The Northern Territory news Tue 22 Dec 2009
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:22-DGE:9 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K NEWS For the love of trees AIRBerlin is allowing passengers to transport their festive Christmas trees for free this year. Spokesman Titus Johnson said, Most demand comes fromour German customers. It seems they cant bear to be parted from their trees. As our present to everyone, wewill carry the trees without a charge, he said. The airline will accept trees up to six and a half feet tall until Christmas Eve as long as customers book in advance. Get your fix in one day early THE silly season throws everything out of whack. For the rest of the year, the Friday Fixwill be undergoing aHollywood-style facelift and changing its name to the Thursday Fix. So for your fix of what to do onChristmas Eve this Thursday, and for all the news on where to farewell 2009 in style onNewYears Eve next Thursday, dontmiss the Thursday Fix. If you know of a hot party onNewYears Eve let us know firstname.lastname@example.org Beam me up Scotty, Im hunting witches APOLL has revealed that most Australians believe in God or a similar universal spirit, but amajority also believe inmiracles, life after death, andmany believe in astrology, UFOs andwitches. The findings from aNielsen poll showAustralia is a credulous nation, willing to mix andmatch religious faith with belief in other phenomena. Although Australians are widely considered to be a secular people, nearly half of the population believe in psychic powers, while 41 per cent believe in astrology. While 68 per cent believe in God, 34 per cent believe in UFOs, and 22 per cent think witches exist. e r2 6 0 2 0 7 Ministers living large ByNIGELADLAM Top knob pollies on taxpayers tit spending $1.4m on travel jaunts EXCLUSIVE HEYBIGSPENDERS:Paul Henderson andKon Vatskalis THE Territory Government spent more than $1.43 million on ministerial travel last year. The biggest spender was Chief Minister Paul Henderson on $230,000. He was followed by Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis on $209,000. Figures include interstate and overseas travels, and expenses for staff travelling with Ministers. Details of the spending were obtained through a freedom of information request. The CLP yesterday said ministerial expenses should automatically be made public. The Opposition did not release details of such expenditure when it was in power but said it would post the figures on a NT Government website if it gained office in the 2012 election. The Labor Government said ministerial spending was made public once a year at estimates committee hearings. But the CLP said not all the details were made available most had to be gained through expensive freedom of information requests. The Northern Territory News has viewed the expenditure by Ministers after revealing that non ministerial Members of the Legislative Assembly spent nearly $90,000 of taxpayers money on interstate and overseas travel in the past seven months. More than 80 per cent of the spending was by the CLP. Former Opposition leader Jodeen Carney was the biggest spender she claimed more than $19,000 for travelling to Hobart and Brisbane with her partner to attend meetings. CLP indigenous affairs spokesman Adam Giles claimed $13,000 for a trip to Edinburgh. And newly elected Ross Bohlin claimed $8000 for a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association trip to Tanzania. The NT News cannot find any evidence that the CLP trips were announced beforehand. The CLP said all the trips were legitimate and that announcements were made only for travel that was deemed newsworthy. Editorial: Page 30 WHAT THEY SPENT Len Kiely - $24,695 Rob Knight $133,916 Delia Lawrie $146,344 ElliottMcAdam 17,861 GerryMcCarthy $41,678 Chris Natt $54,741 Marion Scrymgour $202,897 Kon Vatskalis $209,928 Alison Anderson $38,400 Matthew Bonson $44,359 Chris Burns $113,480 Karl Hampton $74,144 Paul Henderson $230,600 Gerry a cheap date on prison trip INDEPENDENT Gerry Woods two interstate trips to look at prisons cost $6851. The money was paid by the Department of the Chief Minister. Mr Wood went to eight destinations with Correctional Services chief executive Ken Middlebrook. He looked at rehabilitation programs, including prison farms. CLP business spokesman Dave Tollner accused Mr Wood of living off the NT Government tit. But the Nelson MLA said: If these were junkets, Id like to see work trips. The cost of his travel was provided to the NT News by the Government on request. Labor backbencher Marion Scrymgour spent $8289 on a three-day trip to Sydney and Adelaide with her partner. The former deputy chief minister took part in a TV documentary about petrol-sniffing in Sydney and attended a conference. The Government produced an extract from Hansard showing that when ministerial accounts were tabled at the estimates committee hearings this year and chairman Michael Gunner asked if there were any questions, CLP leader Terry Mills replied: No. SHINE ON: Brilliant Christmas spirit lights up the night in Hotham Court, Woodleigh Gardens, and Marchant Court Malak (above). Pictures: BRAD FLEET Luring Santa towards the light SANTA will definitely bemaking a stop in the Territory thanks to Mix 104.9s Show SantaWhere You Live Christmas lights competition. The displays have been judged, and the winners have been announced. Signwriter Peter Dienhoff took out the Darwin award with his spectacular festive display. But there weremany other amazing displays that have been captivating Christmas light aficionados in the lead-up to the big day on Friday. Dont miss tomorrowsNT Newswhen we publish our Christmas lights display list and the full list of addresses we recommend. If you know of any displays you think are amust-see call 8944 9724 before midday today and well include them. WOW: Denis and Sherryl Fetts dazzling display in Melastoma Drive, Moulden. Picture: BRAD FLEET