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 that is to be introduced in July next year and should result in significant reductions in freight charges, we may see a further decrease in retail prices to Territory consumers. Weve only to look at the last quarterly survey taken by ABS, where there was a reduction in costs to Territory consumers in some significant areas. The investigations by the committee have had some effect, and we hope to keep that in place by the quarterly surveys that will be undertaken. They will be undertaken on a random basis so that they cannot be expected by the retailers. We will ensure that that is the case and ensure that assessments of retail costs to consumers are done in a way that will serve them best. I congratulate the committee for the work that theyve done. I think there have been some positive outcomes and well see the further fruits of that in the future. Dr LEM (Greatorex): Mr Deputy Speaker, I welcome the overall very positive response from the government to the report. I was pleased to hear the Chief Minister comment on the 10 recommendations, in particular the implementation of price surveillance across the Territory. I trust that that also includes Tennant Creek Obviously, we are not interested in price regulation nor in regulating trading hours. The trainee program for community stores for the staff as well as for community members will be a very positive thing in the bush. The better we can empower the people in the bush as to how to best manage their store, the better it will be for the consumers themselves. I need to draw on a couple of comments made by the Leader of the Opposition and also by the member for Nhulunbuy when he responded to my tabling statement, about power prices and payroll tax. It is a fact that we received comments during our hearings that a halving of power prices in the Territory would reduce the shelf prices of food by no more than 0.8%, and a halving of payroll tax would reduce food prices by no more than 1%. That was told to us by the retailers themselves, and I think thats a very important point to take into consideration. Obviously, the surveillance that we conducted during the 6 months of the review, plus the ongoing unofficial surveillance that weve placed on the stores, made an impact on food prices. Without a doubt, the ABS figures that were put out for the September quarter indicated that there was something like a 4.2% reduction from last years September figures. It was from $254.92 down to $244.10. In all, the food surveillance is going to be a very useful tool for all of us and I encourage the government to strongly pursue that and to include all the regional centres. In closing, I thank all the members of the committee for contributing so much to the committee work and to the officers that Ive listed previously in my tabling report. I thank them sincerely for all their efforts and thank the government for taking on such a positive response to the report. Motion agreed to. ADJOURNMENT Mr PALMER (Leader of Government Business): Mr Deputy Speaker, I move that the House do now adjourn. Mr BURKE (Brennan): Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to pay my respects to the late George Fyson. George arrived in Darwin 40 years ago with his wife Lendyll Hingston. He settled at Nightcliff and later on 60 acres at Berrimah. George Fyson qualified as a pharmacist at the Queensland Pharmacy College and in Darwin he worked for Roy Barden and for Terry Irvine, both private Darwin chemists. Late in 1964, George took charge of AB Motors for his father-in-law Ben Hingston. AB Motors was the forerunner of todays Mitsubishi complex on the Stuart Highway. At the time they held the agencies for Chrysler cars, Kenworth trucks and Massey Ferguson tractors. In 1970, Ben Hingston sold the business to Hans Koberstein a well known former milkman and land developer from Howard Springs. George was then recruited by Dr Spike Langsford, the Northern Tenitory Director of Health. His pharmacy skills were somewhat rusty but after 3 months he was appointed the chief pharmacist and within 12 months he was promoted to the position of director of pharmaceutical services. George faced enormous challenges in those early frustrating days of Commonwealth control. The wet season and below standard arterial roads meant that considerable pharmacy stocks had to be held in storage at Fannie Bay. The tender system didnt have the flexibility to enable accounts to be paid within 30 days so some of Georges negotiated deals with drug companies fell over causing much frustration. George Fyson presided over the pharmaceutical services division for 24 years. During this time he 4819

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