Giles dumping terrible mistake – Alice Springs CLP


p2009vanHoltheBy ERWIN CHLANDA
“They have made a terrible mistake,” says president of the Alice Springs CLP branch, Jenny Lillis, about the dumping of Chief Minister Adam Giles, who represents the local electorate of Braitling.
“Most of our executive are unhappy about what’s gone down.”
Ms Lillis says an executive meeting will be held tonight to discuss a strategy.
Mr Giles was replaced last night by Katherine MLA Willem Westra van Holthe (pictured), the Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries. His deputy is John Elferink, a former longtime Alice Springs resident. Both men are ex-policemen and of Dutch background.
Mr Giles’ style of government had become increasingly arrogant and he was disinclined to listen.
Commentators are drawing comparisons with Campbell Newman whose Queensland government was massively defeated on the weekend.
Another similarity is their embrace of  the sale of public assets (leasing in Mr Newman’s case, although voters weren’t making the distinction). Mr Giles sold TIO, despite widespread opposition, and was negotiating the sale of elements of the Darwin port.
Alice Springs has seen little benefit from having the “Chief”  a local and all its MLAs – Matt Conlan, Bess Price and Robyn Lambley – on the front bench.
Little has happened to crank up the flagging economy. Giles boasted of his government’s construction of three police stations and the new Supreme Court, but apart from a short-term benefit to the building industry these will not provide ongoing prosperity.
Mr Giles did not divert $24m to long term benefit of the town from the rail overpass funded by a like-minded government in Canberra.
His much publicised economic initiatives – such as Melanka – largely consisted of encouraging private investment.
Mr Giles led the way in his government’s use of minders in the place of direct communication, not a new strategy but one that was made endemic by the Giles government and an insidious blight on democracy.
Public distrust has also grown of the Giles government’s headlong promotion of natural gas production with extensive use fracking.
In fairness it should be noted that  Mr Giles wasn’t presented all that much to listen to: local leaders seemed more inclined to wait and see what he would do for the town, rather than put forward initiatives to make the most of the opportunity of – initially – having on the front bench all five MLAs in the southern NT, and a friendly government in Canberra.
This video:-
The location is the Showgrounds, the event, the 2014 Alice Springs Show.
Mr Giles is there as the Chief Minister, representing the government that Territorians had elected in 2012.
The Alice Springs News Online is filming a clip to be inserted in the report of a interview with him on that day.
The female photographer snapping Mr Giles, shouting “Beautiful” is his minder, Danielle Parry.
The man calling him “Sir” (as Mr Giles clearly likes it) is a Murdoch staffer dabbling in journalism as well as writing puff pieces for advertisers.
UPDATE 11:15am: Subsequent to Adam Giles refusing to sign a letter of resignation, an instrument to remove Adam Giles from the position of Chief Minister must be prepared for the Administrator. This will delay the swearing in ceremony planned for 11.00am today. A revised media advisory will be sent out in due course. [Media release.]



  1. If the QLD election results are the reason for CLP to sack the CM then they are in complete disarry.
    It is a lesson in the learning but the QLD result was not about Them.
    Next NT election is not until August next year. Isn’t it?

  2. So Jenny is saying a very small group of Giles mates, presumably those chosen few who have directly benefitted from his terrible tenure as CM, to the detriment of the wider Alice community, are going to decide who is our Chief Minister?
    Otherwise they’ll restart the wrecking game, the only game they seem to be able to play. Democracy CLP style. Let’s go to an election and let all Territorians have a say, not a faceless few.

  3. It is quite likely that the axing of Giles is part of the cover up of the circumstances regarding the resignation of the Police Commissioner.
    If so, it would be consistent with the conduct of NT politicians and the NT Public Service.
    They stand together but only until calls for accountability get too strong to resist and then they turn on the most exposed member of the gang and scapegoat him.
    The problems created by the CLP Government are much bigger than Adam Giles.
    They appear not to recognise the limits of government power in a democracy.
    They disrespect the free press because it calls them to account and for the same reason they see no value in the separation of powers nor in independent decision making.

  4. Speak for yourself, Jenny Lillis. I’ve spoke to many CLP party members and exec, they were aware it was in the making and know why it had it happen.
    Like to rest of the Giles saga, this is just the beginning of the end for him.
    Good riddens to him – and his co! Not surprised at his dummy spit “all or nothing” immature response. They started years ago as the self-centred gang of four and will end that way!

  5. As a constituent in his electorate, I’ve been waiting for him to come door knocking again at election time.
    It will give me the opportunity to order him off the property and unleash the hounds to encourage his departure!
    I’m sure that the businesses that have been affected by his idiotic policies, his inability to work with a handful of colleagues and the BS games that are being played, would also like the same opportunity.

  6. The sad thing is that if we went to an election we would surely end up with either the CLP or Labor.
    Two sides of the same coin.
    When will the electorate mature enough to elect honest and open leaders with the integrity to represent their electorates rather than the corrupted parties and the vested interests that support them?

  7. What a joke … Westra van Holthe and Elferink have about as much voter appeal as a cat crap laying on the dining room table … the cat crap has far greater value.

  8. NOT happy Robyn Lambley!
    We have our very first Central Australian Chief Minister and YOU wanted to replace him with someone from the Top End.
    May I strongly suggest that you pack your bags and move up there as you are obviously not willing to support the Centre and OUR CM.

  9. Good on you Robyn Lambley standing up for your consitiuents, Adam Giles has done nothing for the town of Alice Springs. The sad thing is that this shows what regard Giles has for Alice Springs and the CLP!
    Adam Giles is a childish fool. He sacked many Alice Springs leaders and businessmen only to employee his own friends.
    We need a general election so the people and have a say! Robyn Lambley, you’ve got my vote – the only person in the CLP from Alice who has some integrity.

  10. Thanks Robyn Lambley for standing up for your constituents ahead of party politics. You had the courage to put us first and if you lose your position as minister the CLP loses my vote.

  11. The Administrator should have stepped in and called an election and let the people decide!
    Giles doesn’t care about Alice Springs, our town was just a stepping stone for him to become the Chief Minister.


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