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 2753 We nearly killed one of our fellow exercise attendees, the Member for Brennan. On the Friday night, as all the best snorers do, the Member for Brennan was the first to fall asleep and proceeded to snore long, loud and comfortably all night. I can assure the Assembly, there were serious plans being canvassed to dig a shallow grave. All in all, Exercise Executive Stretch was an excellent experience, made all the better as a result of the organisers. I pay my respect to each and every one of them: Lieutenant Colonel John Papalitsas, Commanding Officer of Norforce; Commander Victor Pilicic from HMAS Coonawarra; Wing Commander Steve Parsons, Commanding Officer of 13 Squadron RAAF Darwin; Squadron Leader Duncan Flemington for the Orion P3 information session; Flight Sergeant Cra ig Rochester for the bomb suit and robot demonstration; Major Michelle Griffith and Captain Josephine Symonds for the roping exercises; Mr Peter Still at the battle simulation centre; HMAS Coonawarra organisers, Lieutenant Commander Philipa Hay and Chief Petty Officer Tony Thomas; Warrant Officer Styles; Warrant Officers Scott Hannan and Andrew Grant, for the improvised flotation and zodiac training; Warrant Officer Robert Kelly, for the field observation training. Finally, there were the Defence reserves and staff assisting along the way: Territory Reservists Manager and already-mentioned Captain J J Roncevich; Operations Manager Chris Cate; Sergeant-Major Bob Richards; Lance-Corporal Jamie Ackers; and Chief Safety Officer, Captain Jack Olchowik. To each of you I say thank you. You each contributed to making a truly memorable experience. To my fellow attendees I also say thank you. It was a pleasure undertaking the exercise with you. To any employers out there, the Australian Defence Force Reserves can provide your staff members with experiences, values and training that you will benefit from. If you have reservists on your staff, embrace them. If you have employees considering giving the reserves a go, encourage them. You will not regret it. To my colleagues in this place, if the opportunity to participate in a future executive stretch exercise presents, jump at it. You, too, will never regret it. Ms NELSON (Katherine): I will respond to the Opposition Leaders comments about unions, not just made yesterday during the debate but throughout the past year. I have sat in this Chamber and listened to the tirades, the disdain and, frankly, often disrespectful way in which the opposition has spoken of unions and the proud members of these unions. I am a proud member of the Australian Services Union. Unions play an important and pivotal role in our society. I spoke about my membership with the ASU and the history of the ASU in my maiden speech. Unions have been a part of the Australian industrial landscape for over 100 years. Union leaders are community leaders and, in conjunction with the Labor Party, have been at the forefront of major industrial reforms that have resulted in improvement in pay, safety and working conditions for workers across every industry sector in this wonderful country. The entitlements that workers enjoy today such as annual leave, sick leave, long service leave, superannuation, occupational health and safety standards, and workers compensation were all hard fought for conditions that were won by unions and their leaders for their members. The union organisation and the Australian Labor Party have and will continue to work together to create a better and more just society, so we can be a stronger and better educated nation for the future. I am incredibly proud to be a union member, especially of the ASU. The example my parents set for my brother and me was the reason I became a member of the Australian Labor Party. The way we were raised entrenched Labor values and beliefs into me. My party, the Australian Labor Party, is a reflection of me in many aspectsvery down to earth, comprised of hard-working people who can and do make a difference in this world. We believe in an end to discrimination and a fair go for all, and we strive towards those goals. I have been very fortunate to not only have worked with some incredibly talented people in the Labor Party, but now to also be one of the very privileged few who have been elected into parliament as part of the Labor parliamentary party in the Northern Territory. Unions not only give their members a voice at work, but can also have much broader political effects. Unions are the most important institutions in the fight against inequality. But for too long, many Liberal conservatives seemed happy to watch unions disappear. Part of the problem is that they misunderstood unions as primarily economic institutions that just negotiate wages and benefits for their members.