Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro has called on Chief Minister Michael Gunner to publicly address “serious allegations involving members of [his] Territory Labor party” after accusations of drug use and sexual escapades became public.
Allegations emerged last weekend on various social media pages that political figures and “people in positions of power” had engaged in a cocaine-fuelled sex romp. The “political figures” have been the subject of speculation in NT political circles all week.
Ms Finocchiaro said in a statement on Sunday morning that the people allegedly involved were members of the Labor Party and that Mr Gunner needed to respond immediately to “protect the integrity of the Government and Parliament”.
“I am aware of serious allegations involving members of Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s Territory Labor party,” she said in the brief statement.
“In the interests of protecting the integrity of the Government and Parliament of the Northern Territory, I am calling on the Chief Minister to publicly address these allegations.
“I will not be making any further comment, at this stage.”
Mr Gunner’s director of communications Maria Billias did not respond to questions sent by the NT Independent on Sunday, including whether all MLAs and senior advisers continued to have Mr Gunner’s support.
But Mr Gunner sent a statement to the NT News saying that he is too busy dealing with COVID-19 issues to comment on the allegations.
“We are working with the Australian Government to keep the Territory the safest place in the country and keep our economy open, as we continue the fight against the global pandemic,” he said.
“The CLP can fixate on rumours and innuendo if they want, but my focus is on Territory lives and jobs.”
Mr Gunner did not address the possible criminal matters alleged and did not deny the allegations.
The Facebook pages at the centre of the allegations are the “Mango Inquirer” and “Gumment” – an unaffiliated page run by NT Independent owner Owen Pike.
NT Parliament resumes on Tuesday for the first sittings of the year where the issue is expected to be given significant attention and further details are expected to emerge.