Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001
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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 28 February 2001 get the information. It is not correct to pretend this is all new. The member for Amhem follows the stupid philosophy of trying to create some sort of division between government and the land councils. He thrives on it. He doesnt want to know of or deal with the facts; he has to stick with this rhetoric. Well, we are not having any more of it. As Ive said, we want to be able to sit down and process these things. We want to be able to talk about these things. We want to be able to deal with them in a way that enables the process to move forward so that Aboriginal people, native title holders, have the ability to be part of that process; have the ability to be able to make the decisions; and then have the ability to share in some of the wealth that will be created when minerals are found and those minerals are exported. That is something people seem to forget about when they are dealing with this particular issue. I suppose I should congratulate the member for Amhem on his detailed information about the minerals council seminar held last Friday. Obviously he wasnt there. And obviously he got his intelligence direct from a land council representative at the seminar. But let me say that the speakers at that seminar were very informed, and it was a very informative seminar. It was sadly marred by the fact that the NLC speaker, who was the last speaker on the list, withdrew on the Tuesday before the seminar. The industry, unfortunately, is still in dark as to why the Northern Land Council is taking legal action to prevent any of these things being processed. They certainly had a very good venue to explain to the industry what their policy was. Unfortunately, they didnt. He referred to Mr Neville Henwood as a great critic of the government. First of all, Mr Henwood, as is any other Territorian, is allowed to criticise government and policy of government. However, the member for Amhem, as is typical of the Labor Party and members of the Labor Party in this House, wasnt very accurate with what he was talking about. Mr Ah Kit: Did you ring him up, did you? Mr MANZIE: Did I ring him up! What a thing to say! He expected us to find out that what he was saying was undue. He expected us to know that he was being far from honest. He says did I ring him up? Did I ring him up and find out what was really going on? Well, I didnt have to ring him up because, first of all, I figured that what he said was incorrect. We made a few inquiries about what was said. And lo and behold! Mr Henwood was talking about a mining agreement. A mining agreement to do with a diamond mine. The Merlin mine. Of course, the exploration licence regarding Merlin was one that was issued prior to the native title processes being in existence. Forgot about that one. Hes talking about a mining agreement, not an exploration agreement. We certainly dont have any problems with that. In fact, we encourage companies to negotiate, to come to a conclusion regarding a mining agreement. That is what its all about. It was totally and utterly dishonest for the member to pretend that Neville Henwood criticised the government and its approach to exploration mining licences. It is the sort of thing this man does when he goes out to Aboriginal communities. He misinforms people. If he tells these sort of porkies in the parliament where hes recorded on Hansard, you can imagine what he does when he goes bush. Mr AH KIT: A point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker! Mr MANZIE: I withdraw the term porkies. I withdraw unreservedly. M r AH KIT: Mr Deputy Speaker, the minister implies that I am lying when I go out to Aboriginal communities. He has no proof of that and I ask him to withdraw. Mr MANZIE: That is not a point of order, actually. It is only a point of order if I accuse you of lying in the parliament, and I have withdrawn that. So please sit down and let me proceed. But if the cap fits, then you know what I mean. He tends to exaggerate in this House when it is recorded by Hansard; one can only imagine what he does when there is no one recording his comments. However, I digress slightly. There is one other thing I wish to point out. For 19 years, the member for Amhem was the executive officer of the land council. And how many explorations did they process? I think there was 300. Nineteen years for 300 processes to proceed. That is a pretty good record. Anyway, while he was chairing the NLC, it wasnt at its peak in terms of creating a harmonious society in the Territory. I am glad to say things have improved a great deal since those days. Although, I do have to take my hat of to him because not everything he did was bad, and I think the way that the Jawoyn agreement proceeded through was due to some participation by the member for Amhem. So there is some good to him and I cant paint him as being an evil man at all times. He obviously just suffers some of the weaknesses of being human, like we all do. But sometimes he suffers a bit more than others. But anyway, I digress again.
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