Cross-Party Council Crossed Off

Cross-Party Council Crossed Off

Northern Territory Opposition Leader Terry Mills

Statement From Terry Mills

Victor P Taffa

The Country Liberals today ended their involvement with the Cross-Party Council of  Territory Co-operation.

Opposition Leader, Terry Mills, said the Council was established 12 months ago as part of the deal struck by the Independent Member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, to keep the Henderson Government in Power.

Member for Port Darwin, John Elferink and Member for Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe, were the Country Liberals Representatives on the council since its inception last year.

“The Council has provided an opportunity for members to question bureaucrats about Government policy and expenditure.” Mr. Mills said.

“But the Government has refused to let ministers front the Council, and this has made it impossible to hold the Government to account.”

“Committees and co-operation are a means to an end, and that end is accountability and good governance. The Council of Territory Co-operation just never got there.” Mr. Mill said.

“In the last Council report CTC members, including Government representatives, unanimously backed a call for Treasurer Delia Lawrie and Essential Services Minister Rob Knight to appear before the council for questioning.”

“The request was refused by Government.” Mr. Mills said.

John Elferink Darwin MLA

John Elferink Darwin MLA








“The Council’s budget for 2010-11 was $600,000 almost as much as the Children’s Commissioner’s annual budget. Last financial year, the Council cost $300,000.”

“After a year of precious few results and nothing to suggest that will change into the future it was time the Country Liberals pulled the pin.” Mr. Mills said.

Mr. Elferink said it was appalling the Government used bureaucrats to answer questions on its behalf.

“The Government is using bureaucrats as human shields to duck the difficult questions.” Mr. Elferink said.

“I thank them for their willingness to front the Council.”

Willem Westra van Holthe Katherine MLA

Willem Westra van Holthe Katherine MLA










Mr Westra van Holthe said the Government’s decision making processes had not improved during the 12 months the Opposition spent on the CTC.

“At the end of the day, MLAs participate in Government, not council, and without powers to question ministers, we were wasting our time.” Mr. Westra van Holthe said.