Another no-show for Gunner


Sir – To the dismay of many junior Territorians, Michael Gunner failed to attend the Young Territorians Round Table Conference in Darwin recently.
He then followed this up by not bothering to attend the Chief Minister’s 2016 Christmas Celebration in Alice Springs. He went to Australian singer songwriter Paul Kelly’s concert in Darwin instead. He certainly had his priorities wrong.
Nearly a hundred Katherine residents were invited to the CM’s 2016 Christmas Celebration in Katherine the following day. The most notable absentee was the CM himself.
When a host fails to attend his/her own function, there is something horribly wrong. The Deputy CM was in Katherine the day before the celebration but didn’t stay around for it.
It was known a week prior to the function that Mr. Gunner was not ‘gunna’ be present so it cannot be said that his absence was the result of a sudden emergency having arisen.
With Labor winning what had been the safest conservative seat in the Legislative Assembly, there was a natural expectation for the CM to attend the function. It wasn’t so much a matter of Labor winning the seat in the recent election of course but of the Country Liberals losing it because of their own poor image and Willem Westra van Holthe’s flaws.
In failing to attend the function, the CM has let the newly elected Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson and the electorate down badly.
For many years now it has been perceived that the Country Liberals have taken the Katherine electorate for granted. Many people are now concerned that with Labor treating Katherine with disdain so soon after being elected, that the Gunner administration will now do the same.
It is commonly believed in Katherine that Labor considers that winning the seat of Katherine in the recent election was an aberration. It was won by a very narrow margin under highly unusual circumstance.
This being the case, it is felt that Labor cannot retain the seat in the next election, therefore there is no point in the party going out of its way to satisfy Katherine residents.
Bruce Francais


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