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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 8967

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (16:35): It is now only nine days till Territorians go to the polls. I am a proud member of the Country Liberals, a party with strong Northern Territory roots, a history-making party that held government for 27 consecutive years—an achievement unequalled by any government in this nation. The Country Liberals proudly invited my leader—the federal opposition leader, Tony Abbott—to Darwin recently. Unlike Territory Labor, we are not frightened of having our federal leader visit the Territory. This is in stark contrast to the 'united Henderson team', formerly known as Territory Labor, who have not invited their federal leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to the Territory. They have told her to stay away. Her brand is toxic, just like her carbon tax.

The united Henderson team, or Hendo's team, formerly known as Territory Labor, are so embarrassed by Labor's branding they have removed it all together. They have changed the colours. They have removed the words 'Labor' and 'ALP' from all of their campaign material. It is like Territory Labor disappeared overnight and became the united Henderson team. Labor's Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, has abandoned his Labor heritage and he will abandon the people of the Northern Territory. He cannot be trusted.

The Territory has had 11 years of hard Labor, during which time tourism numbers have sunk to their lowest ever. Housing is unaffordable, our cost of living has skyrocketed and families cannot afford to buy a home. Crime is up. People do not feel safe. Law and order is at its worst. People are leaving the Territory in droves. Territorians have suffered too much and cannot cope under Territory Labor any longer. Now is the time for change.

The Territory needs a new direction and a fresh start. The Country Liberals are the right party for government in the Northern Territory. Unlike Territory Labor, a Country Liberals government will stand up for Territorians. Led by my good friend and leader of the Northern Territory opposition Terry Mills MLA, the Country Liberals have a five-point plan to secure a better future for the Territory. The plan involves cutting Labor's waste and reducing debt, strengthening law and order, growing a three-hub economy, better planning for the future for the Northern Territory and—most importantly—being accountable to Territorians. A Country Liberals government is committed to improving access to health services with a new cardiac unit at Royal Darwin Hospital, a fully equipped hospital for Palmerston and better access to elective surgery in Territory hospitals.

We all know that Labor is soft on crime, so the Country Liberals will tackle crime at its roots. It will do this by delivering 120 new police on the beat in its first term, taking drunks off our streets and sending them to rehab, sending young offenders to boot camps and—this is close to my heart—introducing one-punch homicide legislation.

It is important that Territorians know that the Country Liberals are opposed to Labor's toxic carbon tax, which has a significant impact on Territorians and which Paul Henderson and Territory Labor support. A vote for the united Henderson Labor team, aka Territory Labor, is a vote for the carbon tax and a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Julia Gillard—the same Prime Minister who two years ago today said, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.'

Paul Henderson, leader of the united Henderson Labor team and Territory Labor, not only supports the carbon tax but also hides from the truth. We have seen in the last couple of days that Paul Henderson would rather send journalists than criminals to boot camp and would rather threaten journalists than threaten criminals. It is clear that Territory Labor, the united Henderson Labor team, has nothing in the tank but deception and censoring of the media. This is one of the fundamental differences between Labor and the Country Liberals. A vote for the united Henderson team is a vote for a Labor wolf disguised in sheep's clothing. Territory Labor supports the toxic carbon tax; I urge Territorians to vote for change by supporting Terry Mills and the Country Liberals team on 25 August. Eleven years on, it is time for this tired, desperate, incompetent Henderson Labor government to go.