Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 17 May 1994



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 17 May 1994

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Parliamentary Record 26


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




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 - Tuesday 17 May 1994 Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr Coulter: The total debt on Yulara is about $35n>. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr Bell: Good grief! Who are you kidding? Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr Coulter interjecting. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Members on both sides of the Chamber will desist and will allow the Leader of the Opposition to continue his response. Mr Bell: Even at that price ... Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr EDE: Similarly, the Amadeus Basin to Darwin pipeline is not owned by the Northern Territory. In fact, it is owned by a consortium which is indemnified against any loss. Given the CLP's latest debt smokescreen, some questions need to be asked. Is the CLP proposing to sell roadworks, schools and police stations to cover the debt? No other government in Australia would even attempt to hoodwink the electorate with this sort of misrepresentation, but then again, no other government in Australia would claim that it was running a balanced budget based on a large deficit every year. The CLP has no financial credentials left. It is a disgrace and it must go. The Treasury debt corporation has been taken on board finally by the CLP. As part of its 'nothing new to say' election campaign 4 years ago, the CLP ran the false claim that such a corporation would be a disaster. Over the last 4 years, the CLP government has paid $875m in interest costs. That is equal to 57% of the total annual budget for 1994-95- Under the CLP's mismanagement, last year the Territory paid $2l6m gross interest on a gross debt of $1900m. The mathematics go like this. The average interest rate of Territory debt for that year was 11.2%. That is 1.3 percentage points higher than the interest charges on the all-state average. It is 2.3 percentage points higher than the interest paid on debt managed by the Queensland Treasury Corporation. If we had been ... Mr Perron: We did not even have self-government when they were accumulating their debt. Mr EDE: This is current debt and current interest paid. If we had been paying the all-state average rate of interest, we would have saved Territorians $24m last year alone. Over the last 4 years, Territorians would have been saved between $80m and $90m. That money would have been available for services, capital works, debt reduction or a mixture of all 3. but Territorians have missed out because of CLP incompetence. Having bagged the concept of a Treasury corporation at the last election, the CLP is now adopting it after wasting $80m in the interim. Turning to debt management, the CLP strategy to rein in the debt burden is to cut capital works and government services. There are 3 main indicators of the debt problems created by the CLP's incompetence and U 977

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