The Centralian Advocate Fri 26 Mar 2021
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14 NEWS FRIDAY MARCH 26 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 PEOPLE not enrolled to vote would still be able to cast their ballot on polling day in the NTs upcoming council elections under proposed changes to local government laws. Local Government Minister Chansey Paech this week introduced changes to the laws that, when passed, will allow people to register to vote at booths on the day of the council election. This is already allowed at a federal and NT election level. Mr Paech (pictured) said provisional voting would allow greater participation rates and remove obstacles in council elections. The amend ments to the local government act will also simplify financial disclosure requirements for council elec tion candidates included in last years bill, which was deferred and is not yet in force. Financial disclosure requirements for council election candidates will not be in play at this years election. Under the proposed changes, a return is only required to be submitted when a candidate has received a donation or loan totalling $200 or more within the disclosure period instead of a blanket requirement even if nothing was received. community-led solutions, independent Mulka MLA Yingiya Guyula has said. Mr Guyula yesterday called on his parliamentary colleagues to support his move to create a select committee into young people and crime, with the inquiry to head out into communities across the NT to learn of the underlying issues, the structural impediments to progress and the different solutions in different areas that could help tackle the issue. Amid heated debate this week between the government and the Opposition on their respective crime plans, Mr Guyula said he was worried and concerned that communities were not being listened to or consulted. The governments latest crackdown includes walking away from recommendations of the royal commission into youth detention and involves throwing kids into remand if they breach bail by reoffending or fail to attend court. Move to improve council elections MADURA McCORMACK INVESTIGATE Guyula says stop with the quick fixes to crime INSTEAD of damaging quick fixes on youth crime, NT MLAs should launch an investigation into the underlying causes of the issue and tour the Territory in search of MADURA MCCORMACK TERRITORIAN MLAs were warned by the Assemblys Clerk that they had no authority to grant the NTs corruption watchdog access to Blain MLA Mark Turners electronic devices. But on the SolicitorGenerals advice that it was within the Assemblys power to do so, the government and the CLP voted to allow it. It was revealed in parliament this week that the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption had launched an investigation into Mr Turner and as part of this had obtained three mobile phones and a laptop from the Blain MLA. But the ICACs officers had been blocked from accessing the information on those devices because Mr Turner and his legal representatives claimed they may contain matters that attract parliamentary privilege. In a bid to gain entry to the devices, the ICAC wrote to Chief Minister Michael Gunner seeking the parliaments permission under law. The ICAC was not seeking to use parliamentary privileged information found on the devices, just access to determine what could be used and what was protected. But Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Michael Tatham, in his advice to MLAs, noted that the Assembly had no ownership or control over a MLAs records and therefore it was not within their power to authorise access. If the ICAC cannot access the material, it is not because of any rule of the Assembly or claim of ownership of the Assembly. Insofar as parliamentary privilege is a barrier to access, the Assembly is powerless to amend or waive that privilege accept by legislation, Mr Tatham wrote. It is incumbent upon the Assembly to consider very carefully what it wishes to do when it is asked to curb its own powers and privileges and question if it even has the capability to do as requested. Mr Gunner, in parliament yesterday, noted Solicitor- General Nikolai Christrup SC had concluded the motion to grant ICAC access with the caveat the NTs second top law officer would be present when the data is accessed was within the powers of the Assembly. Former Speaker and Goyder MLA Kezia Purick slammed the move to grant ICAC access as concerning as it set a dangerous precedent against the sanctity of parliamentary privilege. Ms Purick said it was fundamentally wrong for the Solicitor-General to be able to review privileged information and accused him of attempting to write himself into the workings of parliament. Araluen MLA Robyn Lambley concurred and said it was clear support for the motion displayed a distinct lack of understanding of what parliament actually stands for. MADURA MCCORMACK ICAC gains approval to access Turners devices Do you know your rights under a mortgagee sale? Call Trevor & his Home Conveyancing Specialists! Evi, Ben & Beth Trevor Tschirpig PH: 8995 4900Meggsie & Andrea Coconut Grove Palmerston www.sirpig.com.au
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