Is Chandler carrying the can for Giles?

p2201-Lauren-Moss

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – Adam Giles must answer questions about when he became aware of the former Police Commissioner’s conflict of interest – before or after he gave the police portfolio to the Deputy Chief Minister, Peter Chandler.

 

The Territory needs an ICAC style body, an independent watchdog that would restore Territorians’ confidence in Government, which includes the police force.

 

This latest saga has left Territorians with questions about the integrity of the Territory’s decision makers.

 

Compounding this issue is the lack of confidence Territorians have in the CLP Government in the midst of its own Foundation 51 controversy.

 

It is clear that the Territory is in need of an independent body that could swiftly stamp out any issues afflicting Territory decision makers.

 

In the current absence of an ICAC, Territorians have no choice but to accept the “word” of Adam Giles.

 

Lauren Moss (pictured)
Labor Member for Casuarina

 

 

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7 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Sean
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Genuine, independent inquiry or not – the previous commissioner is under investigation by state and federal Police.
    No politician including Giles (and Co) are above or excluded from that (contrary to their own arrogant beliefs).
    That, and the FOI channels will be enough for journalists to hold them to account, in the interests of the public, and demand a “proper” legitimate independent inquiry.

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  2. Peters
    Posted January 20, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Yes Alex Nelson, a genuine inquiry of the calibre of the Fitzgerald Inquiry is very much needed in the NT.
    To head that off the Government is desperately trying to resolve this in a passably impartial manner while never losing control.
    The problem is that they do not have an organisation capable of independently investigating the circumstances of the Police Commissioner and the Professional Standards commander.
    Astonishingly, they are turning to the Solicitor for the NT (SFNT) to investigate but the SFNT is hopelessly conflicted in that role.
    The SFNT defends the Government (read politicians), typically against NT public servants who take legal action against the Government.
    They have no judicial role at all and are solicitors first and foremost and not at all impartial seekers of truth. The do the legal bidding of their masters.
    The Government is also drawing on the Office for the Commissioner for Public Interest Disclosure.
    But this is a hopelessly underweight body to play a useful role in this case and its own independence from Government is doubtful.
    The problem for Government is that if they have a truly independent investigation they will lose control and who knows what could come out.
    There could be a snowball effect that would make a Fitzgerald style Inquiry inevitable.
    And a Fitzgerald Inquiry is the real disaster the Government wants to prevent at all costs.

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  3. Hal Duell
    Posted January 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Perhaps the greatest potential damage in having a full ICAC-type investigation into past and present NT governments would be the revelation of misdeeds of such banality, venality and mendacity that we would all do as Yawn (Posted January 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm) has threatened to do and simply not bother to vote at all.

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  4. Posted January 20, 2015 at 11:13 am

    It’s interesting to note Lauren Moss’ linkage of the (apparent) resignation of former NT Commissioner of Police, John McRoberts, with the long-running saga of Foundation 51.
    I’m reminded of the fate of another tall, white-haired prominent individual in the NT who was at the centre of a long-running political controversy involving the CLP many years ago – he was former Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth.
    There were two distinct episodes that involved the NT Police. The first was in 1986 when Tuxworth resigned as Chief Minister in May that year, as a result of revelations that he had wrongly claimed travel allowance as a minister of the NT Government in the very early 1980s; the second was on the cusp of the NT election campaign in October 1990, when Tuxworth used parliamentary privilege to make serious allegations of misconduct against then NT Attorney-General Daryl Manzie in relation to the Mulholland Inquiry into allegations of police corruption.
    Dealing with the first matter, Tuxworth fell victim to revelations of having wrongly claimed $9400 for travel allowance to his electorate of Barkly after having moved his home to Darwin in 1981.
    He arranged a loan to repay that money, apparently from the Carpentaria Trust fund then operating on behalf of the CLP.
    The Carpentaria Trust was established in 1981, too, by then CLP treasurer Graeme Lewis, who is the same person at the centre of the storm swirling around Foundation 51 in recent years.
    Mr Lewis (also formerly Tuxworth’s accountant) played a key role in the situation leading to Tuxworth’s resignation as Chief Minister.
    The allegations against Tuxworth were investigated by the NT Police during 1986 and he was exonerated from any wrong-doing.
    In early 1990 the CLP in government was on the ropes. One of the persistent thorns in the side of the NT Government was Ian Tuxworth, by now the leader of the NT Nationals.
    In about April that year serious allegations of corruption were raised against some members of the NT Police, causing the government to appoint Robert Mulholland from Queensland to inquire into this situation (the Mulholland Police Inquiry).
    In very early October 1990, on the verge of the NT election campaign being called, Tuxworth raised allegations in the NT Legislative Assembly against Attorney-General Daryl Manzie, claiming that Manzie had secretly met with a police informer and prostitute by the name of Rhonda at the Parap Motel in Darwin.
    Rhonda was a key figure connected with the Mulholland Inquiry, and the story erupted in the media as the “Rhonda Affair”.
    Tuxworth was unable to verify his claims while Manzie showed that no such meeting ever took place. Consequently Tuxworth’s credibility was seriously damaged as he sought to campaign in the new seat of Goyder – he lost, his long political career was over (he was a member of the class of ’74), and the NT Nationals were eliminated as a political force.
    There’s no doubt in my mind now that Tuxworth was misled (and therefore set up) at a critical juncture in the lead-up to that election campaign. The CLP went on to win that campaign convincingly, in turn leading to another decade in power.
    The current impending investigation into political donations in the NT for the past 20 years, as a consequence of the Foundation 51 controversy, which is being established by the CLP NT Government, goes nowhere close to being a genuine inquiry.
    The government’s action is in response to the Member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, unexpectedly succeeding in passing a motion in the NT Legislative Assembly last year to establish a commission of inquiry into NT political donations for the last 20 years.
    I wonder that Mr Wood himself sought to limit his inquiry (since overturned by the CLP) to only the past 20 years, i.e. from 1994 onwards.
    As Mr Wood was a chairman of a NT Nationals branch in Howard Springs in the late 1980s, it surely is relevant to extend the terms of a genuine inquiry into political donations in the NT to a much longer time frame.
    Perhaps one problem with this scenario is the fact that the NT Nationals associated itself with the Queensland National Party when Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was the Premier – just before his regime came unstuck by revelations that led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
    There’s no doubt that a similar genuine inquiry of the calibre of the Fitzgerald Inquiry is very much needed in the NT, and its results would be more far-reaching than most people could imagine.

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  5. Yawn
    Posted January 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    These are questions journalists should ask, because as a new voter this is what I see:
    In our form of combative politics one side just hammers the other, and then supporters of either side get onto forums and support one against the other.
    Lauren Moss might think I’d vote for her if she stirs the pot hard enough, but I won’t. In fact, I’m not going to be conned by politicians of either side and the message she sends is very negative.
    I’d only give credibility to a story researched and written by senior journalist.
    And yeah, I’m not voting for you, Lauren Moss. I might not even vote at all.

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  6. Sean
    Posted January 18, 2015 at 8:49 am

    ‘Did the Chief Minister have knowledge before or after handing Police Ministry over?”
    Keep asking that question, Lauren Moss. Also insist and follow the investigation into McRoberts closely.
    Unless the investigation is stopped (which I suspect it will be) the answer to your question will be very clear – and shocking.
    No doubt by about Tuesday, Wednesday this coming week there will be some sort of big “media story” leaked by the NTG to start and try to divert attention away from this topic as our esteemed Chief Minister decides to come back to work.
    I ain’t a Labor hack, in fact was a devoted CLP supporter.
    However, the more time passes with Giles ‘n’ Co, the more disgraceful and disturbing.
    The old saying is fitting, many chickens are coming home to roost this year for this individual. This is just the start.

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  7. Peters
    Posted January 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    The Territory does need an ICAC style body, an independent watchdog that would restore Territorians’ confidence in Government, including but not only confidence in the police force.
    It would seem that an increasing number of NT public servants are feeling the need to take the Government to court to ensure their legal rights in employment matters.
    Many readers would have seen a public notice apology from a senior manager of the Education Department admitting he spread false info during recent EBA wage negotiations.
    That notice was in response to a Supreme Court action from the teacher he targeted.
    Soon we will likely see the ex Commissioner starting his own action in the Federal Court.
    When NT public servants have to resort to the courts to secure fair and impartial process we definitely need an independent watchdog.

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