Adam Giles would 'love to go to an early election' after Kezia Purick resigns Country Liberals party
Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles would "love to go to an election" but has said that it "is pretty much impossible to do" following another member of his Government leaving the Country Liberals party.
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and member for Goyder Kezia Purick announced she would leave the governing Country Liberals party on Monday morning.
Ms Purick's resignation means Mr Giles now does not have a majority in Parliament, though Ms Purick said she would not support a motion of no-confidence to "bring the Government down" and key independent member Gerry Wood also dismissed the idea.
"There's a large part of me that would love to go to an election ... [but] the possibility of that is pretty much impossible to do," he said, referring to legislation brought in by the former Labor government creating fixed four-year terms for governments.
The next election is not due until August 2016, but Mr Giles said he would not be beholden to the newly independent Ms Purick, nor Mr Wood or former CLP members Alison Anderson, Larissa Lee or Robyn Lambley.
He said he and his remaining colleagues would continue to govern, and the majority of legislation brought before Parliament had broad support from the opposition and the crossbenchers, but conceded some parliamentary business may now be slower.
"How we negotiate smaller pieces of detail ... I think will take a lot more time."
Mr Giles said he had not made any deals with Ms Purick or other independents to ensure his grasp on power.
"We haven't sought to strike a deal with anybody. If we did, we'd make it public," he said.
Mr Giles said he is "disappointed" to have lost his majority in Parliament, but insisted it is business as usual for his Government.
"Today has been a very disappointing day to see my good friend Kezia Purick step outside from the Country Liberals party to sit as an independent," Mr Giles said.
"Kezia's always been a good mate and will continue to be so."
Mr Giles indicated Ms Purick would continue to serve as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
"Yesterday in the Northern Territory there was a conservative government, today there is a conservative government and tomorrow there will be a conservative government," he said.
Giles quashes suggestions of anti-corruption body
Ms Purick said she was open to discussion on setting up an anti-corruption body in the NT, similar to ICAC in New South Wales.
Her comments came after the chief of staff of government minister Bess Price, Paul Mossman, was charged with corruption.
But Mr Giles ruled out supporting the idea.
"I will not be supporting an ICAC in the Northern Territory," he said.
Mr Giles cited the cost of running similar bodies in other states as a reason he did not support an anti-corruption body.
He also said he had full confidence in the NT Police to deal with any wrongdoings.
"Clearly we are trying to be more open in the way that we make decisions," he said.
The Country Liberals party was elected with a 16 seat majority in the 25 seat chamber and now has only 12 members.
Opposition Leader Michael Gunner has labelled the move "another CLP bombshell" and said he wants an early election.
"My preference is that Territorians have an opportunity to have a say about their own future," he said.
"That's why I've put to Kezia Purick today that I think that there's been three years of bad government from the CLP in the Northern Territory and I cannot see how a CLP government now plunged into minority can provide better government than what we've seen over the last three years."
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