The Year That Was 2017 (2)

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Today on 360 Katie Woolf was joined in the studio by Attorney General Natasha Fyles, Speaker Kezia Purick, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Lia Finnocciaro and Sky News Reporter Matt Cunnigham with The Year That Was looking back at the biggest stories that made the headlines for 2017. 

    10.Channel Nine - It was the Newsroom making the news headlines, when Channel Nine nationally announced that local news in Darwin would change and no longer be produced in the Territory. 

  1. CBD - Business and locals were screaming for help in Darwin’s CBD. The then Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim eventually admitted the city was at crisis point due to anti-social behaviour. But locals were sick of parking fines, antisocial behaviour and no plans to activate the area. Many felt as though the calls were falling on deaf ears. 
  1. Local Election - The CBD became a huge issue in the race for Mayor with the then Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim being rolled by former Northern Territory Minister Kon Vatskalis. Will he be the Mayor Darwin needs? Early signs are promising, but only time will tell.
  1. Palmerston Council Sacked - Local Government Minister Gerry McCarthy made the shock move in June, calling for the special investigation “on the conduct of the suspended members and the affairs and financial position of the council”.

     “A key part of the investigation will be to establish how Palmerston Council entered into a $13.5 million dollar contract to develop a multistorey carpark without a ‘subject to finance’ clause, or the financial capacity to pay it off,” Mr            McCarthy said in a statement.

      “Suspending the City of Palmerston Council is a last resort and a tough decision, but it is necessary to conduct a full and proper investigation.”

  1. Estimates, Chief Minister loses his cool - In an unprecedented move the NT Opposition and Independents made the decision not to attend Estimates for 2017 after the Government changed the way the process would be conducted. In a rare moment, Territorians heard an unvetted response from the Chief Minister when he was asked on 360 what he thought of the news that they would not be taking part. 
  1. Fracking - Some may be wondering why this isn’t closer to number one, and it may well be in 2018, but this year the debate continues to rage around fracking with no decision expected until the final report by Justice Pepper is released in March next year. In the meantime, many are saying it is a no brainer and should go ahead given the Independent Scientific evidence suggests problems associated can be mitigated.
  1. PFAS - The issue of PFAS continues to rage in the NT, but no area more than Katherine where residents homes, crops and way of life have changed forever as a result of the toxic chemical being found in many sources. Earlier this month fears were raised about tourism will being hurt after Katherine residents were warned not to eat local fish containing high levels of toxic chemicals.

        The NT's prized barramundi is one of several species which tested positive for contamination linked to old firefighting foams used at the nearby Top End military base. This is a story which is not going away and still has so many            unknown factors.

  1. NT Government’s Alcohol Review and the ‘Dan Murphy’s’ Decision - Many have argued the NT Government conducts review after review and questioned the effectiveness of the reviews. But, one review which was released this year was the review into alcohol, Chaired by former Chief Justice Trevor Riley. The review handed down 220 recommendations including;  Overhauling the Liquor Act, reinstating an Independent Liquor Commission, looking closely at density, floor price, alcohol on boats, police on bottle shops and plenty more. Many, would say this was a huge step by a pretty brave Minister. But, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The Government was also forced to do an olympic sized backflip on their decision to ban Dan Murphy’s from entering the NT. A decision which lost them quite a lot of skin.
  1. Same Sex Marriage Legalised - It was the moment so many Australians had been waiting for. Equality for all. Many had questioned the method in which the Government chose to do it, a non-binding postal vote. But, we got there in the end with 62% of Aussies voting for equality. Then, it was up to the Pollies. And, even they couldn't stuff this one up. 

    01. Youth Crime - This was by far and beyond the issue that most Territorians called in dismay about this year. Youth Crime affected so many. Some said it was worse than ever before because young people knew the Royal                       Commission was being conducted and they felt untouchable. Katie Woolf doesn't know if that was the case but in the first half of 2017 the problem had gotten to breaking point. 


Listen ot the full chat below