The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010
Tabled paper 714
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Gerard Wood
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Council of Territory Co-operation 47 First Report Issues with the operation of the Council of Territory Co-operation Resources of the Committee Thus far the committee has been provided with the following resources: Staff: 4187 Research: 1 Travel: $87,000188 With a committee of the value of importance that was placed in by the Member for Nelson, the expectation is not unreasonable that the Committee would have been provided with the exceptional resources, including sufficient and properly qualified staff to undertake the activities that it needs to perform. For example, at the moment the preparation of summary material and prior briefing by the Committee Secretariat to the Committee Members simply does not occur. The result of this is that Committee Members are required to become experts in all the areas that they are investigating and do so without staffing support. It is not unreasonable to expect that the Committee Secretariat undertake provision of briefing material that sets out who the people are that are coming forward, the positions they hold, the activities they have undertaken and the potential areas for questioning. This has not been undertaken by the Committee Secretariat, and as such, much is lost in being able to get through material and gain the most out of the testimony of the witnesses that the committee deals with. It is the view of the Country Liberals that if the Committee was to, and is to in the future meet the expectation bar of being able to fully and forensically look at the issues that are brought to its attention, then such preparatory material is required. Again when looking at the preparation of reports by the Committee that Members are well briefed on the evidence that has been provided to the Committee as well as a distillation of this evidence so as to assist the Committee Members in their thoughts and further requirements to seek additional information. Issues Surrounding the Expectations and Delivery by the CTC Initially the Country Liberal members of the Council of Territory Co-operation (CTC) expressed their reservations about the structure of the CTC. Little has been done to change the critical observations maintained by the Country Liberals. Firstly, the CTC is not what was envisaged by its primary driver the Member for Nelson. During the period of near collapse of the NT Government the Member for Nelson described a model for the future governance of the Northern Territory based on a municipal council model. This model has several flaws at a state level, not least of which was the challenge that it represents to Westminster structures of responsible government, and would offend the Northern Territory Self Government Act (Cwth) 1978 in numerous ways. The CTC should accept the promise made to Territorians that as to what the CTC offers the Territory public in its current state is at best naive. It is granted that the Member for Nelson has accepted publicly that the CTC isnt his stated model. The 187 Includes one research officer and 3 staff who have responsibilities other than with the CTC. 188 Includes staff accommodation, aircraft charter, witness travel, fuel, motor vehicles, official duty fares, travelling allowance and venue hire budget for 2009-2010 financial year from November 2009.
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