LIA FINOCCHIARO MLA
LEADER of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition
Gunner Government shuts down scrutiny in Parliament
The Gunner Government’s first action of today’s “extraordinary” parliamentary sitting was to axe question time and ordinary business. This Government’s priority is to shut down democratic scrutiny, Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said today.
“The Country Liberal Party Opposition understands the Parliament needs to be flexible right now to deal with legislation that needs addressing during the COVID-19 crisis. That doesn’t mean the Gunner Government should be shutting down scrutiny of its decisions and actions,” Mrs Finocchiaro said.
“This morning, the Opposition moved an amendment to the Government’s motion on business which would have allowed for question time to go ahead with only non-government questions. We’ve shown goodwill, but the Government has used its numbers to shut down scrutiny by not even allowing debate on an amendment to allow question time and then moved to axe question time. It’s undemocratic and unacceptable.
“The power the Government has been wielding has gone to its head. Now the Gunner Government seems to think it’s shouldn’t have to face parliamentary scrutiny. This is a dangerous path for the Government and democracy in the Northern Territory.
“Other Australian parliaments have continued to conduct question time when sitting recently during the COVID-19 crisis, but the Gunner Government thinks it’s too good for it. It’s writing its own rules. It’s disgraceful.
“It’s arrogant and disingenuous to say that this is an extraordinary day of Parliament and that there isn’t an hour spare in the day to be open to scrutiny. The Gunner Government can’t hide behind COVID-19 in order to avoid scrutiny.
“The Chief Minister and all of the Ministers and MLAs that make up the Government should be ashamed of the move they’ve made. We live in a democratic country, we are heading to an election, but right now the Gunner Government is moving us towards dictatorship,” Mrs Finocchiaro concluded.