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The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010



The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010

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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 48 First Report very title of CTC for what is little more than a glorified Public Accounts Committee does little to satisfy the criticism. Other issues arising out of the operation of the CTC is that under its current structure and operation it cannot hope to meet the expectations of the Member for Nelson and the expectations of many Territorians. Returning again to what was described by the Member for Nelson, it is in terms of the CTCs capacity to advise government the CTC will fall short of its ambitions. Two issues need to be addressed at this point. Firstly, the fact that the decisions of the CTC are not binding on government and secondly, that Ministers cannot be compelled to attend the meetings of the CTC. The CTC accepts that it fails on both points. If the recommendations of the CTC are not binding they do not meet the expectations of the Member for Nelson as described by him to the people of the NT. The CTC is not a municipal version of state government. It has been reduced to a humoured parliamentary committee, humoured by a government that has been able to achieve the support of the Member for Nelson by offering him a committee that essentially has no real teeth. Country Liberals have made it clear to the Committee and strongly believe that if this Committee is to affect the task that has been required of it, by both expectation and by the people of the Territory, much more work needs to be done by the CTC. For instance, this committee has met 11 times189 and undertaken 45 hours190 of evidence capture. This is not enough. In respect to the areas that have been covered, and as you will see below, there are areas where we have gained some information, and found some areas and some serious areas of short coming by this the NT Government, however this we believe is merely a small amount of what is actually occurring. As set out above, more efficient use of the Committee and its Members time can be achieved if Members of the Committee are well prepared prior to undertaking the receiving of evidence. What should be considered here is that many referrals that were proposed for other committees have been pushed to this Committee. This has been done at the behest of the Committee Chair. If we are to be successful in being able to effectively and in a timely manner deal with these matters, more time needs to be provided for the Committee to both deliberate and to undertake the necessary investigations. The Committee Chair needs to take this matter on seriously if he is to be true to his statement of intent for this Committee. At the very least, it is the view of the Country Liberals that this Committee should be meeting every second day, and for as many days as needed to get through the work needed. It should be remembered that the matters that are being dealt with are centred on failures by the current government and many of them remain contemporary and still under way. We would hate to see that the CTC is actually being used as an excuse by this government for slowing things down further, as government is doing the slowing down of decision making well enough on its own. The incapacity of the CTC to demand the presence of Ministers demonstrates a further emasculation of what should be a force to be reckoned with. The system of 189 Includes deliberative meetings and public hearings up to and including 12 February 2010. 190 Includes all hearing hours undertaken up to and including 4 February 2010, inclusive of breaks.

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