Territory Government debt goes up by a further $600m




Sir – The Gunner Government has reactively admitted that it is plunging the Territory into hundreds of millions of dollars of extra debt. Yet in line with the Chief Minister’s secretive attitude, questions remain over what our actual fiscal and debt position is.


In answers provided to questions asked by the Opposition during the last special Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing, the Gunner Government stated: “T-Corp has undertaken further borrowings of about $600m in May and June 2020. This will be applied to the 2020-21 borrowing program.”


It further stated in response to other questions: “Department of Treasury and Finance have estimated that there will be $109m in forgone revenue.”


The Government also stated it hasn’t accessed the contingency funding it passed through the Parliament in March: “The 2020 Supply Bill has been passed with a provision for $300m contingency to respond to COVID-19 for six months. These funds are yet to be accessed and remain available (if required) in full for emerging priorities in 2020-21.”


The full Opposition questions and answers are available here.


As we can see from the Gunner Government’s answers to Opposition questioning in the PAC, the Chief Minister is either being deliberately and irresponsibly confusing about the Territory’s budget position or he doesn’t even know what our position is, which is very worrying.


Lia Finocchiaro

Opposition Leader





  1. I lived in the Northern Territory when there was a lot of economic activity and things were good.
    I now look and see debt levels that the Northern Territory will never be able to pay back. 245,000 is the NT population, with a projected debt, without radical changes to its structural deficit, the NT will be $35.7 billion in debt by 2029-30 with per capita debt of $150,000 for each person in the NT. (ABC report).
    Can you afford a combined household debt of $600,000 for a family of four people? That’s without a mortgage, rent, loans – nothing included. That’s how it works, Canberra will not allow NT Labor to raise more loans just to pay government wages.
    This is very serious, you need a conservative government or this maybe the end of the Northern Territory. Canberra can pull the pin on the Northern Territory and divide us into Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
    The NT can buy time by voting Labor out and for some time hopefully; Labor has some good policies but fiscal responsibility is not one of them.
    Maybe the states will protest as they will not want the NT devastating debt?
    Mr Gunner seems like a decent bloke, but his four years have left you and your kids with a debt that will see people flee the Territory.
    Cast your vote wisely in August with thought for your kids’ future.

  2. Canberra have assigned a classified team in Treasury to examine T-Corp (NT Treasury).
    This is very unusual and informed sources say the Northern Territory economy is near tipping point for Federal intervention.

  3. Why hasn’t the government accessed the contingency funding that was passed through the Parliament in March for COVID-19 response? Can you provide more details on the purpose of this funding and the specific criteria or conditions that would trigger its use?
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