April 15, 2018 1
Senator WALSH — I was aware of the fact that the Northern Territory is heavily dependent upon Commonwealth revenue [and] I have noted from time to time that nobody has a more voracious appetite for Commonwealth money than the present Northern Territory Chief Minister, although incongruously nobody is a more vocal critic of the Commonwealth taxes which raise the revenue which he so voraciously consumes. Senator Peter Walsh, Hansard, May 1983.
April 15, 2018
Graeme Lewis was part éminence grise, part bagman and part trouble-maker—as often within as without—for the NT's Country Liberal Party for more than forty years. Lewis passed away in early April while speaking from the floor of the 2018 annual conference of his beloved CLP. For all his apparent successes and failings—I'll leave the hagiography and excoriation for others—Graeme Lewis never held publicly elected office but nonetheless deserves respect as the Northern Territory's long-term political player par excellence. Lewis was also a prominent player in the Darwin Shuffle, the avoidance scheme that operated in the NT from at least the early 1970s through to the 1980s.
September 8, 2017 3
The CLP's 2016 election campaign was a shambles. Loughnane and Mitchell describe a"rudderless" and dramatically underfunded campaign. The Northern Myth understands that, notwithstanding the repeated assurances during the campaign that the CLP had a campaign war chest of $1 million, it was only after the election that the party's campaign debt of around $500,000 was revealed.
August 27, 2017
Gunner's real problems will be those he can do nothing—or little—about. The NT—a mendicant state that cannot pay its own way—is in a long downward spiral of economic and demographic decline. Mining and major industry is waiting for the next boom, the massive construction workforce at the Inpex gas plant in Darwin harbour will gradually wind down ahead of the plant coming on-stream in late 2018 or early 2019, and much more. The prospects for the Territory's economy over the next decade or so—a period during which Labor should continue to hold government—are little better than bleak.
August 16, 2017 1
Similarly curious is the fact that the Gunner government has seen fit to continue Quintis' major project status. As will become clear, if there were grounds for concern about the company's activities in the NT eighteen months ago, recent events warrant even closer attention.
August 6, 2017
CLP candidate Steve Brown described the indigenous employment and procurement polices as 'ill-considered' and 'blatantly racist.' Brown didn't elaborate on what aspects of his party's policies he considered 'racist' but it may be that he considered the policies unfairly favoured Aboriginal workers. Or discriminated against non-Aboriginal businesses or workers. Or both.
July 16, 2017
Foundation 51 has been the subject of intense media attention, and of formal enquiries by both the Australian and the NT electoral commissions and, despite years of digging by the media, NT Labor and others, no smoking gun has been, or is likely to be found. Foundation 51 was deregistered in May 2015.
May 25, 2017
The Gunner government’s end of semester Report Card gives it a fairly miserable failing D grade in the subject Accountability and Transparency. Teacher’s comment: “Occasional glimpses of promise and a marginal improvement on last year’s class (the worst the school has ever had) but much more effort is needed”.
May 23, 2017
I'll be in Darwin next week for the first phase of my research, focussing on documentary research and getting a few interviews. Drop me a line and we can catch up ...
November 29, 2016 1
Giles’s mood had changed from denial, to anger, to bargaining. He first denied any knowledge of an unfolding coup. Later he raged about the stupidity of it. And in our last conversation, just after midnight, before the phone was hurled from the balcony, he seemed to think there was a way to fight on.
November 27, 2016
This book is about the fall of an empire – about the power struggles and missteps and flawed characters that took the CLP from the Northern Territory’s dominant political force to near extinction, from an election win in 2012 to holding just two seats in Parliament four years later: Ben Smee and Christopher Walsh.
September 22, 2016 9
Welcome to politics as farce. There is little doubt that the NT electoral system is broken. The bigger question is how we fix it. Discuss.
September 13, 2016 3
Political cronyism is hardly unheard of in other states, but its sheer extent and audacity in the Northern Territory over the last four years is deeply troubling. The higher levels of the public sector have been utterly politicised and any semblance of a professional public service able to advise government without fear or favour no longer exists.
August 28, 2016
On Saturday night, as gracious as Giles' speech was, so Gunner's was shambolic. "Tonight is extraordinary" he said three times while the baying crowd called for blood and more beer.
August 9, 2016
A cultural paradigm exists in Northern Territory politics that neither major party is yet to break. The CLP have never tried, the ALP sort of tried but unless the shackles of “NT Political jingoism” are broken, the NT will remain wedded to mediocrity at best, political suicide at worse.
August 4, 2016
We have to have faith in the future with young people like Chansey [Paech, Labor candidate for Namatjira]. The future is theirs. Our time has to come to an end at some stage at some stage and young people have to take over ... the same with Scotty [McConnell, Labor candidate] in Stuart – they are two very, very tough candidates and they are good human beings and yes, I support both of them. Alison Anderson, 3 August 2016.
July 26, 2016
"The Northern Territory Government does not resile from its tough approach to those who don’t want to respect others people’s property or safety.": Adam Giles,
June 21, 2016
Joe Morrison: "I want to take you on a short journey through the last four decades of the story of the Kenbi land claim. It’s been a tumultuous journey, so buckle up and come along for a bumpy ride through a long and tortuous history."
June 20, 2016
Northern Territory Attorney General John Elferink: Land rights, he said, had become a “wall of imprisonment” blocking Aborigines from participating in northern development.
June 14, 2016
By early Saturday afternoon Nathan Barrett was gone from the NT Cabinet, a "horrified" Chief Minister Adam Giles telling the media that Barrett "had to go."