Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995
Parliamentary Record 11
Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 away from the existing field which is located in the centre of town. At Hermannsburg, PAWA will connect the communitys power supply to 5 bores in the area at a cost of $160 000. This work will replace 6 manually-operated existing diesel generators which power the pumps. The replacement value of assets on Aboriginal communities has been calculated at $468m for electricity-related assets, $ 15.9m on water assets, and $8.3m for sewerage assets. In this budget, water tariffs will increase from 410 to 460 per 1000 L. Sewerage tariffs for the average home or unit will rise by 8%, increasing annual tariffs from $257 to $278. However, even after the tariff increase, PAWA will still recover only about 80% of the total cost of supplying water. As outlined in the budget last year, electricity tariffs will remain frozen until 1997-98. The increases in water and sewerage tariffs arc the first since October 1992 and, even with the increases, Territorians will continue to enjoy water rates that arc among the cheapest in Australia. Sewerage costs remain around the average Australia-wide. The increases are in line with the recent Hilmer agreement which will ensure that PAWA, along with other utilities throughout Australia, moves towards full cost-rccovery by the year 2000. In this regard, the authority is currently approaching the end of its first year of operation without any appropriation from government for its commercial services division. This year, for the first time, revenue from power, water and sewerage services is covering the cost of providing the services. In coming years, PAWA intends to build on this achievement in an effort to improve viability and reduce debt. In the couple of minutes remaining to me, I want to make a couplc of comments on my electorate of Katherine. It is a rapidly expanding community that now has a population of about 10 000 people. The strong growth experienced in recent years continues, and I am pleased to say that support for the community of Katherine also continues from this government. This year will see a budgetary allocation of $1.5m to expand Katherine High School which is very well resourced, but nearing its capacity. In support of the mining industry, a fairly recent arrival to the Katherine economy and a considerable generator of employment, an allocation of $900 000 has been provided to construct a high-level crossing over the Edith River on the Edith Falls Road to afford uninterrupted access to Mt Todd Mine for working there. That is most important, of course, from the point of view of continuity of services at the mine. Something that is personally gratifying is an allocation of $2m to commence the Katherine/Daly development program. That will be directed principally towards roads and will generate considerable activity and economic benefits for the community. Mr POOLE (Correctional Services): Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to speak in support of the 1995-96 budget presented by the honourable Treasurer last week. The budget for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment for 1995-96 is $5.188m compared with $5.402m in 1994-95. The apparent decrease is in fact the result of the one-off increase in 1994-95 which resulted from adjustments to trust account arrangements following the introduction of the Financial Management Act. Those trust accounts were held against the human resource development and human resource management divisions to hold payments from other government agencies whose staff undertook management development courses run by the office. Those trust accounts are no longer required under the new act and payments are treated as revenue. In fact, the 1995-96 budget contains no significant variations over this year. The functions of the office arc well defined under the Public Sector Employment and Management Act, and no major changes to staffing or other costs are anticipated. 3541
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