Gas Week

EWN Publishing

Relationship between commonwealth and Northern Territory Government crumbles as hostilities boils over

Posted by gasweek on 2 October, 2007

Any pretence of a constructive working relationship between the commonwealth and Northern Territory Government crumbled this week reported The Australian (25/8/2007, p. 29).

Chief Minister’s response to abuse report takes “embarrassingly long time”: Hostilities that had been simmering away for weeks boiled over. And neither side seemed prepared to give an inch. On Monday, Chief Minister Clare Martin announced her belated response to the report she commissioned last year into the abuse of Aboriginal children. It was an announcement that had been put off for an embarrassingly long time: Martin first received the report at the end of April, refused to make it public until June 15, then said she would wait several more weeks before formally responding. Martin, whose ministerial responsibilities include police and indigenous affairs, said the package was the “most comprehensive res­ponse” to indigenous disadvantage produced by an NT government.

Martin’s vision: “equal opportunity in life”: The $286 million plan, which includes 223 new public service positions and the establish­ment of an indigenous affairs advisory council, was underpinned by an ambitious aim: “By 2030, every baby born in the territory will have equal opportunity in life, a vision we all endorse and a vision we must make real,” Martin said. Marion Scrymgour, who took over the territory’s newly created Child Protection portfolio, attacked Brough for condemning all indigenous men and women. “This new McCarthyism has to stop, and stop now,” Scrymgour said.

Opposition Leader Carney rebutts sexual abuse report: Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Jodeen Carney delivered a detailed rebuttal in parliament of the sexual abuse report that prompted the wave of reforms by both the NT and federal governments. Carney’s analysis, unfairly ridiculed by Labor, was based on a review she commis­sioned of the report.

The Australian, 25/8/2007, p. 29

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