The Attorney General's Council deflects the Alliance's attempt to take official opposition status from the CLP's NT



February 6, 2019 20:41:33

An attempt by three independents to seize opposition status in the Northern Territory's Parliament suffered a blow.

Key points:

  • Independent Robyn Lambley, Terry Mills and Yingiya Guyula formed an alliance on Tuesday
  • They tried to take the official status of the Opposition
  • The Legal Adviser of the Solicitor-General

The advice of Advocate General Sonia Brownhill, provided after the 2016 elections, states unequivocally that "the opposition can not be formed by a coalition of independent members of the assembly."

Independent MLAs Terry Mills, Robyn Lambley and Yingiya Mark Guyula announced on Tuesday that they formed a coalition known as The Alliance.

They urged President Kezia Purick to declare the official opposition, as they outnumbered the opposition of two countries.

Despite having the authority to take a decision on the matter, the President refused to do so and instead told the trio that he had an alternative option: to ask Parliament to decide whether to receive opposition status.

But the Labor Party, based on the opinion of the 2016 Prosecutor General, decided not to consider such a vote in Parliament's plenary.

"We will not support any movement that wastes a single parliamentary moment on an issue that has already been answered," Army Chief Minister Michael Gunner said in a statement.

Mr. Mills insisted that the Attorney General's advice was not a fatal blow to the Alliance.

"There's a variety of points of view and interpretation, everyone knows that," Mills said.

"But this is clearly a government running in fear.

"We keep our feet on fire and they realize that this is possibly going to cause a problem, so they seek the advice that best suits their concerns."

Opposition leader Gary Higgins said the only way for the independents to take office is if they form a party.

"It would not be a matter of giving up. They need to have a party, and this party needs to have more members than we currently have," he said.

We will have to do whatever it takes & # 39;

But although Mills and Lambley have agreed to form a party, there is no guarantee that Guyula would agree to give up his status as an independent.

"The Nhulunbuy member is not considering joining any of the parties," her spokeswoman said in November last year.

"He intends to remain an independent member of parliament since he was elected by his constituency."

Mr. Mills said, "At the end of the day, we will have to do whatever it takes. There are several different ways we can achieve our goal."

Regardless of their plans for the future, the confusion surrounding opposition status has raised the idea of ​​creating a parliamentary rule.

"It can be referred to the Orders Committee, which is a mix of government, CLP and independent members," Purick said.

Higgins agreed, saying he could have been treated in 2016 and avoided distracting such important issues as economics and crime.

"These types of mischief simply mess up the amount of oxygen given to those issues that need to be addressed," he said.


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