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 will increase by about $8 for 6 months or $16 for a 12-month period. Taking into account third-party insurance, the increase will be from $327.90 to $344 per annum. That compares most favourably with interstate charges. It is about half the cost of registration in Victoria for example. Darwin bus fares are to rise from 15 July. Fares charged by the Darwin Bus Service are among the lowest in any capital city in Australia. They have not changed since 15 July 1991. For example, an adult single zone fare is to increase from 900 to $1. The flat-rate fare for pensioners, students and the unemployed is to increase from 400 to 500 regardless of the distance travelled. Even with this increase, Darwin bus fares will remain among the lowest in the country. To put to bed the furphy that the Leader of the Opposition has been spreading, details of these increases in registration fees and bus fares were provided to the media in the closed media briefing held last Thursday, shortly before the Treasurer delivered his budget speech. Information was also provided by my press secretary. The increases were announced on the midday news following the release of the budget. The Leader of the Opposition wants to claim that these increases were some kind of a secret, but he should talk with people who live in Darwin. On the ABCs Morning Show the following day, Michael McKenzie had already interviewed a number of bus travellers who not only commented on the increased bus fares but said that they believed it was the first increase in a long time and that it was quite low. Some of the people interviewed were from interstate and they said that we have an excellent service at an excellent cost. The Leader of the Opposition might have thought it was a secret because he had not heard about it, but he should have talked to a few Territorians. If he had listened to the news, the facts were well and truly known by the public. It was no secret. It was well advertised. I turn now to the Darwin Port Authority component of my portfolio and mention for a moment the all-important development of the East Arm port facility which impacts significantly on the 1995-96 budget. That is something else that was said to be a secret. It was not mentioned in the budget speech, but I think that we are all well aware that the East Arm development is continuing. I guess that is another example of what the Leader of the Opposition would call a secret. As members of this Assembly realise, the Northern Territory is committed to the building of the new Port of Darwin to take advantage of its geographic position and capitalise on Australias increasing trade with our Asian neighbours. The new port will incorporate the latest in technology and cargo-handling resources, unconstrained by existing infrastructure. Incorporated into the masterplan for the new port is provision for a direct connection to the planned Darwin to Alice Springs railway, linking the port to Australias national network. Construction work on the port commenced in December 1994, and the new financial year will see steady progress towards the provision of an operational facility in 1997, with an estimated expenditure of $ 19m from the Darwin Port Authority budget in 1995-96. Initially, the new facility will handle bulk cargo, such as clinker and sulphur, the expanding live cattle export trade, and rig tender servicing. Additionally, provision is being made to incorporate a multi-functional bulk liquids terminal for handling fuels associated with the future establishment of the fuel storage facility at East Arm. This will increase the project expenditure by some $6m in 1995-96 through the allocation of funds from the jointly-funded federal and Northern Territory Building Better Cities program. 3486