Welcome to graemesawyer.com.au

I have been in Darwin over 40 years and have been a School teacher, Education Adviser, Technology and business consultant, small business operator and environmental consultant, environmental researcher and Lord Mayor of Darwin.

I am standing as the independent member for Wanguri.

I and many members of our community have seen too many failures and problems of government over the years due to poor processes and Government not listening to everyday Territorians. There are solutions, and when elected I will help to implement them.

Wanguri residents are having to put up with daily problems like traffic congestion and crime because of poor processes in Government around planning and implementing strategies. We can do much better.

One reason I am standing for election in August is the lack of accountability, transparency and responsiveness of successive NT governments. Their inability to listen to their constituents, respond to evidence, and their appalling governance standards are letting us all down and we are paying the price.

A key reason for my decision relates to Youth issues and the government and oppositions’ awful response to Youth issues and related Youth crime. The current response is failing everyone, it’s not helping young people and it’s not helping reduce crime, quite the opposite in fact.

ABC Radio Interview

Interview runs from minute 1:25 to 12:50

Mix 104.9 Interview

I did a lot of research and consultation around Youth issues when I was Lord Mayor and have been on the Board of Youthworks for many years.  The professionals who have the expertise to make a difference are appalled at the “Get tough on crime” nonsense we are fed by both political parties.  These strategies actually make the problem worse. There are solutions and the government needs to resource them. I want to see effective crime prevention in place.

I have a very personal perspective to Youth violence, stemming from the killing of my Step-grandson Kingsley Jnr., On 8 October 2022.  He was living with us at the time, went to a party and was killed. Allegedly, one of the offenders was on parole from another knife violence offence. “Get Tough on Crime” is a narrow-minded con that doesn’t solve the underlying problems. We need to get smart on crime and build strategies that stop the crime.

I served as the Lord Mayor of Darwin and have worked on numerous Boards and community groups.  This experience has shown me that the community deserves to be informed and engaged in processes and further, when this happens better ideas and outcomes are produced, especially for complex problems. As an example, before my term as Lord Mayor Council kept 11.27% of decisions in confidential; under my leadership just 3.7% of decisions were made in confidential.

I have also worked with the small business community as Chair of the Business Enterprise Centre Board and believe that the NT Economy will do much better if a small business strategy is at the centre of economic planning. 99% of businesses in the NT are small to medium businesses and they employ 50% of the NT Workforce. Successful economic strategies must be more responsive to the needs of small business.

I have also been involved in a many environmental issues and am flabbergasted at the appalling state of processes in the NTG dealing with these areas. The nice sounding words are in much of the legislation but few of them are implemented, this needs to change if we are going to adapt to climate change and maintain a liveable environment. Territorians deserve an effective government.

I have researched issues relating to Fracking and I am concerned at the deception the NTG has employed in relation to this and the Middle Arm precinct where they plan to process gas.  I have a Masters in Environmental Management, and their monitoring regime is appalling, it’s not even close to best practice.

If we are going to get the NT to be a more prosperous place we need to get the cost of living to a more manageable base.  Renewable energy can lower energy costs across the NT and we need the government to open up land supply for housing and invest in affordable housing to balance the rental costs.

The core elements of my policies are;

  • Responsive, transparent and accountable government, with ongoing collaboration
  • More Small business focused economic growth strategies
  • Youth issues addressed and a “get smart on crime” strategy to deliver real solutions to crime.
  • Reduce cost of living and doing business through renewables.
  • Judge issues by Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) principles e.g. No subsidies for fossil fuel projects

ESD means for development to be sustainable it must take account of social and ecological factors, as well as economic ones; of the living and non-living resources base; and of the long term as well as short term advantages and disadvantages of alternative actions.

It means that development to meet today’s needs is undertaken in a way that ensures the environment, natural resources and heritage are maintained for the benefit of future generations. There must be appropriate compensation for use of non-renewable resources.