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  4. » UNIONS LOCKED OUT OF NT BUDGET BRIEFING

UNIONS LOCKED OUT OF NT BUDGET BRIEFING

 MEDIA RELEASE

UNIONS LOCKED OUT OF NT BUDGET BRIEFING

 

The Country Liberal government of Adam Giles has invited business groups, media and a favoured few to a ‘pre-budget’ briefing session whilst denying the same access and briefing to Unions, non-government organizations and other key stakeholder representatives.

In a signature of his style of government being for the chosen few and denying worker representatives a budget briefing, Adam Giles has clearly foreshadowed that the community will just have to learn of further job and service cuts, cost of living, taxes and charges slugs and further budget pain when the NT budget is tabled in the Legislative Assembly this Tuesday.

‘The lack of transparency and arrogance of the Giles’ government ís out there for all to see and is as dishonest and as secretive as the 6 month old Mill’s government had ever been’ stated Unions NT Secretary Alan Paton. Unions represent the largest representative stakeholder group in the NT with over 25,000 members whose livelihoods and futures are closely aligned and affected by the NT budget.

The December 2012 mini budget briefing was similarly farcical with stakeholder representatives receiving up to 38 press releases and being referred to various government web sites for further details, said Mr Paton.

Public sector unions and up to 19000 employees face wages and conditions bargaining during 2013 and expect a clear and honest  indication of what Treasurer Dave Tollner and his cabinet colleagues think of Public Sector workers in the budget. The nature of bargaining and the industrial relations landscape in the NT public service will be strongly influenced by the budget statements. The union movement expects better from government than spin-laden, meaningless press releases.

Mr Paton claimed, ‘It is Adam Giles’ first budget as Chief Minister and he would be wise to recognise that his Treasurer has form in the area of employee relations having shouldered through the Howard government’s unpopular Work Choices legislation which ultimately led to that government’s and his own personal political demise as the former federal Member for Solomon’.

Dave Tollner has already foreshadowed to the community that this will be a terrible budget on Tuesday. The high cost of living in the NT, coupled with job cuts, during a period that has otherwise seen a strong and growing NT economy, has already resulted in an unprecedented declining local labour market and drop in both population and employment numbers thanks to the CLP’s needless austerity campaign since August 2012.

The Giles’ government unfortunately appears to have missed the opportunity to capitalise on a growing economy and its recent election, with a desire to be a one-term bumbling, unpopular and secretive government said Mr Paton.

For further information contact Alan Paton at Unions NT on 89 410001 or 0427415713

Published: 13 May 2013

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