Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

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Parliamentary Record 3


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 - Wednesday 1 May 1991 Hr Collins: That is your bad luck! Mr BELL: Mr Speaker, the fact is that this government did not tell the truth at the time of the election, and any comparison with the situation in any state is inaccurate. Mr Colli ns: The correlation is perfect. Mr BELL: The member for Greatorex suggests that there is some parallel with Victoria. Far be it from me to suggest that the Victorian government's management of the economy is any better than that of the Northern Territory government, but the difference with the Victorian Labor government is that it went to the polls on the basis of what it knew at the time. These people did not go to polls ... Members interjecting. Mr BELL: I stress it. I repeat it. The member for Greatorex should have worked that out by now. Members of this government did not go to the people on the basis of what they knew at the time because, at the time, they knew precisely the circumstances they were under. The fact of the matter is that the economies of the large states of Victoria and New South Wales are dramatically less amenable to government activity than is that of the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory knows in July one year, within a dollar or 2 either way, precisely how much money it will receive. For states like Victoria and New South Wales, which are far more dependent on the level of economic activity in their states for returns to the public purse, the fiscal task is a little greater. If that argument applies to populous states like Victoria and New South Wales, it applies at an infinitely greater level to the Commonwealth government, which members opposite spend most of their time bucketing. The Commonwealth government faces a fiscal task much more difficult than that faced by this government. Before the election, members opposite knew how much money they would receive, but they did not bother to tell the people. Now the election is over and they are telling them. I will not elaborate on those issues because they have been explained adequately by the Leader of the Opposition and other opposition speakers. In this Assembly today, we have had a lengthy debate about the vices of the government in respect of the unheralded changes it is visiting on the education system in the Northern Territory. I do not intend to rehearse that debate. Suffice it to say that I believe that the Estimates Review Committee is a furphy. The government stands condemned for failing to inform the people of the Northern Territory about the fiscal situation of which it was well aware well before the last election. Motion agreed to. MINING AMENDMENT BILL (Serial 25) Continued from 6 February 1991 Mr BAILEY (Wanguri): Mr Speaker, the opposition has no difficulty in supporting the Mining Amendment Bill, which relates to the control of coal within the Northern Territory. The Attorney-General delivered the second-reading speech on behalf of the minister. 869

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