Firm ‘no’ from PM, Scullion to bailing out ‘bankrupt’ Territory

2602 Nigel Scullion, Scott Morrison OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Chief Minister Michael Gunner should not hold his breath waiting for Canberra to bail out his “bankrupt” government, judging from statements by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a media doorstop in Jabiru today, supported by Territory Senator Nigel Scullion (picture ABC TV News).

 

“I mean, there comes a time when these guys have got to do their own heavy lifting,” said Mr Morrison .

 

“I don’t think it’s the Commonwealth’s job – and Commonwealth taxpayers’ – to pay for the mismanagement of state or territory governments.

 

“We’ve already stumped up a billion dollars and more … into the Territory just in my time as Treasurer and Prime Minister, whether it’s on GST top-ups, support for Indigenous housing in remote areas, the Darwin City Deal, today over $200m to invest in infrastructure that will create jobs and economic activity, which will support revenues to the Northern Territory Government,

 

“Now, Bill Shorten might want to come up here and use Federal taxpayers’ moneys to bail out his mates in the Labor Government.

 

“That’s not what we’re doing.

 

“The Territory Government has to sort out their own problems, okay?

 

“I’m not here to give them a primer guide on how to run a Budget. I know how to run a Budget and our Budget is coming back into surplus on the 2nd of April.

 

“That’s what running a Budget does, so they can read my Budgets and take whatever tips they like.

 

“But it’s for them to work out how to sort out the financial mess that they’ve got themselves into.

 

“I get on very well with the Treasurer [Nicole Manison] up here. She didn’t even have to ask when it came to the GST top-up of almost $260m.”

 

Said Senator Scullion: “This is the first time the Territory is actually bankrupt. I’m just really ashamed of that.

 

“I don’t want [the Territory] to be some completely mendicant [begging], dependent state of the Commonwealth.

 

“We’re the Territory, we’re proud Territorians.

 

“Now, it’s a difficult challenge, budgeting.

 

“But we’re not about to just simply take over the Territory [which is] given funds from the Commonwealth for health, they’re given massive funds for education. It’s about how they manage those funds.

 

“As I said in terms of youth justice, this is the corrections system. For us to suddenly take over the corrections system isn’t going happen,” said Senator Scullion.

 

“Yes, there seems to be continual mismanagement at a very grassroots management level.

 

“The Commonwealth Government is not going to manage the shifts and who actually looks after prisons.

 

“That’s not our responsibility, nor should it ever be. But we have helped the Territory and we will meet all of our responsibilities in terms of the Royal Commission.”

 

 

 

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13 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. Ntharipe Observer
    Posted January 17, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Evelyne Roullet (Posted January 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm): Re your question “Why does a Federal Government help a Labor Government?”
    I could just as well ask: “Why shouldn’t a Federal Government help a Labor Government, or any other type of government, for that matter?”
    Federal governments of both persuasions help state and territory governments in all manner of ways all the time, and why shouldn’t they?

    View Comment
  2. Paul Parker
    Posted January 17, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Re: Evelyne Roullet Posted January 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm.
    The entire NT is a puppet on Commonwealth string. It is the Commonwealth which overturns many NT Government rules.

    View Comment
  3. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted January 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Uluru and Kata Tjuta, like Kakadu, is Federal domain. Why does a Federal Government help a Labor Government?

    View Comment
  4. Hal Duell
    Posted January 16, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    There’s good money to be had in naming rights.
    The Huawei Uluru? Now there’s an idea.

    View Comment
  5. Psuedo Guru
    Posted January 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    No Federal bailout: Must NT sell to China and extinguish Aboriginal land claims?

    View Comment
  6. Local Thinker
    Posted January 15, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    The NT Government should shut down direct flights into Ayers Rock from interstate and make Alice the transitional tourist route to as it once was, and things would instatntly return back to where they were in the late 80s and 90s.
    A laid-back, busy, vibrant, ecconomically viable and safe tourist town.
    The local hospitality, accomodation and tour operator / bus bussinesses would once again flourish, and the ecconomic benefits would again trickle down as they once did.
    Or alternatively make tourists who fly direct into Ayers Rock from interstate pay a price / tax premium for doing so, with cheaper flights available via Alice.
    The blame for the demise of Alice over the last 25 to 30 years should be laid squarely at the feet of those in their ivory towers who conjured up and approved the development of Ayers Rock Airport and direct flights into it from interstate. And on occaisions even international charters.
    They should be ashamed of the results of their misconceived endeavours and machinations.
    The demise of Alice is similar to the demise of many small towns worldwide which have been made redundant and able to be bypassed by new a highway or ring-road developments which take traffic and the movement of people out of them.
    People would still come to the see the magnificenence of Ayers Rock, however it takes to get there.
    And Alice would reap the benefits once again.

    View Comment
  7. Sharon
    Posted January 15, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Maybe Asia will give the Territory the money seeing as the NT Government likes to sell everything to them.
    The Territory is getting that bad that they have to pay people to come and live here.
    Give us back the old Darwin.
    And my nieces could do a better job than any of these politicians.
    Just saying.

    View Comment
  8. Sheree Greenwood
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    So then why are the government giving compensation for people to come live in the NT if there is no money?
    As well as a top up payment for these so-called people that will stay for another three years years once residing?
    Politicians and government, I for one am sick to death of the dribble and silk that spill from their gobs!

    View Comment
  9. Chris
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds like the NT Labor government has been taking financial lessons from certain people on the streets, humbugging.
    It still really irritates me that if a company director etc. mismanages a company, they can be prosecuted and lose everything and get jail time, but its quite OK if you are a politician.
    Not only do they get away with such things but are actually rewarded for them.
    If [they even book] a taxi with the government’s purse, [should they be] charged with trading whilst insolvent?

    View Comment
  10. NW
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Wonder if three dollar Bill Shorten will bail out his failed Labor mates in a chase for a handful of votes?
    The money offered by both parties to prop up a mining town is ample proof that desperate pollies develop bad policy.
    Can anyone provide info on how much the local people have received (and squandered) in royalties?
    Why are taxpayers having to give more money to save a place that very few people want to visit – just to chase a few votes?
    Like most things in the NT, the tourist brochures don’t match the reality, and word of mouth based on REAL experiences will trump a glossy advertising campaign anyday, particularly with the reach of social media these days.

    View Comment
  11. Psuedo Guru
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:56 am

    The Major Northern Development Fund projects can save the NT. China is watching. Progress?

    View Comment
  12. Paul Parker
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:47 am

    The Northern Territory will remain a dependent state of the Commonwealth, until the Commonwealth Parliament ends its racial apartheid policies.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as former Treasurer, surely knows the disadvantage imposed on the Northern Territory by the Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act.
    The Commonwealth’s racist apartheid policies, with a lack of conventional responsibility and accountability, remain an ongoing obstruction to meaningful progress within the Northern Territory.
    The Commonwealth will remain a primary source of funds for the ALR(NT) lands until this racist act is amended.
    The Commonwealth Government misleads those living upon ALR(NT) lands that “Arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free, a slogan the Nazis applied to Jews in the concentration camps), when for decades the Commonwealth has maintained by legislation their disadvantages.
    The Act requires the acceptance of racial division of Australians with “special benefits” involving separate responsibility and accountability.
    The Commonwealth’s imposition of racial apartheid, racial segregation, denial basic rights and responsibilities remains a disgrace to most Australians.
    The proportion of the national teen suicide rate directly relates, with all the related disadvantages experienced, to the Commonwealth’s ongoing promotion of apartheid policies.
    Senator Nigel Scullion has been long aware that Australian families are denied their rights to live together, to visit each other, when they reside in the Commonwealth’s racially divided Northern Territory.

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  13. Fred the Philistine
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:09 am

    It’s about time the Commonwealth had opened their eyes. The Territory, especially Alice Springs, is a black hole when it comes finances.
    It is time they start raising their own revenue as they have relied on Federal funding for far too long.
    The rest of Australia is starting to wake up, that investing in the Territory is not good value.

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