Bess Price unable to explain her policies, says Opposition


Sir – CLP Minister Bess Price was unable to explain her comments calling for changes to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in [the current] estimates hearing.
Despite calling for changes to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in a public forum earlier this week Minister Price was unable to answer questions surrounding what changes she sought.
Indigenous Territorians are questioning just what initiatives towards economic advancement are in train, rather than rhetoric devoid of detail that they espouse.
What would be more helpful from Ms Price would be details on jobs, industry development and increased services to the bush.
Ms Price as Minister for Community Services could not provide detail of what her department was doing to provide Indigenous essential services.
Despite being the Minister responsible for Indigenous essential services, Ms Price was responsible for at least a $71 million budget to deliver essential services but could not answer questions about how this money was spent.
How can Territorians have confidence that the CLP Government is getting value for money when their own Ministers appear to be unaware of their own portfolio areas budget responsibilities?
Indigenous Territorians will suffer from a $500 million cut in services from the Federal Government but were offered no comfort from Minister Price as to how this void will be filled.
Where is Ms Price’s plea to the Prime Minister and Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister to stop funding cuts to Indigenous services, as these cuts are sure to be a hindrance to Indigenous development?
Ken Vowles (pictured)
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy


  1. The Territory has fewer than 250,000 people and you think somehow this government can pull out 500 million? From where Ken? What money we have in Territory should be for all Territorians. Not sure about the other towns but in Alice our largest group recorded in the census was people born overseas. And I ask this question. If the Territory was getting $500 million a year why is the homeless situation increasing within the Territory. Money was plenty but outcomes appear to be nil.
    So again Ken, if outcomes are nil why shouldn’t tax payers’ money be withdrawn? I have always said that if money is thrown at issues why would those receiving the funding fix the problem. Make the problem bigger and get more money. Regardless of the human suffering. And that is what is on display in the Territory. Money spent by governments to increase human suffering. As they say in the classics. The road to hell was paved with good intentions.

  2. NGOs in the place of government agencies. Segregation policies that keep racism growing. And money money to burn whilst welfare payments are easy targets for government to pull in spending.
    Get rid on the NGOs and run government owned services with government employees. Employment services, housing properties and the list goes on.

  3. That Bess Price could not explain her comments is not new, she has a history of not being able to answer questions put to her about government policy and decisions, even within her own portfolio.

  4. Minister Bess Price is absolutely correct. Of course changes are required to Land Councils. They have been a disaster from go to woe, hoarding wealth in the name of people who live out their lives in squalor and misery.
    They are inflicting a communal form of ownership that creates and fosters jealousy and infighting, sabotaging, stifling any form of independent enterprise, dragging anything in the form of individual entrepreneurship back to the field. While stifling development they are demanding compensation, royalties that are simply used to feed an arrogant parasitic bureaucracy that rides on the backs of Aboriginal people perpetuating dependency.
    While ever Land Councils exist Aboriginal Territorians cannot and will not advance! Muckety is a perfect example: Division, infighting, jealousy, unnecessary anguish, zero outcome! So what’s your plan Ken? Where’s your policy? If you have one let’s hear it.

  5. The Northern Land Council first signed off on Muckaty Station as a nuclear waste dump claiming all the Is were dotted and Ts crossed, then wavered and has now walked away from the idea.
    The Central Land Council is acting a bit like the Church when two Popes sat, one in Rome the other in Avignon, and excommunicated each other.
    High time for an ICAC in the NT, I’m thinking.

  6. Failure to develop the communities was not caused by the NTG, nor are related problems arising.
    Bess Price can only answer questions where NTG is responsible and has right to act.
    Where the NTG acts as agent for the Commonwealth then questions best be directed to the Commonwealth Ministers.
    The Commonwealth still controls the land and what happens on it.
    The ALR(NT) communities remain largely private fiefdoms, thus responsibility of the ALR(NT) corporate landowners and their statutory Land Council agents.
    All these remain Commonwealth created problems.
    Where the Commonwealth amends the ALR(NT) to require leases be issued, things start to change.
    Housing leases are now required in some communities, so expect housing to start being managed better.
    Few leases for business or commercial lots seen, (no Shire Council Municipal services leases yet?) so little change expected there.


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