Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured) has described as “extraordinary” the candour of Labor MLA Scott McConnell in his call for more government transparency.
“Dissatisfaction with the Gunner Government’s promised lack of consultation has spread to its Parliamentary members,” says Mr Higgins in a media statement this morning.
“Stuart MLA Scott McConnell’s extraordinary interview with the Alice Springs News shows the Government has not lived up to its promise to consult with Territorians.
“This is an entirely different Government to the one Michael Gunner said he would deliver during the election campaign.”
Mr Higgins says Mr McConnell’s key criticisms include:-
- Minimal back-bencher involvement in decision-making.
- The “Fifth Floor” failing to communicate with Caucus.
- Failure to focus on regions.
- Too many “Assistant Ministries”.
“The few big decisions the Gunner Government has made have been cloaked in secrecy and have been dumped on Territorians without transparency of consultation,” Mr Higgins says.
“The part-public holidays plan was hatched in a secret deal with the unions, the Dan Murphy’s ban was sneaked into the Government Gazette, the Alice Springs police station closure was announced by the media and the broken promise to deliver a PET scanner with cyclotron was revealed by Senator Scullion.
“The Labor hierarchy must not punish the Member for Stuart for publicly expressing his anger at the Government because he is just reflecting growing community concerns at this Government.
“As the local member it is good that Scott McConnell has spoken out and maybe we will now see more back-bencher involvement in Parliamentary and community debates, where they appear to have been gagged by the Government.”