Territory Alliance has helped make up Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley’s mind on whether to leave the party by booting her out, but she has hit back announcing she will resign as their only elected representative.
The NT Independent understands the party management committee held a meeting Tuesday and sent an expulsion letter to Ms Lambley – its only elected member – this morning that will provide her with an opportunity to explain her actions at a meeting with the committee or be expelled.
Ms Lambley had made her concerns about staying with the party public in recent days, suggesting she might leave to represent her electorate as an independent once again, which she has now done.
One party member told the NT Independent the party’s concerns were around Ms Lambley’s actions and comments during the disastrous election campaign, in the post-election wash-up and over the last few days. The member said Ms Lambley was too connected to the party’s massive loss, had not shown any commitment to the party and that she “is just not the right fit” for the party moving forward.
“There’s a meeting scheduled for Sunday at 8pm if she wants to explain or she can resign,” the member said. “We’d prefer to do it nicely. But it appears Robyn’s only for Robyn.”
Ms Lambley had been considering leaving the party for some time and has not mentioned Territory Alliance in any official press releases she has issued since being re-elected. It’s understood there has been long simmering tensions between Ms Lambley and the party management committee since early on.
Lambley says time to put “whole Territory Alliance debacle behind me”, resigns to sit as independent again
She narrowly held on to her seat at the August general election, defeating Alice Springs mayor and CLP candidate Damien Ryan by 42 votes.
She told the Independent that she was hanging on with the party to let it get settled but will now leave and “put the whole Territory Alliance debacle behind me”.
“Territory Alliance has struggled to find its feet since the wipe-out at the August NT election,” she said. “The management committee has not had a formal meeting since before the election. The party has not been functional.
“Against my better judgement I undertook to remain in the party for a few months to allow the dust to settle to see what happens.
“However it now seems like a good time to resign.
“I am relieved and very happy to sit in the NT Legislative Assembly as an independent again, and to put the whole Territory Alliance debacle behind me. The only thing that is important to me is serving the people of Alice Springs.”
Ms Lambley will be addressing the matter in Parliament later today.
Party will continue despite having no elected members
The party’s future remains unclear. It was started by former chief minister Terry Mills but suffered a massive defeat at the August general election, losing two elected members including Mr Mills. Ms Lambley was the only party member to win a seat.
Another party member said the party is still regrouping and getting its finances in order and will continue.
“We still think there’s a future for the party – it just needs good leadership,” they said. “There’s still an opportunity for a new party to contest the election in a few seats.”
It’s understood the party is in the process of changing its constitution to function more like other parties, which would move away from the collective, grassroots approach that Mr Mills implemented.
Party secretary Danial Kelly said the party will move on and would rather do it without Ms Lambley.
“We will continue, we’d just prefer to do it without Robyn Lambley,” he said.
In the letter to Ms Lambley, Mr Kelly wrote that the party is “focused on making a positive change to governance in the Northern Territory”.
“Good governance starts at home which includes upholding the standards and rules of our own constitution,” the letter stated. “As you have actively disregarded the Territory Alliance constitution your conduct is considered to be detrimental to the interests of Territory Alliance.
“The culture of Territory Alliance is all about honestly, accountability, transparency, mutual respect and being a genuine team player. That is why we do not engage in negative campaigning … your behaviour over the last six months demonstrates that you are not an appropriate fit for Territory Alliance.”