Sunday Territorian - - OPINION -

lip ser­vice to the con­cept of con­sul­ta­tion has led to pub­lic sec­tor paral­y­sis that’s leech­ing into the pri­vate sec­tor.

The frack­ing in­quiry is one ex­am­ple.

It was al­ways go­ing to have one out­come.

But the need for “con­sul­ta­tion” meant we had to en­dure a 15-month, $3 mil­lion show trial sci­en­tific in­quiry first, which set in­dus­try back mas­sively at the time it was needed most.

If gas roy­al­ties were to flow ear­lier unim­peded by “con­sul­ta­tion”, would we be in the same dis­as­trous po­si­tion we are now?

In their quest not to upset any­one, La­bor has man­aged to piss off ev­ery­one.

Gree­nies who voted La­bor for their gas mora­to­rium feel lied to and in­dus­try groups are seething they’ve had to wait so long for the point­less cha­rade to play out.

But for all its lip ser­vice to con­sul­ta­tion, when it re­ally mat­ters the Govern­ment won’t lis­ten.

Where was the con­sul­ta­tion when Eva Lawler and Dale Wake­field stood on a va­cant lot in the mid­dle of the Pinelands in­dus­trial area and an­nounced that was the new site for a youth de­ten­tion cen­tre.

Busi­ness own­ers in the area were told a few hours be­fore me­dia were. How’s that for con­sul­ta­tion?

A fair dinkum con­sul­ta­tion

“In its quest not to upset any­one, La­bor has man­aged to piss off ev­ery­one”

process done ear­lier had found the best place for a new cen­tre was right where the old one is now, but that idea was abruptly chucked out to save piss­ing off a hand­ful.

To save the Ter­ri­tory from in­sol­vency, La­bor doesn’t need mean­ing­less con­sul­ta­tion, it needs brav­ery and it needs to stop spend­ing like a drunken FIFO boil­er­maker on days off.

Pay­ing cops $26,000 a year hous­ing al­lowances and splash­ing $250 mil­lion on an indige­nous art gallery in Alice Springs at a time we’re bor­row­ing money to pay pub­lic ser­vants and to ser­vice the in­ter­est on Govern­ment debt is in­sane.

Mr and Mrs Malak don’t have the an­swers to this cri­sis.

La­bor needs to stop con­sult­ing and start get­ting on with it.

Hay­ley Sorensen is a reg­u­lar colum­nist

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