• Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Adam Giles has been criticised for his comments while launching an alcohol management plan. (AAP)Source: AAP
An Indigenous leader says he's “disturbed, shocked and appalled” after the NT Chief Minister told those who've caused problems by relocating to Darwin to escape alcohol restrictions to "piss off".
Philip Ly

The Point
23 Mar 2016 - 5:41 PM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2016 - 5:41 PM

On Tuesday Mr Giles was announcing a new alcohol management plan when he directed the comment to people who come to the Top End and “like to consume alcohol, live in the long grass and cause trouble”.

“My message to those people is piss off and get off the country in Darwin, go back to your home communities, stop causing trouble in Darwin," he said. 

A program in Katherine, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek has helped lower alcohol-fuelled crime but has also pushed problem drinkers north to Darwin, according to the Northern Territory Police Association.

'It’s appalling for a Chief Minister and an Aboriginal man to be making these kind of comments...'

On Wednesday Mr Giles told The Point he gets inundated with people from the Larrakia Nation who see others come to Darwin and desecrate their sites and it should not be tolerated.

But National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples co-chair Rod Little says he is “absolutely” surprised over Adam Giles’ comments and “can’t find a word” to express himself.

“I’m stunned,” he says.

“I think it’s appalling for a Chief Minister and an Aboriginal man to be making these kind of comments when he’s in a position where, a person of his stature, would understand.”

He says Mr Giles should be called to account.

“I think he should act in a way that is going to contribute to a solution to what he sees as a problem, rather than shooting it from the head,” he said.

“I just think it’s disturbing for a Chief Minister to be saying this kind of a thing when he knows the pressures of not only his government but the Federal Government on communities with no employment opportunities, and [where] social problems are perpetuated by government interventions.

“And there are people willing to take money from the vulnerable to support their business.”