Lawrie referred to privileges committee

The Northern Territory government has referred former Labor opposition leader Delia Lawrie and her deputy to the parliamentary privileges committee for breaching ethical standards.

The committee could order an apology or even recommend jail terms.

Ms Lawrie resigned almost two weeks ago when it was revealed police were investigating her conduct during the Stella Maris inquiry last year, which examined the controversial leasing of a historic Darwin site to Unions NT.

Commissioner John Lawler did not find she had acted illegally or corruptly, but a police investigation is examining whether she did by making false statements while suing him during a subsequent Supreme Court case.

Last Monday she was replaced as leader by Member for Fannie Bay Michael Gunner, and her deputy Gerry McCarthy also stood down.

On Wednesday, Attorney-General John Elferink referred Ms Lawrie and Mr McCarthy to the privileges committee for their role in the Stella Maris leasing, as per the recommendation of Commissioner Lawler, who suggested parliament examine whether the pair had breached the members' code of conduct and ethical standards.

Ms Lawrie will also be referred to the committee for "the deliberate and wilful attempt to have the Supreme Court to make a wrongful finding based on a deliberate attempt to discredit the Lawler inquiry," Mr Elferink said.

"It's only happened on the rarest of occasions in the NT," Treasurer Dave Tollner said of the committee's power being invoked."

Parliament will not debate the motion until Ms Lawrie's criminal matter is either completed and dismissed, or has been dealt with in court.

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