(Image: AAP Image/Dan Peled)

It’s grim up north

The speaker of the Northern Territory Parliament has resigned after being found to have engaged in breaches of public trust which amount to corrupt conduct by the territory’s Independent Commission Against Corruption. While the story itself is both sordid and depressing, it at least illustrates the proud, vendetta-based spirit of NT politics.

So: former Country Liberal Party MP-turned-independent Kezia Purick has been speaker of the NT Parliament under the previous CLP government and the current Labor one. It was in that role two years ago that she stymied the registration of a new minor party planning to call itself the North Australia Party, which contained her political nemesis -- another former CLP-turned-independent named Robyn Lambley.

The party’s name was a registered company in Queensland, but not in the NT -- until Purick’s executive assistant Martine Smith registered it for herself at a total of $84. And, as it turned out, it was an idea that she apparently ran by her seemingly enthusiastic and supportive boss in a series of emails ICAC uncovered, despite Purick later claiming ignorance of the whole thing.