Indigenous backbenchers threaten to quit

The NT Government’s four Indigenous MPs are threatening to break away from the Country Liberal Party and start their own party. Constituents in remote communities have been disappointed by broken election promises, and the backbench MPs say they are being ignored by their party’s ministers. Their failure to influence government policies is surprising, as it was reported last year that the Indigenous MPs “hold the balance of power in a caucus of 16”, and were instrumental in Adam Giles’s appointment to the chief ministership. However, the group’s leader, Alison Anderson, was demoted from cabinet last September. She has defected from a political party before: in 2009, she quit as a Labor MP, sitting as an independent for two years before joining the CLP.