Tollner rejected, Anderson says Giles phoned PUP


p2145-Anderson-&-grandkisBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Palmer United Party leader Alison Anderson says she would not comment about any coalition with Labor before speaking with her two colleagues, Larisa Lee and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu.
Ms Anderson (pictured with two of her grandchildren, Jonah and Taj) says Chief Minister Adam Giles rang Mr Xavier yesterday but he did not take the call.
“Did Giles ring because he wants to join PUP? Francis doesn’t take calls from little kids,” Ms Anderson said this morning. “The shambles of a government is still operating in Darwin.”
She was speaking after Dave Tollner failed last night to regain his position of Deputy Leader. Mr Tollner has gone on a two-week break, leaving the future of the Giles Government in limbo.
If the three Palmer United Party (PUP) members enter into a coalition with Labor – overcoming on both sides considerable past animosity –  and Mr Tollner returns from leave as an independent, then he and Independent Gerry Wood would hold the balance of power.
If Mr Tollner resigns his seat it is uncertain whether the CLP could retain it in a by-election.
In a media release last night Mr Giles said the Country Liberals’ Parliamentary Wing had chosen Peter Chandler as the new Deputy Chief Minister.
“I am proud to welcome Peter Chandler as my new Deputy. I can also confirm that I threw my own position open and was re-elected as Leader unopposed.
“As Palmerston local member and Lands Minister, Mr Chandler has been working with the Health Minister to identify and deliver the land that the Palmerston Regional Hospital is being built on.
“Cabinet will meet tomorrow where our strategy for Developing Northern Australia will be at the top of the agenda.”
Minister Chandler said it was a great honour to be chosen by his colleagues for the Deputy’s position.
“I look forward to working with the Chief Minister as we focus on the issues that matter to Territorians – driving down the cost of living, developing Northern Australia, improving our education system and keeping our streets safe.”
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie says the revolving door of CLP Deputy Chief Ministers had resulted in failed Education Minister Peter Chandler replacing Dave Tollner who didn’t show up to the party room meeting.
“Mr Chandler is our fourth Deputy Chief Minister in two years and the CLP is starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
“Mr Chandler has botched the Lands and Planning portfolio with his Darwin Area Regional Plan and he’s been a complete failure in Education, pretending 35 teachers were sacked when the real figure is more than 125.
“The CLP remain deeply divided but kept Adam Giles on as Chief Minister until after the Casuarina by-election.”
Ms Lawrie said Adam Giles has the Treasury portfolio because it would have been ludicrous to give it to Mr Chandler who racked up a well publicised personal $100,000 credit card debt.
“You have to wonder why the CLP wing meeting didn’t replace the vacancy in Cabinet. Is it to keep the job open for a Dave Tollner sweetener?
“Why didn’t Dave Tollner attend tonight’s meeting? What’s the next installment of the CLP pantomime!”


  1. I have to wonder just how much of a beat-up this whole saga is. And whether or not it has much relevance to who governs in the NT.
    (And saying this I am not criticising Alice Springs News for reporting it – far from it. It is news, or such news as we are capable of generating here in the NT.)
    But seriously, if PUP joins the ALP in a coalition (!?), and Tollner sits as an Independent(!?), Tollner and Wood will hold the balance of power, and the current CLP government will stay in power.
    Why? Historically, Gerry Wood is not in the habit of tossing an elected party out of office, and does anyone really think Tollner would vote with the ALP?
    Maybe Tollner will bail. If he does, and if either his seat or the now vacant seat previously held by Vatskalis change hands in by-elections, then there might be a change in government.
    But if, as is likely, Casuarina holds for the ALP and Tollner sits tight, it will be business as usual.
    Smoke and mirrors – and bulldust. It is at times like these that I become more convinced than ever that we are governed by the most appalling assortment of mediocre clowns.

  2. Not to retract what I said previously because from what I read it does seem that most of our pollies take mediocrity to new heights. Or is that depths? But there are exceptions.
    I live in Araluen and have voted for Robyn Lambley since she was an Alderman.
    I sometimes wonder if Bess Price, a woman I have long held in the highest esteem, wonders what she is doing there.
    And then there’s Alison Anderson: Like the country she comes from, you can love her or hate her, but she most definitely is who she is.
    Kungka Power! Why not.

  3. Who cares what Anderson and the other PUP members think or say. They have been members of that party for a few months and we have heard very little, unless it’s a negative comment based on the governing party.
    PUP is without any form of day-to-day value at all. Just negative rubbish from the cheap seats. Can’t wait till Palmer expects value and mining concessions through their contacts.

  4. Here’s my prediction: Tollner has no job prospects. He needs to stay on, he won’t get bugger all $ as independent and he knows that, and he’ll have a lesser chance of re-election.
    He will stay on, he will be given Treasury and business portfolios and remain a Minister.
    After all, his office and all his staff are still up there, nothing has changed.
    It’s all “cool off” time, hence why Tollner is taking two weeks off. Why do you think he is in Katherine? He’s been working for 18 months with a Queensland power company on a power station there in Katherine.
    That’s why him and Giles took power from Gove, for this Queensland mob. Casuarina will remain Labor, Wood will resign in 2016 and that seat will go CLP.

  5. I dare say Giles was ringing Francis as he’s the only PUP member worth talking to, the other two aren’t interested in governing, just causing trouble.
    Is it an offence for a government to talk with the cross bench? I would have thought it’s a good thing that one of your members still has the ear of the Chief Minister, it could be a bit of a bargaining chip if you end up holding the balance of power.
    Alison’s not interested in actually getting anything done, it’s all about getting her face in the media. She won’t be happy about someone else being the centre of attention. You’ve got to give her one thing though, she’s a master manipulator, especially of the media who seem to cling on to every word she says.


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