The Northern Territory news Sat 26 Nov 2016
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
18 SATURDAY EXTRA SATURDAY NOVEMBER 26 2016 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 ADAM Giles stopped answering calls about 12.15am the night he was rolled as the Northern Territorys Chief Minister. It had been a sweaty, nervous night in the middle of the Wet, and the heat had hit his penthouse apartment overlooking the Arafura Sea at the end of the Darwin Esplanade. As a thunderstorm roiled in the distance, his phone was resting 12 floors below, at the bottom of the buildings swimming pool. The police had tapped his phone, Giles was sure, as he settled in for a few beers and to plot his next move with his last remaining ally, Dave Tollner. We had spoken to him about four times that day as the coup unfolded. Giless mood had changed from denial, to anger, to bargaining. He first denied any knowledge of an unfolding coup. Later he raged about the stupidity of it. And in our last conversation, just after midnight, before the phone was hurled from the balcony, he seemed to think there was a way to fight on. I havent resigned, make sure thats clear, Giles said. There was surely no way back. All but five members of his government had signed a letter demanding his removal. Giless own resignation letter had been prepared and hand-delivered to him by Cabinet secretary Gary Barnes, where it sat unsigned on his kitchen table in a blue folder. As Giles and Tollner lit cigars, the rough outline of a conspiracy started to take shape. They sipped beers from Country Liberal Party stubby coolers that depicted Giles as a frontier cowboy, wearing a broadbrimmed hat and riding a bucking horse. The legend of the Territorian ideal of maverick and manliness, created on the frontier the CLP had ruled for 27 consecutive years, was embodied in the boy from the NSW Blue Mountains. He wasnt going to back down because a few wimps said so. A VERSION of the NT News that nobody has ever seen was sent to press about 9pm that same night. On the front page was an exclusive story about an unfolding leadership coup being orchestrated by Robyn Lambley, with the headline LAMBLEY TO THE SLAUGHTER. Its an interesting read in view of what would happen later that night. Had the coup plotters waited until morning to dump Giles, the paper would have won plaudits for being a step ahead. As it happened, less than an hour after the paper went to print, our phones went into meltdown. Our information that Giles still held the numbers, which might have been true that afternoon, was suddenly out of date. During a particularly unstable four years, the NT News rarely went big with stories about leadership speculation. Rumours were persistent, but that was politics, and the papers job was to sort the mischief from the substance. The rule was to trust only people who would be directly involved, or in a position to know. We always tried to find a second source to back up information. In late 2013, Ben spent an hour convincing the newsdesk not to print a leadership speculation story. A colleague had a tip that Terry Mills had the numbers to roll Giles and take the top job again. Mills had neither the desire nor the numbers to launch a leadership BEN SMEE & CHRISTOPHER WALSH During four years in power the During four years in power the CLP turned Parliament House into CLP turned Parliament House into a big top filled with farce, clowns a big top filled with farce, clowns and smokescreens. All that was and smokescreens. All that was missing was the dancing girls ... or missing was the dancing girls ... or maybe not. A new book examines maybe not. A new book examines what went wrong as the party what went wrong as the party lurched from one ill-judged lurched from one ill-judged performance to the nextperformance to the next John Elferink (left) and Willem Westra van Holthe announce they are the new Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister... except they werent Adam Giles fronts the media with his deputy Dave Tollner after gaining enough votes to roll Terry Mills as Chief Minister WHEN THE CIRCUS CAME TO TOWN Terry Mills returns to Darwin from Japan after being toppled as Chief Minister ACCESS EXTRA EXTRA Subscribe for WEEKEND Access to FOX SPORTS Digital Subscription for full replays of every game of NRL, A-League & Super Rugby each week Unreal extras, exclusives and experiences worth $100s a year^ SUBSCRIBE FROM $7.00PER WEEK MINIMUM COST $28* *Subscription offers to be billed the following min.cost 4 weekly for the first 12 weeks: Digital Membership & Weekend Delivery $28; Digital Membership & 7 Day Delivery $40. 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