Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

Details:

Title

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

Other title

Parliamentary Record 3

Collection

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

Date

1991-05-01

Notes

Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Language

English

Subject

Debates

Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication

Darwin

File type

application/pdf

Use

Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/279515

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/418775

Page content

DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 PERSONAL EXPLANATION Mr COLLINS (Greatorex): Mr Speaker, I was out of the Assembly, but I heard on the loudspeaker the member for MacDonnell suggesting that I was trying to denigrate the parents of the children of Traeger Park Primary School in the Gap area. If he reads the record, he will find that that was anything but the case. However, I stated the fact that the school has not been able to get a council together. I did point out that, since the parents have galvanised themselves into action - and Richard Hayes is a very competent person who is not backward at finding his feet - they have actually marched and demonstrated and have met with the minister. My point was that, now that they have found their feet in those ways, I hope that something positive can come out of it and that they will continue that i nterest. Mr Bell: Well, why didn't you vote for our motion? Mr COLLINS: Because your motion was nonsensical. If the opposition members were in government, they would probably do nothing and, in 3 years time, they would be in such a mess that they would have to sack teachers because they would have no other choice. MINISTERIAL STATEMENT Northern Territory Public Sector Debt Mr COULTER (Treasurer): Mr Speaker, in August last year, the Chief Minister and Treasurer delivered in this Assembly a comprehensive statement and tabled a detailed report on Northern Territory public sector debt. Less than 9 months later, I have found it necessary to produce a similar report updated to the current day, not because the data has changed to any great degree but because it is obvious that honourable members opposite have never given the original document more than a mere passing glance. I find it curious, for example, that the Leader of the Opposition keeps claiming publicly that debt levels in the Northern Territory are out of control. He and his nearby colleagues are the only people in the world who think so. Certainly, the federal government does not think so. After all, the Territory's representative on the Australian Loan Council is none other than the federal Treasurer, Mr Keating. One would have to believe that Mr Keating would not keep making global borrowing decisions for us if he had difficulty with our overall borrowing structure. Nevertheless, the Leader of the Opposition seeks to make a case for himself by saying that the Territory's debt levels are increasing at a rate faster than the average of the states. So they are. We would not attempt to deny it. But,, we have to ask ourselves why that is so. The simple fact is that, because the Territory has been borrowing only since self-government, the bulk of our associated debt is relatively new. In contrast, much of the capital infrastructure in the states was constructed and financed over several decades. In other words, the Territory has used the bulk of its borrowings - and I emphasise that they are borrowings set under strict Commonwealth guidelines - to build the community infrastructure that Territorians have needed and demanded in the growth years of the past decade following self-government. It is true that, on a per capita basis, our borrowings have increased in that recent time frame at a faster rate than most of the states. So what? If the Territory had not done just that, we would not today be enjoying the community lifestyle improvements that we now take for granted. The Leader of the


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