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 little indigestion. In relation to the federal budget, there was not a peep out of him about import duty on cars, the building products sales tax, the increased tax on small business - probably significant employers even in his own community - or cuts to education. At least, the member for Barkly had the good grace to acknowledge that the $0.5m that is being ripped from the support for bush schools through the education centre programs that have been operating for 20-odd years was not very nice. However, she suggested that it did not matter that Warren Snowdon had dropped the bag on us because the Territory government could simply pick it up. That is rubbish! Warren Snowdon also has turned his back on teachers and their professional development. The member for Nhulunbuy was talking about the Territory budget meaning less training for teachers. One of the very important training components for our teachers in the Territory is having access to the subsidy scheme for their higher education fees for additional courses at the university. These have been wiped! It might only be $50 000-worth, but that $50 000-worth of professional development has gone, on top of the $0.5m from the education centres. That affects even employees. That will probably affect 1 or 2 people in his regional education office in Nhulunbuy, not to mention at Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs as well. As I say, these programs have been providing worthwhile support to our bush teachers. Did we hear anything about gifted and talented criticism opposite? It seems that the concept of the clever country has gone. I believe it went with the former Prime Minister. It is obscene to cut into that program for the gifted and talented. I offered members opposite a challenge this morning to find out what Warren Snowdons intentions are towards the Aboriginal Education Program and I am yet to hear on the public record what honourable members opposite feel about the potential $4m to $5m out of $12m that Warren Snowdons crew are looking to save on funding Northern Territory Aboriginal programs. It may very well be that AEP programs represent only 20% of the Northern Territorys total expenditure on Aboriginal education, but it is nonetheless a significant amount and taking that $4m or $5m from the total $100m will make a dent. For the life of me, I cannot understand why, in an election year, a Labor government, which talks about equity and justice, should rip $4m to $5m from the Northern Territory, let alone from the AEP. I ask the member for Nhulunbuy to take off his blinkers and expand his view, even peripherally if not laterally, to see what Warren Snowdon and his Labor masters in Canberra are doing to Territorians, and in what name. It is being done in the name of elections in Victoria and New South Wales. With his background on CES and employment issues, I thought the member for Nhulunbuy would have inquired at least what the $1200m cut in Working Nation means to the Northern Territory. That will be cut over 3 years, but $400m or $500m is being taken from it in this financial year across the country. Working Nation is not just a figment of the imagination. It comprises a variety of programs that aim in particular to address training and projects with job potential for the unemployed, especially the long-term unemployed. When I hear around this town that, despite commitments to some groups by Hon Warren Snowdon, that they could trust him to ensure that their funding would not be cut, they are now wondering what to do after 1 July this year, in 6 months time and in 12 months time. What do they do with their programs? What will they do with our young people? How will they accommodate them? How will they provide training programs for them from 1 July? I did not hear a peep from members opposite. 3507