Territory Stories

Debates Day 6 - Thursday 19 October 2017



Debates Day 6 - Thursday 19 October 2017

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Parliamentary Record 8


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Thursday 19 October 2017 2703 This is ridiculous and it needs to be overturned. I know the Treasurer will be there giving everything she has, in the professional way she approaches things, because in her heart she wants the best for Territorians. She wants the best for her children, her childrens future, her family, and all of our families and friends. I wholeheartedly support this motion. Mrs FINOCCHIARO (Spillett): Mr Deputy Speaker, I am really happy to rise and contribute to this motion. One thing that is very clear to me is that your heart is not in this. You are trying to talk the talk, but you are not walking the walk. This is a governmentthe hypocrisy! This is a government that cannot even make its submission to the Productivity Commission on time. You could not even get your own submission on behalf of Territorians to the Productivity Commission. Members interjecting. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Deputy Leader of the Opposition, please hold. Honourable Members, we will hear the Deputy Leader of the Opposition please. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: Then you come in here, scaremongering as you have for the last eight months, since the GST announcement was made. You come in here and give us your portfolio updates, which are all very interesting to hear, but if this is truly a debate on GST then let us have that conversation. If this government spent as much time being productive and constructive as it does waxing lyrical, we might actually see some good results. But you are paralysed and cannot actually execute anything. You are paralysed by your own talk, your own prophesis ing. We are standing in this House as an opposition that is absolutely committed to the GST carve up staying the same. We have made that clear. You know as well as anyone that the Productivity Commission is independent of the federal government. You know as well as anyone that it is incumbent upon all of us to go back to the Productivity Commission regarding its draft report and say, No, thank you. We do not accept that change. We all agree that we do not want that change. To come in here and try to create further hysteria and mask the fact that you are actua lly not doing anything about it is absolutely ridiculous. The Honourable Scott Morrison, the federal Treasurer, said in his press release on 9 OctoberI hope the members opposite are listening very carefully: HFE is how we apply the fair go principle to the way the Commonwealth makes payments to states and territories, in particular, how we share around the $60 billion in annual GST revenue. The objective of HFE is to ensure that all our states and territories have the fiscal capacity to provide Australians with services and infrastructure at the same standard across the country. We all agree that how GST is carved up is critical and we need to protect our share of the GST in every way we can. The best way to do that is to be constructive, be positive and put our best case forward. We are urging the Treasurer and this government get their submission on the draft report to the Productivity Commission on time and make it really good. It has to be the best product you can possibly come up with. We have written to the Productivity Commission and are calling on it to come to the Northern Territory to hold its public hearings so all Territorians have an opportunity to put their best case forward. But this government needs to lead. You are the government of the day and that requires it is incumbent upon you. Territorians expect you to lead positively and constructively so that positive results are yielded for our entire community. This is a draft report. There is a s trong opportunity here, but it has to be seized. We have put an amendment to the ministers motion, and we hope this government read the amendment carefully and is thinking it through. The Leader of the Opposition spoke very well and clearly about our posi tion and why we have amended the motion. We all need to be putting our best submission forward, taking the case of Territorians to the Productivity Commission so that we protect our share of the GST. It is critical that Territorians are confident that our GST sharing arrangements are working and that we have a sense of security. A bit of a history lessonin April this year the Turnbull government commissioned the Productivity Commission to review the horizontal fiscal equalisation to consider whether it i s still working in the way that it should.