What you need to know about your Territory federal candidates’ positions on the issues before the election

by | May 17, 2022 | Federal Election 2022 | 0 comments

Here’s where all the candidates vying for your vote at the Federal Election stand on the issues facing the NT.

The Federal Election is this Saturday and before you head to the polls, the NT Independent is providing a breakdown of where the candidates stand on the issues our readers identified as among their top concerns this election.

Those included cost of living, crime (although a local NT issue), the economy and climate change solutions.

The candidates who responded to the NT Independent’s questionnaire are (in alphabetical order):

  • Jane Anlezark – The Greens (TG) – Senate 1
  • Kylie Bonanni – Liberal Democrats (LD) – Lower House candidate for Solomon
  • Trudy Campbell – Australia Citizen’s Party – Senate 1
  • Aiya Carttling – The Greens (TG) – Lower House candidate for Solomon
  • Tim Gallard – One Nation (ON) – Lower House candidate for Lingiari
  • Luke Gosling – Australia Labor Party (ALP) – Lower House candidate for Solomon
  • Kate Ganley – Australian Labor Party – Senate 2
  • Jed Hansen – Liberal Democrats (LD) – Senate 2
  • Malarndirri McCarthy – Australia Labor Party (ALP) – Senate 1
  • Tina MacFarlane – Country Liberal Party (CLP) – Lower House candidate for Solomon
  • Blair McFarland – The Greens (TG) – Lower House candidate for Lingiari
  • Sam McMahon – Liberal Democrats – Senate 1
  • Jacinta Price – Country Liberal Party – Senate 1
  • Damien Ryan – Country Liberal Party – Lower House candidate for Lingiari
  • Marion Scrymgour – Australia Labor Party – Lower House candidate for Lingiari
  • Tayla Selfe – United Australia Party (UAP) – Lower House candidate for Solomon

The Labor candidates provided the same responses to the questions below.

What will you do about the cost of living challenges we’re facing in the NT? 

Jane Anlezark – TG  Senate 1:  I believe in a minimum wage for all and that the rate for pensions and assistance should be $88 a day. The inflation rate might be 5 per cent but the increase in costs of essential items is sitting at 6.6 per cent. When Scott Morrison talks about ‘economic growth, he’s only talking about the growth in profits for big companies, not how it feels for the rest of us to live here as prices go up. We need leaders who understand how it is.

Kylie Bonanni – LD Solomon:  Cost of living, just like the poor, will always be with us. There is no way we can always be on the up and up, there are times when things are less than ideal. It is important to identify costs that are a necessity versus those that are a nice-to-have. This affects everyone, it just affects those with low incomes more. There may be ways to make sure prices of important items or necessary items are kept as low as possible.  At the same time nice-to-have can find its own level of cost. They are nice to have.

Trudy Campbell – ACP Senate 1:  Stop the usury by the “Big Four” banks as exposed in part by the 2018 Royal Commission, and institute a public Postal Savings Bank, as called for by the LPOs (Licensed Post Offices). Also, the housing bubble must be deflated in an orderly fashion as proposed by the Citizens Party. Public credit must be directed into the real physical economy rather than speculation, to create meaningful, well-paid employment, and a massive boost in high-speed transportation infrastructure to the Territory.

Aiya Carttling – TG Solomon:  Too many people live in poverty in this country or are struggling to get by. In such a wealthy country this doesn’t have to be the case. The Greens will build a stronger safety net for everyone. Our plan includes free dental and mental healthcare in Medicare, free childcare, building more affordable homes and limiting rent increases, free education, from school through VET to university and wiping student debt, raising the rate to $88 a day: increase all income support payments above the poverty line, lowering the pension age back to 65 and raising the rate of the pension, abolishing punitive measures from our social security system including the Cashless Debit Card, Basics Card, and Work for the Dole, introducing a liveable income guarantee, and properly taxing billionaires and big corporations to pay for it.

Tim Gallard – ON Lingiari:  Local produce… grow food locally.

Luke Gosling – ALP Solomon; Malarndirri McCarthy – ALP Senate 1; Marion Scrymgour ALP Lingiari; Kate Ganley ALP Senate 2: After a decade of Morrison and the Liberals, the cost of living is out of control and we know that everything is going up except for people’s wages. Labor will ease the cost of living pressures on Australian families. We will make childcare cheaper, we will make housing more affordable, we will make prescriptions cheaper, we will make health care cheaper and more accessible and we will get real wages moving again. We will also deliver tax relief for more than 9 million Australians through the legislated tax cuts that benefit everyone with incomes above $45,000.

Jed Hansen – LD Senate 2:  I think an immediate change to the corporate tax rate for small and large businesses (is needed). Small Businesses permanently from 25 per cent to 15 per cent and large businesses from 30 per cent to 20 per cent would have a dramatic effect on the costs of living in the NT. Additionally, I think a commitment by the federal government to step in and build a new high-efficiency high tech gas power station to replace the 40-year-old one at Channel Island. We need to start looking at ways to improve efficiency, dramatically reduce emissions, reduce maintenance costs, and reduce electricity costs (which affect the price of everything) for people and businesses.

Tina MacFarlane – CLP Solomon:  The Coalition government has provided sound economic management and will continue to deliver a strong post-pandemic recovery for Territorians.

Blair McFarland TG Lingiari:  The Greens would restructure the tax system so that it was fairer and people and corporations in the top one per cent paid a fair share. There is more than enough wealth in Australia for us all to have a prosperous life, but the tax system syphons that money upwards and away from the average citizen. Under the current arrangements, multimillion-dollar corporations pay less tax than shop workers. We’d also put in place the core Greens policies for a better life, like free dental and mental health in Medicare, free childcare, an increase for all income support payments like disability and job seekers above the poverty line to $88 a day, and bringing the aged pension age back to 65.

Sam McMahon – LD Senate 1: For starters, the immediate removal of the remaining excise on fuel; lower taxes for individuals and businesses; develop our own oil and gas resources to remove reliance on countries such as Russia; adopt workforce solutions such as the removal of mandates and removing the cap on the hours aged pensioners can work to drive up productivity; and provide affordable and reliable power including the ability to consider nuclear in the mix.

Jacinta Price CLP Senate 1:  Ensure that employment rates are low and businesses can thrive.

Damien Ryan CLP Lingiari:  In the NT, the cost of freight is one of the largest components of the price of goods and services and improving our roads and railways will go some way to addressing this issue.

Tayla Selfe UAP Solomon:  Increased cost of living and inflation is a direct result of the $1 trillion of Labor and Liberal debt. To address the cost of living, the UAP will cap home loan interest rates at a maximum of three per cent for the next five years. As well as introduce a 15 per cent tariff on all Iron ore exports to the Asian manufacturing market where the receipts from this tariff will be used to pay back this trillion dollars of debt. Additionally, we will make the first $30,000 paid on a home loan tax deductible each year. In doing so, Territorians will have more money in their pockets that will not be spent on rising interest rates and be able to restore the Australian dream of homeownership.  We will extend the freeze on fuel excise to provide immediate financial relief to all Australians and in turn lower distribution costs for everyday goods.

Crime is a major problem gripping the Territory at the moment. While a local issue, what would you do to help find solutions to this ongoing problem from Canberra? 

Jane Anlezark – TG  Senate 1:  The incarceration system isn’t working, it is harming. I believe the federal government needs to support local initiatives to help build positive futures, as well as lead a national conversation about raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 with funding alongside that for genuine healing. In the ACT, where the Attorney-General is a Green, they are moving very responsibly to raise the age and to put in place proper supports for victims alongside effective programs for children who commit crimes.

Kylie Bonanni – LD Solomon:  It is a NT Government issue. However, Federal government can use influence and incentives to help the NT Government try and sort out the issue. This may require some plain and robust talking.

Trudy Campbell – ACP Senate 1: A south/north high-speed freight rail system, intersecting Shane Condon’s Iron Boomerang Project at Ti-Tree, opening up the Territory for fresh farm produce, industry and manufacturing, value-adding our natural resources and providing a vision for the future for our disenfranchised youth. We are geographically situated to be a major export/import gateway to the Pacific.

Aiya Carttling – TG Solomon:  It is important that we fix the cause rather than treat the symptoms of crime. Evidence shows that it is more effective to support children to get back on the right path through trauma-informed, culturally safe and supportive diversionary programs than to lock them up. We need to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 because no 10-year-old belongs in prison, which is an issue that could do with national leadership, and many of these programs need national funding support.

Tim Gallard – ON Lingiari:  Reset to Christian values … based on discipline, accountability, hard work and responsibility.

Luke Gosling – ALP Solomon; Malarndirri McCarthy – ALP Senate 1; Marion Scrymgour – ALP Lingiari; Kate Ganley – ALP Senate 2:  A Federal Labor Government will take action on the root causes of crime. The Coalition simply haven’t over the last decade and instead has chosen to neglect the Territory. Six years ago, the Coalition called a Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, but when the time came to fund the recommendations, they went missing in action. Once again when things got tough, Scott Morrison and his team turned their backs on the Territory. Labor has committed $79 million to expand justice re-investment initiatives. This will enable up to 30 communities to establish and expand existing services to reduce crime and recidivism. This includes rehabilitation services, family or domestic violence support, homelessness support and school retention initiatives.

Jed Hansen – LD Senate 2:  All money flowing from Canberra should be National Specific Purpose Payments (NSPP) and additional conditions attached to it. We need to ensure there is funding for early intervention measures for very young criminals, money dedicated to expansions to correctional facilities and correction staff, and ensure that the police are adequately funded and supported and brought up to the same training standards as other jurisdictions. The provisioning of this money needs to have conditions attached to it, such as youth criminal responsibility being handed back to the NT Police away from Territory Families, the Family Responsibility Agreements (FRA) which holds parents/carers/adults responsible for their children, and if further crimes occur it is the parents/carers/adults that are held criminally liable for the actions of their children which can include fines, payments to victims and gaol time for negligent parents.

Tina MacFarlane – CLP Solomon:  It is the biggest issue facing the Territory right now, and the risk of Labor is that it will remove income management, compounding the terrible conditions in some of our remote communities and towns.

Blair McFarland – TG Lingiari:  I’ve worked in youth justice in the Centre for 35 years, we need a new approach. What the politicians are doing now isn’t working. The problem arises from federal government policies, and that is where action is needed to address this problem. We need proper long-term funding for housing, for education and healthcare, and policies to end the poverty that many people here are forced into.

Currently, government policy has created an impoverished group of citizens who have nothing to lose, and who have lost faith in the system which has been oppressing them for generations. Centrelink has failed, with complexities that baffle people whose English is not their first language, and who simply cannot access their entitlements and fall back on their relatives for daily support. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about half of remote community residents are on zero income – neither working nor on benefits. This poverty is the driver of crime, and as the police have said, we cannot arrest our way out of it.  Countries that have different approaches to addressing the causes of crime have seen substantial reductions. The answer to crime is in Canberra because that is where the poverty and oppressive policies that fuel it are set.

Sam McMahon – LD Senate 1:  While crime is the responsibility of the Northern Territory government, much of the funding comes from the federal government. I would advocate for more money to be allocated to the NT for crime fighting measures. The Prime Minister recently announced $14 million to help fight crime in Alice Springs. This is a mere drop in the ocean and greater funding is needed.

We are the only party that has a policy to actually address crime in the NT, which includes: legislate to make parents and legal guardians responsible for youth crime and bail breaches; reforms to bail act to end the “catch and release cycle”; minimum sentences for multiple property offences; establishment of purpose-built juvenile justice facilities that provide a mix of school and vocational education, sport, life skills, recreation and specialised councillors and educators to deal with disorders such as FASD and ADHD, based on the Diagrama model; and fines and restitution orders for offenders to be garnished from Centrelink or other Commonwealth payments over time if offenders don’t pay

Jacinta Price – CLP Senate 1:  As a former Alice Springs deputy mayor, I have implemented an apprenticeship and traineeship program aimed at providing alternative pathways to incarceration for youth through the Alice Springs Town Council.

Damien Ryan – CLP Lingiari:  With the support of my federal colleagues, the Coalition has demonstrated we can work with local communities to make communities safer.

Tayla Selfe – UAP Solomon:  Crime is a crippling issue affecting businesses and homes within the NT, that the state government refuses to address. Crime is a multifaceted issue that requires extensive exploration into the root causes to implement appropriate support measures. These support measures need to be implemented in consultation with local community stakeholders and the general public.

What is your vision to expand the Territory’s economy and how will you improve it outside of ongoing pledges to build roads? 

Jane Anlezark – TG  Senate 1:  Expanding the economy means expanding the economy for all its people, not just the wealthy few. I am interested in developing the renewable energy sector and exporting clean energy as well as helping smaller local enterprises.

Kylie Bonanni – LD Solomon:  There should be three major thrusts. Frist, make it as easy as possible for ventures to start by rationalising and cutting bureaucratic process. Second, make requirements clear and in a single approval stream.  Secure and affordable energy supply. Industry needs energy! And third, provide, as much as possible, national and international environment where products can reach customers.

Trudy Campbell – ACP Senate 1:  (Note: this is the same answer as combatting crime): A south/north high-speed freight rail system, intersecting Shane Condon’s Iron Boomerang Project at Ti-Tree, opening up the Territory for fresh farm produce, industry and manufacturing, value-adding our natural resources and providing a vision for the future for our disenfranchised youth. We are geographically situated to be a major export/import gateway to the Pacific. The solution is long term, low-interest loans through a National Development Bank, “backed by the full wealth of the Country” as championed by the original governor of the old Commonwealth Bank, Denison Miller in July 1912.

Aiya Carttling – TG Solomon:  The Territory has been in a boom and bust cycle thanks to a lack of ongoing investment alongside big projects such as INPEX. We must ensure that we build a sustainable economy so that people can build their lives here. New energy and manufacturing industries like green hydrogen and green steel would create long-term jobs as well as help us to reach net-zero by 2035.

Tim Gallard – ON Lingiari : Army/Airforce base for Alice, Private industry for Tennant, New Hospital for Katherine, and improve with local investment… no foreign businesses.

Luke Gosling – ALP Solomon; Malarndirri McCarthy – ALP Senate; Marion Scrymgour – ALP Lingiari; Kate Ganley – ALP Senate 2:  Federal Labor will give Territorians the best chance to earn a decent living, keep up with the skyrocketing costs of living, make ends meet, secure more of the opportunities of a recovering economy and get ahead. A better future relies on a stronger, broader, more inclusive and more sustainable economy – powered by cleaner energy, a better-trained workforce with higher participation and key investments in the care economy, digital economy and a future made in Australia. The most pressing challenges in our economy have been created on Scott Morrison’s watch – rising inflation, falling real wages and nothing to show for a trillion dollars in debt.

Jed Hansen – LD Senate 2:  My vision for the NT economy is to be a trading hub and production powerhouse for overseas export. The NT should be focused on building water reservoirs, weirs and dams across the NT to increase the volume of freshwater housed here every wet season which would improve resiliency against dry years, improve animal habitats and biodiversity with accessible fresh water and expand the ability to produce food.

The NT should be the “food bowl to Asia”, our food production and export should be the NTs primary industries, boosting local jobs, engagement with indigenous communities would increase and it would pump up the NT economy.

Darwin to Alice Springs should have a main water pipeline and it should also have a natural gas line. Darwin should have a brand-new high-efficiency gas power plant with a power transmission line connected from Darwin to Alice Springs – which would eventually reduce the cost of electricity by up to 40% across the NT and would allow the possibility of Electric Vehicle charging stations to operate.

Tina MacFarlane – CLP Solomon:  Already well mapped out with gas and hydrogen and is a leader in renewable energy. Gas and hydrogen will lead to downstream manufacturing and an economic boost for the NT.

Blair McFarland TG Lingiari:  The NT has opportunities to become a producer of green steel, a product that reduces the amount of carbon created, and for which there will be a huge market internationally. We can also use our position to create very low-cost solar energy for local use, which would attract industries, and to export in undersea cables to our neighbours in Asia. Tennant Creek is ideally located to become a hub for hydrogen due to its solar potential and its proximity to existing pipelines. If the Greens were elected, the NT could embrace the need to change and direct those changes for the benefit of the whole community.

Sam McMahon – LD Senate:  Ensure the provision of reliable, affordable power for consumers and industry and develop the Beetaloo Basin and other resources ensuring that all are value added to, in the NT. Examples of this are processing of rare earths from Nolan’s Bore and utilizing gas to produce products such as urea, Ad Blue and plastics, in the NT.

Jacinta Price – CLP Senate:  To develop our economy we need greater access to land and land tenure reforms to unlock industry potential. Indigenous communities need to be treated like small country towns where small businesses can thrive instead.

Damien Ryan – CLP Lingiari:  One of the challenges for the Territory economy is getting its products to market. The recent Coalition announcement to invest $440 million in three logistic hubs in Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs will improve our productivity.

Tayla Selfe – UAP Solomon:  The Northern Territory was again the worst performing economy according to CommSec’s State of the State report. The United Australia Party has a plan to process Australian minerals at home rather than exporting them to foreign markets only to buy the processed materials back at a higher cost. This would promote more jobs and expand the economy, by investing in Australian industries. Our zonal taxation policy, which includes a 20 per cent tax concession for people living 200kms from a capital city, will provide incentives for people to relocate to regional areas and boost their economy.

What does the NT need to do to help address climate change and should it be doing more to address environmental issues?

Jane Anlezark -TG  Senate 1: :  Don’t frack the Territory. Fracking jeopardises water security and increases harmful emissions. More harmful emissions are produced by the process than the gas. Fracking causes dreadful environmental issues with how to dispose of the huge quantities of salt that is a by-product. Pastoralists and communities with fracking in Queensland are struggling.

Kylie Bonanni – LD Solomon:  There are many rules, regulations, practices and schemes as well as agencies to preserve NT environment. Let’s not make the space crowded. Let them work and respond if necessary. NT has a minute footprint in the climate change debate. Nearly all the debate is about energy.  We need to make sure that the cure is not worse than the illness.  We need to maintain secure and affordable energy supply and gradually introduce alternative energies as they mature and become viable.

Trudy Campbell – ACP Senate 1:  The Citizens Party rejects the prevailing “green” view of the environment as somehow separate from, and threatened by, humans. Economic development can improve the environment for man and nature, while poverty is very damaging. A strong economy helps address environmental problems and support conservation. Infrastructure can further green arid areas and protect water catchments; more resources are needed to combat invasive weeds and species.

Aiya Carttling – TG Solomon:  Fracking can not go ahead in the NT because opening up the gas fields of the Northern Territory has the potential to release up to 34 billion tonnes of pollution – this is the equivalent of 68 years of Australia’s (already high) pollution levels. The climate crisis requires us to seize the opportunity to transform Australia into a greenhouse gas-negative powerhouse that creates new jobs and a cleaner planet. That means not building new gas infrastructure and investing in renewables.

Nature is also struggling in the Territory, it’s a huge part of what makes our home so special but it’s under threat from weeds like gamba, feral species, and Territory Government plans to introduce floodplain harvesting for industrial cotton crops. We need a huge investment in jobs looking after nature.

Tim Gallard – ON Lingiari:  Climate change? Check the facts, not the agenda. We should recycle much better…

Luke Gosling – ALP Solomon; Malarndirri McCarthy – ALP Senate 1; Marion Scrymgour – ALP Lingiari; Kate Ganley – ALP Senate 2:  Reducing emissions and creating jobs is at the centre of Labor’s Powering Australia plan. The Northern Territory is blessed with natural resources including solar power and a federal Labor Government will unlock the full potential of our renewable energy industry. Our Territory lifestyle is underpinned by our unique environment and landscape which Labor is committed to protecting for future generations to enjoy. That’s why Labor will double the number of Indigenous Rangers working to protect and preserve some of our most precious places. Labour will invest in clean and affordable energy to keep Australia on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Jed Hansen – LD Senate 2:  The NT needs to redirect its focus towards ensuring our waterways and aquifers are preserved and free from chemical pollution such as harmful runoff such as fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides and things like PFAS which caused long term problems in Katherine. I come from a Chemical and Material Science background, I believe that the federal government should be putting in incentives for companies and businesses to reconsider the material chemistry of single-use plastics.

Currently, most foods, beverages, wrappers, plastic forks, knives, spoons and straws and all manner of goods purchased are housed or sealed in single-use plastics made from PVC, LDPE, PET and PETG – none of these is biodegradable. But things like PHA plastic developed by Danimer are compostable, biodegradable and marine biodegradable. The NT should also be building more advanced recycling facilities to recycle a wider range of materials, much like what Sweden has developed.

Tina MacFarlane – CLP Solomon:  The NT has the potential to be the world’s leading solar provider, and we know gas and hydrogen are key energy resources that the NT is placed to benefit from economically.

Blair McFarland – TG Lingiari:  As outlined above, we could be shifting away from fossil fuels and into capitalising on the solar potential of our wide brown land. With government investment, we could have a green steel industry. We could be exporting power to Asia. The NT could become a world-leading renewables superpower while addressing climate change.

The Greens have a full set of policies to drive change in climate across the country, from solar on all public schools to stopping fracking, ending the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure, and transitioning fast to renewables. We’re the only party that doesn’t take donations from the fossil fuel companies that are driving the crisis and I think it shows in our policies.

We need proper long-term care for nature across the Territory. We’re losing homes to gamba fires in the Top End and buffelgrass is wrecking the Centre. Feral animals and climate change are threatening our wildlife and big companies are trying to take our water.

You have to look at the whole picture. The Greens support a mass jobs program to restore land and look after nature, including investing $767m in the next four years to expand First Nations ranger programs that provide long-term jobs. The Territory needs a Green voice to make sure governments look after nature here because the other parties won’t do the job.

Sam McMahon – LD Senate 1:  Caring for our environment should be everyone’s concern and managing emissions is part of this. Net Zero by 2050 is unachievable with current technology without destroying our lifestyle and economy. The major parties are peddling a furphy about Net Zero and they don’t have any practical plan to get there. We need to consider nuclear energy if we are to get anywhere near Net Zero in the foreseeable future.

Immediate removal of the prohibition on the use of nuclear power will allow the consideration of nuclear energy in our mix to provide reliable, baseload power with zero emissions. Modern reactors are small, extremely safe, and low waste. The UK, Europe, US and Canada all rely on nuclear energy to produce lower emissions power. The NT has an abundance of Uranium and Thorium, we should be the Saudi Arabia of nuclear energy. At the same time, we would continue to invest in research and development of new technologies to replace our reliance on fossil fuels.

The amount of plastics in our environment, both land and sea, is a major and increasing concern. We must invest more in to reducing and recycling as much plastic as we can. Environmental monitoring for contaminants and pollutants needs to be stepped up and where they are detected, rehabilitation methods developed.

Jacinta Price – CLP Senate 1:  The Coalition’s policy on climate change is ensuring we act through technology and not simply tax Australians, as Labor’s plan would do with a Carbon Tax.

Damien Ryan – CLP Lingirai:  We are on track for Net Zero by 2050, and at a local level I’d like to see practical approaches to increase recycling in regional and remote communities.

Tayla Selfe – UAP Somolom:  At a local level we can address environmental issues by reducing needless single-use plastics on consumer items from supermarkets. Packaging materials are becoming excessive and only contribute to increasing landfills.

We would benefit from a recycling plant that will produce items from recycled materials. This would create jobs and be a source of education for future generations. Australia’s emissions are low compared to many other nations, so we will also push for other countries around the world to reduce their emission targets which will have a much greater impact on the fight against climate change.


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