The following opinion piece by NTPA President, Nathan Finn, was published in the October edition of NT Police News.

I didn’t put my hand up for this job to criticise, just for the sake of it.

You can’t come into this role with a chip on your shoulder, or an axe to grind. That approach is not conductive to lobbying for much-needed change and could significantly harm our members.

In the months since I was elected, there have been a number of significant changes, both in terms of legislation and law and order strategy.

My biggest frustration is the glaring lack of consultation, that is letting our members down:
  • Bail review: NTPA only informed the morning of the Government’s announcement. We provided a submission back in April and heard no feedback.
  • Hand-held scanners: Came as a complete surprise to our Association. NTPA only informed morning of public announcement. Again, there was no consultation.
  • Knife Crime Strategy: Zero consultation with the NTPA. Received no prior warning it was being announced.
  • NT Police Resource Review: we only viewed the final proposed Terms of Reference (ToR), late the day before the public announcement, where I made significant changes. Surprisingly, the media received a final copy before we did. Adding to frustrations, the Chief Minister expressed displeasure when we shared the proposed, marked-up version with our members, even though it was the only copy provided by the NT Government.
We want to ensure that our members' health, safety, and interests are a top priority when working with the NT Government and the Senior Police Executive.

But it’s difficult to work together, constructively, when we're not being consulted properly.

The government says it's talking to the police, but real consultation means hearing from not just the police executive, but also the rank and file who are directly affected by new laws and changes.

To be able to lobby, develop and support change, in cooperation with Government, we have to be at the table on these important decisions.

None of my criticism is personal, all I am doing is representing the views of our members.

And that criticism is borne from the ongoing frustrations of our members who are critically under resourced, chronically understaffed and don’t feel heard or supported by this Government.

The NTPA is the most important stakeholder when it comes to law and order, and policing issues. It’s risky and reckless for Government to ignore our voice.