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 nature of expenditure and the point at which it occurs in the cycle but, on paper, it does not look good and deserves an explanation. Similarly, in the Work Health Authority, the budget for the Corporate Management Program is increased by 10%, with the operational allocation down in real terms by about 4%. More management and less activity appears to be the case at a time when recent amendments to the act itself would indicate the need for greater activity on the part of the authority. Perhaps the minister will be able to provide some explanation for this in his contribution to this debate. Policing in Nhulunbuy has not been well served by this government since the ERC cuts of March 1991 when a sergeant and a constable were cut from the establishment. At present, Nhulunbuy has 2 sergeants, 8 police officers and a school-based constable. At present, 3 are on leave and that figure will remain unchanged because of the huge backlog of leave entitlements that officers have accrued over the past few years when, in most cases, they have been unable to utilise their full leave as manning levels fell consistently under the previous minister and commissioner. Nhulunbuy Police Station is able to demonstrate an increase in business levels in every sphere of police activity. It did not get a go in the police review and I understand that Nhulunbuy police have been told that they will not obtain any extra police for at least 18 months. I trust the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services will be able to provide a definitive answer on exactly when Nhulunbuy will gain extra police numbers when there has already been an increase in numbers to stations down the track. He can provide that answer either in his contribution to the second-reading debate or in the committee stage. In the meantime, night shifts in Nhulunbuy will continue to be restricted from 10 pm to 6 am on weekends when there is a need for a full-time night shift. At any time someone is sick or in Darwin for court attendance, paid overtime will be the order of the day and that highlights the short-sightedness of this government. It is no surprise that police officers are moving to Queensland. It is perhaps more surprising that more have not. Over the past few months, I have been corresponding with the Minister for Lands, Housing and Local Government to have the government build 12 to 15 units of single-bedroom accommodation in Nhulunbuy. Although 2-bedroom unit stocks have increased in the past 2 years as a result of private sector development, the private sector simply will not build single-bedroom units. The Housing Commission waiting time is more than 5 years and has remained so for the past few years. The minister pointed out that the percentages of Housing Commission housing stocks in Nhulunbuy are marginally above those of other Territory centres. His argument avoids the reality that people in Nhulunbuy live on Aboriginal land under a lease arrangement and that there is an extremely limited private rental market. Eventually, the minister alluded to the fact that no more land was available for development. I found this to be the case from Nabalco. However, it also advised that, subject to being given the go-ahead, it will look at the redevelopment of the Gove House area to create single-bedroom accommodation for a proposed future project. Nabalco has suggested that the government could conceivably buy into this complex. It seems to be a more than reasonable proposition. If it does receive the go-ahead, I hope that the government will pick up the offer as a relatively easy means of providing a greater number of single-bedroom units and reducing that 5-year-plus waiting time. 3505

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