Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


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 - Thursday 21 October 1993 The real difficulty for this organisation is that it does not know where it stands with the department. Through informal consultations, it understands that a letter will be received within the next week or so telling it what its fate will be. However, at the moment, the people are very nervous about the possible contents of this letter because they understand that the thrust has shifted to some extent since the Living with Alcohol Unit has moved from the Department of the Chief Minister to the Department of Health and Community Services. CAAAPU does not really know where it stands with this minister. It has had no clear response from him and it is certainly very anxious about the money it needs to receive to keep its program going. CAAAPU is approximately 2 weeks away from running out of funds, with people still on the treatment programs, still with staff employed and still with premises to run. I believe the Minister for Health and Community Services needs to make a decision as to whether he will provide funding and support for this organisation and, if so, how much and when it will be forthcoming. Instead of being fed dribs and drabs and working with that, the organisation would then be able to get on with the business of planning its programs. It is really not good enough to give it money month by month. It is not providing the kind of service that can be stopped and started at whim. These programs are ongoing and CAAAPU needs to be supported properly. I hope that, especially in view of the fact that CAAAPU celebrates its opening tomorrow, the minister will feel it an appropriate time to get off his seat and make some decisions on behalf of this worthy organisation to enable it to know where it stands with its funding. Mr CARTWRIGHT (Victoria River): Mr Deputy Speaker, it is more than 2 years since this government announced its Estimates Review Committee to work some way out of the huge debt that the government's propping up of the Sheraton hotels and the Yulara Resort had caused. The ERC tax and cost increases are still working their way through the system. Over the last couple of years, the government has cranked up charges for building inspection and certification as it has prepared the electorate for the likely cost of these services under privatisation. At the same time, of course, the government set about axing the jobs of long-serving public servants in the Building Branch. What a wonderful reward for decades of loyal service to their employer! In 1991 and 1992, the government introduced a whole range of new charges in the Building Branch and pushed up existing charges by massive amounts. Most charges were cranked up by between 200# and 500%. Some charges were cranked up by as much as 600#. While these charges were being jacked up, the government continued along its path of privatisation of the Building Branch. Industry sources said that privatisation might add thousands of dollars to the cost of a standard house. In the May sittings, the Assembly debated the Building Bill (Serial 206). During that debate, as shadow spokesperson for housing, I said that the opposition welcomed the introduction of the Building Bill, but I went on to say that, in the government's haste to introduce this bill, I believed that a number of issues had been poorly considered and needed amending. Throughout that debate, many references were made to the fact that Territory consumers would have ultimately to pay more to construct their homes. The privatisation process is now in place, and I am receiving a considerable amount of feedback to the effect that private certification has increased building costs substantially. I am told that the cost of having house plans approved and the necessary inspections carried out by private certifiers is as much as 500# more than it was with the Building Board. In 10 269