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 cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it is a disgrace that it is so little used. People in Tennant Creek and the Barkly region have to rely almost entirely now on distance education to access the types of programs they want. Centralian College is yet to prove its worth in that area. Whenever we see facilities drawn back from one particular urban centre and distributed to another, it is always at the expense of the smaller area. I always have great fears when I see these services drawn back from Tennant Creek to Alice Springs or Katherine or wherever. In education, a paltry $55 000 has been allocated for minor new works. The bush schools are being ignored once again until they literally fall apart. There is no concerted plan for replacement of those outdated, leaky, old rustbuckets, the Silver Bullets, that are dotted across the Barkly to serve as classrooms and teacher accommodation. Even if nothing is to be done overnight, it would be good to see some plan that indicated that there is a real intention to upgrade these facilities eventually to provide proper accommodation. The health budget for the Barkly is up by $lm. That is great to see, and I await the details to see where these funds will be directed. The funding for power and water in the Tennant Creek area is static. It is about the same as last year with the various capital works projects. No money appears to have been set aside in the budget for development of the thermal solar plant. I know that this is a long-term project but, somewhere along the line, the department has presumably to allocate funds for that research program. I would like to hear from the minister when we can expect to see some movement on this long-awaited and much-vaunted scheme. Certainly, the Tennant Creek community is very much looking forward to this development. It will be a very important and significant research project. I know that the solar thermal project does not depend only on the Territory and that 5 instrumentalities are involved. Nevertheless, the project would benefit our area and the Territory significantly. Thus, I imagine the thrust will have to come principally from the Northern Territory. I am interested to see that, under lands and housing, there is mention of $200 000 for general purpose housing in Borroloola in proposed future capital works. That is good, but I hope it happens sooner rather than later. I always worry about these proposed future capital works projects because sometimes they do not appear on the following years actual capital works program. I was interested to note that the item about housing for Borroloola appeared in the booklet Tennant Creek Highlights. Housing for Borroloola comes under the Katherine branch unless, of course, there is to be a change there with housing becoming a responsibility of the Tennant Creek office ... Mr Reed: I do not think it is that. Mrs HICKEY: Certainly, I would like to see that happen because, at the moment, we have something of a mixture. We have the Power and Water Authority and the Departments of Transport and Works, and Education in Tennant Creek, but some of the other departments operate from Katherine. There is a mish-mash of departmental responsibilities there. Certainly, it would be nice to see all those operating from Tennant Creek. I appreciate that I may be accused of being parochial in that regard, but I believe Katherine has more than enough to cope with at the moment. It is a huge and growing area. It would be good to see the departments with responsibility for Borroloola taken back to Tennant Creek. However, it has 3480