Waste, unpaid fines, and Deloitte’s outlook

15 July 2019

Opposition Leader Gary Higgins says Deloitte Access Economics’ quarterly Business Outlook report released today painted a dim picture of the Territory’s economy, and proved the Gunner Labor Government was doing little in the way of encouraging much needed sustainable private sector investment into the Territory.

"Employment is down because there are less jobs to employ people, residents are leaving in droves and the number of migrants from overseas has also fallen," he said.

"This out of touch Government is so disconnected from the reality of the Territory’s situation, proven through their own bickering among members. All we see is chaos and dysfunction from this Gunner Labor Government."

As answers to questions on notice during Estimates 2019 filter through, the Opposition also learned the amount of unpaid fines totalled $107, 920, 907.05 as at March 31, 2019.

"When the CLP was in Government in 2016, this amount was $60 million so through this Gunner Labor Government’s lack of consequences for offenders, we’ve got a number that’s almost double that," Mr Higgins said.

"In 2014, the CLP Government was so concerned about $60 million in fines being owed that we introduced a name and shame website for unpaid fines, along with allowing for garnishment and ceased business dealings at the Motor Vehicle Registry until arrangements were made to pay off fines.

"With these actions in place, the CLP saw $4 million in additional revenue collected between 2014 and 2016, and a number of people enter into time to pay arrangements.

"Now we see a Government who’s failed to implement any consequences, and fines almost double since they were elected in 2016.

"Crime is out of control, we’ve got a Government which has lost control of inmates at Don Dale and debtors who know there’s essentially no consequences for unpaid fines.

"When is this Government going to wake up to itself?"

Mr Higgins said cutting the waste was the first step towards budget repair.

"The wasted $800,000 for a scrapped plan for a Myilly Point museum, a 2017 delegation to Singapore to look at plants, the $500,000 MyFuel website with no results, and the $150,000 driverless bus are some examples of wasteful spending which have seen the Government spiral into the worst debt we’ve ever seen," he said.

"This is a Government with the wrong priorities who need to have a serious look at themselves and question if they’re doing the right things for Territorians who are doing it really tough."