Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999

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Parliamentary Record 14


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 February 1999 capacity as contact person for the CLP. It deals only with voting intention and states: All-inclusive cost of this research is $3700. However, what is critical in all of this are the documents that the Labor Party did not table and which I was subsequently able to produce once the president and general secretary of the CLP had had an opportunity to go through CLP archives. First, there is a letter dated 30 May 1990 from myself as party president to Brian Sweeney & Associates, offering a contract to undertake party political voting intention at a confirmed fee of $3700. Second, there was an acknowledgment back from Brian Sweeney & Associates, executed by Mr Ron Klein on 30 May 1990, accepting the contract to undertake the polling. The research material was subsequently received on or after 15 July 1990. The important aspects of my letter and the subsequent confirmation from Brian Sweeney & Associates, not tabled by the Labor Party, is that put paid to the fiction that the arrangements were concocted after the event - that is, after polling was delivered to the Northern Territory government and the CLP on 15 July 1990. M r Bailey inteijecting. Mr STONE: I pick up the inteijection from the member for Wanguri. If youre going to run a prosecution in this Chamber, then do it properly, step by step, fact by fact. Youre going to get it shoved back down your throat on every occasion. What I am demonstrating here is that the nonsense that has been trotted out here this afternoon is big on rhetoric and short on the facts. Put simply, on 2 April 1990 there is a memorandum that recommends polling. On 29 May 1990 there is a brief for polling. On 30 May 1990 there is the offer, acceptance and agreed fee for polling. On 15 July 1990 the poll is received. So much for the tap on the shoulder. You blokes couldnt get a conviction for a parking infringement. In the final analysis, the allegations made by the opposition have been answered. Subsequently, there were other allegations made in relation to 1992 and 1993, a number of them made also in Question Time today. The gist of the Labor attack is that this system of the taxpayer subsidising party political polling, having been put in place in 1990, was then carried forward by Marshall Bruce Perron and Gary Naim, as party president, and Andrew Coward placed himself as director of these evil deeds. One of the critical aspects of the Labor Partys case was a document they represented as a report on qualitative polling. Qualitative polling is when people previously identified as swinging voters - that is, not heavily aligned to any political party - voluntarily join a round table discussion led by a facilitator. The session is videotaped with the consent of all present. The facilitator encourages the round table participants to talk to the video camera so he or she can accurately write up the qualitative polling results after subsequently reviewing the videotape. That document was discredited on 2 fronts. First, the original letter, also tabled by the Labor Party, detailed the intent of the polling - that is, uncommitted males and females in a certain age group in Darwin and Alice Springs. But they produced a report that deals only with uncommitted females. One is left with the allegation that they either tampered with the report or tabled half of the report. The Labor Party has never been able to answer that allegation. Second, Mark Textor confirmed that he was not the author of the report. He did that in a letter to me which was tabled in this parliament in the last sittings. That left the Labor Party to deal with an allegation that they tabled in parliament a forged and false report. And thats what they did - they came in here and they tabled a false and forged report. But they didnt get away with it. Its a serious matter. This underhand attack shows how superficial the Labor Party is when it comes to running these sorts of issues. In 1991, the former Leader of the Opposition, Jon Isaacs, left the Assembly in disgrace after tabling a document which was shown to have been bogus. It seems that Labor has learned nothing. Another ludicrous claim, secret viewing walls behind which CLP officials sat and watched focus group discussions, was also left in tatters. Just you wait! Just you wait! Thats what the member for Nhulunbuy chanted all through the last sittings. You never produced a video because you never had it - you invented it. You stood there in this Chamber and you claimed that you had it. You lied to the parliament. You never produced it, and the only way that youll ever answer that allegation is to produce... Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr STONE: I withdraw the word lied, Mr Speaker. Mr SPEAKER: Order! I ask the member for Port Darwin to withdraw that remark. Mr STONE: I did. 2800