Territory Stories

Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 29 November 2000



Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 29 November 2000

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Parliamentary Record 26


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 - Wednesday 29 November 2000 being let through the government - as I said, a 52% increase this year over last year in the value of works let in the first quarter of the year. Members inteijecting. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr PALMER: Mr Speaker, the way the Leader of the Opposition preens herself and prances around this Chamber, one could only think she is a lyre ... bird. As I said it is a clear demonstration of the CLP governments commitment to the improvement of the economy, the social infrastructure and recreational opportunities for all Territorians. GEMCO Fly In/Fly Out Employment Mr AH KIT to MINISTER for RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT Has the Northern Territory government had discussions with the Groote Eylandt Mining Company about the possibility of GEMCO opting for a fly in/fly out employment policy? If so, what is the governments response and what guarantees will the government provide that infrastructure will be maintained for the enjoyment of all residents services, particularly health and education, on Groote Eylandt? ANSWER Mr Speaker, I am glad the honourable member for Amhem asked that question because it gives me an opportunity to outline Labors approach to this whole process, which is bringing about the dangers he speaks about. This government has been committed to the mining company staying in the Territory and not moving down the fly in/fly out route. But why is the fly in/fly out route on the books? Because the federal Labor Party some years ago, with the support of this mob, did away with the existing process and established a fringe benefit tax - a tax which all mining companies have to pay on every house they provide for workers in remote areas; a tax they have to pay for every bit of electricity those earners living in those remote mining houses consume ... Ms MARTIN: A point of order, Mr Speaker! I cannot allow the minister to ignore the fact that we have a new tax system brought in by his mate. He is totally misleading this House and he should answer the question about fly in/fly out. Mr SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Mr MANZIE: Very sensitive they are when they are reminded of what brings these problems about. They have to accept the responsibility because it rests squarely on their heads. Territory Labor is part and parcel of the process which introduced the fly in/fly out concept, one which is detrimental to our economy. It was brought about by their actions and they will have to wear it. We will continue ... Ms Martin: Well, answer the question. Mr MANZIE: You can shout all you like and try and speak over me, try and stop me explaining the story to the community, but rest assured we will continue to make sure that all Territorians, including younger people in the mining industry, know why the mining companies changed their approach to the regional development of the Territory. Getting down to Groote Eylandt, we have certainly made clear our governments point of view, our abhorrence of the fly in/fly out system. That company is under no illusions that we in any way support the Labor Party line of ensuring that it is uneconomic for them to set up and support their workers on site. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that the company involved at Groote Eylandt understands the attitude of this government and understands the ability of the government to be generous in support when the company is doing things in a productive way for Territorians, and how we probably would not be as user-friendly if the company was doing things which were detrimental to our community. It is very difficult when the federal Labor Party, supported by this mob, has changed the whole system, shifted the goalposts. Now they stand up and ask: What are you doing about it?. The best thing we could do about it is for the Labor Party to dissolve itself and the members get themselves involved in processes which are good for our economy and do not do away with jobs in the Territory. Shame on them! Mr PALMER (Leader of Government Business): Mr Speaker, seeing none of the opposition members rose to their feet, I ask that further questions be placed on the Question Paper. 1258