-shuffled his dog-eared Parliamentary deck.” Northern Territory News editorial, February 2015.
“Parliament descends into farcical circus.” Northern Territory News. February 2015.
“Fewer outbursts by disgruntled and bitter MLAs would also be helpful.” Retiring CLP MLA, Matt Conlan, March 2015.
“No Territory political party can present a mature front to elevate the Territory above the mess and no Territory leader can command the faith of their party.” Northern Territory News editorial. April 2015.
“Some [CLP] members have shown that they are unable to do the job in the ministries they’d been given.” CLP Vice-president Daniel Davis, June 2015.
“ … little claim to legitimacy.” Editorial, Centralian Advocate. July 2015
“ … a rancid dead dog.” Ex-CLP leader Jodeen Carney. Northern Territory News. July 2015, channeling an Adam Giles quote from 2009.
“The CLP could be wiped out as a party at the next election.” Northern Territory News. July 2015.
“Who in their right mind could respect this bunch?” Northern Territory News. July 2015.
“Damaged beyond all repair.” Senior CLP source, Northern Territory News. July 2015.
“[The] CLP is still heading for electoral oblivion.” Northern Territory News editorial. July 2015.
“Clearly not prepared to take office [in 2012].” Northern Territory News editorial. July 2015.
“ … masochists, determined to tear themselves down.” Northern Territory News editorial. August 2015.
“A lame duck government.” Christopher Walsh, Northern Territory News. August 2015.
“Lousy political judgment.” Northern Territory News editorial. August 2015.
“ … like the walking dead.” Former CLP Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth on Adam Giles. Northern Territory News. September 2015.
“[the] CLP seems stuck on the same destructive track – one step forward on policy, two steps backward on some political stupidity.” Ben Smee, Northern Territory News Chief of Staff. 2015.
“[the] CLP brand has become so toxic people won’t bring themselves to vote for even good members at te next election.” CLP source, Northern Territory News. October 2015.
[Adam Giles is] deeply unpopular with Territorians.” Northern Territory News. October 2015.
“Worst [NT] Chief Minister ever.” CLP Ex-Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley, August 2015.
[Chief Minister Adam Giles and Treasurer Dave Tollner] are running the [CLP] party like a dark, unpleasant, amoral cabal.” Robyn Lambley, Northern Territory Legislative Assembly Hansard. 2015.
“The CLP … chose to go troppo, firing shots at anyone and everyone in sight.” Matt Cunningham, SkyNews Northern Correspondent and former Northern Territory News editor. March 2016.
“Every time the [CLP] government gains some momentum, it is bought to a halt by a scandal all of its own making.” Matt Cunningham, Sunday Territorian. April 2016.
If you have any choice quotes or quips to add to the list please post a comment below.