Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001

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Parliamentary Record 27


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 - Wednesday 28 February 2001 That had a major social impact in that it was aimed at generating, for the first time since the 1950s and 1960s, the three generational family; the total family that can and should exist in any settled society. Most of us have come here as migrants. I am one of them, albeit many years ago. In 1973 I came to the Northern Territory. In that sense I am a migrant from Sydney and, believe me, it was a culture shock to move up to the North - a pleasant one. The point I am making is that many incentives were put in place, most of which are listed in the ministers statement, to encourage people to stay here. That policy has been successful. It has, therefore, increased the demand for appropriate accommodation for retired people because the Housing Commission methodologies at the time were not adequate. The increasing aged population were finding themselves being mixed with young families or young singles in accommodation, and they did not feel comfortable. This lead to a number of initiatives in the early and mid-1990s. For example, the member for Millner referred to the Coconut Grove area and the conversion of what were mixed Housing Commission units into designated aged-peoples accommodation, and a comfort zone was created. There was the creation of the successful Coconut Grove Community Hall. This facility achieved, as closely as possible, a retirement village-type atmosphere amongst Housing Commission accommodation. Since that time we have seen specialised areas developed to create accommodation for retired people. This ensures they can mix with people of then own age, in an environment where they feel comfortable, and can develop friendships with people who have common interests. That has been a major success. Obviously, with the increasing and ageing population, so too the demand for geriatric care increases. I remember as early as 1989 and 1990 going to war with then Minister Howe to get adequate provision of aged accommodation allocations into the Northern Territory, with no luck. The success of the Northern Territory in dramatically increasing the aged proportion of our population has been a very desirable outcome, but the people in Canberra are slow learners. They are looking at historical statistics rather than initiatives and trend lines. Consequently, it has been a big task to convince the federal government to make the aUocations that will meet the emerging needs in the Northern Territory. I congratulate the minister on his continuing efforts to achieve that and the success he achieved with the Hon Bronwyn Bishop in getting some capital funding towards that task. Some of us are used to the member for Wanguri. I got to leam of his methodology and style in his first two unsuccessful attempts to enter this Assembly. I came to know his methodologies very well. They have not changed a lot since he has been in the Chamber. One needs to be very careful when listening to the member for Wanguri; he does tend to exaggerate the facts and sensationalise events to get a headline. He will claim credit for everything from the past. Even if it was done 10 years ago by somebody else, he will find a way to link his own name to that particular thing. Today he has converted the ministers successful lobbying of the federal minister to get capital funding for nursing homes into an admission there is a crisis in the Northern Territory. That is unbelievable. He said: Why doesnt the minister explain what has occurred? If he actually reads page 3 of the ministerial statement, the answer is there. He claims to have read it and listened to it. Well, the answer to his question is there. In his statement the minister clearly points out he is continuing to lobby for continued recognition of the importance of providing capital funding to meet these needs into places like the Northern Territory. This CLP government has a long and proud history of working to encourage a healthy, happy, and high quality of life for aged Territorians. We have encouraged people to become aged Territorians rather than aged ex-Territorians. That is the mark of this government. We have been successful in that because the policies have created that improved quality of life for retiring people. The member for Barkly gave us some marvellous heart-rending story about what she would like to achieve in her retirement. I thought it was wonderful. She spoke of all the things she would like to see, most of which, frankly, are here. She, like myself, will be retiring voluntarily at the next parliament. I trust she will demonstrate that commitment to the Barkly, that commitment to the Northern Territory, and that commitment to Australia by retiring here and enjoying those benefits that she presses for and speaks so loudly for. Perhaps she could tell us where she plans to retire and scotch the rumour that she is planning to retire to England. M r Stirling: Not down to Coolum, anyway. M r HATTON: And certainly not down to the Murray River, to Western Australia, to Sydney, or to Caims or some other such location as former opposition leaders and members did. Mr Stirling: Like Everingham. 7520