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Northern Territory Shadow Treasurer John Elferink

Desperate Labor Gives It Away

Victor P Taffa

Delia Lawrie’s media release on plans for a workers village in Darwin contained one glaring omission and at least one significant inaccuracy, Shadow Treasurer, John Elferink said.

“In the final sentence the Treasurer claims ‘the Territory is ready’ for the resources boom.”

“Clearly, this isn’t the case.” Mr. Elferink said.

“The Territory’s housing crisis goes back years and the Treasurer has been saying for the best part of 12 months that INPEX is coming, so today’s announcement shows just how unprepared the Henderson Government is for the resources boom.”

“If Labor was fair dinkum, the workers village would already have been under construction, not at the ‘Expressions of Interest’ stage.” Mr. Elferink said.

“It points to the extent of the Territory’s housing crisis that such a facility is required at all.”

“Labor has sat on its hands while thousands of skilled Territory workers moved interstate because buying or renting a home was out of their reach.”

“By contrast, in September 2009 the Country Liberals released a sensible, fully costed plan to develop temporary accommodation at the old Bechtel site in Palmerston.” Mr. Elferink said.

“Instead of adopting this important initiative the Government chose to play politics, in the process turning their backs on Territorians laboring under the weight of the housing crisis.”

Mr. Elferink said the Treasurer neglected to mention in her media release that today’s announcement dates back to a 2009 plan to develop a workers village at exactly the same site.

“Developers failed to get behind the plan and it fell over. Now Labor’s dusted it off and are having another crack at it.” Mr. Elferink said.

“This time they’re so desperate to get it up and running that they’re effectively giving away 9.5 ha of Crown land at Batten Road to the preferred developer.” Mr. Elferink said.


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