JOHN ELFERINK: "How are we to deal with the $5.5 billion projected debt left to us by Labor?"
It's time again for a treasurer to perform the Northern Territory's annual miracle: achieving so little with so much.
Prepped by all the hand wringing about black holes, the public is fearing the worst. Savage Power Water Corporation (PWC) hikes have already given a taste of what may be ahead.
Yet the NT, with less than 1% of Australia's population, gets 5.4% of the nation's GST. More than half the NT Budget, $2.7b, is from the GST. The Feds are also kicking in $3.4 billion over 10 years through Stronger Futures.
Add to that the millions in Federal welfare payments, and massive funding to NGOs performing – some poorly – state and local government-like functions, and we have an administration awash in public money. ERWIN CHLANDA comments. "How are we to deal with the $5.5 billion projected debt left to us by Labor?" asks government frontbencher John Elferink in reply.
PHOTO: Part of the new Alice Springs power station at Brewer Estate – an expenditure of the "black hole" Power Water Corporation.
A witness in the Liam Jurrah trial, 23-year-old Bruno Wilson (pictured), has told the court that he lied in a statement to police when he said that Liam Jurrah had a nulla nulla and that he hit Basil Jurrah with it three times. He said he lied because he felt under pressure; that the police officer taking his statement repeatedly asked him whether Liam Jurrah had a weapon and only stopped when he finally said that he did. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
PHOTO below: Police intervened as tempers flared outside the court on several occasions.