Northern Territory Opposition Leader Terry Mills
Victor P Taffa
Chief Minister Paul Henderson has dodged a challenge to debate Labor’s law and order policies at a public forum in his Wanguri electorate.
Opposition Leader, Terry Mills, issued the challenge during today’s Parliamentary Question Time.
“The Chief Minister is full of bravado in the Parliament, but he’s not prepared to participate in a public forum during which the community can scrutinise his Government’s law and order policies.” Mr. Mills said.
“I’m convinced the arguments he uses in the Parliament to defend his Government’s grog bans and soft sentencing would fail the pub test.”
“Despite the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing the Territory has the highest offender rate in the country, the Chief Minister continues to live in a state of denial about crime.” Mr. Mills said.
“If he’s so confident his Government’s policies are working, he should join me in a public debate in his Wanguri electorate.”
“His repeated refusal to debate law and order and his Government’s grog policies shows a lack of courage and is typical of a Government out of step with community feeling.”
Mr. Mills used Question Time to target the Government’s refusal to announce a review into Police resourcing across the Territory.
“The Chief Minister said last August that Government was considering a review and six months later he said the Government is still considering a review.” Mr. Mills said.
“He offered as an excuse his Government’s dire budgetary situation, which appears to be a case of putting dollars ahead of public safety.”
“The Chief Minister also today refused to say how many Police were on duty in Alice Springs last Thursday when staff from the Aurora Motel was assaulted after an altercation involving an ABC film crew.”
“It appears Police were short staffed that night and the Chief Minister’s refusal to identify manpower levels is a failure to be across the details of his portfolio. The Chief Minister blamed Police for an incident that appeared to be a direct result of poor resourcing.” Mr. Mills said.