Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001

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Parliamentary Record 28


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




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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 31 May 2001 conditioned. That will certainly make a difference to both player and spectator comfort. I was speaking to representatives from the Netball Association recently. They are quite happy with the opportunity of using this facility when it is built. As I mentioned the other day, they are unable to attract international games or even the national titles because the Australian Netball Association has decided that the courts here in the Territory just were not suitable. They are not going to have any titles in Darwin until a suitable venue has been built. So netball will be looking forward to the day when they are able to attract international teams, state teams, and also our own world champions, the Australian Netball team. Rugby Union, as we have heard from the minister, will be welcoming the grant to appoint a coach to work at the Northern Territory Institute of Sport. Union will no doubt benefit because the coach will develop and work on local talent in the Northern Territory. There was not much detail provided in relation to other sports. No doubt the minister may not have had the time to, but again I make mention of some sports that have made representations to the government in relation to development of programs and facilities. Soccer representatives have expressed disappointment in not receiving any financial support for a facility that they can call their own. I acknowledge that they have had problems in the past and they may still have those problems, but I am sure the government, if it works closely with soccer, could promote stability in soccer, more so the administration, if they had something to work for. Soccer is a great game. It is played world wide. In the Territory, soccer has one of the highest junior participation rates of all sports. No doubt they will be calling on the government to show more commitment to soccer and to help deliver support to that association. Baseball and softball are other sports looking at support from the government. Existing facilities are at Nightcliff. South Darwin has its base at Marrara. Tracy Village has a venue used for baseball throughout the season. I know that the NT Baseball Association is keen to expand on the South Darwin Club based at Marrara. I know that there are concerns at the moment regarding the land next to the South Darwin Baseball Club in relation to native title, but baseball is keen to develop the Marrara venue. Hopefully, that will encourage development of their game. Softball would also benefit from the development of the Marrara venue for baseball. In the area of Parks and Wildlife, we have heard from the Treasurer who made much of the grants that have been provided for parks to improve some of the major tourist attractions. We heard the Treasurer talk of allocations to various projects throughout the Northern Territory; grants made to upgrade or improve visitor access to Litchfield Park, Kings Canyon, the West MacDonnell Ranges, Uluru and Tennant Creek. These are highlights which are welcomed. Turning to electorate matters, again we see the major highlight in the budget has been capital works at Maningrida for construction of a new Maningrida Health Centre. From what I understand, this allocation is part of last years budget in which there was an allocation of $2.2m. Unfortunately, they werent able to build the new clinic last year but the site has been cleared and foundations for the new clinic at Maningrida have been laid. It is certainly well overdue. The plans have been developed in conjunction with the community and work on the clinic has started. Some weeks ago I wrote to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Development asking for a verandah to be included in the plans. The Maningrida health staff support my request and would like to see a verandah as part of the new health clinic. A verandah is essential to protect patients from the elements and also to protect those patients who basically prefer to wait outside the clinic. I wait to hear from the Minister in respect of funding and the okay for a verandah on the clinic. I know the staff and the community generally are looking forward to the day when the building is completed and they can work in an environment where they can function smoothly. They will be proud and happy to work in an environment similar to the new clinic at Warruwi. That is a great working environment. I am certain the people who work in the clinic at Warruwi are happy and they are quite proud of their new facility. As we know, the present clinic at Maningrida has been unsuitable for many years. Health services in that clinic are presently delivered in cramped conditions, in corridors and obviously without the privacy that the health staff would like. I know the new clinic will result in a major improvement to the health of people in the area. The other issue I would like to raise is that the health clinic is still awaiting the outcome of a review of its staffing levels. The health clinic at Maningrida cannot afford staffing cuts. Currently there are six positions plus one relief position. Last year, they had eight positions and I would hope the review does not place further threats to the staffing levels at the Maningrida health clinic. They cannot afford to lose 7785