Labor were trounced at the weekend in Norther Territory despite media pundits claiming, hoping that they would retain the Territory. The CLP picked up masses of votes in the bush and from traditional Labor supporters int he Aboriginal community:
The dramatic shift in the Top Endâs political landscape will see decision-making power handed back to local indigenous people, including through a strong presence in parliament and regular, full-cabinet meetings held four times a year with panels of traditional leadersâŠ
The radical change in approach to indigenous affairs seeks to reinvigorate the traditional structures of Aboriginal authority, and attempt to combat welfare dependency and paternalism by putting responsibility back on the shoulders of individualsâŠ
CLP leader Terry Mills yesterday lashed the political Left for caring more about ideology than about people.
âI think the Left, and the ideas of the Left, do more for more ideas and ideology than they do for people,â Mr Mills said.
Retired West Australian magistrate Sue Gordon said while there was a widespread push within remote indigenous communities to take charge of their own affairs, Labor had remained stuck in a paternalistic – âweâre here to look after youâ – mindset.
âBush blacks, as they call themselves, know what their problems are. People are thinking, âHow do we get out of this welfare mode?â, and itâs not waiting for public servants to fly in to their community,â Dr Gordon said.
More and more familiar.
The CLP sped to victory exclusively on the back of gains in the bush. Labor suffered an estimated 8.3 per cent Territory-wide swing against it on a two-party-preferred basis with 66 per cent of the vote counted. The estimated swing across a range of bush seats was double at 16 per centâŠ
In a dramatic shift in the partyâs election strategy, the CLP fielded four strong Aboriginal candidatesâŠ
(Alison) Anderson was returned in Namatjira after having switched sides to join the CLP, while 28-year-old Aboriginal health worker and mother of four Larisa Lee achieved an upset victory over former Labor indigenous and regional development minister Malarndirri McCarthy in the seat of ArnhemâŠ
CLP candidate Francis Xavier Maralampuwi is ahead of Labor candidate and former AFL star Dean Rioli in the seat of Arafura, where former controversial Labor member Marion Scrymgour has stepped down. High-profile Aboriginal woman Bess Price is also ahead in counting of her Labor counterpart, former environment minister Karl Hampton, in the vast desert seat of Stuart.
Ms Lee said she had won her seat in large part on the back of dissatisfaction with NT Laborâs shire reforms, which centralised control of local government and left the new âsuper shiresâ effectively bankrupt. Her opponent, Ms McCarthy, presided over the changes.