A censure of government

29 November 2018

The Labor Government and the Minister for Territory Families is delivering the worst results in her portfolio, despite having one of the biggest budgets.

In Parliament today, the Opposition moved to censure the Chief Minister for failing to remove the Minister for Territory Families from her portfolio responsibilities.

Deputy Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro outlined the long list of botches, fiascos and disasters presided over by Minister Wakefield including:

  •  A worsening youth crime crisis
  •  Violent episodes in youth detention facilities in Darwin and Alice Springs
  •  An exorbitant amount of waste
  •  A paltry response to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

"The failures of this Minister cannot be talked around or explained away any longer," Mrs Finocchiaro said.

"This is because Territorians are gravely concerned by the escalating crime rates and exponentially escalating resources being diverted from key service delivery areas to implement ill-conceived and ghastly expensive policies that to-date, have had no measurable impact on crime.

"The government has to remember there is a human face, a price paid for every crime and Territorians are tired of being victims.

"Through our questioning we have found that although the numbers of youths in detention has reduced, the problems caused by youths in the community and within detention centres haven’t."

In this financial year so far, the total of bills spent on repairs to damage caused by detainees at detention centres is $1,278,209 – $750,000 can directly be attributed to the riot on 6 November that saw detainees burn down the education building, leaving $528,209 for other damage. On youth bail accommodation the total spend last financial year was more than $9.5 million.

"From answers to our questions in Parliament and Estimates we found at least two thirds of beds were empty in the July-September period," Mrs Finocchiaro said. "Funding empty beds is inexcusable."