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Phantom policies fly before NT poll

AAP logoAAP 24/08/2016 Neda Vanovac

As the Northern Territory election inches closer, both sides of politics have taken to accusing one another of scare campaigns over policies they say they have no intention of implementing.

On Wednesday, Labor spokeswoman Nicole Manison maintained the party line that a re-elected Country Liberals government will privatise PowerWater Corporation (PWC).

"I have absolutely no doubt that they will," she told reporters in Darwin.

"They have form on this: they sold (the Territory Insurance Office), they leased the port for 99 years - which might as well be selling it, we're not going to see it back in this lifetime - and they sold the Darwin bus service."

The CLP have repeatedly ruled out selling PWC, and have dismissed Labor's attack as a repeat of the federal "Mediscare" campaign in June.

"Nobody will forget that after 2012 when they put faith in the CLP government who went to the election and promised them to reduce their cost of living, what was the first thing they did?" Ms Manison said.

"They put their power prices up by 30 per cent, their water prices up by 40 per cent and their sewerage prices up by 25 per cent, and that deeply hurt Territorians, it hurt people from the urban centres to the bush."

For its part, the CLP has sent flyers out to voters saying a vote for Labor would mean more regulations, a "nanny state", and higher debt and taxes.

The CLP have also claimed Labor will introduce fishing and boating licenses, and lockout laws, and will put a floor price on alcohol.

"We are absolutely not doing that," Ms Manison said.

Meanwhile, in Alice Springs, where he is campaigning to save his seat of Braitling from what some are predicting will be an electoral drubbing, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles slammed Labor's first home buyers' grant as "a $34,000 blank cheque" being paid out of GST revenues intended to address indigenous disadvantage.

He said general funding from Canberra shouldn't be tied to particular programs in the NT, but that additional GST funds should be.

Successive governments of both stripes have come under fire for years of reappropriating federal funds, underspending on indigenous programs to pork-barrel the urban Darwin population.

Ms Manison said Labor was also open to discussing tying funds.

The NT goes to the polls on Saturday.

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