The Northern Territory News has a larrikin reputation that reflects the larger-than-life spirit of its readers.
It’s famous for front page headlines such as “Why I stuck a cracker up my clacker”, “They stole my dog while I was on the bog” and “Best man left bleeding after being hit on the head by flying dildo”. A week wouldn’t go past without a photograph of a large crocodile on the cover.
But today, in the wake of the juvenile detention scandal engulfing the Territory, the NT News has ditched its usually jocular tone for a front page that pulls no punches and lets chief minister Adam Giles know exactly where the paper stands just 4 weeks out from an election.
The paper devotes seven pages inside to the scandal, which has sparked a royal commission.
It points out that the report on which Monday night’s Four Corners episode was based is 11 months old. Giles and his former corrections minister John Elfernick, have spent most of the last 24 hours pleading ignorance around what’s been happening in the facilities they’re supposed to be in charge of, saying they hadn’t seen the video until Monday night – despite it being recounted in graphic detail in the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner report addressed to Elfernick.
Territory voters go to the polls on August 27, with the Country Liberal Party government led by Giles still needing one more seat for an outright majority in the 25-seat parliament. It will be the first election using optional preferential voting following changes introduced by Giles.
The NT News is already predicting the CLP will be smashed by voters in four weeks from now. Either way, it looks like the chief minister’s leadership is currently on borrowed time.
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