Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s refusal to drug test politicians and their staffers while calling for police officers to be tested is “the greatest hypocrisy” and insulting to police, says the NT Police Association’s president.
Mr Gunner rejected calls for his staff and parliamentary colleagues to be drug tested despite being aware of allegations of fifth floor drug use and following the so-called “cocaine sex scandal”.
Mr Gunner said on Monday there had never been any evidence to prove the claims and that testing would be “costly and time wasting”.
However, NTPA president Paul McCue said Mr Gunner’s refusal to explore drug testing pollies and their staffers after the scandal was “insulting” to the Northern Territory’s police officers.
“No matter which way you spin this … there has been a significant problem in his party and it’s been an ugly look,” he told Mix 104.9 this morning.
“To come out and say he doesn’t think (drug testing staffers and politicians) and it’s a waste of time and costly – let’s not forget the same Chief Minister supports police officers being tested.
“We are very disappointed that he doesn’t think that him and his party and his parliamentarian colleagues (need) to be held at the same standard as the police of the Northern Territory.
“I think that’s a very poor leadership position to take. It’s one that is quite insulting to our officers.”
CLP Opposition Leader Lia FInocchairo introduced a motion to Parliament this week calling on the Gunner Governmen tto introduce random drug testing for politicians and staff in Parliament House.
“The Chief Minister has admitted he’s heard widespread rumours of drug use by fifth floor staffers, yet he continues to reject calls for drug testing in Parliament,” she said at the time.
“If the Chief Minister has nothing to hide, he should give bi-partisan support for our motion.”
Mr McCue said his union has been in ongoing discussions with the Police Minister and department around implementing drug testing NT police officers. The NT remains the only jurisdiction not to require random drug testing of police.
“Given the events of the last fortnight, why on Earth would the Chief Minister take that stance, particularly when you’ve got an Opposition that’s come out in support of drug testing,” he said.
“The community would expect (the Labor Party) to hold themselves to the same standard they’re expecting (of) police officers.”
Mr McCue added that a lot of employers in the Terriotry drug test their employees and would find the Chief Minister’s position not in keeping with community expectations.
“They would look to their elected leaders to set the same example, and if they don’t, that’s hypocrisy at its greatest,” he said.