CANBERRA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out using taxpayer money to save the Northern Territory (NT) from its budget crisis, local media reported on Monday.
Addressing the crisis on Sunday evening, Morrison laid the blame at the feet of NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s Australian Labor Party (ALP) government.
It was revealed in December that the NT, the smallest of Australia’s six states and two territories by population but third largest by land mass, was borrowing money to cover day-to-day expenses with the net debt expected to hit 35.7 billion Australian dollars (25.7 billion U.S. dollars) by 2030.
“This is what happens when you let Labor run the money and run the books,” Morrison, who leads the governing federal Liberal Party, told reporters.
“We’ve already stumped up a billion dollars and more as a Commonwealth Government into the Territory, just in my time as treasurer and prime minister.
Visiting the NT to announce a 216-million-Australian dollar (155.6 million U.S. dollars) package to save the iconic Kakadu National Park, Morrison said the territory would be responsible for its own “heavy lifting.”