In this business everyone eventually leaves one way or the other. It's always best to 'pull stumps' on your own terms but despite best planning and intentions it doesn't always work out. In politics succession planning is a health hazard - I know. I remain grateful for the opportunity to lead. It was truly a privilege.
When others became aware of the forthcoming publication I had inquiries as to whether it would be a ‘tell all’ and I would finally tip the bucket on my detractors.1 Those looking for the gossip will be disappointed. I do make some observations about certain events, individuals and express my disappointment about how it panned out as you would expect. However my time was up, I knew that. I had already decided to go. The disappointment and annoyance was in the way it was mishandled by colleagues I put my trust in. After my resignation I didn’t rampage around the place crying ‘poor bugger me’. I didn’t leak against the Burke Government or cause mischief. I moved onto the Federal Presidency and got on with life.
I retired as Chief Minister on 7 February 1999 over dissent in the Parliamentary Wing following the defeat of the Statehood Referendum the previous year, accentuated by my personal style2 along with my refusal to accommodate the ministerial aspirations of some newly elected parliamentary members.
The revolt was carefully timed to coincide with my absence from the Territory. Having reached the end of 1998 after the failed Referendum and working the community groups leading up to Christmas assiduously it was my sense that the electorate had moved on. Selective polling still had me at 60 percent + with a comparatively low disapproval rating with overall satisfaction with the CLP Government holding. Statehood was not a vote changer. I was in Perth meeting with Premier Richard Court, we were finalising the NT WA partnership to sell LNG to China. This was a landmark Agreement, more than the traditional MOU between States and Territories. This was a compact of substance crafted in the corridors of power in the People’s Republic of China and agreed between Court and I. The transaction is referred to in greater detail in the Chapter Postscript - a lost opportunity ALNG.
The call came from my Deputy Mike Reed on Thursday 4 February 1999. My detractors in the Party room had the numbers and I was gone; he was with them but not a signatory to the letter of want of confidence. He was pleasant and sympathetic but, in my view, had failed to reciprocate the loyalty I had shown him. Some in the Wing had agitated twice to remove Mike, first after the 1997 landslide victory and understandably after the Red Hot Fireman scandal. I had stood by him on both occasions and the protagonists had melted away. It transpired he had known for days about the plotting and left it to the last minute to let me know perhaps precipitated by a lunch that day between Josie and Annette Burke where the latter had let slip that “the boys are up to something” (ironically this had not registered with Josie at the time). Perhaps he saw an opportunity for himself, he was armed with the knowledge that I did not intend to lead the party to the next election so in all probability thought no harm done as I was going anyway.3 So much for succession planning - in politics don’t even think about it. I recall something Mike said to me when we first assumed the leadership against the backdrop of my election as Chief Minister. I made a note of his comment at the time:
“I always go where the numbers are”.
I discussed Mike’s call with Peter Murphy. Murf was all for war, to take on the fight - he was sure we could win. Sadly, you have to want to win and I just didn’t, fed up with the backbiting in the Wing about who was or wasn’t a Minister, taking the blame for the failed Statehood Referendum where the overall majority of the Wing had agreed to our approach, and the usual midterm restlessness added to my despondency.
I rang Josie, she was surprised but pleased - I understood. She then informed me that she had lunch with Annette Burke to discuss the handover. They had chatted through what would happen come July. Annette who would have been appraised of all that was happening didn’t offer much up other than the comment “the boys are up to something”. The comment didn’t register with Josie at the time. She has never forgiven this double dealing. Josie wasn’t a political player and didn’t for one moment believe that the arrangement other that what had been agreed would be followed through. Josie was trying do the right thing and shouldn’t have been placed in that position. In Josie’s view, Annette should have cancelled the lunch. Once all the facts were on the table Josie was left feeling foolish and used.
Time was up and it was time to go. I arranged to return to Darwin on the Friday but not before the ministerial officers with me in Perth. Murf, Samantha Cavanagh and I went out for our last supper. We had found a very agreeable restaurant and spent the evening reminiscing as you do. I was 100 percent resigned to retiring from the field of Territory politics. Before leaving Perth I sat with Richard Court and we considered the circumstances and options; he was flabbergasted given the crushing 1997 landslide result against Labor. He considered such conduct against me while I was away from Darwin advancing the cause of the NT as the worst treachery and political cowardice imaginable. Given the core plotters, I was not surprised. Adamson, suspicious that I was going to sack him in the next reshuffle had drafted the ‘want of confidence’ letter and was first to sign (see Archives Documents). The others climbed on-board for their own reasons not worth raking over. The fact is that one uses up a lot of political capital as leader and ultimately you run out of supporters except the most loyal and committed. I would be the first to agree that I was at times off handed and abrupt with some colleagues and had told Dunham, among others, that they were not up to being Ministers in a Government led by me. I wouldn’t even contemplate Lugg - his dalliance with Paul Hanson and One Nation while Vice President of the CLP was enough for me. The electorate seemed to agree and he lasted one term in the Assembly before being defeated by Gerry Wood. That Chief Minister Giles has allowed Dunham back on the 5th floor together with Baldwin is beyond my comprehension. A classic case of a Parliamentary leader not knowing or being appraised of the party’s history.
I met with Reed on my return and we had a brief conversation followed by another much later that day. It was evident that Reeds job was to manage me as best he could. CLP Party President Suzanne Cavanagh and General Secretary Charlie Taylor called in to reassure me that they were not involved or complicit in any way. They knew about the machinations but had stepped back in the belief that it was a wing matter - they were right. Suzanne had been rung by her daughter Samantha 24 hours earlier.
Despite having signed the letter, Daryl Manzie and Richard Lim called in to see me separately. Denis Burke came with Mike Reed to reassure me that his hand had been forced by his own supporters who threatened to switch to Barry Coulter if he hesitated. He asked me to understand that he had to jump or lose the opportunity. It was a bizarre conversation as he tried to explain away his disloyalty as though I would understand. In a parting gesture he later sent a message carried by Jim O’Brien that I could take my time packing up the office - apparently this was meant as a major concession on his part.4 This was an amazing communication given he was still two days away from being elected leader. None of the core plotters, so confident and courageous in my absence interstate sought to confront me, they hid in their electorate offices away from where they thought I might find them. The exception was Adamson who appeared at my door with a big smile and simply nodded. He wanted me to know. Dunham had requested the Party Whip for a Thursday Wing meeting. I had insisted on Monday. They weren’t sure what I was going to do but as matters transpired I discovered from two of the colleagues that the game plan was to prepare a very public execution on the Thursday on their terms. The ‘head on the pole’ was a favourite CLP method of sending a message - they weren’t about to have mine.
In between sorting out my staff and office I adopted a ‘business as usual’ approach to a Chinese delegation who arrived in Darwin on Friday February 6. They had been with me in Perth and by arrangement came onto Darwin to further progress the project. The party was accompanied by Alf D’Souza from Shell who would ultimately head up the NW Shelf ALNG Office in Beijing. The Chinese comprised the Chairman of the State Power Corporation of China Tan Aixing, the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong (later Vice Minister Foreign Affairs), Chinese Consul General and Chinese Commercial Consul from Perth.
As a matter of history, they were the last to sign my Chief Ministers Visitor’s Book on Friday February 6. Their program had been pre-organised so I was able to largely delegate to Richard Lim and Department officers. The Chinese and Departmental officers were none the wiser as to what was playing out in the background that Friday and, given the Chinese had arrived to discuss the NT WA Project, I wasn’t about to confuse the situation. I dutifully turned up at the Darwin airport to welcome the arrival of the Shell Corporate jet. As they spent the day with Departmental officers I continued on with finalising arrangements in my office. Later I hosted a small reception with members of the Territory Chinese community and a dinner in the Strangers Dining room where I delivered my final speech as Chief Minister. Later Alf D’Souza reflecting back on the visit in the aftermath of my departure remarked that I appeared not my normal self, ‘sombre’ – I had every reason to be but the NT came first. Richard Lim kept his counsel and confidence for which I remain grateful. My first responsibility was to the NT regardless of how I was feeling about colleagues and other matters – I wasn’t about to abandon ship. All went smoothly with the Chinese departing over the weekend unaware of my impending departure from office. This was later confirmed to me by Alf D’Souza. All attempts to engage Burke on the project were futile. He and his cohorts were busy measuring up the offices and picking the furniture.
I finally got home on Friday late afternoon and Josie was as pleased as could be about my impending departure from Territory politics. I worked from my Parliamentary office most of that weekend squaring off correspondence and unfinished paper work. On the Saturday, I resigned effective Sunday February 7. I resigned as Chief Minister to the Acting Administrator Mrs. Mina Sitzler in Alice Springs as Neil Conn was away (Archives Documents). I appointed Mike Reed acting Chief Minister and did not alert him to his appointment. Nor was there an announcement of my resignation from either my office or Government House.
On Sunday morning February 7, I telephoned close to twenty of my long term core supporters who came around home. I recall Don Kennedy’s arrival and Josie taking him to one side and firmly telling him:
“don’t you dare try and talk him out if this”.
She kept a close eye on the proceedings and conversations; she later conceded her concern that I would be talked around. We celebrated Josie’s 40th birthday the following weekend and she always claimed my departure from office the best present she could have hoped for. The people in our backyard had the capacity and clout to take the fight to the Wing but that was not something I wanted or would encourage. As matters turned out, the CLP soured their own relationship with business and community leaders when they encouraged a boycott of my Testimonial Dinner held some months later, an act of complete political stupidity. As an aside, the planned sacking of Mike Palmer by Burke was thwarted by Ken Warriner and other cattlemen who took the fight up to Burke and his fellow conspirators. Men of straw, they folded at the first hint of trouble. Mick had not been a signatory to the letter.
I explained to those present at my home the situation and events leading up to my resignation. I shared with them that I had already resigned and to their everlasting credit all kept the confidence. A number were aware that I had intended to retire before the 2001 General Election (though they were still trying to talk me into changing my mind), in any event this did not ameliorate the upset and anger. With the help of Andy Bruyn, I made contact with Steve Liebmann on the Channel 9 Morning Program so that I could announce my own departure and not allow the plotters the satisfaction of an orchestrated political execution. Likewise, Don Kennedy arranged a photographer and journalist who covered the story for the Monday’s NT News. The story held and Territorians awoke to the news on Monday, February 8. I wasn’t about to allow others to write my political epitaph. I have long believed in politics that you get out first and tell your story before someone else tells it for you.
On the Monday morning Mike Reed came to see me before the meeting to see how I was; he relayed that there was some concern I would pull on a fight in the party room. Also, some were not happy with the way the news had broken (I bet they weren’t). I reassured him I was fine and resigned to my departure. I also confirmed to him that he was already the acting Chief Minister. The main protagonists clearly were still not sure of the strength of their position; they had nothing to worry about.
I had arranged for my staff to work over the weekend bringing forward the letters planned for July 1999. Also the book presentations to be made to the senior public service heads thanking them for their service (Archives Documents). All had been prepared over Christmas in anticipation of a July departure so it was simply a matter of changing dates and for me to personally inscribe and sign the couple of thousand personalized letters that were to go out to the wider community. The context remained the same – a thank you and appreciation for the opportunity to serve; there was no acrimony or complaint in any of the letters. I continued to see the public service heads over the Monday and Tuesday to present them with their individual memento and shake each personally by the hand.
I am most grateful for the way my personal staff had kept the confidence. In this day and age of twitter, Facebook, SMS and email it would be a big ask. One particular lady, Terri Riddell, had been in the loop since Christmas preparing thank you letters. My personal secretary Annette Smith was fully involved.
Mid-morning on the Monday I walked into a very subdued Party room, I felt confident and relaxed about my decision. I had allowed the meeting some time before arriving. Denis was already ensconced in my Chair at the front of the room with Mike Reed beside him. I said a few words, congratulated Denis and left. They had nothing to say save Loraine Braham who wished me well (she became a casualty fairly quickly after that). If only they could have looked into the crystal ball and seen the electoral defeat eighteen months on.
There was outrage among some in the Wing as they anonymously scrambled to background media about their version of events. They were on a hiding to nothing as both Channel 9 and the NT News had been privy to the events as they unfolded from the Friday. Later attempts to get up the fiction of ‘what really happened’ fell in a heap - too many senior media people were in the loop and knew the truth. Media comment following my retirement was largely positive re-enforced by Prime Minister Howard who in a doorstop interview said:5
”…he (Stone) gave very good leadership to the NT…nothing can take away from him the very distinguished contribution that he made to politics and to the development and economic growth of the Northern Territory…he’s a person of very great ability, well respected in Asia and he had a lot of contacts in the Asian region…”.
The main protagonist’s next best option was to try and humiliate me publicly. First, was an attempt to place me last in the Parliamentary Wing seating in the Assembly. Calmer heads saw the folly of that stunt. However, the worst was perpetuated by Burke himself. He delivered his first speech as Chief Minister and there was not a single acknowledgement or mention of me by name. It was as though I had evaporated and become a non person, in my view a mean spirited act. He would later blame his senior advisers Jim O’Brien and the late Paul Cowdy for such tactics. Something I learned about Denis Burke was that, in my experience, he at times did not take responsibility for his own actions. Even his electoral defeat and ignominy of being the first CLP Chief Minister to lose Government was laid squarely at the feet of the Party.
Despite the isolation imposed on me by some of my colleagues and the continual briefing against me to media by the new Chief Ministers staff, I got on with life and, as agreed with John Howard, accepted election as Federal President of the Liberal Party a few months later, in July. Burke tried to prevent my election as Federal President and one fall out was my forced resignation from the CLP for a period. An unhappy event that was subsequently repaired under different Party leadership. I detail this episode in the Chapter on the Federal Presidency of the Liberal Party.6
The manner of my departure was not what I would have preferred.7 I believe the 1997 election result barely eighteen months earlier earned me the right to ‘pull stumps’ on my terms. I remain philosophical about events and brush off the disappointment as to the way my exit was mishandled. I admit I was antagonistic to a number of my colleagues and openly dismissive of their ambitions. To put it bluntly, they’d had enough of me, and me of them.
I once observed that ‘landslide’ election victories often spell trouble as idle backbenchers covet ministerial appointment. Faced with ongoing instability and a fractious Parliamentary Wing I opted out.8 After the Statehood Referendum defeat I had lost enthusiasm for the job and believe that, in politics once you lose your passion it’s time to go; best to pick your moment than be thrown out by colleagues in a party room vote or worse, by the electorate. It was a much easier decision than I had imagined, helped by the fact that my exit had been previously flagged and agreed by a small group in the Wing. I had very much got used to the idea I was going; all the machinations and plotting was so unnecessary and damaging to the Party and the Government.
Denis Burke was short lived as he turned an 18 seat majority into a 10 seat minority in eighteen months.9 Burke, the capable and competent Minister, didn’t translate and he carries the ignominy of being the first CLP Chief Minister to lose Government and ultimately his own seat. The General Election in 2001 represented a surprise victory for Labor but an even greater surprise for those who had seized control of the CLP Government.10 When I look back on it all and the way it ended a philosophical view is best; it’s all part of the fabric of political life – the ups and downs, the highs and lows and if you play in this sandpit one should not complain too loudly. As observed by Michael Ignatieff:11
‘We call politics a game, but it isn’t one. There is no referee and the teams make up the rules as they go along. You can’t cry foul or offside in politics. Almost anything goes.’
The postscript is that the plotters either lost their seats in the Legislative Assembly or their Ministerial careers - all are gone now. One found himself sentenced and incarcerated for theft and another has been banned from being a company director.12 Other’s, despite their best efforts, were never able to make the transition to the commercial world.
As a footnote, it really does matter how you get the leadership, as Burke discovered. My colleagues and I knew that when my election as Chief Minister was agreed a seamless transition is always in the best interests of the Party and electorate. We had barely survived the forced resignation of Tuxworth and overthrow of Hatton. Lessons were learned. The on again off again leadership fights between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd bear out that the public don’t like the democratic process usurped and they do remember - yes, they do remember. The voting public are not mugs. When time came for my earlier than planned departure I decided not to fight it for a number of reasons, foremost because it would damage the CLP. My most strident critics in the CLP Parliamentary wing would agree I sat quietly, did not cause any disruption and left. I did not run a commentary or criticism on my successor I accepted that when you’re done in politics, you are well and truly done.
I didn’t deliver a valedictory speech. There is something surreal about such events where people who mutually detest each other make flowing tributes they don’t mean and slap each other on the back. The contradictory emotions that flow are an unnecessary punctuation to the end of a parliamentary career. At Josie’s and my testimonial I was gracious and supportive of the CLP. If anything, I would have liked to have shoved the speech I made that evening down the throats of those who became the ‘wrecking ball’ of the CLP. They sent us into Opposition for over a decade and near annihilation reduced to 4 seats in the Assembly. When I think about it, ultimately, Labor never defeated us - we defeated ourselves.
The fact that a number of these architects of defeat are back on the 5th floor defies belief. For those who have no mandate other than the Parliamentary wing and seize power, mark my words, the electorate doesn’t forget as history consistently records. You have to earn legitimacy as I did in 1997.
What the CLP denied me the community gave – a dignified departure.13 The Master of Ceremonies Andy Bruyn got to his feet; lauded the organiser Financial Life Member of the CLP Dick Griffiths and his family and announced to cheers:
“This is not a CLP function”
Some 450 people turned out for my testimonial at the Kalymnian Hall - it was a sell out with a waiting list. I was gracious and supportive of the CLP. I singled out Party President Suzanne Cavanagh for particular praise.
The CLP hierarchy, Denis Burke and Parliamentary colleagues largely chose to boycott the function.14 The parliamentary team were directed not to attend - not all complied. It was a foolish, ham-fisted and ungracious tactic from a man who owed me his place in the Ministry and ultimately the leadership. The testimonial was supported by the Prime Minister - was anyone on Burke’s team paying attention? Written and recorded testimonials from Prime Minister Howard,15 serving Premiers (including a number of video recorded messages) and leaders of industry Australia wide drew to a conclusion ten years of Parliamentary service. The CLP leadership was completely out of step with public sentiment - they had convinced themselves that they would be lauded for driving me from office. They completely misread it.16
Some came to spy that evening - they didn’t like what they saw. I learned that later from some of the reports back. Claims and rumors that I was to be presented with a new car was debunked when Andy Bruyn presented me with a toy car - it still sits on my desk as a reminder. The warnings were there but went unheeded. Unfortunately, many people present at the Testimonial and my extended support base knew what had happened - over 2000 personal letters attested to that fact. The failure of the Parliamentary Leadership and Wing to turn up on the night, subsequently editorialized in the NT News cemented a certain attitude that would carry through into the ballot box eighteen months on. Undeterred, Burke and his main man Jim O’Brien upped the ante towards me which was just plain foolish. Murf would later relate to me O’Brien’s frustration and annoyance that I would take on the Federal President’s role as though this diminished Denis Burke in some way.
For former leaders, Ministers and members, a testimonial is an important ‘exclamation mark’ to a political career. I was not able to attend Barry Coulter’s Testimonial as I was interstate. Despite the fact that Barry had signed the letter against me, I looked past that irritation to send a congratulatory message and I am sure readers will agree that I have been generous towards him in this publication. Likewise, I personally took charge of Marshall Perron’s Testimonial to honour my predecessor and to ensure he and Cherry were treated with respect and their contribution honoured. I organised for the Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett to attend as the keynote speaker. These are important milestones in a political parties history. Compared to Labor, we in the CLP don’t do it very well. If memory serves me correctly, Hatton was never honoured, nor was Burke or for that matter Mills - all deserve to be. I don’t believe Grant Tambling ever had a formal acknowledgement although that may have been difficult given he was in litigation with the CLP as he went out the door. His consolation is that he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and his federal colleagues rewarded him with the post of Administrator of Norfolk Island. Everingham’s acknowledgement was by way of Officer of the Order of Australia and Honorary Life Membership (same extended to Marshall) but I don’t recall a testimonial to celebrate our first and finest Chief Minister. These are the loose ends the CLP need to tidy up. They also make great fundraisers.
Hostility did not just extend to me alone - others became collateral damage. Julian Swinstead was endorsed by the Port Darwin Branch as the candidate for Port Darwin with my very strong support. Again, there was an opportunity for a seamless handing on of the baton from the sitting member to the new member. Swinstead was an outstanding candidate; a former Managing Editor of the NT News and former Editor and senior Executive with News Limited with a long term Territory connection. Julian had established a successful investment portfolio in Darwin. He was Ministerial material and exactly the kind of talent the CLP needed for renewal, however, Marshall Perron prevailed on Management Committee in an unprecedented move to overturn the pre-selection in favour of Sue Carter. Sue took Port Darwin from a safe CLP electorate to a Labor seat inside of 5 years. The electorate has subsequently been won back for the CLP by John Elferink the former member for McDonnell. I use the words unprecedented about Julian’s dumping because the principle is that branches pre select and Central Council endorses; the Management Committee as the Executive of the Central Council had no such mandate.
I have never discussed this episode with Marshall. No doubt he had his reasons. It has been relayed to me that the main protagonist against Julian was a former disgruntled employee with a score to settle who agitated in the background anonymously against Julian. Now, knowing the identity of the person concerned I am somewhat surprised she had any influence over the CLP. Against all of this, Swinstead has remained a loyal member of the CLP. He is a Financial Life Member and at various times has worked on the staff of Jodeen Carney, Terry Mills and Adam Giles. Julian has also worked as a volunteer on successive NT elections and the last four Federal Elections at Liberal CHQ in Melbourne alongside the late Murf. It leaves me scratching my head as to why a dedicated loyal, committed and talented CLP member with such an impressive background was treated in that way. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I was not alone.
I retired as the Member for Port Darwin undefeated on 21 February 2000 in my tenth year of service - a special decade in my life. I retired safe in the knowledge that the CLP would hold the seat - they did.
NT News Saturday Extra Nigel Adlam ‘Memoirs promise to be a controversial read’ 6 October 2010 ↩
A letter was penned by a Cabinet colleague facing dismissal for incompetence expressing a want of confidence. A number of Parliamentary colleagues signed the letter. The author of the letter of want of confidence was later jailed for dishonesty offences arising from his term as a Lord Mayor of Darwin (events unrelated to my departure from office). Faced with ongoing instability and a fractious Parliamentary Wing uncharacteristically I opted out ↩
The original plan had revolved around a retirement from Territory politics in June July 1999 with a seamless handover to Burke. On an agreed timetable Reed would hand over to Baldwin. Reed, Burke and Baldwin had all been part of the plan laid out and recorded in writing following a meeting in my Darwin office in August 1998. The plan provided for an orchestrated and dignified exit for both Mike and I. For the first time the document in question is now public (see Archives Documents) ↩
A surprising communication delivered by Jim O’Brien given Burke was still two days away from being elected leader and anything could have happened ↩
Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard MP responding to the news of the retirement of Shane Stone as Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Parliament House Canberra 8 February 1998 ↩
I succeeded former Fraser Government Minister the Hon Tony Staley AO who served 6 years in the Presidency before retiring and nominating me as his successor in July 1999 with the support of Prime Minister John Howard ↩
In August 1998 I had in-confidence informed my intention to retire in June July 1999 to colleagues Mike Reed, Denis Burke and Tim Baldwin; all had agreed to a transition recorded in writing. I have the original written note which at the time Baldwin suggested we all sign. I said that was unnecessary. The confidence was broken and the rest is history ↩
On the home front Josephine was ‘calling time’ after 10 years of public life ↩
2001 percentage split CLP 40.6% to ALP 45.4% contrasted with 1997 percentage split CLP 54.5% to ALP 38.5%; Burke would go onto lose his seat in the 2005 General Election suffering a 21% swing against him in his seat when he led the CLP to a worse electoral performance with the CLP winning 4 seats technically losing Party status (percentage split CLP 35.7% to ALP 51.9%) ↩
My protagonists ultimately resigned or lost their Parliamentary seats ↩
Michael Grant Ignatieff PC was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition from 2008 until 2011. Ignatieff led the Liberals (the Canadian Labor Party) to its worst defeat ever. He later published ‘Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics’, Random House Canada, 23 November 2013 ↩
NT News ‘Ban best outcome former CM’ 22 December 2010 (story on Steve Hatton being banned as a company director by ASIC following repeated company failures) ↩
Following my retirement as Chief Minister a Testimonial Dinner on 29 March 1999 organized by the wider Territory community under the Chairmanship of local business identity and CLP Life Member Dick Griffiths and his family attracted over 450 well-wishers ↩
The CLP hierarchy, Denis Burke and Parliamentary colleagues largely chose to boycott the testimonial function for reasons never explained and subsequently confirmed to the NT News ‘Burke, CLP Snub Stone’ 30 March 1999; see also NT News Editorial ‘Stand-Off on Stone’ 31 March 1999 ↩
Prime Minister John Howard had been very generous in a ‘doorstop’ interview given at Parliament House Canberra 8 February 1999 (Transcript Prime Minister & Cabinet) - he repeated many of those sentiments in a written Testimonial read at the function ↩
NT News Editorial ‘Stand Off on Stone’ 31 March 1999 ↩