background preloader

NT Politics

Facebook Twitter

Santos and partners investing $4.7 billion to develop Barossa offshore gas field near Darwin. Energy giant Santos is pushing ahead with development for a major new gas field off the coast of Darwin, in what it says is the biggest investment in Australia's oil and gas industry in almost a decade.

Santos and partners investing $4.7 billion to develop Barossa offshore gas field near Darwin

Barossa gas project joint venture partners have made a final investment decisionThe Darwin LNG plant will operate for another 20 years with 600 inital construction jobsThe federal and NT governments are claiming emissions targets can still be met The company and its joint venture partners will pour $4.7 billion into the Barossa gas field project, with promises of hundreds of jobs and an economic boost for the Northern Territory in particular. Environmental groups say the project is likely to “significantly” increase Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and threaten pristine waterways off the Top End. What is the Barossa project? The project will draw gas from an offshore field lying 300 kilometres north of Darwin, in Commonwealth waters.

What does this mean for the economy? Former participants of NT rehab program say many will be left without support when funding is cut. Shay Hodder hasn't used methamphetamine for 18 months and is reunited with her family.

Former participants of NT rehab program say many will be left without support when funding is cut

Key points: The NT government will cut about $2 million in funding for a rehabilitation programA former program participant says the program turned her life aroundThe government says it will continue to offer support through other programs But she's worried others recovering from addiction will not receive the second chance she got, because the Northern Territory government is cutting $2 million in funding to a rehabilitation program for people on parole and on bail. "There's a lot of people out there who need help," she said.

"There's a lot of broken families that need to get back together … it's not fair on us, it's not fair on the community. " Ms Hodder believed she would have ended up in jail if she had not been able to participate in the government-funded Family Circles COMMIT program delivered by the FORWAARD Aboriginal Corporation, which is one of the organisations affected by the funding cuts. NT Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro to propose laws to tackle youth crime. NT opposition leader Lia Finocchiaro is increasing pressure on the Gunner government over youth crime in Alice Springs, announcing she will introduce tougher bail laws when Parliament resumes next week.

NT Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro to propose laws to tackle youth crime

Key points: The Opposition will propose a mandatory presumption against bailChief Minister Michael Gunner is considering reviewing the bail actA lawyer says the "tough-on-crime" approach could adversely impact Indigenous incarceration rates The Country Liberal Party has been calling for the government to reverse changes to bail laws made following the Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory in 2017. In the wake of a report about crime in Alice Springs on Channel Nine's A Current Affair last night, Ms Finocchiaro said existing youth crime laws were "weak" and did not address the underlying issues facing the town.

"What Territorians need is real action now," Ms Finocchiaro said. NT Electoral Commission audit finds $88,000 discrepancy in CLP financial disclosures. The Country Liberal Party failed to report almost $90,000 in electoral donations by the required deadline, an audit commissioned by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC) has found.

NT Electoral Commission audit finds $88,000 discrepancy in CLP financial disclosures

Key points: Auditors told the NT's CLP to fix discrepancies in donation disclosures for the 2020 electionThe CLP says it has since provided the NT Electoral Commission with the required informationThe auditors found they could not get information from the CFMMEU to determine if the union had complied with the Electoral Act. Truth-telling high on the agenda at treaty meetings in the NT, as Victoria announces first formal process. Across Australia, Indigenous leaders are grasping with both hands the opportunity being offered by some state and territory governments to start a cathartic process of truth-telling.

Truth-telling high on the agenda at treaty meetings in the NT, as Victoria announces first formal process

Key points: An independent commissioner is briefing Aboriginal communities that the NT Government is offering Treaty negotiationsCommunities are being warned that achieving self-government and compensation may take decadesThe commission is proposing a truth telling process to uncover massacres preceding Treaty talks. NT Government calls for action on report finding federal laws 'offensive' to Indigenous Territorians.

When a 55-year-old man was found guilty of having sex with and assaulting his 14-year-old "promised bride" in the mid-2000s, the Northern Territory Supreme Court handed him a two-year sentence, suspended after just one month.

NT Government calls for action on report finding federal laws 'offensive' to Indigenous Territorians

Federal legislation prevents NT courts from considering local Aboriginal laws in sentencing and bail decisionsThe NT government asked the Law Reform Committee to assess the impact of the legislationThe committee found the Commonwealth legislation to be ineffective, disproportionate and discriminatory The short jail term — which was based on the court's finding that the man believed his actions were permitted under traditional law — was later increased to a minimum of 18 months after the original sentence was deemed "manifestly inadequate" on appeal. The case was one of several that sparked a national debate about whether customary Aboriginal laws were being used to mitigate serious crimes and reduce prison terms for offenders. Northern Territory's CLP delays preselection decision for Lingiari. The Country Liberal Party has delayed its preselection process for the vast Northern Territory electorate of Lingiari until June.

Northern Territory's CLP delays preselection decision for Lingiari

Key points: The CLP has extended the preselection process for Lingiari for several monthsThe long-time Labor Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon is not contesting the next federal electionLabor has not yet confirmed its candidate for Lingiari Party members made the decision on Saturday afternoon at the CLP's three-day central council meeting in Alice Springs. Darwin-based members and the parliamentary team travelled to the town on Friday for the meeting, where it had been expected a final decision on a candidate would be made.

But the party will now decide in June, when it will also finalise candidates for the NT's other federal seat of Solomon, which takes in Darwin and most of Palmerston, and the Senate. The CLP had set an original "expression of interest" deadline of February 12 for Lingiari and Solomon, but this will now be extended. Key points: Northern Territory Government set to ban seabed mining following nine-year moratorium. The Northern Territory Government has announced plans to permanently ban seabed mining in Top End coastal waters.

Northern Territory Government set to ban seabed mining following nine-year moratorium

Key points: A moratorium on seabed mining has been in place since 2012Environment Minister Eva Lawler says they will fight any legal challenge against the decisionMinerals Council of Northern Territory says there is no scientific proof seabed mining is harmless Seabed mining involves targeting mineral deposits on or under the seabed — often using hydraulic or mechanical dredges — and is currently only allowed in Western Australia and Queensland for sand mining. A Northern Territory moratorium on the controversial practice, which has been in place since 2012 and was renewed in 2015 and 2018, was due to expire on March 5, 2021. Environment Minister Eva Lawler said the decision to ban seabed mining was made after considering a report from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Agency on the practice and community feedback. NT ICAC Commissioner Ken Fleming says office has received 1,000 complaints.

The NT's first Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) says his office has received 1,000 complaints in the two years since its inception — but only one in four has led to an active investigation.

NT ICAC Commissioner Ken Fleming says office has received 1,000 complaints

Key points: Sun Cable signs development agreement with NT Government to build 'world's largest solar farm', but intended customer Singapore yet to commit. The company planning to build "the world's largest solar farm", connecting the Northern Territory to Singapore, has signed a development agreement with the NT Government.

Sun Cable signs development agreement with NT Government to build 'world's largest solar farm', but intended customer Singapore yet to commit

Key points: Sun Cable's $22 billion project includes a 10 gigawatt solar farmElectricity transmission is expected for Darwin by 2026By 2027, the project could supply 15 per cent of Singapore's power supply Since the project's inception, the developer Sun Cable has promoted its plans to supply Darwin with electricity and also up to 20 per cent of Singapore's energy needs using an undersea cable. "Over the last few days Singapore has actually increased their load forecasts quite significantly — so it's probably getting closer to up to 15 per cent," Sun Cable chief executive David Griffin said. NT ICAC Commissioner Ken Fleming announces early retirement, citing 'challenging' year. The Northern Territory's first Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has announced his retirement, two years before his term is due to end. Key points: The ICAC has released three reports into investigations publicly since its inception Ken Fleming was appointed as Commissioner for five years but will finish after threeThe ICAC is investigating more than 50 allegations of serious and systemic misconduct Ken Fleming QC was appointed as the head of the NT's anti-corruption watchdog in July 2018 and plans to relinquish the role in July this year.

"It is with regret that I announce my retirement as the Northern Territory Independent Commissioner Against Corruption," he said in a statement. "2020 was a challenging year for many people, and for me reinforced the importance of being close to family. " Northern Land Council opposes NT park entry fee plan, citing tourism impact. One of the Northern Territory's most powerful land councils is opposing the NT Government's introduction of national park entry fees for now, citing the impact it could have on tourism during the pandemic. Key points: The NLC boss says the fees would have a "negative effect" on Indigenous tour operatorsSome traditional owners say they support the fees, but want extra oversightThe NT Government says it will begin consultations in the coming weeks The NT Government has confirmed it will start charging international and interstate visitors entry fees to popular Top End tourism drawcards such as Litchfield National Park during the next financial year.

The Government says the entry fees will not apply to Territorians taking a day trip. Darwin's new $50 million art gallery moves ahead as existing cultural institution cuts staff and shows. A $50 million art gallery is edging closer to becoming a reality in Darwin, but doubts are being raised about whether the debt-straddled Northern Territory Government can afford its operating costs. Key points: The NT Government says it will soon release a tender for the construction of the State Square GalleryIt's moving ahead with the plan despite a major government-funded gallery cutting exhibitions and staffThe NT Opposition has questioned how the cash-strapped government will fund the institution The NT Government confirmed a tender would soon be released for the construction of the new State Square Gallery, which is expected to open in the CBD by 2023.

"A tender for the construction of the gallery is expected to be awarded in mid-2021 with anticipated completion of construction in late 2022," an NT Government spokeswoman said. The NT pioneered voluntary euthanasia before the law was overruled. Now there is a campaign to restore it. Sharon Cramp-Oliver has boxes full of her mum's old diaries. In them, 77-year-old Liz Holmes wrote about the adventures of her three children, what made the nightly news and — in the years leading up to her death — the unbearable pain she experienced and detailed plans to end her own life. WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find distressing. Liz spent 12 years battling breast cancer, had a broken back and suffered through two painful hip replacements, one of which dislocated itself in early 2017. "This is hell on earth," she wrote, just months before she took her own life in September, 2017.

In the 1990 NT cabinet documents, a cash-strapped government grapples with evergreen issues. Secretive Northern Territory government documents from 1990 have been released for the first time, giving a snapshot of what was happening in the Territory at a time when Nelson Mandela was being released from prison and Margaret Thatcher was stepping down from the British prime ministership. Key points: Documents from 1990 reveal national health policy was rewritten after discussions with the liquor industryTensions between the Federal and NT Governments were also running high over university fundingThe documents also show concern about privacy in the growing age of computers The papers give a rare glimpse into the decisions made by the Territory's top ministers and what influenced their choices.

"Thirty years is a generational change," said Patrick Gregory from Library and Archives NT. Liquor industry dilutes health policy In 1990, the cabinet decided to officially adopt the National Health Policy on Alcohol, making the Northern Territory the last jurisdiction in the country to do so. NT Auditor-General finds public servant credit cards used for fines, iTunes purchases. Corporate credit cards issued to Northern Territory public servants are sometimes being used for unauthorised purposes, including the payment of a traffic infringement, a parking fine and an iTunes purchase, a report by the NT Auditor-General has found.

Donald Trump shoots down massive US defence bill, including 10-year master plan for military projects in NT. The United States Congress wants a 10-year master plan drawn up to build infrastructure in the Northern Territory to support US armed forces on rotation in Australia, but a last-minute battle with President Donald Trump has put the plan on hold, along with the rest of the annual defence bill. Key points: NT Government's appeal against Indigenous housing court ruling sparks Human Rights Commission intervention. The Australian Human Rights Commission is set to intervene in a legal fight between residents of the remote community of Santa Teresa and the NT Government over public housing conditions. NT Government acquires $1.85 million rural property as cash, land quietly swap hands. The Northern Territory Government brokered a secretive deal that saw a Darwin business walk away with money and land in an attempt to resolve a "particularly tricky" zoning issue.

New nationwide 'fake porn' scam targeting social media users. Authorities are warning of a new scam targeting social media users across the country, in which their images and information are being stolen and used to promote fake porn sites. Key points: NT Police Commissioner stands by defence of officers in watch house footage - ABC News. Darwin lawyer Alistair Wyvill cleared of misconduct after claiming judge was 'politically partisan' - ABC News. A prominent Darwin barrister has been cleared of professional misconduct and his fears about a Supreme Court judge being "politically partisan" have sufficient basis, a tribunal has found. Key points: Law Society NT has lost a long-running fight against Alistair Wyvill SCA tribunal found a judge's comments may have implied a "favourable view" of the Country LiberalsMr Wyvill acted for former Labor leader Delia Lawrie at the Stella Maris inquiry. NT mine closure has Jabiru community anxious about an uncertain future, and some are already leaving - ABC News.

Packing her life away into boxes and preparing to shift out of her small Northern Territory town has had an emotional impact on Denise House — but it's not the feeling she expected. Key points: The Ranger uranium mine will cease operations on January 9Dozens of mining families are expected to leave town in coming monthsFuture rental prices and the standard of the town's housing remains "unknown" NT to keep two federal House of Representative seats at next election after legislation passes Parliament - ABC News. The Northern Territory will retain its current level of federal representation after Federal Parliament passed legislation on Wednesday night to protect the seats of Solomon and Lingiari.

Mine regulators refer bullying, fraud allegations to Northern Territory anti-corruption watchdog - ABC News. Allegations of bullying and pressure to shortcut processes have erupted in the department which regulates mining in the Northern Territory, and gone all the way to the NT's Independent Commission Against Corruption. NT Government reveals $7 million budget blowout for underground car park in State Square - ABC News. Parole board chair says NT Government cuts will worsen Aboriginal incarceration rates - ABC News. Alice Springs despairs over cycle of youth crime and disadvantage, as break-ins and domestic violence spike - ABC News. NT Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro criticises Labor over 'outrageous' budget estimates process - ABC News. Health Minister among those concerned as NT Government cuts funding to parole rehab program - ABC News. Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission releases blueprint for NT coronavirus recovery - ABC News.

McArthur River Mine expansion approval criticised by NT senator Malarndirri McCarthy - ABC News. NT Territory Families Minister Kate Worden shares personal story of domestic violence - ABC News. Bagot Aboriginal community still opposes Dan Murphy's bid for Darwin megastore despite location change - ABC News. NT Government shaves $120 million off McArthur River Mine environmental security bond - ABC News. NT Racing Minister Natasha Fyles hands back honorary membership of Darwin Turf Club - ABC News. Rushed NT Government legislation for proposed Dan Murphy's store condemned by Liquor Commission - ABC News. Michael Gunner's 'budget for the times' delivers high stakes ultimatum to public service - ABC News. NT Government increases cap on public service jobs despite budget repair advice - ABC News.

NT's auditor-general finds Government could lose millions to costly superannuation bungle - ABC News. Former NT speaker Kezia Purick launches court challenge to quash ICAC's corruption findings - ABC News. Second Lower House NT seat saved as Labor, Coalition unite to overturn AEC change - ABC News. Government ban on NT Independent news outlet sets dangerous precedent, experts say - ABC News. NT Government's new Cabinet sworn in amid concern over Michael Gunner's appointment as Treasurer - ABC News. NT election: Labor raises 'serious concerns' over postal votes as knife-edge count continues - ABC News. Northern Territory election: Coronavirus campaign delivers Labor win, but big issues loom - ABC News.

NT election 2020: Female candidates in Northern Territory election on the rise - ABC News. Ahead of the NT Election, where do the parties stand on fracking? - ABC News. Victorian Liberal Party investigating potential branch stacking after audit finds more than 20 irregularities - ABC News. Country Liberals pre-election bail policy expands Giles government plan for 'bad youths' - ABC News. As the NT election nears, the ALP and CLP aren't walking their talk on Indigenous candidates - ABC News. Untitled. NT developers, betting agencies prominent on list of 2020 election campaign donors - ABC News. Northern Territory to see 'significant reduction' in GST revenue as coronavirus hits budget - ABC News. Architects raise significant heat concerns over university plans for Darwin's CBD - ABC News. This is why the NT could be about to lose half of its federal seats - ABC News. Review of NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner's office was 'thrown away', Information Commissioner says - ABC News.

NT Government cancels 'non-essential' trips to Indigenous communities in coronavirus plan. NT Speaker Kezia Purick says she won't rule on who should be the Territory's political opposition. Jeff Collins explains why he has gone from Labor MP to independent to Territory Alliance convert. NT election 2020: Independent Jeff Collins joins Territory Alliance, ramping up threat to CLP. NT's Territory Alliance hopes to seize Opposition if it wins Johnston by-election. NT by-election in the seat of Johnston looms as acid test for Gunner Labor Government.

NT Chief Minister informs corruption watchdog about turf club grandstand emails. NT election 2020: What do voters in the Johnston by-election care about? NT defence lawyers and prosecutors warn Territory legal services severely underfunded. Cory Bernardi resigns from politics after 13-year career, handing his seat to the Liberal Party. The Country Liberal Party has confirmed seven candidates for the 2020 election, so who are they?

New leader named for the CLP as Gary Higgins resigns ahead of 2020 NT election. Dan Murphy's bid to set up NT store enters fifth year as appeal heads to Supreme Court. 1989 cabinet documents show alarming lack of rights for married women. The NT now has a plan to pull it out of the economic doldrums. But will it be enough? NT Chief Minister says buyers of structurally flawed buildings should have been warned. America's $300 million push to expand naval facilities in northern Australia. Judge's 'clearly offensive' Indigenous parenting barb subject of complaint consideration. Is the NT kicking its cask wine addiction? Bottle shops lifting their restrictions say yes. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt calls on NT Government to resign over hospital handling.

Surgeries put on hold, double shifts for staff as Darwin hospital overflows. NT cracker night: 27 injured, 770 triple-0 calls, 679 grassfires, $386k and 370 tonnes of fireworks. Kerry O'Brien defends the ABC and calls out media 'failures' in impassioned Logies speech. New Darwin port would 'counterbalance' 99-year Chinese company lease, Liberal MP argues. Darwin's proposed new port development should come as no surprise. Billionaire businessman launches legal action to keep Origin Energy fracking off NT cattle station. Could the NT build a national recycling hub? Report paints bright future for Top End renewables. Euthanasia comes to Victoria as Northern Territory's former leader urges 'democratic justice'

Growth in NT public service politically dangerous to curb despite budget woes, experts say. Gunner Government's pay freeze plan to fix budget stuck in limbo. Darwin's Lord Mayor dismisses privacy fears of 'smart city conspiracy theorists' NT Water's plan to store Adelaide River floodwater and build agricultural precinct near Darwin - ABC Rural - ABC News.

Triumph holds an epic warning for Morrison. NT electoral boundary redistribution could see almost 11,000 voters change electorates. Facebook video calling Islamic culture 'barbaric' and 'primitive' shared by federal CLP candidate Jacinta Price - Australia Votes - Federal Election 2019 - Politics. Clive Palmer's NT team both slams and supports party behind Darwin port lease to China - Australia Votes - Federal Election 2019 - Politics. The NT now has a plan to pull it out of the economic doldrums. But will it be enough? Northern Territory remains Australia's only jurisdiction with negative credit rating. Bus shelters are lying dormant in steel yards as Top End residents swelter. Executive arm of NT public service will see 52 jobs cut in a year. Fireworks licence fees and charges for number plates: NT Government releases budget repair plan. Government documents found on a Darwin street reveal a potential $1m cost blow-out. NT Police blasted for 'terrible decision' as senior operational role slashed.