ICAC given ‘cocaine sex’ scandal text messages, Chief Minister Michael Gunner confirms
ICAC given ‘cocaine sex’ scandal text messages, Chief Minister Michael Gunner confirms

ICAC given ‘cocaine sex’ scandal text messages: Gunner

CHIEF Minister Michael Gunner has referred text messages between disgraced MLA Mark Turner and his lover, who are embroiled in a "cocaine sex" scandal, to the NT Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

"Today (Sunday) I finally received and viewed text messages, which have been the subject of media reporting, showing text conversations, which are alleged to have been exchanged between the Member for Blain and a private citizen last year," Mr Gunner said Sunday night.

"I have subsequently provided these to the ICAC for their review."

Mr Gunner had not viewed the messages before holding a press conference at Darwin airport about 12.30pm yesterday.

The NT News has previously reported that police are already in possession of the text messages.

Mr Gunner said he would also formally write to the NT Labor Party recommending that it review the Member for Blain's party status.

He had earlier signalled the Labor caucus wanted the Member for Blain expelled from the party after the ­former policeman and father of five lied about the "cocaine sex" scandal.

Mark Turner in Parliament last Tuesday.
Mark Turner in Parliament last Tuesday.

 

"We took some pretty strong action this week in ­excluding the Member for Blain from the Labor parliamentary team and I consider that a recommendation to the party around his party status," Mr Gunner said.

"There is a profound lack of trust in the Member for Blain and we have made it clear to him he is no longer welcome to the privilege of our party room.

"I've let the president of the party know that the Member for Blain's exclusion from the Labor Party Parliamentary team could be ­considered by the president as a recommendation."

Mr Gunner was also angry at the way the Member for Blain handled issues raised in text messages he received where the person discussed having had a bad batch of ­cocaine.

The office of the Labor Member for Blain Mark Turner last week.
The office of the Labor Member for Blain Mark Turner last week.

"I believe that being a former police officer there was no one in a better position to know how to handle that information and there was no one who knew better how to put that forward appropriately through the police," Mr Gunner said.

The NT News is not alleging the Member for Blain engaged in any illegal activity.

CLP Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said that Labor must now kick Mr Turner out of the Labor Party to send a strong message that "this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated".

"The slow and inadequate response of the Chief Minister to investigate or address the scandal is being matched by the Labor Party's silence about the Member for Blain's party membership," Ms ­Finocchiaro said.

"Every day Mark Turner stays in parliament he is a visible symbol of Michael Gunner's failure of leadership on Labor's 'cocaine sex' scandal."

The NT News has asked the NT Labor Party president Erina Early for a comment on the Member for Blain's future as a Labor Party member.

Originally published as ICAC given 'cocaine sex' scandal text messages: Gunner