Issue 19
Monday, 24 October 2016
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Associate Head of the School of Law Dr Danial Kelly
Associate Head of the School of Law Dr Danial Kelly

Law School to host NT Governance Summit

The School of Law will host a Northern Territory Governance Summit to discuss governance issues including self-government in the region.

Associate Head of School Dr Danial Kelly said the public event in Darwin would help Territorians to take a careful look at NT governance models and institutions. 

“We need to look at what is working and what isn’t,” Dr Kelly said.

“Whether we remain a self-governing Commonwealth territory or become a state, Territorians need to review our governance mechanisms as our community develops and evolves.”

Summit convenor, senior lecturer in law Ken Parish said the event would allow Territorians to have constructive discussions with current and former politicians, community leaders, academics, business and union representatives and other stakeholders on a wide range of questions affecting accountability, transparency and good government. 

“Do we want governance structures that promote civil deliberation, collaboration and constructive compromise without sacrificing effective, decisive, coherent government policy?” Mr Parish asked.

“Or do we want politics to remain overwhelmingly adversarial and competitive, with electors mostly just choosing between two opposing political “tribes”?  Most Territorians clearly want the first option, but deciding how to get there isn’t easy.”

The NT Governance Summit will discuss a range of possible reform options, including:

  • Stronger political donations disclosure laws
  • Reversing excessive politicisation of lands, planning and environmental decisions
  • Enhancing fairness, transparency and predictability in awarding government contracts to the private sector
  • Human rights protections
  • Whether we should have an Aboriginal Representative Assembly sitting partially as an upper house of Parliament
  • Adopting multiple-member electorates selected by a proportional representation voting system, to enhance diversity of political representation
  • Deepening the political talent pool by allowing selection of some ministers from outside Parliament
  • Models for “consensus government” and deliberative democracy including citizen-initiated referenda and randomly selected citizen “juries” to advise government on key issues, such as proposed sales of government assets like Darwin Port.

The NT Governance Summit will take place over two days on 23 and 24 February at CDU’s Business School at the Darwin Waterfront.

Attendance at the NT Governance Summit will be free and open to all, although seats will be limited. Pre-booking arrangements will be announced closer to the event.