Territory Stories

Questions Day 3 - Thursday 20 August 1998



Questions Day 3 - Thursday 20 August 1998

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Parliamentary Record 9


Questions for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




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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QUESTIONS - Thursday 20 August 1998 think he should answer it. Madam SPEAKER: Minister, answer the question. Mr REED: I must thank the Leader of the Opposition for sending the Deputy Leader of the Opposition along instead of the member for Smart, who is the opposition police spokesman, because he did do a great deal of good - for us. That is commendable. In the 1998-99 budget, police did very handsomely. The priorities that were determined in relation to the funding of replacement equipment or the purchase of new equipment were those that were considered appropriate both by police management and by the government. If members opposite were in government they would spend money wildly and buy everybody everything they asked for without any process to determine priorities. However, the government, in conjunction with senior management of the police force, did assess the priorities and ... Mrs Hickey inteijecting. Mr REED: The member for Smart has indicated already that consideration is being given to the future of the police boat. It does not have the capacity of the former boat, the Salloo. However, nor do police have responsibility for patrolling the whole of the waters that surround the Northern Tenitory coast. There are other responsible authorities, the Navy and Customs. And, of course, we have the capacity to charter vessels in the event that we need them. That is often the case. Funding is available for that. If the member has a real interest in the police and their future, he should talk to them at their association meetings and obtain firsthand views rather than second-guessing all the time. Appointment of Bob Collins as Government Consultant Mr DUNHAM to CHIEF MINISTER What does he say to the claim by a senior Labor Party member, Ian Fraser, that the Northern Territory government has bought off former Territory Labor Senator Bob Collins by appointing him as a consultant on the community management of Aboriginal health services? ANSWER Madam Speaker, despite the inteijections of members opposite, it is worth remembering that this senior Labor Party official, Ian Fraser, who has now been elected to Darwin City Council, is the very same member of the Labor Party who accused the Labor members for Stuart, Arafura, Amhem and Nhulunbuy of being oxygen thieves. That was during the lead-up to what was the first of the leadership tussles in the Labor Party. No doubt there are more to come, especially those flagged by Jack and John once they have managed to get the federal election out of the way. Mr Stirling inteijecting. Mr STONE: Well, the Power of One! The phoenix rising from the ashes! Mr Burke: The Bryce Courtney of the Territory. Mr STONE: The Bryce Courtney of the Territory. We do admire his resilience. I disagree with Ian Fraser. I do not believe that the member for Nhulunbuy is an oxygen thief - far from it. As to the appointment of Bob Collins, I was delighted that he made himself available to take up a position dealing with both preventive and primary Aboriginal health services. I think Bob Collins handled it very well when he made the observation that he was not working for the CLP, he was working for the Northern Territory government. There is nothing wrong with members from that side of the House, if invited, accepting a position, particularly an important position pertaining to Aboriginal health. Dawn Lawrie was a strident critic of the CLP in her time as the member for Nightcliff. Yet today, she sits as head of the Anti-Discrimination Commission in the Territory. That is an excellent appointment, and I made it. I make the point that I will continue to offer appointments based on merit, whether those people come from this side of politics, from the Labor side of politics, or have no political affiliation at all. I have always worked on the principle that you get the best person for the job and, in this particular case, Bob Collins was the best person for the job. Members inteijecting Mr STONE: To pick up the inane inteijection from the member for Fannie Bay, I do not resile from the appointment of Fred Finch to the Planning Authority. There is a man of considerable expertise and commitment and, to his everlasting credit, he is still living here. Mr Stirling inteijecting. Mr STONE: If the Power of One would be quiet, I could finish my remarks ... Mr Stirling inteijecting. 323