2018 REPORT CARD

21 December 2018

2018 REPORT CARD

NAME: The Northern Territory Labor Government

TERM: 2016-2020

Subject

Grade

Comment

Financial Management F

This subject continues to elude Labor’s comprehension and their attempts to address it makes things worse – much, much worse.

Wealth Creation F

None and nothing new on the horizon.

Law and Order F

Crime under Labor is at historic levels, particularly alcohol-related crime. Labor’s BDR, floor price and permissive attitude towards crime has simply made things worse. More consequences are needed.

Openness and Transparency D

In 2018, consultation often involved telling the electorate about decisions instead of engaging Territorians in genuine consultative conversations. Labor did, however, release a number of internal reports (after prompting and usually late).

 

Portfolio Management F

A Cabinet of underperformers who talk a good game but don’t actually achieve anything.

 

Self-Promotion A+ Advertising, gratuitous public emails, fence wrap, glossy brochures, copious media releases, social media engagement – Labor’s expertise at self-promotion shone boundlessly this year.

 

SIGNED: The Opposition

WITNESS: The Taxpayer

A: Excellent

B: Good

C: Average

D: Needs Improvement

F: Fail

(See next page for expansion on topics and comments)

 

2018 REPORT CARD

Financial Management – In 2018 Labor delivered the worst ever set of finances for the Northern Territory. Their own figures show an unwieldy debt burden and analysis which says the Territory will not be able to meet interest payments let alone pay back the debt. The Treasurer is begging for a bail out by the Commonwealth and still, even though they have been managing the coffers for more than two years, they blame everyone and everything else except themselves. Bad, bad, bad and worse.

Wealth Creation – Labor introduced the world’s worst hybrid royalty regime, a property levy on investors who are doing it tough, a halt to gas exploration, a moratorium on water licenses, uncertainty for major retailer Dan Murphy’s, uncertainty for the mining industry through legislative changes, dropped components of Pastoral Land legislation which would have allowed for subleasing to be recorded on the Title thus unlocking millions in much needed investment. In short, Labor had hindered wealth creation in the Territory, not helped it.

Law and Order – Crime remains bad in the Northern Territory. The most recent crime statistics released (for the September quarter) show rises in assaults and break-ins (house and commercial) across the Territory. The resourcing of the police force has been questionable, there have been a handful of escapes from correctional custody and riots at youth detention centres. The government likes to wring its hands over law and order and has done nothing to truly address the issue.

Openness and Transparency – Consultation is NOT when you deliver a fait accompli to a community eg Pinelands, Anzac Oval, Warren Park. Labor has also been light on disclosure eg prison escapes (Apr and Dec 2017), child protection matters, the town camp review (released many months late), the lack of cost benefit analysis on the underground carpark, the taxi tax, detail of the Cities Deal before it was announced, cost of the Donghai deal, refusal to release the Ernst & Young Report into the police force – just to name a few.

Portfolio Management – There have been significant failures by Ministers over a number of portfolio areas and an alarming level of bureaucratic capture. The Minister for Territory Families has lurched from disaster-to-disaster for children in care, their families and youth detainees. The Tourism Minister keeps her job even though she has shown scant interest in her duties apart from media release announcements. The current Infrastructure Minister tends to leave all the heavy lifting to the previous Infrastructure Minister. The Housing Minister conducts his business through media releases with no proof that what he says is being delivered is actually being delivered. The Attorney-General and Health Minister is overseeing the bungling of alcohol reform (from the floor price debacle through to select measures for corner shops). The Treasurer – two words – boundless debt. The Chief Minister – another two words – Marco Polo. The new Education Minister has become an expert back flipper, for example the funding of night classes (half back flip), the Hermannsburg horse riding Anzac program and St Phillips’ boarding fees.

Self Promotion – Labor has an exemplary record in this area. And its approach keeps evolving. It has graduated from metres and metres of single-use plastic fence wrap gratuitously promoting the government’s taglines to painted fences (see underground carpark fencing) spruiking government slogans. There is also a move by Labor to change the Information Act to allow it to include Ministers’ photos on government promotional material from media releases and promotional emails to public servants through to government advertising. When it comes to self-promotion, nothing touches on Labor- the minders must be congratulated on their dedicated work in this area.