POLITICS

Giles Under Pressure As 'Torture' Fall Out Tears NT Government Apart

A former leader say the 'arrogant' government hasn't a chance of being reelected.

28/07/2016 10:47 AM AEST | Updated July 28, 2016 11:54
Fairfax
Adam Giles is under mounting pressure.

Pressure is mounting on Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles as his Country Liberal party tears itself apart as the fallout from the Don Dale juvenile detention 'torture' scandal continues.

Giles has confirmed 'spit hoods' and restraint chairs will be banned in detention centres, as former CLP heavyweights line up to publicly lambast their party leader for his response to the scandal.

The NT leader said on Tuesday that he wasn't aware of the footage, despite a report released last September detailing the Don Dale abuse, and assumed the corrections portfolio from Attorney-General John Elferink.

The party criticism comes as federal cabinet prepares discuss the terms of reference for a Royal Commission into juvenile detention, announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Telling News Corp he was "appalled and ashamed" but the footage aired on Monday night, former Country Liberal party Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth said he considered writing to the Administrator of the Northern Territory.

Fairfax
Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles has come under intense fire for his government's handling of child detention

"I wanted to ask him to withdraw the commission of the Giles government -- I felt that strongly about it," he is reported to have said.

He also said he was shocked by the political response of the NT Government.

"This is plain sheer arrogance. They thought they could carry on above the law," he said.

Former CLP opposition leader Jodeen Carney told Sky News the government was arrogant. After leaving parliament Carney headed a probe into juvenile justice which in 2011 called for widespread reform -- reforms were abandoned when the CLP took power in 2012.

"There is incompetence but it is callous disregard for children," she said.

"The government has been incredibly arrogant and you know, and the national media and Territorians Know this has sadly been a scandal plagued government that has lurched form crisis to crisis.

"On the 27th of August Territorians will go to the polls, I don't think too many people will be saying that the CLP will be re-elected. There will be a new government."

Another former minister in the Giles CLP government, Matt Conlan, told the ABC the Chief Minister should "stop blaming other people" for the scandal that has engulfed the government shortly before the election.

"I need to encourage the Chief Minister to stop blaming other people for this, put your hand up and say OK we got it wrong," Conlan said.

Federal Cabinet will meet for the first time since the election on Thursday, when it is expected to discuss the terms of reference for the Royal Commission. Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek said the Opposition supported bipartisan action.

"Labor has been absolutely unequivocal in our support for the government in its proposal for a royal commission," Plibersek told reporters on Thursday. "We believe that it is critical that we don't just look at the juvenile justice system in the NT. "

Giles has called for the commission to be given a broader focus.

Earlier, Prominent Northern Territory barrister John Lawrence told the ABC there is a huge amount of anger in the local community, and the Federal Government must ensure the Territory Government is not involved in the Royal Commission process.

That position has been backed by Australian Bar Association president Patrick O'Sullivan.

Lawrence said the Royal Commission should be organised from outside the Northern Territory and headed up by "the best", a retired High Court judge, "fully armed with an interstate QC and all the resources that are required".

"I've been representing Aboriginal people for many years and I've spoken to them this week and I've never seen so much anger and if this royal commission is in any way associated with the Northern Territory Government, they have told me that they will not cooperate with it, will not be involved within it, they will not have anything to do with it," he told ABC News 24.

"It will merely be another chair sent up by the PM Turnbull who will be showing his true colours if he goes that road."

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