NT Independent’s 2021 Year in Review – Part 4

by | Dec 31, 2021 | News | 0 comments

This is the fourth instalment of the NT Independent’s 2020 Year in Review, in which we revisit the stories that made news this year, and in most cases, stories that would never have come to light had the NT Independent not existed.

The twilight of 2021 seemed to raise a lot of the same issues as last year, such as record low levels of police morale finding a new nadir; the Chief Minister’s office knowing of fraud and misconduct allegations but doing nothing; more resignations of senior police and a certain Senator going down swinging.

It’s like we’re all living in a weird time warp and we’re stuck here until somebody does something differently or learns a lesson or something (Wait, isn’t that the plot to Groundhog Day?).

Well, if it seems like you read this collection of the most read stories of the year last year, what can we say? Again, we didn’t make any of this up and it continues without any consequences, including the Chief Minister’s brother-in-law approving taxpayer funds for Gunner’s re-election campaign despite strict rules forbidding it and the potential for misuse of public funds.

And those in power were kind enough to add a few new ones for us this year, just to make it all more explicit; such as a senior Department of Chief Minister executive being caught up in scandal for procurement abnormalities also being the department’s rep for the ICAC Inspector, with access to his email account and other sensitive documents; and then there was the X-File COVID case where a man tested positive but infected nobody while forcing a hard lockdown of Darwin and Katherine; the Chief Minister outing an alleged hooker as the source of the largest COVID outbreak in the NT (not that there’s anything wrong with her choice of employment, he said); an horrific domestic violence death that didn’t make national news for some reason, the Police commissioner said, forgetting that was because he didn’t make the facts public; alleged scams in academia; the successful challenge of the CHO’s directions in court and who could forget “Rhyno Gate” – the scandal still unfolding involving the Chief Minister’s brother-in-law approving taxpayer funds for Gunner’s 2020 election campaign.

And as the year wound down, the government set up a grog and gambling club for elite public servants and ordered 10 refrigerated shipping containers to be used as morgues for everyone else. And the Health Minister faced calls for her resignation over the questionable handling of a $700k consultancy contract that grew to $4.3 million with no questions asked.

Here’s how 2021 ended.

OCTOBER

NT Police officers leaving in record numbers citing poor management as reason

More Territory cops are seeking a job outside the NT than ever before, according to the NT Police Association’s 2021 member survey, with officers citing management issues as their reason for leaving.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-police-officers-leaving-in-record-numbers-citing-poor-management-as-reason/

Chief Minister’s office knew about fraud and misconduct allegations at Batchelor Institute in 2019: Internal report

EXCLUSIVE: A report that outlined credible allegations of ongoing fraud and misconduct at Batchelor Institute was given to Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s office in late 2019 – after it was requested by a senior ministerial advisor – but it appears the office took no further action, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chief-ministers-office-knew-about-fraud-and-misconduct-allegations-at-batchelor-institute-in-2019-internal-report/

Another NT Police Assistant Commissioner resigns amid turmoil in force

NT Police assistant commissioner Dr Narelle Beer has resigned – making her the third of the Territory’s top brass to resign this year – citing alleged bullying, sources said, adding that she felt “used” by the executive over the charging of Constable Zach Rolfe in 2019.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/another-nt-police-assistant-commissioner-resigns-amid-turmoil-in-force/

Recently departed Batchelor Institute CEO claimed $430k pay packet, hired relatives as college lost millions

EXCLUSIVE: The former head of the Batchelor Institute, Professor Steve Larkin, who had stipulated in his executive contract that he would not work past 4:21pm, was paid more than $430,000 a year, after the board increased his pay by at least $55,000 in the same year the organisation lost $2.5 million, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/recently-departed-batchelor-institute-ceo-claimed-430k-pay-packet-hired-relatives-as-college-lost-millions/

Sixth change in NT Police College leadership in less than two years

The troubled NT Police College has a new boss with Commander Hege Burns becoming the sixth change in the top role since November 2019, following the findings of an external audit that showed the college had failed national standards, sources have told the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/sixth-change-in-nt-police-college-leadership-in-less-than-two-years/

Chief Minister’s Dept exec investigated by ICAC had access to sensitive ICAC records, names of complainants

EXCLUSIVE: A senior public servant who was investigated by the corruption watchdog for unsatisfactory conduct over allegations she manipulated a procurement contract had access to the ICAC Inspector’s email account and sensitive documents before she was investigated, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chief-ministers-dept-exec-investigated-by-icac-had-access-to-sensitive-icac-records-names-of-complainants/

Two most senior CDU executive roles axed by new VC

Charles Darwin University vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman has dismissed the two most senior executives at the university in what he says is a move to make the institution more “agile and flatter”.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/two-most-senior-cdu-executive-roles-axed-by-new-vc/

Sun Cable’s Singapore power retailer folds

The multi-billion-dollar Sun Cable project to power Darwin and Singapore from a massive solar farm in Tennant Creek has suffered a blow after a Singapore-based independent electricity retailer, that earlier pledged to be a buyer of the solar energy, exited the retail electricity market – along with four other retailers.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/sun-cables-singapore-power-retailer-folds/

ICAC’s investigation into NTG procurement scandal called into question

EXCLUSIVE: A scathing report by the NT’s Buy Local Advocate has raised serious questions about the ICAC’s investigation into improper conduct allegations against two Department of Chief Minister senior executives accused of manipulating a major procurement contract.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/icacs-investigation-into-ntg-procurement-scandal-called-into-question/

Police exiting the force at double the previous rate, 83 per cent of those leaving resigned

NT Police officers left the force at double the rate in the last financial year, with the trend continuing in the latest quarter – the annual report shows – which follows revelations assistant commissioner Dr Narelle Beer resigned over executive bullying and feeling used in Constable Zach Rolfe’s arrest.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/police-exiting-the-force-at-double-the-previous-rate-83-per-cent-resigned/

NT Administrator’s husband signed off on flawed recruitment contract after scores altered

EXCLUSIVE: The NT Administrator’s husband Craig O’Halloran signed off on a flawed government procurement contract after two senior Department of Chief Minister executives altered the scores of tenderers to ensure a favoured company was successful, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-administrators-husband-signed-off-on-flawed-recruitment-contract-after-scores-altered/

NOVEMBER

 

Darwin shooter Hoffmann pleads guilty to three counts of murder, manslaughter

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann has pleaded guilty to killing four people during a shooting rampage across Darwin in June 2019.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-shooter-hoffmann-pleads-guilty-to-three-counts-of-murder-manslaughter/

Man tests positive to COVID-19 but infection source unknown: Chief Minister

The Territory’s first case of community transmission of COVID will see Katherine placed under a 72-hour lockdown from midnight, with a three-day “lockout” for Darwin, Palmerston, and the rural area, after a RAAF Tindal base contractor tested positive to COVID-19, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/man-tests-positive-to-covid-19-source/

Woman tests positive for COVID-19, NT still looking for outbreak source: Chief Minister

A woman has become the third person to test positive for COVID-19 in the NT’s latest outbreak, and she is a close contact of the RAAF contractor who tested positive on Thursday, but the source of the outbreak is still unknown, the Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/woman-from-cairns-tests-positive-to-covid-19-in-darwin/

‘Telling the difficult stories that need to be told’: NT Independent recognised by national judges with two NT media awards

The NT Independent was recognised for its role in improving the Territory’s democracy, picking up two major accolades at the 2021 NT Media Awards.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/telling-the-difficult-stories-that-need-to-be-told-nt-independent-recognised-by-national-judges-with-two-nt-media-awards/

Man allegedly sets partner on fire, pouring petrol under toilet door, killing her: Sources

A man allegedly poured petrol under the door of a toilet after his wife had locked herself in during a domestic dispute, before setting her alight causing burns which killed her, sources have told the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/man-allegedly-sets-partner-on-fire-pouring-petrol-under-toilet-door-killing-her-sources/

Police make arrest over alleged liquid-throwing incident at Saturday protest

One person involved during Saturday’s anti-mandate standoff with authorities has been arrested for allegedly throwing an unknown liquid at police officers who suffered burns, Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker has said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/police-make-arrest-over-alleged-liquid-throwing-incident-at-saturday-protest/

‘She is a sex worker, she should not be judged for this’: Gunner’s deleted post on COVID source case revealed

A post on Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s Facebook page that identified the woman at the centre of the Greater Darwin COVID-19 lockout as a “sex worker”, was later altered to remove the reference to the woman’s alleged occupation.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/she-is-a-sex-worker-she-should-not-be-judged-for-this-gunners-deleted-post-on-covid-source-case-revealed/

NT business owners fear closures and job losses as vaccine mandate laws loom

A group of NT business owners is mulling their legal options over the Gunner Government’s vaccine mandate for workers that comes into effect this Saturday, which they say will lead to job losses and business closures.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-business-owners-fear-closures-and-job-losses-as-vaccine-mandate-laws-loom/

Landbridge Group’s managing director stands down amid security review of Darwin Port

Landbridge Group managing director Mike Hughes – who was instrumental in securing the 99-year lease of the Darwin Port for the Chinese-owned company – has resigned amid a national security review of the deal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/landbridge-groups-managing-director-stands-down-amid-security-review-of-darwin-port/

NT police officer referred for possible ‘offences’ in connection to death of partner

The NT’s Coroner has referred an unnamed serving police officer to the Director of Public Prosecutions and police commissioner in connection with the death of his partner last year, finding that “offences may have been committed”, after an inquest heard of serious failings of police to investigate ongoing instances of domestic violence involving their own.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-police-officer-referred-for-possible-offences-in-connection-to-death-of-partner/

Darwin’s old Woolies building back on the market, Stone Houses also up for sale

The prime Darwin retail buildings that house popular bars Charlie’s and Stone House Wine Bar are up for sale as lenders attempt to recoup funds lent to local developer Gwelo Investments, after it went into receivership earlier this year.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwins-old-woolies-building-back-on-the-market-stone-houses-also-up-for-sale/

ICAC, parliamentary investigations into conduct of MLA Mark Turner dropped

The NT Parliament’s disciplinary committee has dropped its investigation into Blain MLA Mark Turner for lying to Parliament, after the Office of the ICAC also quietly dropped its investigation into Labor’s so-called “cocaine sex scandal” without issuing a public statement.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/icac-parliamentary-investigations-into-conduct-of-mla-mark-turner-dropped/

Internal reports contradict NT Government’s claims on unsafe Palmerston homes

At least two engineering reports into unsafe homes in Palmerston ordered by the NT Government earlier this year show the homes were a “risk of serious injury” to the occupants and the community in a thunderstorm – not only a cyclone as the government claimed – and should be demolished without delay, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/internal-reports-contradict-nt-governments-claims-on-unsafe-palmerston-homes/

Nearly 2500 Northern Territory public servants have not received first COVID-19 vaccination, face axe

EXCLUSIVE: Close to 2500 public servants are listed by the Northern Territory Government as not having provided a record of at least one COVID-19 vaccination in the countdown to midnight’s deadline, information shared with the NT Independent shows.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nearly-2500-northern-territory-public-servants-have-not-received-first-covid-19-vaccination-face-axe/

What happened at CDU? Former uni boss Simon Maddocks paid $1.17 million on way out

Former Charles Darwin University vice-chancellor Simon Maddocks was paid a total of more than $1.17 million in wages, entitlements and termination payments when he left the role last year, following university losses of more than $93 million in the preceding five years, annual reports show.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/what-happened-at-cdu-former-uni-boss-simon-maddocks-paid-1-17-million-on-way-out/

NT Police officer charged with possessing child abuse material

A serving NT Police officer in Alice Springs has been arrested and is facing multiple charges relating to child abuse material, including possessing files and grooming another person “to make it easier to procure” minors.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-police-officer-charged-with-possessing-child-abuse-material/

Tyre spikes used by probationary officers on wrong car leads to crash: Sources

Two probationary NT Police officers used tyre spikes on the wrong car, causing it to crash and requiring the same officers to free the occupants from the crashed vehicle, sources have told the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/tyre-spikes-used-by-probationary-officers-on-wrong-car-leads-to-crash-sources/

Chief Minister gives social media spin doctor vaccination exemption, despite saying no exemptions

Chief Minister Michael Gunner is allowing an un-vaccinated social media spin doctor from his office to continue to work despite others in the public and private sector losing their jobs due to his COVID-19 vaccination mandate which commenced at midnight last Friday.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chief-minister-gives-social-media-spin-doctor-vaccination-exemption-despite-saying-no-exemptions/

‘Bleeding slowly’: Hospitality groups question Darwin mask mandate while no active COVID cases

A local publican and the hospitality industry say the ongoing Darwin mask mandate is killing business and are calling on the Chief Minister to rescind the mandate while there are no active cases in the Greater Darwin area.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/hospitality-groups-question-darwin-mask-mandate-while-no-active-covid-cases/

‘Embarrassing and lamentable’: NT Chief Health Officer’s directives successfully challenged in court

The NT Government has lost the first prosecution of a citizen under its emergency health declarations, after a rural area man’s charges were thrown out of court in a case that exposed flawed government documentation processes and contradictions in the Chief Health Officer’s orders.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/embarrassing-and-lamentable-nt-chief-health-officers-directives-successfully-challenged-in-court/

Public servants offered bonuses from the wages of those sacked over COVID-19 vaccination mandate

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said the money saved from the now-400 public servants being sacked over refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination will go to increasing annual bonuses for those who are left.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/public-servants-offered-bonuses-from-the-wages-of-those-sacked-over-covid-19-vaccination-mandate/

Man found dead at Howard Springs quarantine facility after downing bottle of vodka

A 77-year-old man who was quarantining at Howard Springs has died, with friends claiming a “breach of duty of care” at the facility, after the British man was last seen polishing off a bottle of vodka at the dry facility.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/man-found-dead-at-howard-springs-quarantine-facility-after-downing-bottle-of-vodka/

Woman killed after being struck by bus on Stuart Highway

A woman was killed on the Stuart Highway in The Narrows Monday afternoon during peak hour traffic after being hit by a bus outside of a bus shelter, NT Police said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/woman-killed-after-being-struck-by-bus-on-stuart-highway/

Commissioner still waiting for analysis of ‘chemical’ allegedly thrown at police by protesters

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker has said he is still waiting on the results of an analysis of a substance he described as a ‘chemical’ that he alleges was thrown at officers by ‘Free In the NT’ rally attendees earlier this month, during a confrontation where police used capsicum spray.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/commissioner-still-waiting-for-analysis-of-chemical-allegedly-thrown-at-police-by-protesters/

Charles Darwin University’s fourth executive departure since August

The head of education strategy at Charles Darwin University has resigned, vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman has said, marking the fourth senior executive to depart or announce their departure from the institute in a little over three months.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/third-charles-darwin-university-executive-resigns-in-last-month/

Gold Valley Group placed into administration, NT LNG project in doubt

A Perth-based mining and energy company and its subsidiaries that has pending projects in the Northern Territory that were previously touted by Chief Minister Michael Gunner have collapsed, documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) show.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gold-valley-group-placed-into-administration-nt-lng-project-in-doubt/

Howard Springs COVID-19 high-risk zone routinely compromised: Sources

Quarantine detainees at Howard Springs have been jumping between the red zone – where people with COVID-19 and some of their close contacts reside – into other sections of the facility to see family and friends, sources have told the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/howard-springs-covid-19-high-risk-zone-routinely-compromised-by-those-inside-sources/

Gunner’s brother-in-law approved taxpayer funds for 2020 campaign trips against rules: Internal documents

Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s office orchestrated taxpayer-funded election campaign trips to marginal electorates approved by the Chief Minister’s brother-in-law, in breach of rules that prevent the misappropriation of public funds, an NT Independent investigation has uncovered.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunners-brother-in-law-approved-taxpayer-funds-for-2020-campaign-trips-against-rules-internal-documents/

‘Gunner promised integrity in government’: MLA says alleged misuse of public funds must be investigated

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has breached the trust of Territorians in a “disgusting, appalling abuse of power”, after it was revealed his brother-in-law and then-deputy chief of staff authorised the use of public funds for campaign travel during last year’s election, an independent MLA says.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunner-promised-integrity-in-government-mla-says-alleged-misuse-of-public-funds-must-be-investigated/

Speaker bans public from attending Parliament after ‘advice’ from NT Police

Territorians have been banned from attending NT Parliament for the last week of sittings of the year, following a “security risk assessment” by NT Police, Speaker Ngaree Ah Kit said, while friends of Labor were allowed to attend the afternoon sittings.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/speaker-bans-public-from-attending-parliament-after-advice-from-nt-police/

NT Police executive distributed suppressed Rolfe trial material to members in possible breach of court order

The NT Police executive and media unit may have breached a court suppression order by sharing an online news article that contained a video related to Channel Seven’s Zach Rolfe documentary through its internal ‘media wrap’ service to hundreds of serving police officers, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-police-executive-distributed-suppressed-rolfe-material-to-members-in-possible-breach-of-court-order/

DECEMBER

 

Private emails reveal Chief Minister’s brother-in-law led Labor election campaign from CM’s office

EXCLUSIVE: The extent of Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s brother-in-law’s involvement in the 2020 Labor election campaign while drawing his taxpayer-funded deputy chief of staff salary has been further revealed in a series of internal emails obtained by the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/private-emails-reveal-chief-ministers-brother-in-law-led-labor-election-campaign-from-cms-office/

NT records first COVID-19 related death

A woman in her 70s has become the first person to die with COVID-19 in the Territory, the Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said, while two people who travelled from interstate have also tested positive and have been put into quarantine in Howard Springs.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-records-first-covid-19-death/

Police Commissioner cryptically hints at charges over spread of COVID-19 in the NT

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker has seemingly said the Major Crime Unit will be investigating possible charges against a 21-year-old woman who allegedly brought COVID-19 to the Territory last month, which has now resulted in the death of a woman, but his statement was unclear and he told reporters at a press conference he did not want “things” going into the public domain.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/police-commissioner-cryptically-hints-at-charges-over-spread-of-covid-19-in-the-nt/

New policy settings required to sell wage freeze to NT Public Servants

Just last month, roughly 70 per cent of NT public servants whose employment is covered by the NT Public Sector 2017 – 2021 Enterprise Agreement voted no to a wage freeze for four years.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/new-policy-settings-required-to-sell-wage-freeze-to-nt-public-servants/

CLP Senator Sam McMahon allegedly attempted to punch Nationals federal director at pub

Senator Sam McMahon allegedly attempted to punch the federal director of the Nationals party at a Canberra pub during a staff Christmas function, it has been reported.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/clp-senator-sam-mcmahon-allegedly-attempted-to-punch-nationals-federal-director-at-pub/

‘An erosion of trust, respect, integrity, and the lack of compassion and decency’: NT Police Sergeant’s resignation letter

An Alice Springs Detective Sergeant has cited an “erosion of trust, respect, integrity, and the lack of compassion and common decency” in the NT Police executive team as the reason for resigning after 24 years service, in a letter sent to Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/an-erosion-of-trust-respect-integrity-and-the-lack-of-compassion-and-decency-nt-police-sergeants-resignation-letter/

‘He was one of the best police officers in Australia’: Colleagues on suspended Detective Sergeant

An NT Police disciplinary notice to Detective Sergeant Leith Phillips says the police top brass are taking action against him for his resignation letter to Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, which they said was “disgraceful and improper”, and claimed his speech to a “COVID-19 freedom” rally diminished the public’s faith in his ability to carry out his role.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/he-was-one-of-the-best-police-officers-in-australia-colleagues-on-suspended-detective-sergeant/

Dr Philip Nitschke says he has legal approval to use new suicide machine in Switzerland

Former Northern Territory resident Dr Philip Nitschke has said his new assisted suicide capsule, the Sarco machine, has been given legal approval for use in Switzerland, and he said he wants to develop an artificial intelligence screening system to establish a person’s mental capacity for assisted suicide.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/dr-philip-nitschke-says-he-has-legal-approval-to-use-new-suicide-machine-in-switzerland/

NT Police silent on dead body at popular northern suburbs park

The NT Police have refused to comment on a death in a popular northern suburbs park frequented by families, after a body was found and the park was taped off Tuesday afternoon.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-police-silent-on-dead-body-at-popular-northern-suburbs-park/

Who is ‘United NT Businesses’ and why are they about to sue the Gunner Government?

EXCLUSIVE: A group of NT business owners will be filing legal action against the Gunner Government’s vaccine mandate in the NT Supreme Court this week, which they are confident will succeed despite legal action against mandates elsewhere in the country failing.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/who-is-united-nt-businesses-and-why-are-they-about-to-sue-the-gunner-government/

CHO direction forcing COVID-19 tests in Katherine later deleted from government website after roadblocks in town

A chief health officer direction forcing people in a Katherine East “risk zone” to get COVID-19 tests, and not allowing them past NT Police roadblocks if they refused, was deleted from the NT Government’s coronavirus website late last night with no explanation, hours after the government began enforcing it.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/ntg-establishes-covid-19-roadblocks-in-part-of-katherine-residents-forced-to-get-tested/

ICAC general manager moves to NT Police role amid reports of investigation into his office

EXCLUSIVE: The NT anti-corruption body’s second-in-charge has left his role to join the NT Police as its acting chief operating officer, in a strange move that comes amid media reports that police are investigating the Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/icac-general-manager-moves-to-nt-police-role-amid-reports-of-investigation-into-his-office/

United NT Businesses file legal action against government’s ‘racist’ vaccine mandate laws

A group of businesses opposed to the NT Government’s vaccine mandate has commenced legal action in the NT Supreme Court, arguing the Chief Health Officer’s directions are an overreach of power and ultimately “racist”.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/united-nt-businesses-file-legal-action-against-governments-racist-vaccine-mandate-laws/

Chalker did not disclose police bailed DV murderer days before he incinerated wife: sources

Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker gave an emotional speech to an anti-domestic violence event about a woman who was set on fire by her husband last month, but failed to tell the audience the man had been bailed by police three days before the homicide after breaching a domestic violence order against her.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chalker-did-not-disclose-police-bailed-dv-murderer-days-before-he-incinerated-wife-sources/

‘Thrown the industry into chaos’: Tourism operators furious at border changes

Newly announced border entry changes to take effect on December 20, will devastate the Territory’s already hurting tourism businesses, the industry’s peak bodies have warned, calling on the Gunner Government to deliver “sensible solutions”.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/thrown-the-industry-into-chaos-tourism-operators-furious-at-border-changes/

 

Child sexually assaulted in Palmerston suburb

A child has allegedly been sexually assaulted at a Zuccoli property on Sunday, NT Police said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/child-sexually-assaulted-in-northern-suburbs/

NT Health lied to public about $4.3M consultancy contract, breached procurement rules: Auditor General report

EXCLUSIVE: The NT Health Department violated government procurement policies when it awarded a controversial $700,000 consultancy contract to Ernst and Young that ballooned to more than $4.3 million after multiple variations, the Auditor General has found.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-health-lied-to-public-about-4-3m-consultancy-contract-breached-procurement-rules-auditor-general-report/

More than 30 NT cops resigned or retired in past two months: NTPA

An assistant commissioner, a senior sergeant and five sergeants are among 33 NT Police officers who left the force in just two months, roughly maintaining the doubled attrition rate from last financial year, Northern Territory Police Association published figures show.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/more-than-30-nt-cops-resigned-or-retired-in-last-two-months-ntpa/

Manison labels COVID-19 border rules backflip ‘modest’ changes, Opposition calls it desperation

The Northern Territory Government has bowed to immense anger, pressure and criticism, changing the COVID-19 rules that apply from Monday, meaning people arriving from interstate will no longer be forced to remain in Darwin, Katherine or Alice Springs for 14 days, and instead, a list of 66 banned remote communities has been created.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/manison-labels-covid-19-border-rules-backflip-modest-changes-opposition-calls-it-desperation/

‘A scam of grand proportions’: Calls for Health Minister to resign as $4.3M consultancy deal sent to ICAC

A secret consultancy contract between the Department of Health and Ernst and Young that saw procurement rules violated to inflate a $700,000 contract to more than $4.3 million through variations has been referred to the ICAC by the Opposition and an independent MLA, after an Auditor General’s investigation was made public.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/a-scam-of-grand-proportions-calls-for-health-minister-to-resign-as-4-3m-consultancy-deal-sent-to-icac/

‘Significant risk’: Illegal stockpile of tyres in rural area ordered to be cleaned up by EPA

A company illegally storing more than 3,000 tonnes of old tyres at an Acacia Hills property has been ordered to remove them by the NT Environment Protection Authority (NTEPA) after it was found that the company failed to comply with its licence and created a “significant risk to the environment”.

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https://ntindependent.com.au/significant-risk-illegal-stockpile-of-tyres-in-rural-area-ordered-to-be-cleaned-up-by-epa/

Police forced to wait for victim’s body to float to surface because divers transferred out of unit: Sources

EXCLUSIVE: The NT Police can no longer conduct diving search and rescue operations – such as retrieving people’s bodies – because Water Police Unit divers have either transferred or quit, or been the subject of disciplinary action, sources have told the NT Independent.

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https://ntindependent.com.au/police-forced-to-wait-for-victims-body-to-float-to-surface-because-divers-transferred-out-of-unit-sources/

Darwin developer Michael Anthony convicted, facing record fines for illegal dumping

Darwin property developer Michael Anthony has been fined $300,000 for intentionally contravening pollution abatement notices after dumping 15,000 tonnes of demolition and construction waste and other contaminants into Darwin Harbour.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-developer-michael-anthony-convicted-facing-record-fines-for-illegal-dumping/

Investigation into the legality of ‘Million Dollar’ barra possibly caught in Indigenous-controlled water

NT Major Events is investigating the legality of the latest $10,000 barramundi caught in the NT Government’s Million Dollar Fish competition, after publicly announcing the barra was caught in the Little Finniss River, which the Amateur Fishermen’s Association has said traditional owners closed completely to fishing.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/investigation-launched-into-the-legality-of-the-latest-million-dollar-fish-caught-in-indigenous-controlled-water/

NT Government orders COVID-19 ‘portable mortuaries’ to be rolled out

The Gunner Government has ordered 10 refrigerated shipping containers it intends to use as COVID-19 morgues to be rolled out in Darwin, Alice Springs and Nhulunbuy, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-government-orders-covid-19-portable-mortuaries-to-be-rolled-out/

‘Risky’ business: Department’s unusual grog and gambling club plans queried by Auditor General

EXCLUSIVE: The Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet is in the process of secretly establishing a club to sell grog and run gambling activities, after it was granted a liquor licence through a mysterious process that did not involve the Liquor Commission or any public notices or hearings, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/risky-business-departments-unusual-grog-and-gambling-club-plans-queried-by-auditor-general/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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