The Gunner Labor government came to office last August promising to restore the trust of Territorians in government, after it had been shattered by four years of chaos, division and dubious or worse ethical behaviour by various members of the Giles CLP regime. Enacting and boosting safeguards ensuring accountability and transparency were to be at the forefront of the new Government’s program.
After 9 months in office, how are they going? In my assessment the record is none too impressive.
MLAs’ financial interests
A modest but worthwhile initiative to publish MLAs’ registrable interests (financial and property) online has been implemented. However it appears that it will only be published online annually, whereas the Legislative Assembly (Disclosure of Interests) Act requires any alteration of interests to be notified to the Clerk within 28 days. Accordingly the online register is of extremely limited value as a transparency/accountability measure. There is no obvious reason why the online Register should not be updated in real time so we are in a position to know whether a MLA has a conflict of interest in performing his or her duties to Territorians.