Vowles, McConnell and Collins dumped from Caucus


2473 Nats Gunner 2 OK“I have advised Ken Vowles that he has been dismissed from the Cabinet for breaking Cabinet confidentiality,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner (at right) announced in a media release today.
2584 Scott McConnell OK“The Caucus has also dismissed Ken Vowles, Jeff Collins and Scott McConnell (at left).
“They were dismissed for breaking the Caucus values and standards signed up to at the beginning of our term.”
Mr McConnell, the Member for the of Stuart, has announced some time ago that he would not contest the Central Australian seat again at the next election.
Said Mr Gunner: “Unity of purpose is vital to Government achieving these aims.
“The Government has made these decisions because now more than ever the Territory cannot afford distractions from the challenging tasks at hand – to deliver jobs, to repair the budget, to deliver for Territorians in the bush and to create a brighter future for all Territorians,’ Mr Gunner said.
Meanwhile the the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association thanked Mr Vowles, who was also the Aboriginal Affairs Minister, for his efforts while Primary Industry and Resources Minister.
“The industry needs its minister to be a champion and at different times minister Vowles did his best to argue the case on our behalf, given the fine line he has to walk with agriculture and the resources sector – for that we are grateful,” said Ashley Manicaros, CEO of the association, in a media release.


  1. Ken Vowles tells us that we are in a lot of trouble and we need to do something about it … kind of a “Der” moment really.
    Further to that this afternoon he tells us the Government is being run, all decisions made, by advisers, bureaucrats, something I’m pretty sure most Territorians have long suspected.
    So not only are we broke! But democracy, the peoples control of its authorities has gone out the widow altogether!
    No wonder we are in trouble the Territories being run by the dysfunctional rabble that makes up its bureaucracy, no guidance from above, deaf ears to complaints from below.
    Is there anything worth saving in the Self Government Act?

  2. Mr Gunner crowed he was the man that wanted to lead us to statehood.
    Realistically he may be the man that takes us back to Federal control.
    What a mess, three down and how many more to go.
    Enjoy your hiking in the New Zealand alps Sir, keep the sat phone battery charged while Rome smoulders.

  3. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
    We could have three ex labor ministers stand as independents, joining the other 2 (Robyn and Terry) who were ex CLP.
    And Terry was a Chief Minister and Robyn was ex treasurer.
    Suddenly the independents could outnumber the Opposition.
    Think I’ll sit back with a big tub of popcorn and watch the show!

  4. Vowles being pushed by the press made more sense in 5 minutes than any pollie has in the last 5 years. Spin is all the current mob know.
    Time there was a complete clean out of broken down advisors and spin doctors, all being paid well above their capabilities.

  5. Michael, do not forget Kesia the Speaker is an Independent too.
    That equals SIX independents. Maybe an “independent” party form government.
    What a ruddy shamble. A no-confidence motion is required!

  6. “My way or the highway.” Gunner’s goose looks cooked.
    I wonder who our next Chief Minister will be.

  7. The Chief Minister’s Department runs the Territory government, not the Chief Minister or his Cabinet.
    The Chief Ministers Department operates like the secret service.
    And this nonsense of identifying a list of the “most powerful” in the NT only helps to boost their self inflated ego.

  8. We have reverted to the past perhaps more than we know.
    During most of the 27 years of the NT Legislative Council (1947 -1974) the elected members comprised a mix of independents and Labor politicians.
    The Country Party existed for only the last eight years, initially with just one member from Central Australia (Tony Greatorex, the Member for Stuart), but grew quickly in numbers to match Labor by 1974 at the expense of the independents.
    The remainder of the Legislative Council were comprised of official members, who were bureaucrats who were the heads of various branches of the NT Administration under the control of the Commonwealth.
    Under the direction of the Department of the Territories (or Interior), it was the official members who mostly wielded the real power in the NT.
    What we seem to be witnessing now is a reversal of the pattern of events that led towards the formation of the fully elected NT Legislative Assembly in 1974.
    Just as the Country Party was the last to appear within the decade towards 1974, now it is its successor – the CLP – which has declined first to permit the return to prominence of independent elected members.
    This now appears to be enhanced by the dismissal of three members from the Labor caucus.
    This situation appears to have arisen from the dominance of non-elected advisors and bureaucrats operating from behind the scenes but of whom any keen observer is well aware of their influence.
    The contrast between the two periods is that half a century ago the bureaucrats were highly visible in the public eye and held to account for their decisions – and the NT was enjoying its greatest ever sustained economic and population growth and development.
    Whereas now the NT is enduring a population decline and facing disastrous economic prospects, and the advisors and bureaucrats are not publicly accountable for the decisions and influence they wield.
    On our current trajectory, it seems inevitable the Commonwealth will have to initiate a second Intervention in the NT but this time it won’t be Aboriginal communities that will be at the focus.

  9. Spot on, Alex Nelson. It annoys me as a generational Territorian that highly paid and non-elected advisors and bureaucrats on huge salaries, but no accountability to Territory people, call the shots over people we Territorians elected.
    What do we do about it? Perhaps an intervention by the Commonwealth is needed and soon.

  10. Advisors and bureaucrats should be named salaries and perks listed.
    There should be a synopsis published, for public comment, of advice given to the inadequate politicians incapable of original thought.
    Wouldn’t that be nice. We are the malcontents led by idiots taking advice from agenda driven morons. Merry Christmas.

  11. Dennis Stevenson’s Abolish Self Government party in the ACT in the 1980s is looking increasingly relevant to to the NT state of affairs right now.
    Stevenson promised if he could get a quorum of Legislative Members he would introduce a Bill to dissolve the parliament and return governance of the ACT to the former administration that ran the capital efficiently without politicians.
    With increasing numbers of independent Members in the NT Parliament, a modern day Dennis Stevenson would prove interesting.

  12. Gunner was probably a mediocre teacher, as are most of his teaching colleagues in the public and private education sector.
    That mediocrity is reflected in the worst continual Naplan, and year 12 results. Mediocrity produces mediocrity and NT people, particularly indigenous families who don’t value education for their kids, can’t whinge about the cowboys running their lives and money until they pull their finger out, get properly qualified, do what they can to rout out the bloodsuckers draining the coffers and services.
    Send your kids south for a realistic education to either escape second-best or come back and hack out the weeds choking the place out of a future.

  13. Gunner also thought it wrong for the sacked trio to question the capabilities of Nicole Manison to handle her growing portfolio.
    Let’s be honest, Nicole is in charge of two of the most important areas – police and treasury. Neither of these are going particularly well.
    Perhaps we should look at the experience of the minister. Nicole is in her late 30s, entered parliament in 2013 at about 33 years of age.
    So between leaving school and 33 you would hope she achieved something big? From what is publicly known, she studied PR and journalism, worked for a while in HR and then became a media advisor to past leaders Henderson and Lawry.
    So she has never run her own budget, with her own money in her own enterprise and nor has she ever had to manage the security and ongoing crime in her own business. Yet now she is in charge of both of these things for the entire NT Population.
    Experience? Nil. Performance to date? Fail.
    The chief’s long list of experience are much better though. A bachelor of arts, some work at Big W and then a career working for Clare Martin.
    No wonder things are so dire with the caliber of this mob. Put the business experience and fiscal management of the Labor cabinet together and you wouldn’t be able to run a chook raffle.

  14. Well all I can say is, CM, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
    Congratulations, you have well and Truly trumped the previous CLP Government on their inability to lead Territorians. Well done.


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