Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




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 - Tuesday 23 May 1995 The Leader of the Opposition mentioned the public service pay rise. He could not see any provision for that in the budget. Recently, we have commenced negotiations on enterprise bargaining, as employers do from time to time. There is no separate, identified provision for pay rises. They are supposed to be offset against productivity and it is not ideal for governments to indicate to unions and others how much they have slotted in for such contingencies. Normally, those funds are for unforeseen circumstances such as bills that were not anticipated. In that event, we obtain the funds from the Treasurers Advance. Housing Commission rents is an interesting item. The Leader of the Opposition asked why, despite the increase in Housing Commission rents, the Housing Commission is shown in the budget as having a decrease in rental receipts. The explanation is very logical. It is due to a lower level of stock resulting from increased sales of Housing Commission houses. As members are aware, we have some very innovative schemes for encouraging Housing Commission tenants to take steps to buy their houses and thereby become more committed Territorians. People are always more committed when they have a mortgage and, as householders, they become further committed as they strive to keep their homes presentable. Mr Coulter: We have the most affordable housing in Australia. Mr PERRON: As the Treasurer intellects, in comparison with any state in Australia, we have the most affordable housing by far. Our rental stocks of Housing Commission houses are reducing. With an increase in rents, rental rebates also increase significantly because a large percentage of Housing Commission stock is occupied by persons whose income is such that their rental levels are fixed by an income formula, not by whatever level the government sets as a rent. Taking into account all the increases and decreases, overall receipts from rents have decreased by some $2m. The increase in rents proposed in the budget means that the reduction will be about $770 000, not $2m. However, $2m is the gross reduction and $770 00 is the net reduction after the increase is brought into play. I think that answers a few of the matters raised by the Leader of the Opposition. I will touch quickly on a few matters relating to the Department of the Chief Minister. The department is not involved in a high level of activity and does not build things, but it performs a range of very important functions. The governments 5-year strategy to combat domestic violence is one of our major social platforms. That strategy will continue unabated with $614 000 allocated to my department for this year. That is funded in the budget through the Living With Alcohol program. Committees have been established and counsellors have been appointed. There are multi-disciplinary training programs for service providers. There is a list of matters that I do not have time to run through now which have been established under our domestic violence strategy. We are very proud of it. We are committed to it very thoroughly and it will continue through this budget. In fact, I have 2 pages of initiatives relating to the governments approach to domestic violence. The Forum on Women in Beijing, in which I am sure the member for Nelson is interested ... Mrs Padgham-Purich: I am not in the slightest bit interested. 3474