Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


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 23 November 1994 the control o f the Department o f Transport and Works. As a result, I know a little about how they operate. It is a very efficiently run group. When the ERC cuts process was rampant in all government departments, some departments ensured that those cuts were very apparent to observers, no doubt in an attempt to attract some sympathy. However, the Northern Territory Fire Service absorbed many o f those cuts and one way that it did that was through the staff who maintain the grounds o f the services buildings in good order. The current personnel do the maintenance on the grounds to keep them neat, tidy and looking as well as they do. The Northern Territory Fire Service also conducts courses for people who are not part o f the fire personnel group. These courses relate to fire protection by other groups of people. A sum o f money is paid to the Northern Territory Fire Service for these courses. Unfortunately, I believe the money simply goes into Consolidated Revenue. I believe that, if a government department earns money by whatever means, it is only fair that consideration be given to that being included in its own budget to meet its own needs. Unlike some other government departments, which have enormous budget blow-outs, the Northern Territory Fire Service demonstrates its efficiency by almost always operating nearly within its budget. All in all, considering the work that the Northern Territory Fire Service is called on to do and the efficient manner in which it does that work, I believe it is to be commended. With the population increases that are occurring in the Northern Territory, the government needs continually to monitor the numbers in the Northern Territory Fire Service because, if the 12 RAAF personnel in the RAAF Fire Protection Unit are pulling out and it is expected that the work will be done by the Northern Territory Fire Service, it is only reasonable to expect an increase in the number o f personnel that the Northern Territory Fire Service employs. Towns down the track have to be considered as well, given the increases that are occurring in their populations, particularly at Katherine. At the moment, Katherine has 1 or 2 permanent staff and auxiliaries, although I am not certain o f the exact numbers. However, with the increasing number o f people in Katherine, I believe the total number o f fire personnel there has to be looked at. In reckoning the number o f personnel employed in the Darwin area, both the Darwin and Palmerston areas must be considered - not Darwin alone - even though the areas operate as the one fire district. I believe the work that the Northern Territory Fire Service does in the rural area must be taken into consideration. It goes out with its volunteers to Elizabeth River at the appropriate fire call-out times. Thus, not only does it service Darwin and Palmerston but, on many occasions, it works as far down as Elizabeth River. All this has to be taken into account when the subject o f personnel is raised. Another matter on which I would like to touch briefly this evening relates to spare parts. I do not know whether the government can do anything about it, but I would like to air the subject. Because it is newsworthy, we read often in the NT News and hear small items on television about the enormous prices that people have to pay for spare parts for vehicles and various pieces o f machinery. Recently, my attention was drawn to the anomalous situation that exists in relation to different people selling the same spare parts for machinery. 1862