Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

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Parliamentary Record 20


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 - Tuesday 23 November 1999 M r SPEAKER: I dont think that there is a point of order. In fact, there was nothing that I could rule a point of order on. But I ask the member to get on with her comment with regard to the railway. Ms MARTIN: If the Chief Minister would like me to explain myself, do you remember 2 years ago in this House? M r SPEAKER: Order! Ms MARTIN: Okay. Its not relevant to this debate. M r SPEAKER: Thats correct. Its not relevant. Would you get on with the debate. Ms MARTIN: When the session is finished, well take the Chief Minister aside and explain. Lets just track through what has happened since the project was announced. The Chief Minister goes down to Canberra and we get the details. Yes, the project is going to go ahead. Quite properly, I take a look at the per capita breakdown of the funds that the Territory will contribute, that South Australia will contribute, and what the Commonwealth will contribute. I criticise John Howard, the Prime Minister. I am sure that our Chief Minister would have done the same if he had had any spirit in standing up for Territorians, because we are paying a very high price. Now, I didnt say that we shouldnt be doing it. I said these are the figures and this Chief Minister has failed to put an adequate case to a Prime Minister who doesnt know about infrastructure projects and has no real feelings for them, and doesnt have a feeling for the Northern Territory. When you break down those figures, we are paying a very heavy per capita cost. The Northern Territorys contribution in rail funding, purely that funding, is $862 per head. South Australias is $101, and the national contribution is $9 per capita. Werent you aware of that, Chief Minister? Had you no idea? Did the Treasurer not tell you? He was having trouble with his calculator, probably. We also look at the per capita contribution when it comes to the other infrastructure that has already been put in place, such as the port and the rail corridor clearing. That comes to $627. So we have a per capita contribution of $ 1488. This lot dont even want to hear that. They call that knocking the project. I call that putting the heat up on the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister for not doing the best deal for the Territory. We know the former railway minister said we needed $300m from the federal government. Kim Beazley for Labor promised up to $300m. And what do we get from this measly Prime Minister, John Howard, who just sold the republic down the drain? We couldnt even get a financial contribution. At this time when there is the federation fund and funds are available to celebrate the millennium, this Chief Minister couldnt even persuade the Prime Minister that this was a true millennium project - this was a project for the future of Australia. I stand by my analysis. I know you lot cant manage the analysis and the Treasurer is still struggling with his calculator, but I m happy to stand by that. And now we get further criticism. Im not allowed to ask where are the jobs for Territorians from this railway. We have references from this government. Various ministers who speak make pages full of references about jobs for Territorians, about what skills are needed for Territorians. What are the specific jobs? Where will they be? What skills and training are needed for Territorians to be able to be up to speed to get those jobs when they come on line? I thought the Chief Minister would be interested. I thought he would show just a glimmer of interest. All he can do is make a mantra on this: Well have jobs. What about the detail, Chief Minister? In this case, the devil is in the detail. The devil is in the planning for this. Otherwise there will not be jobs for Territorians - particularly Territorians living outside Darwin and Alice Springs. M r Burke: Youre a whinger. Ms MARTIN: This is extraordinary! Youre a whinger if you talk about jobs for Territorians! This man is a fly-by-nighter; he has no understanding. What about young Territorians leaving school? M r Reed inteijecting. Ms MARTIN: Member for Katherine, off you go. Terrific! What about young Territorians leaving school, perhaps in the next month? What skills do they need to be able to take advantage of a project that Im hoping, and every Territorian is hoping, will start next year? What kind of opportunities can parents hope that their children who are leaving school, their young people, will have to get into the project? 4747

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