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




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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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 2686 amends the Procurement Act to guarantee that the ICAC has complete independence as to whom it chooses to contract to conduct investigative and legal work removes obsolete references to the Public Interest Disclosure Act and replaces them with references to the ICAC Act where appropriate. I commend the bill to honourable members, and table a copy of the explanatory statement and a statement on whether the bill is compatible with human rights as defined in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth). Motion agreed to; bill read a first time. Ms FYLES (Attorney-General and Justice): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move that the bill be referred to the Social Policy Scrutiny Committee for report by the first meeting day in 2018. Motion agreed to. MOTION Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation Ms MANISON (Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I move that the Assembly condemn the move by federal Treasurer Scott Morrison to change the measure of horizontal fiscal equalisation from equal to reasonable; stands united against the proposal, which would widen the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, stifle development in the north, and lead to a permanent drop in the Territorys GST revenue; writes to the federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, calling on him to make no changes to how GST revenues are distributed, unless all states and territories are in agreement; and calls on the Opposition Leader to ensure his party colleague, Senator Scullion, stands up for the Territory on this issue. Members: Hear, hear! Ms MANISON: There comes a point where you have to draw the line and say enough is enough. In this parliament we have reached that point with the Australian Governments treatment of the Northern Territory regarding the distribution of the GST. Unified as onewith the exception of the former and short-lived CLP Treasurer, the Member for Araluen, who called the massive cut fairthe elected members of this Chamber rallied against the $2bn GST cuts imposed by the federal Treasurer. Some on the other side changed their tune as soon as their mates in Canberra roused them on a bit. When the news first broke we spoke as one against the unjustified and unprecedented attack on the Territorys finances. Together, we stuck up for the Territory and fought hard for the rights of Territorians to be given a fair go. We worked hard to get through to Canberra what the immediate effects would be and make sure they understood what these cuts mean. We responded strategically by constraining our expenditure and introduced targeted changes, such as muchneeded revenue, while limiting the impact on hard-working Territorians. We also invested smartly to protect Territory jobs. It was a big task, but we put ourselves in a position to fight another day. The Australian Government was still not satisfied. Aimed squarely at punishing the poor and elevating the rich, the Australian Government ordered a Productivity Commission inquiry into horizontal fiscal equalisation, the very principle which requires that every state and territory be treated equally regardless of their size or wealth. Make no mistake, this was a political smoke screen designed to give the Australian Government some quasilegitimacy to kick the Territory in the guts again. The first blow was delivered right on time last week when the Productivity Commission released its draft report, which said that Australia could boost economic efficiency if the Australian Government did not have to bother about treating all Australians equally. The recommendation to change the measure of horizontal fiscal equalisation from equal to reasonable seems small enough, but far-reaching and long-term repercussions would be in place for every Territorian. If

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