A dingo took their budget

It?s not quite Venezuela, but it?s still astonishing enough: Australia?s Northern Territory is on the edge of going broke.

Naturally, it?s governed by Labor. Once again, Margaret Thatcher is being proved right. Quote:

Labor is facing a raft of inquiries into its management of the Northern Territory budget after Treasurer Nicole Manison used one of the last Fridays before Christmas to reveal her government was on a path to fiscal ruin.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner defended his Treasurer after she took her staff to lunch following an announcement the Territory was borrowing to pay daily expenses and cover interest repayments and could be broke in under a decade.

Mr Gunner has headed off for an overseas Christmas break, prompting claims his government is not taking the job ?seriously. The comparatively small administration is overspending by about $4 million a day, but Ms Manison has ruled out most significant cuts and ?revenue-raising measures. end quote.

Queensland ? Labor ? is bloating itself with 1000 new public servants in a quarter; WA ? Labor ? is one of the nation?s worst-performing economies, despite decades of one of the biggest mining booms in Australian history; South Australia ? which ended 16 years of Labor government just nine months ago ? struggles to keep the lights on, literally. Only Victoria is resisting the curse of Labor, doubtless with the help of the billions pouring in from Beijing. End of quote.

But, despite the NT?s parlous state, its Labor government puts spin before all else. Quote:

Sacked Northern Territory minister Ken Vowles has eviscerated his government by openly portraying it as financially irresponsible, in the grip of spin-addled ?faceless? advisers led by a man more interested in electioneering than public service.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner was last night rushing back to Darwin from an abruptly terminated Christmas holiday to take charge of a mounting crisis threatening to overwhelm his leadership and Labor?s re-?election prospects.

Mr Vowles lost his Aboriginal affairs and primary industries portfolios after Mr Gunner intervened to sack him ?for breaking cabinet confidentiality? and trigger a meeting that saw Mr Vowles and two other Labor backbenchers banned from caucus.

Mr Vowles said upon hearing the news that he anticipated Mr Gunner would next try to engineer his and banned backbenchers Jeff Collins and Scott McConnell?s ejection from the Labor Party to protect his own leadership. ?Michael Gunner has kicked me out of cabinet because I stood up for Territorians,? he said.

?I?m the one in cabinet saying, ?This is bullshit. This is not good enough. This is not about Territorians.? ?

He accused Mr Gunner of making budget allocations without cabinet approval and said other ministers and caucus members were being ?drip-fed? by ?advisers while residing in a self-congratulatory bubble. End of quote.

Ken Vowles is nothing if not plain-speaking. Quote:

?Michael Gunner doesn?t fart without Alf Leonardi saying so, so he needs to go. We need to cut the head off the snake,? Mr Vowles said.

?I?ve seen more spin than Shane Warne has ever bowled.? End of quote.

As usual, though, Magic Pudding thinking prevails in the Labor government. Quote:

Mr Vowles??Right now, there are no plans for the Territory in regards to fiscal management,? he said.

?For the Treasurer to then come out and say, ?We?re not going to cut the public service; we?re not going to raise taxes ??, well, I don?t know where else we?re getting the money. End of quote.

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