Chief Minister Terry Mills is in Alice Springs for the Country Liberal Party annual meeting. ERWIN CHLANDA asked him to comment on three issues.
KILGARIFF: Given that the suburb is being built on land that is owned by the public, is there a good case for blocks – at least some – to be sold for the cost of developing them, around $70,000, although residential real estate currently costs up to five times as much?
ALCOHOL IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES: As the weaker people in bush communities may come under pressure from the more powerful, should there be secret ballots to decide whether alcohol should be allowed?
There is confusion about MANDATORY ALCOHOL REHABILITATION: Is it a criminal or medical measure?
Chief Minister Terry Mills (at left) will front media in Darwin this afternoon to talk about the new Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority Bill introduced into Parliament today. But will the media get any further than Independent MLA Gerry Woods did in Question Time yesterday, when he asked Mr Mills how the existing EPA is not already independent and what the cost would be of setting up a new EPA agency? He got no answer on cost. As for independence, Mr Mills' reply suggests "very, very slow decision-making" is his main concern, but Jimmy Cocking, coordinator of the Arid lands Environment Centre says "speeding up decisions is not an improvement" unless all the information is there. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
UPDATE, September 18, 3.30pm: Shadow Minister for Police Kon Vatskalis has called on the CLP Government to implement Coroner Greg Cavanagh's recommendation regarding reducing the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets. However, he puts his own gloss on what that would mean: reinstating the Banned Drinker Register ... read more in FULL STORY.
Chief Minister Terry Mills has side-stepped Coroner Greg Cavanagh's recommendation that an urgent meeting of stakeholders be convened in Alice Springs to commit to "all available, reasonable measures to reduce the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets". As reported yesterday, this was one of two recommendations to government made by the Coroner in handing down his findings from the inquest into the death in custody of Kwemetyaye Briscoe.
Mr Mills' response in a media release focussed on "the need for cultural change within the Northern Territory police force". On the issue of alcohol control, Mr Mills said only that the "Country Liberals will increase the focus on mandatory rehabilitation". KIERAN FINNANE reports.