Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999

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Parliamentary Record 14


Debates 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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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 February 1999 issues that have arisen in Australia were never foreseen. The treaty of 150 years ago in New Zealand automatically recognises prior ownership. That is what the treaty does. As an army invades, it has a fight with some of the local folk, they sit down and treaty. But the moment you treatise with the person, you have acknowledged prior ownership. Unfortunately terra nullius never even went that far and there was no recognition of prior ownership. So basically Australia has been stuck by a problem in 1992 which was bom over 200 years ago. I accept the idea of native title. I believe that the 10 point plan was never an attempt to crush native title but was simply an attempt to bring certainty to the title processes; and I supported the 10 point plan knowing full well that it would not have a profound effect in the Northern Territoiy. Issues such as the sunset clause were simply a way of tidying it up, but the registration test is easily going to be met by most Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory. The 10 point plan was an attempt... M r Ah Kit: If it is not, I am going to get them to come and see you. M r ELFERINK: I pick up on the interjection from the member for Amhem. There was no way the registration test, as suggested by the 10-point plan, was going to affect Northern Territory Aboriginal people. It was there to create certainty, so the case of the area in Kalgoorlie, where you get 17 native title claims over a particular piece of land, was not going to be repeated. I have listened intently to the comments by the member for Amhem and was heartened to hear him withdraw his oft-used approach in this Chamber, and I believe that it actually shows a real interest on his part in a new spirit of cooperation. I spoke, also briefly, with the member for Stuart in relation to Mr Burkes amendments, and I do not believe that he is hostile to the amendment. As a consequence, I support the amendment to the motion forwarded by the Chief Minister. Motion, as amended, agreed to. RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES BILL (Serial 81) LANDLORD AND TENANT (RENTAL BONDS) BILL (Serial 82) Continued from 7 October 1998. M r BALDWIN (Industries and Business): Mr Speaker, following the recent portfolio changes, the responsibility for the Northern Territory tenancy law has passed to me as Minister for Industries and Business responsible for Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading. This responsibility includes carriage of the governments ongoing review of the tenancy law in the Northern Territory which will result in the reform of the current Tenancy Act. I take this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to place on record my pleasure at being the new Minister for Industries and Business, and I look forward to continuing the excellent work that has been undertaken by my predecessors and the work thats been done by the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs and his staff, and the relationship they have with the business community - the very good relationship, in fact. Turning to the Residential Tenancies Bill and the Landlord and Tenant (Rental Bonds) Bill introduced by the Leader of the Opposition, let me say at the outset how surprised I am that the Leader of the Opposition has failed to set an example to her colleagues with the introduction of these bills. She has certainly disregarded the importance of comprehensive consultation and how important that process is in representing the interests of the community. The bills presented, and its well-known that they largely mimic New South Wales legislation and appear to have been prepared... Ms Martin: I have said so in my second reading - Im not a mimic. M r BALDWIN: And thats why I said it was well-known, picking up upon that interjection - and appear to have been prepared without the needs or expectations of Territorians in mind. The legislation upon which they are based is currently under review in New South Wales and the results of this review are not expected to be made public until mid 1999. In fact, the New South Wales legislation was amended last year to improve its application in respect to public housing policies and those amendments do not appear to have been picked up in the bills that are before us today. So its a mystery to me why the opposition is suggesting we adopt interstate law which has not even been proven. Ms Martin: Well, youve never done that? M r BALDWIN: Which has not even been proven... M r Stirling: You guys have never done that? Ms Martin: Proven? For a million rent payers, a million householders. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! 2822