Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 21 November 2017
Parliamentary Record 9
Questions for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
QUESTIONS Tuesday 21 November 2017 538 The infrastructure budget was a very deliberate decision by this government in the first budget we delivered, a record $1.75bn infrastructure budget, to ensure we were supporting jobs and growth across the Northern Territory. We have ensured this money is going out the door to support local business and do the important work. It is also important to remember that this work is building better infrastructure that enables better economic development opportunities and gives Territorians more access to vital services and a better life. The department has been working very hard to get those tenders out the door to support local business. In the first quarter of 2017, from July to September, a total of 235 quotations for tender were awarded across all contract types in tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5, with a total value award of just under $176m. Of these, about 99% were awarded to Territory enterprises, and 167 were construction contracts awarded to Territory enterprises at a value of $163m. That is 98% going local. On a year-by-year comparison of 201617 for the first quarter, July to September, there was an increase of $70m in contracts awarded to local business. The foot is down on the pedal. It is about ensuring that money gets out the door and flows through to do this important work. Because we have strengthened our Buy Local procurement policiesit is about supporting local business. We also contained a record repairs and maintenance budget to get that money flowing through the economy as quickly as possible. The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics is managing $224m of this record $297m repairs and maintenance budget, and the expenditure to date is totalling well over $54m. We have money flowing through the Northern Territory, getting out the door to support businesses in the first quarter. We cannot stress enough how important infrastructure is to Territorians. We have large deficits in infrastructure and need to see more roads and housing, and better services and health clinics. Making sure we deliver quality projects that support local business is a priority of this government. Bank Tax in the Northern Territory Mrs FINOCCHIARO to CHIEF MINISTER Your mate, the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, has said that the South Australian bank tax is dead and it was a bad idea. Do you agree that it is a bad idea, and will you rule out a bank tax being imposed on Territorians? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I believe there is a critical difference in approach here. As a government we have talked about revenue measures, full stop. What we have said is that there are a range of levers here, so how do we pull them to direct and drive investment? We are after outcomes. We would like to support local jobs over fly-in fly-out workers. Is there a way of doing that through the payroll tax system? I went to the mining club lunch a couple of months ago and said we would like to encourage and reward long-term mines over short-term mines. We would also like to look at the ad valorem system versus a system where we only take money at the profit stage. There may be a way we can do that with crediting that looks after mines. We have had that conversation with the mining club. I am obviously frustrated by empty shopfronts and empty blocks that could be invested in Alice Springs, Darwin and around the Territory. Is there a way we can approach that through the taxation system? We are after peoples ideas. We have done this because we want to learn the lesson from what happened last term where people got slapped, without any notice, with a 30% power and water price rise. They did not just do it once; they hit SKYCITY Casino, without any notice or negotiations, for $6m. Then they changed the mineral royalty payments without talking to anybody. We want to be up front and say, You have an opportunity to talk about all of these things going into our second budget. We want to provide people with opportunity to have their say about what we do in the Northern Territory and how we pull the levers. We are open to ideas.
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