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Adam Giles

Adam Giles' road to the top

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EVEN before he became chief minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles made it clear he regarded speed limits on outback highways as a prime example of the namby-pamby Labor Party over-regulation that he and his conservative Country Liberal colleagues would eradicate should they get into power.


True to his word, since assuming the top job Giles has been pushing for a return to the halcyon days of Top End drivers rocketing up and down the Stuart Highway at 150km/h-plus in their V8 utes. It's a sure-fire vote-winner, although after spending time with Giles you suspect that his support for high-speed driving is not just mere populism. The man is in a hurry, whatever he does.


"A jetski!" he exclaims, pointing from his car window to a roadside market as he drives south from Darwin under a blazing winter sun. It's a Saturday morning in early June, a time when Giles might normally be hurtling around the bush on his Husaberg 650 trail bike. But since becoming chief minister in March, he laments, the bike has barely been out of the garage, so perhaps tooling around Darwin Harbour on a jetski might be a substitute. Ahead of us, framed against blue sky and red earth, a white minibus hoves into view travelling at the heinously slow speed of 100km/h in a 130 zone. "C'mon, get past the coaster-bus!" Giles urges the cars ahead of him, then peers at the offending vehicle's licence plates as we overtake. "Where's he from? Aw, New South Wales. At least he doesn't have a hat on ... "





Richard Guilliatt

July 13, 2013

Read more: www.theaustralian.com.au


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