Parliamentary Speeches, Debates and Public Statements about the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway since Self - Government
Hawthorne, Marilyn; Northern Territory Library. Parliamentary Library Service
Research Papers; ParliamentNT; Research paper; no. 2
Contact Library & Archives NT for this resource; Made available by via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)
Railroads -- Northern Territory; Railroads -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Railroads -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Railway
Northern Territory Library
Research paper; no. 2
Atttribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Northern Territory Government
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Mr EVERINGHAM (Chief Minister): Mr Speaker, it is a shame that the Opposition's contribution to the debate today has centred not so much on the Hill Report but on the Northern Territory government's submission. Of course, the opposition discredits itself by seeking to discredit the Northern Territory government submission because the opposition spokesman on transport, the honourable member for Millner, who is now so critical of the Northern Territory government ... Mr Smith: You can't even keep up with what responsibilities we have. Mr EVERINGHAM: I am terribly sorry but is it even worthwhile keeping up to date with what responsibilities they have? In any event, Mr Speaker, if the honourable member for MacDonnell is now the opposition spokesman on transport matters, the opposition spokesman on transport at the time of the Hill Inquiry was the honourable member for Millner who, in fact, endorsed the Northern Territory government's submission to the inquiry. Now he seeks to discredit it and, in so doing, discredits only himself. This afternoon, the Leader of the Opposition sought an extension of time and said that there had been an arrangement between the government and the opposition that lead speakers may have an extension of time. Mr Speaker, as soon as the opposition gets all the arrangements back into full play that were in existence before the last election, then arrangements that suit the opposition will come back into operation as well. When the opposition whip starts to cooperate with the government whip in organising the order of debate and all the rest of it, then the government will commence to cooperate again with the opposition. Mr Speaker, the various points raised by the Leader of the Opposition were only designed to discredit the Northern Territory government's submission to the Hill Inquiry. As far as I heard, the Leader of the Opposition did not comment on the Hill Report itself at all. Obviously, the Leader of the Opposition did not read even the Northern Territory's Page 315 evaluation of the Hill Report which was attached to it when it was tabled yesterday and when he bucketed the proposal for the Frances Creek iron mine to reopen, the ADMA tonnages and the cement plant. Apparently, the Leader of the Opposition goes down the road with Mr Hill - the so-called 'independent' Mr Hill. We have heard the opposition repeating 'independent inquiry'. There was absolutely no vestige of independence about Mr Hill. Mr Hill has the biggest vested interest in Australia. Mr B. Collins: Why did you agree to it? Mr EVERINGHAM: We did not agree to Mr Hill. The Prime Minister forced Mr Hill on us without consultation. The very day Mr Hill was appointed, I said that Mr Hill would be seeking to cook the books, and Mr Hill has cooked the books. He has not even made a good job of cooking them. He has not used any published methodology. He has flown in the face of Bureau of Transport and Economics methodology and he has ignored the fact that there is a market for Frances Creek iron ore at premium prices, which of course the opposition refuses to recognise. The Leader of the Opposition dismisses the ADMA scheme because it has had one bad season. The Leader of the Opposition says this tonnage will not eventuate from ADMA. Of course, it is not just a tonnage. All that the opposition has done this afternoon is seek to get its Canberra colleagues off the hook. This is the reason why the people of the Northern Territory cannot trust the opposition. It is not just small untruths, small fabrications, like the member for MacDonnell's statement that I held a joint press conference with Mr Olsen and Mr Bjelke-Petersen in respect of the railway from Mt Isa to Darwin. It is not just small fabrications like that that the opposition reads into the record - things that never happened and it knows they never happened. The reason that the people of the Northern Territory will continue to withhold their confidence from the opposition is that it will not face the fact that it has to stand up and fight
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