Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 21 February 1996



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 21 February 1996

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Parliamentary Record 19


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 - Wednesday 21 February 1996 Mr POOLE: ... all the regions in Australia except the Northern Territory which is represented by a blank yellow-coloured area. Not a single decision has been taken by the federal government in relation to the Northern Territory under that regional strategy. It is really frustrating for that hard-working group in Amhem Land that it is unable to obtain a cent to do what it wants to do. It has a strategy with which my department has provided some assistance. It has also assisted many other areas in the Territory to prepare strategies, but they are unable to obtain funding to implement them. It is a joke. This level o f duplication and over-regulation is typical o f Labors brave new world. As Minister for Asian Relations, Trade and Industry, I have been concerned for some time about the plethora o f laws, regulations and compulsory requirements that have been imposed on business by the federal Labor government. The impact of this legislative load falls hardest on small business which has been described as the engine room o f the Australian economy. As John Howard has pointed out, the way to reduce unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is to promote small business growth, yet Labor seems to be committed to regulating small business out of existence. There is one area where there is a very clear distinction between the major parties. John Howard has pledged to relax the fringe benefit tax laws, reform the capital gains tax laws and reduce government red tape to liberate and re-energise Australias small business sector. On the other hand, Labor offers only more of the same - high taxes, over-regulation, broken promises, and poorly designed labour market programs, many o f which seem to be designed to remove people from the unemployment statistics rather than place them in long-term jobs. Under Labor, we have seen many examples in the Territory where people are trained and retrained, their expectations are raised, and then they are let down savagely when their training comes to an end and there are no real jobs for them to take up. It is clear that the Territory, and indeed the whole o f Australia, has been poorly serviced by 13 years o f hard Labor. The Territorys problems have been exacerbated by the low quality o f representation it has had from its federal Labor politicians. The road ahead for the Territory looks difficult at best, and impassable at worst, if Labor is re-elected on 2 March. Clearly, it is time for a change. Mr RIOLI (Arafura): Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister made a long statement today in an attempt to give Nick Dondas a boost in his endeavours for election on 2 March. The Chief Minister spoke at length, but at no time did he mention the CLP Senator, Grant Tambling, in his statement. Senator Tambling has held his seat for a number o f years, but the Chief Minister could find nothing to say about him. How serious is the CLP government about supporting its candidates? My predecessor, the previous member for Arafura, tabled an extract from a speech Senator Tambling made on Australia Day a few years ago and the member for Barkly mentioned it earlier. That indicated Senator Tamblings commitment to Aboriginal Territorians. How serious is his commitment to our people? We hear a great deal from government members about federal Labor programs. They do not want to accept any responsibility for the health or housing o f Aboriginal Territorians. They always say that the problems are the fault o f the federal Labor government and not the fault o f the Territory government. They duck and weave and seek to lay the blame on others. 6535