It doesn’t matter how much they deny it, the NT government has offended Traditional Owners, environmentalists, long-time labor supporters, the opposition (CLP) and its own members of parliament. Anyone who supports the NT Government’s actions over McArthur River is supporting a Government bereft of principles, a government that represents Xstrata rather than Territorians, a government that has brought shame on itself and the Northern Territory.
Here’s the latest denial from the NT Government, courtesy of the ABC…
Northern Territory ministers have rallied around the Chief Minister, Clare Martin, heading into today’s Cabinet meeting, despite divisions over her handling of Indigenous issues.
Just over a fortnight ago, Ms Martin rushed-through legislation to override a court decision against the controversial McArthur River Mine’s expansion.
It sparked a revolt in Labor ranks with three Indigenous MLAs crossing the floor.
The Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour was absent from the vote and sources say she has spent the past two weeks at home on the Tiwi Islands considering her future.
While there, she spoke out about a 99-year lease being proposed for Nguiu, a policy supported by the Commonwealth and her own government.
Ms Scrymgour says she is behind the Chief Minister.
“She certainly has my continued support,” she said.
“I think everyone’s heard my views on the 99-year lease.
“It’s got nothing to do with today.”
Ms Martin has played down division within Labor over the party’s support for 99-year leases on Aboriginal Land.
She says Ms Scrymgour’s problem is with the Commonwealth’s tactics, not 99-year leases themselves.
“Marion clearly has some major issues with the way the Federal Government is dealing with 99-year leases,” she said.
Other Ministers also played down any rift in Labor ranks.