NT Independent’s 2021 Year in Review – Part 2

by | Dec 29, 2021 | News | 0 comments

This is the second installment of the NT Independent’s Year in Review. When we last left you, the Gunner Government was covering up political scandals while the police executive was busy covering up heinous sex crimes.

The crazy train kept rolling into April, as the Chief Minister was found to be acting as referee for his “best mate” and most trusted political adviser when he attempted to take a lobbyist job with the oil and gas peak industry body; the senior public servant who flew to Disney World in Florida at either taxpayers’ expense or a company that lobbies him for taxpayer money was promoted; DIPL was busy covering up unsafe homes in Palmerston; the Chinese were buying up land and being granted massive water licences; our precious pollies were so offended for being called ‘incompetent’ in Parliament that the Speaker outlawed the word; the Treaty Commissioner was threatening to bash women while the Police Commissioner was caught out trying to suppress coronial reports in a high-profile trial – and in completely unrelated news – the two most senior members in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions resigned, throwing the office into chaos.

And then a Canberra-based publication wrote a glowing story about our Chief Minister, describing him as a “figure of enormous respect in all parts of Australia” – which was not satirical in any way – and that was surely balanced by a certain banned number plate by a group of fishos that may have summed it all up.

Oh yeah, then the corruption report broke that outlined a sordid affair between the Darwin Turf Club and Gunner Government that implicated a whole bunch of people and institutions.

Again, we could not make this stuff up, this is just three months of the year-that-was in the Northern Territory.

APRIL

Chief Minister acted as referee for ‘best mate’ and senior adviser in bid for top oil and gas lobby job

EXCLUSIVE: Chief Minister Michael Gunner acted as referee for a long-serving senior adviser and close friend who applied to be the head of the peak oil and gas industry body in the Northern Territory, a position that would see him “influence” and lobby his former colleagues and boss, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chief-minister-acted-as-referee-for-best-mate-and-senior-adviser-for-top-oil-and-gas-lobby-job/

Gunner announces two commissioner roles to attract private investment to the NT

Two new commissioners will be appointed to bolster private investment in the Northern Territory with the goal of reaching the government’s decade-long $40 billion economy target, Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced this morning, but critics say it’s an admission of years of economic failure.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunner-announces-two-commissioner-roles-to-attract-private-investment-to-the-nt/

 

Senator Sam McMahon hires former Cattlemen’s boss in midst of bitter legal action

Former NT Cattlemen’s Association chief executive Ashley Manicaros has been hired by CLP Senator Sam McMahon while he is in the middle of pursuing legal action against the powerful industry group.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/senator-sam-mcmahon-hires-former-cattlemens-boss-in-midst-of-bitter-legal-action/

 

New interim Territory Investment Commissioner revealed as public servant who billed taxpayers for Disney World trip

A senior public servant who charged taxpayers for a questionable trip to Disney World has been appointed as the interim Territory Investment Commissioner, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/new-interim-territory-investment-commissioner-revealed-as-public-servant-who-billed-taxpayers-for-disney-world-trip/

 

Chinese-backed agribusiness awarded largest water extraction licence in NT

A Chinese-backed agribusiness company has received the largest groundwater extraction licence in the history of the NT to use 40,000 megalitres of water a year for a major fruit and vegetable project in Central Australia that will mostly supply China.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chinese-backed-agribusiness-awarded-largest-water-extraction-licence-in-nt/

 

‘We need action now’: CLP call for Parliament to be urgently recalled to deal with youth crime issue

The ongoing “crime crisis” cannot wait to be dealt with next month, CLP Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro says, as she called for Parliament to be recalled this week to urgently deal with the problem – a move that was knocked back by the Chief Minister who revealed his proposed crime reforms are still not ready.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/we-need-action-now-clp-call-for-parliament-to-be-urgently-recalled-to-deal-with-youth-crime-issue/

 

NT Government let people live in unsafe Palmerston homes during cyclone; knew of defects since 2014

The NT Government knew about unsafe homes in Bellamack since at least 2014 but did not take any measures to protect homeowners who were forced to stay in them during Cyclone Marcus, despite multiple engineering reports that found they were a cyclone safety risk, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

 

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-government-allowed-people-to-live-in-unsafe-palmerston-homes-during-cyclone-knew-of-defects-since-2014/

 

‘A figure of enormous respect in all parts of Australia’: Gunner lauded in national publication

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has been celebrated by a national public service publication as an “exceptional” leader, whose “unique rise” to power was “marvellous in itself” and a fascinating tribute to what can be achieved with a bipartisan approach to solving social problems.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/a-figure-of-enormous-respect-in-all-parts-of-australia-gunner-lauded-in-national-publication/

 

FOI documents contradict NT building controller’s statement on Turf Club’s Silks venue

Internal government documents show the Darwin Turf Club ordered emergency rectification works on its Silks lounge ahead of last year’s Cup Carnival after a formal complaint alleged the building was “unsafe and unsuitable to occupy” – which contradicts official statements by the NT Government.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/foi-documents-contradict-nt-building-controllers-statement-on-turf-clubs-silks-venue/

 

‘He didn’t even bother to stay the night’: Gunner’s day trip to Alice Springs criticised

Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s much-hyped trip to Alice Springs that lasted less than 12 hours is the latest example of “disrespect” and “neglect” of the people of Central Australia by the Gunner Government, the CLP Opposition says.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/he-didnt-even-bother-to-stay-the-night-gunners-day-trip-to-alice-springs-criticised/

 

Fire safety issues unresolved at TIO Stadium ahead of sold-out NRL match, FOI documents reveal

Tomorrow’s scheduled NRL match at TIO Stadium has been thrown into question after internal documents show the NT Government has failed to properly rectify outstanding safety issues with the stadium – which remains uncertified and without an overall occupancy permit, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/public-safety-issues-unresolved-at-tio-stadium-ahead-of-sold-out-nrl-match-foi-documents-reveal/

 

Gunner’s secret China deal to come under federal microscope: Senator

Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s secret deal with Chinese officials in Shenzhen that was later revealed as a “Framework for Cooperation” agreement will be reviewed by Foreign Minister Marise Payne, following the termination of Victoria’s Belt and Road deal with the Chinese government.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunners-secret-china-deal-to-come-under-federal-microscope-senator/

 

Woolworths scraps Darwin Dan Murphy’s plans

Liquor giant Dan Murphy’s parent company Woolworths has confirmed it will not proceed with building a store in Darwin, following the release of a report into its handling of community concerns.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/woolworths-to-announce-fate-of-darwin-dan-murphys-today/

 

Two public servants cleared of ‘improper’ conduct, but procurement procedures ‘not fit for purpose’: ICAC

The NT Government’s procurement processes are susceptible to corruption and have not been fixed for more than a decade despite repeated incidents, an Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption report into alleged “improper” conduct has found.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/two-public-servants-cleared-of-improper-conduct-but-procurement-procedures-not-fit-for-purpose-icac/

 

NT Health has hired 160 of 400 staff members needed to manage quarantine as merger looms

The NT Health Department has only recruited 160 of its targeted 400 staff members to run the Howard Springs quarantine facility as part of its $500 million management takeover from the Federal Government, as the merging of the international and domestic quarantine starts on Monday.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-health-has-hired-160-of-400-staff-members-needed-to-manage-quarantine-as-merger-looms/

 

MAY

 

Darwin businessman pleads guilty to illegally dumping tyres, causing environmental harm

A Territory businessman has been ordered to pay more than $40,000 after pleading guilty to causing serious environmental harm for illegally dumping 2,000 tyres in Darwin’s rural area over two years, the Darwin Local Court has heard.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-businessman-pleads-guilty-to-illegally-dumping-tyres-causing-environmental-harm/

Darwin aged care facility sanctioned by feds for unacceptable care

A Darwin aged care facility has been sanctioned by the federal government after an investigation last month revealed massive failures to provide the standard level of care.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-aged-care-facility-sanctioned-by-feds-for-unacceptable-care/

 

Budget 2021: Debt continues to climb despite better than expected revenue

The 2021 Budget has been handed down by Chief Minister and Treasurer Michael Gunner with few surprises, including no forecast surpluses for the next decade and continued debt and deficit – although the books are slightly better than expected.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/budget-2021-no-surprises-as-debt-continues-to-climb-despite-better-than-expected-revenue/

 

Head public servant’s call to lease Darwin Port to China caused the NT ‘reputational harm’: Gunner

The controversial decision to lease the Darwin Port to a Chinese-owned company that is now under review by the Department of Defence has caused the Northern Territory “reputational harm”, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said, implicating his head public servant Jodie Ryan in the hot-button issue.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/head-public-servants-call-to-lease-darwin-port-to-china-caused-the-nt-reputational-harm-gunner/

 

Gunner Government delays report into MLA Mark Turner’s conduct

The NT Parliament’s disciplinary committee’s investigation into Labor MLA Mark Turner’s conduct has been delayed by the government until some time next year.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunner-government-delays-report-into-mla-mark-turners-conduct/

 

Speaker bans use of word ‘incompetent’ in Parliament, deems it ‘offensive’

NT politicians are no longer allowed to call Chief Minister Michael Gunner or his government “incompetent” in Parliament after Labor Speaker Ngaree Ah Kit ruled the word “offensive” and banned it.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/speaker-bans-use-of-word-incompetent-in-parliament-deems-it-offensive/

 

Teen charged with killing man in alleged hit and run gets bail

A 14-year-old boy has been charged over the death of a 54-year-old male in the Victoria Daly Region following an alleged hit-and-run.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/teen-charged-with-killing-man-in-alleged-hit-and-run-gets-bail/

 

Youth bail laws passed after ‘confusing’ day in Parliament

The Gunner Government’s controversial youth bail reforms passed Parliament last night after a confusing day that saw last minute changes to the legislation, protests in the chamber and Police Minister Nicole Manison bizarrely assuring the public that judges would “interpret” the new laws the way the government intended.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/youth-bail-laws-passed-after-confusing-day-in-parliament/

 

Gunner Government eroding public’s faith in Parliament by lack of action on ethical breaches: CLP, independents

 

The Opposition and an independent have accused the Gunner Government of undermining the integrity of Parliament by delaying a parliamentary investigation into Member for Blain Mark Turner and for not referring disgraced former speaker Kezia Purick for investigation after the anti-corruption watchdog’s findings against her last year.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunner-government-eroding-publics-faith-in-parliament-by-lack-of-action-on-ethical-breaches-clp-independents/

 

Opposition calls for immediate probe into police staffing ‘crisis’

The CLP Opposition has called for a parliamentary investigation into how the NT Police force is managing recruitment issues and why 120 police officers have left the force in a year, including 22 in one month.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/opposition-calls-for-immediate-probe-into-police-staffing-crisis/

 

Territorians who paid speeding fines from ‘unlawful’ speed guns will not be reimbursed: Manison

Thousands of Territorians who paid potentially unjust speeding tickets issued from mobile vans with invalid speed guns will not be reimbursed and their demerit points will not be reinstated, Police Minister Nicole Manison told Parliament.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/territorians-who-paid-speeding-fines-from-unlawful-speed-guns-will-not-be-reimbursed-manison/

 

Alleged rape of boy in remote community not initially made public by police

A boy was allegedly raped by a man in a remote community early on Saturday morning, which the police media unit initially did not report publicly until being sent questions by the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/alleged-rape-of-boy-in-remote-community-not-initially-made-public-by-police/

 

Documents show a Darwin Turf Club grandstand failed fire safety inspections twice, not certified

The Darwin Turf Club knowingly allowed people to enter a building that does not have an occupancy permit and which twice failed safety inspections for “critical fire safety non-compliances”, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/documents-show-a-darwin-turf-club-grandstand-failed-fire-safety-inspections-twice-not-certified/

 

Treaty Commissioner investigated by NT Government over allegations he threatened woman

NT Treaty Commissioner Mick Dodson is being investigated by the Territory Government over claims he threatened and verbally abused an Aboriginal woman at a football match earlier this year.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/treaty-commissioner-investigated-by-nt-government-over-allegations-he-threatened-woman/

 

Gunner Government ‘hypocrisy’ over inaction on alleged threats of violence by Treaty Commissioner: Opposition

Treaty Commissioner Mick Dodson needs to be stood down and the Gunner Government must immediately release the findings of its investigation into allegations he threatened violence against an Indigenous woman at a football match earlier this year, the Opposition said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunner-government-hypocrisy-over-inaction-on-alleged-threats-of-violence-by-treaty-commissioner-opposition/

 

Rolfe trial: Chalker kept ‘secret’ reports into Yuendumu shooting investigation from defence team, DPP, court hears

Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker did not disclose the existence of two coronial reports into the death of Yuendumu teen Kumanjayi Walker to the Director of Public Prosecutions and officer Zachary Rolfe’s defence team, but will now hand parts of them over, a court has heard.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/rolfe-trial-chalker-kept-secret-reports-into-yuendumu-shooting-investigation-from-defence-team-dpp-court-hears/

 

Fire at the grandstand: Darwin Turf Cub did not report blaze at non-compliant premise that hosted ‘family fun days’

The Darwin Turf Club failed to report a fire that broke out earlier this year in its uncertified Ted Bailey grandstand – a building the club was aware had failed two fire safety inspections and does not have an occupancy permit, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/fire-at-the-grandstand-darwin-turf-cub-did-not-report-blaze-at-non-compliant-premise-that-hosted-family-fun-days/

 

Company faces $6m fine, director $1.2m and five years jail, over worker’s death

Territory Plant Hire, its director, and an excavator operator have been charged over the death of a worker who was hit by an excavator bucket in 2019, with up to five years in jail for both men if found guilty.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/company-faces-6m-fine-director-1-2m-and-five-years-jail-over-workers-death/

 

ICAC stuff-up: Corruption report pulled after email lands in ‘junk’ folder

The Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption was left embarrassed and forced to pull its latest corruption report from public circulation yesterday after an email from an involved party was discovered in the office’s junk email folder.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/icac-stuff-up-corruption-report-pulled-after-email-lands-in-junk-folder/

 

Karama stabbing: 20-year-old male killed, woman in hospital in serious condition

Two men have been arrested over the stabbing death of a 20-year-old male in a serious incident at the Karama shopping centre Wednesday night which also sent a 25-year-old female to hospital in a related attack.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/karama-stabbing-20-year-old-male-killed-woman-in-hospital-in-serious-condition/

 

Dodson takes sick leave instead of resigning as CLP prepares urgent motion to remove him

The CLP Opposition will move a motion to remove Mick Dodson from his role as Treaty Commissioner during next month’s parliamentary sittings if he doesn’t resign before then, its spokeswoman for Women said today.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/dodson-takes-sick-leave-instead-of-resigning-as-clp-prepares-urgent-motion-to-remove-him/

 

Two sisters escape COVID quarantine facility, dobbed in by mother who is then forced into quarantine with them

Two sisters who absconded from the Alice Springs COVID-19 quarantine facility on Sunday to see their mother and a boyfriend are back in quarantine – along with their loved ones, who were forced to quarantine with them after the breach, NT Police said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/two-sisters-escape-covid-quarantine-facility-dobbed-in-by-mother-who-is-then-forced-into-quarantine-with-them/

JUNE

Former chief minister Adam Giles linked to company in talks with Landbridge Group for major Darwin energy project

Former chief minister Adam Giles was recently appointed to a key role with a start-up energy company that is currently in talks with Landbridge Group – the Chinese-owned company he sold the Darwin Port to in 2015 – to develop a massive hydrogen plant at the port site, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/former-chief-minister-adam-giles-linked-to-company-in-talks-with-landbridge-group-for-major-darwin-energy-project/

 

Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal: Brett Dixon lobbied Gunner Government for $12M grant without board’s knowledge, records show

EXCLUSIVE: The Darwin Turf Club’s board of directors was not aware chairman Brett Dixon was lobbying the Gunner Government for a $12 million grant to build a new grandstand until he disclosed that he had secured the taxpayer money in June 2019 – less than three months before his company was awarded the contract to build it – internal Turf Club documents obtained by the NT Independent reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-turf-club-grandstand-scandal-brett-dixon-lobbied-gunner-government-for-12m-grandstand-grant-without-boards-knowledge-records-show/

 

NT Police Academy: Audit shows police college employed unqualified instructors, failed to meet national standards

EXCLUSIVE: The NT Police college failed to meet national standards in nearly every measure and had “serious non-compliances around staff qualifications”, a scathing audit obtained by the NT Independent reveals.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-police-academy-audit-shows-police-college-employed-unqualified-instructors-failed-to-meet-national-standards/

 

Nearly a third of NT public servants witnessed bullying or sexual harassment in workplace: Survey

Thirty per cent of public servants said they have seen bullying or sexual harassment at their workplace in the last 12 months, according to a new internal survey obtained by the NT Independent, that also shows 34 per cent said they had seen improper conduct.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nearly-a-third-of-nt-public-servants-witnessed-bullying-or-sexual-harassment-in-workplace-survey/

 

Rolfe trial: Judge rejects suppression order on claims Chalker and senior police kept reports from defence team

A Supreme Court judge has rejected a move to ban the publication of allegations NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker and senior executive members intentionally withheld evidence from the defence team and the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Constable Zachary Rolfe murder case.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/rolfe-trial-judge-rejects-suppression-order-on-claims-chalker-and-senior-police-kept-reports-from-defence-team/

 

Chaos in the DPP: Shock resignations of director and deputy director follows mass exodus

Director of Public Prosecutions Jack Karczewski and deputy director Matthew Nathan have announced they are both leaving their senior roles at the end of the month, throwing the office of the DPP into turmoil.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chaos-in-the-dpp-shock-resignations-of-director-and-deputy-director-follows-mass-exodus/

 

Communication breakdown: The ongoing saga of the spin doctors to the chief

There is chaos in Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s communications department after acting communications director Jamie Collins, who was also head of social media, resigned unexpectedly this week after only six months, with word that Mr Gunner’s chief of staff tried to have incumbent Maria Billias removed from her role.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/communication-breakdown-the-ongoing-sad-saga-of-the-spin-doctors-to-the-chief/

 

Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal: Records contradict Dixon’s claims he was not involved in discussions about grandstand

EXCLUSIVE: Darwin Turf Club chairman and businessman Brett Dixon was personally involved in discussions with the board about the $12 million taxpayer-funded grandstand project while it was at the open tender stage, despite publicly claiming he had removed himself from all discussions, internal documents obtained by the NT Independent reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-turf-club-grandstand-scandal-records-contradict-dixons-claims-he-was-not-involved-in-discussions-about-grandstand/

 

Internal memo shows police college put cops on beat without proper assessments two years after failing audit

EXCLUSIVE: The NT police college continued to employ unqualified instructors and failed to address the “significant risks” of putting cops on the beat before their competency was assessed, two years after a damning audit exposed serious non-compliance issues, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/internal-memo-shows-police-college-continued-to-put-cops-on-beat-without-proper-assessments-two-years-after-failing-audit/

 

Cars stolen, residents assaulted in crime rampage across Darwin’s northern suburbs overnight: Police

 

NT Police are searching for a group behind a massive crime spree across the northern suburbs overnight that allegedly involved Territorians assaulted in their homes during break and enters and three taxi drivers assaulted and their vehicles damaged.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/cars-stolen-residents-assaulted-in-crime-rampage-across-darwins-northern-suburbs-overnight-police/

 

Labor did not contest tight Barkly election results despite raising allegations of fraudulent postal votes: NTEC report

The most marginal victory in Australian political history was not challenged in the Court of Disputed Returns despite Labor alleging fraudulent postal votes, a new report into last year’s Territory general election has found.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/labor-did-not-contest-tight-barkly-election-results-despite-raising-allegations-of-fraudulent-postal-votes-ntec-report/

 

NT Government responsible for unqualified cops on the beat, cases could be overturned with millions in damages: National civil rights body

EXCLUSIVE: The NT Government could be forced to pay millions in damages and every criminal court case over the past few years could be called into question after revelations the NT police college was using unqualified instructors and allowed new recruits on the beat before they could be properly assessed, a national civil rights organisation says.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-government-responsible-for-unqualified-cops-on-the-beat-cases-could-be-overturned-with-millions-in-damages-national-civil-rights-body/

 

‘It will go to ICAC’: Darwin Turf Club board unanimously approved grandstand contract for chairman’s company despite uncertainty

EXCLUSIVE: The majority of the Darwin Turf Club’s board of directors were nervous about public backlash, and some feared a corruption investigation, but they unanimously approved giving chairman Brett Dixon’s company the $12 million taxpayer-funded grandstand contract anyway, internal club records obtained by the NT Independent show.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/it-will-go-to-icac-darwin-turf-club-board-unanimously-approved-grandstand-contract-for-chairmans-company-despite-uncertainty/

 

Man dead, two injured at Finke Desert Race after vehicle crashes into crowd

A spectator in his 60s at the Finke Desert Race has tragically died on the spot after being struck by a racing vehicle, while two others involved in the crash aged in their 50s have been hospitalised, NT Police have confirmed.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/two-people-injured-at-finke-desert-race-event-cancelled/

 

Police threatened with ICAC for arrests of 10 to 14-year olds, that lack criminal intent evidence: whistleblower

Operation Trident squad police have been told if they arrest a child under 14-years of age, and cannot provide evidence that the offender knew their actions were wrong, the investigating officer will be referred to ICAC.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/police-threatened-with-icac-for-arrests-of-10-to-14-year-olds-that-lack-criminal-intent-evidence-whistleblower/

 

‘What are you talking about, Chief Minister?’: Fiery estimates hearings over NT financial woes

Independent MLA Robyn Lambley has blasted Treasurer and Chief Minister Michael Gunner for seeming to claim he fixed the previous CLP government’s debt trajectory during a fiery budget estimates hearings at Parliament today.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/what-are-you-talking-about-chief-minister-fiery-estimates-hearings-over-nt-financial-woes/

 

‘Why are you so slimy?’: Gunner prevents head public servant from answering questions on free press ban

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has prevented the Opposition from questioning head public servant Jodie Ryan at estimates hearings over why the apolitical public service appears to be carrying out a political directive to not respond to the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/why-are-you-so-slimy-gunner-prevents-head-public-servant-from-answering-questions-on-free-press-ban/

 

FU GUNER number plate ‘tribute to dead mate’ rejected by MVR, ‘could be considered offensive’

A man claiming to be a member of the Fishermen United Northern Territory Guild has had his personalised number plate suggestions FU GUNER and FU NTG knocked back by the Motor Vehicle Registry on the basis they “could be considered offensive”.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/fu-guner-number-plate-tribute-to-dead-mate-rejected-by-mvr-could-be-considered-offensive/

 

NT building controller, Minister not concerned about public entering uncertified buildings: Estimates hearings

The NT Government’s chief building inspector says he has no concerns that the Darwin Turf Club knowingly allowed people to enter a building that was not certified, had failed two fire safety audits and ultimately suffered an electrical fire in an area that had hosted family fun days.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/nt-building-controller-minister-not-concerned-about-public-entering-uncertified-buildings-estimates-hearings/

 

Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal: Conflicts of interest rife on Turf Club board, Jaytex’s bank voted for company to win contract

The Darwin Turf Club’s major players, including those who sat on the panel that selected Jaytex as the winning contractor for the $12 million grandstand project, had serious conflicts of interest, some of which do not appear to have been disclosed, the NT Independent can reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/darwin-turf-club-grandstand-scandal-conflicts-of-interest-rife-on-turf-club-board-jaytexs-bank-voted-for-company-to-win-contract/

 

‘I took democracy for granted until the NT Independent started publishing news’: Prominent Territorians offer their support for independent news

Territorians are recognising the value of independent journalism in their lives during these turbulent times, when the truth has become much more difficult to find amid the political spin and multi-million dollar government ad campaigns aimed at hiding what is really happening in your community.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/i-took-democracy-for-granted-until-the-nt-independent-started-publishing-news-prominent-territorians-offer-their-support-for-independent-news/

 

Chalker claims police college’s failings are being addressed, offers no evidence: Estimates

NT Police commissioner Jamie Chalker told Estimates hearings the police college had failed to meet national standards but it is working towards addressing its non-compliance issues that saw unqualified instructors employed and recruits graduated before being properly assessed for competency.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/chalker-claims-police-colleges-failings-are-being-addressed-offers-no-evidence-estimates/

 

Police brass launch operation to find leaks to the NT Independent: Chalker

Police commissioner Jamie Chalker has confirmed the NT Police have launched an official investigation into the NT Independent – an online publication its executive does not respond to – after a series of articles exposed massive failures by the police brass, including sexual assaults not being publicly reported and the police college using unqualified instructors.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/police-brass-launch-operation-to-find-leaks-to-the-nt-independent-chalker/

 

‘Journalists have an important role holding me to account, they should have the ability to do their jobs’: Gunner

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has defended the freedom of the press in a bizarre public statement, seemingly forgetting his own illegal and petty ban on independent media in the NT.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/journalists-have-an-important-role-holding-me-to-account-they-should-have-the-ability-to-do-their-jobs-gunner/

 

Young girl escapes alleged carjacking by young offender at Bakewell

A seven-year-old girl left inside a vehicle while waiting for her mother at a Bakewell shop, was forced to jump out of the car when it was stolen by a young offender who was later found huffing deodorants, NT Police said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/young-girl-escapes-alleged-carjacking-by-young-offender-at-bakewell/

 

Dixon and Darwin Turf Club board sought more money from taxpayers as costs piled up, more potential conflicts emerge: Documents

Darwin Turf Club chairman Brett Dixon advised his board to seek money from Thoroughbred Racing NT – another taxpayer-funded body he is the chair of – to cover an increase in costs of the Silks lounge, a project his construction company was carrying out works on, internal Turf Club documents obtained by the NT Independent reveal.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/dixon-and-darwin-turf-club-board-sought-more-money-from-taxpayers-as-costs-piled-up-more-potential-conflicts-emerge-documents/

 

Senator Sam McMahon’s unnamed ‘spokesman’ says unattributed allegations of intoxication untrue

Senator Sam McMahon has denied allegations she was drunk on the floor of the Senate chamber Tuesday night, issuing a statement from an unnamed “spokesman” who criticised the claims for being from unnamed sources.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/senator-sam-mcmahons-unnamed-spokesman-says-unattributed-allegations-of-intoxication-untrue/

 

‘It’s one owner, two shop fronts’: Minister to hand over Jabiru lease this weekend despite ongoing investigation

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt will hand over the lease of Jabiru township, in what was supposed to be a quiet ceremony this Saturday, to a sister organisation of a corporation representing the Mirarr people that is the subject of a long-running investigation by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/its-one-owner-two-shop-fronts-minister-to-hand-over-jabiru-lease-this-weekend-despite-ongoing-investigation/

 

Doubt cast on Gunner Government’s 2019 investigation into Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal, more conflicts raised

Serious questions have been raised over how an NT Government investigation ordered by Chief Minister Michael Gunner into the $12 million Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal did not turn up any instances of suspicious conduct or raise any alarm bells, given the material reported in the NT Independent’s recent special investigation series.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/doubt-cast-on-gunner-governments-2019-investigation-into-darwin-turf-club-grandstand-scandal-more-conflicts-raised/

 

Bombshell ICAC report into grandstand scandal released: ‘Corruption, misconduct and breaches of public trust’

The ICAC has delivered an explosive report into the Gunner Government’s $12 million grandstand grant to the Darwin Turf Club, with findings of “corruption, misconduct, breaches of public trust and mismanagement of public resources”, implicating senior public servants, local businessmen and Darwin Turf Club members.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/bombshell-icac-report-into-grandstand-scandal-released-corruption-misconduct-and-breaches-of-public-trust/

 

ICAC: Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal – A chronology of corruption

The ICAC has delivered an explosive report into the Gunner Government’s $12 million grandstand grant to the Darwin Turf Club, with findings of “corruption, misconduct, breaches of public trust and mismanagement of public resources”, implicating senior public servants, local businessmen and Darwin Turf Club members.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/icac-darwin-turf-club-grandstand-scandal-a-chronology-of-corruption/

 

Officer involved in buggy crash fronts court for disclosing ‘official secrets’

A female police officer of the Darwin and Road Policing Command, who was almost killed in a buggy crash in Bees Creek Road in January with her allegedly intoxicated partner, will front court to for allegedly exposing official secrets.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/officer-involved-in-buggy-crash-fronts-court-for-disclosing-official-secrets/

 

Gunner approved $12M grandstand grant one day after receiving official application, no time for scrutiny: ICAC

Chief Minister Michael Gunner and his Cabinet colleagues approved the $12 million taxpayer grant to the Darwin Turf Club one day after receiving an “official” grant application that contained sparse details of economic benefits for the NT and while the government was in the throes of a financial crisis, the ICAC’s damning investigation has revealed.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/gunner-approved-12m-grandstand-grant-one-day-after-receiving-official-application-no-time-for-scrutiny-icac/

 

‘I want to be very clear. We are at risk’: Chief health officer on COVID-19 case in the NT

A worker from the Granites Tanamai gold mine site who tested positive to COVID-19, and 70 of his work mates, are in quarantine in Howard Springs, with contact tracing started for the roughly 900 people known to have left the mine since June 18, the NT Government has said.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/covid-19-delta-strain-case-on-mine-site-contacts-would-have-been-in-darwin-alice/

 

‘The way it unfolded was nefarious’: Senator Sam McMahon speaks out after losing preselection

Country Liberal Party figures did not approach Senator Sam McMahon about an orderly transition from the role in favour of Jacinta Price – the new CLP Senate candidate – and instead waged a politically damaging “nefarious and underhanded” campaign to discredit her in the days leading up to yesterday’s preselection contest, she told the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/the-way-it-unfolded-was-nefarious-senator-sam-mcmahon-speaks-out-after-losing-preselection/

 

New charges laid against Zach Rolfe 19 months after Yuendumu shooting death

The NT’s Director of Public Prosecutions has laid fresh charges against NT Police officer Zach Rolfe, 19 months after the shooting death of Indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker and just weeks before the high-profile murder trial is set to begin.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/new-charges-laid-against-zach-rolfe-19-months-after-yuendumu-shooting-death/

 

Six more COVID-19 cases in Howard Springs quarantine, not all mine workers tested yet

Six new positive cases of COVID-19 among workers from the Tanami gold mine have been confirmed in the Howard Springs quarantine facility as of Monday morning, sources have told the NT Independent.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/six-more-covid-19-cases-in-howard-springs-quarantine-not-all-mine-workers-tested-yet/

 

Friday flight from COVID-19 mine site explained: Here’s what we know of how the outbreak started

An unrestricted charter flight of 70 mine workers from the COVID-19 Tanami gold mine outbreak site carrying the highly-infectious Delta strain flew into Darwin on Friday afternoon with all passengers permitted to enter the community freely.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/friday-flight-from-covid-19-mine-site-explained-heres-what-we-know-of-how-this-started/

 

Dixon sends bizarre letter to Darwin Turf Club members through another club, claims to have taken ‘leave of absence’

A bizarre letter penned by Brett Dixon to Darwin Turf Club members sent via a mailout by the Alice Springs Turf Club has caused confusion, after claiming he is taking a “leave of absence” but apparently not resigning.

READ FULL STORY:

https://ntindependent.com.au/dixon-sends-bizarre-letter-to-darwin-turf-club-members-through-another-club-claims-to-have-taken-leave-of-absence/

 

 

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