I keep newspaper clippings. Why, I have no idea. But I recently spent a few days going through my clippings for the period August 2012 to date and came across the following choice quotes that may be of interest to readers.

Most come from what passes for the Northern Territory’s journal of political record, the often vilified, frequently hilarious and occasionally insightful Northern Territory News.

This selection is entirely subjective and is far from complete, in part because some days I just forgot to clip an item of interest or was travelling out of town or the country.

And before anyone accuses me of bias against the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party, all I can say is … they are the government. And they are going to an election in August this year.


The Terry Mills era — August 25, 2012 to March 13, 2013

“I’ve got a lot of homework to do haven’t I? Look, I’m from Alice Springs, there is a lot I don’t know about Darwin.”
— Deputy chief minister Robyn Lambley, October 2012.

“A good and competent government should be honest and accountable.”
— Chief minister Terry Mills, October 2012.

“Your a lying Maggot Terry and I as someone in Blain who voted for you cant wait to see the back of you. Wanker.”
— Comment on Terry Mills Facebook post, January 2013.

“People are angry — and they are ready to express that anger in the most effective way available to them: at the ballot box.”
Northern Territory News editorial, February 2013.

“ABC election guru Antony Green said it was the worst swing against any first-term government in decades.”
Northern Territory News article referring to Labor’s 12.7% swing away from the CLP in the Wanguri byelection, February 2013.

“There are two things that spell death for a politician, two things from which there is no way back — ridicule and distrust. Mr Mills is now suffering both.”
Northern Territory News editorial, February 2013.

“Mr Mills said he was ‘not particularly worried that he would get a no confidence vote from the CLP’s central council at their meeting in Tennant Creek on Saturday’.”
Northern Territory News, February 2013.

“Transport Minister Adam Giles said: ‘Terry Mills is the Chief Minister. Terry has my full support. I have no intention of ever challenging.'”
Northern Territory News, February 2013.

“Another day and another CLP politician was forced to rule out a leadership bid. Health Minister Dave Tollner was the latest one to deny he wanted Chief Minister Terry Mills’s job.”
Northern Territory News, February 2013.

“‘We’ve been silenced by Terry Mills and we’re going to take our party back,’ the [CLP] member said.”
Northern Territory News, February 2013.

“Mills loses support of branches.”
Northern Territory News headline. February 2013.

“A bid for power by Attorney-General John Elferink ended in embarrassment when he mustered only one vote—his own.”
Northern Territory News, February 2013.

“I hate to say it but I am embarrassed, even ashamed to say I am a member of this [CLP] party … make no mistake, it is do or die time for this party.”
— CLP member, March 2013.

“ … there has even been talk of the Police being called in to bring order to Cabinet meetings.”
Northern Territory News editorial. March 2013.

“It was extremely disturbing and I resigned as deputy Chief Minister the next day.”
— Former CLP deputy chief minister Robyn Lambley, August 2015, referring to events in the CLP cabinet room in March 2013 when then-health minister Dave Tollner reportedly hurled a heavy folder of budget papers at the head of then-NT chief minister Terry Mills.

“If this whole drama wasn’t so damaging for the Northern Territory’s governance and economy, it would be laughable.”
Northern Territory News editorial, March 2013.

“And so the wounded animal that is the NT government staggers on. The major problem is that Mills is not his own man.”
— Nigel Adlam, Northern Territory News, March 2013

The Adam Giles era — March 14, 2013 to present

“Chief Minister Adam Giles defended the Northern Territory’s drinking culture as a ‘core social value’.”
— Kristy O’Brien reporting on Giles comments at an Australian Hotels Association annual awards dinner in Darwin,  ABC News, May 2013.

“Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner told the gathering that the previous Labor government’s alcohol policies had treated Territorians like ‘criminal suspects’ and publicans like ‘heroin traffickers’.”
— Kristy O’Brien reporting on Giles comments at an Australian Hotels Association annual awards dinner in Darwin, ABC News, May 2013.

“Trips? I’ll take lots: Tollner”.
— Headline, Northern Territory News, June 2013.

“ … the NT is now run by political cowboys who are out of touch with the national consensus in significant policy issues.”
Political Developments in Australia, June 2013, Endeavour Consulting Group.

“The more we see of Giles the more his style reminds us of the unlamented former Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. We confidently expect to see more leadership instability in the NT government.”
Political Developments in Australia, July 2013, Endeavour Consulting Group.

“Abetted by poor media scrutiny, a politics of backstabbing has won out. A new government with a plan to do things differently has sagged back into the old habits of those that went before.”
— Amos Aikman, The Australian, September 2013.

“Since Giles took over, a curtain of mystification has come down … a picture has emerged of Giles and Tollner’s authoritarian leadership style. ‘It’s all about them,’ one parliamentarian told The Australian.”
— Amos Aikman, The Australian. September 2013.

“Tension has been brewing for some time over the Giles government’s perceived neglect of the bush.”
— Amos Aikman, The Australian, September 2013.

*Read the rest at The Northern Myth