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
DEBATES - Wednesday 28 February 2001 Department. You cant have that particular boat tied up on regular ferry services. It has to be available for emergencies. But they do need something. The council asked Transport and Works to help with funds. They said it was very good of us to provide the service, says the council, but no funds could be made available. And the minister apparently said the same. The council has helped out the people on the other side of the river because they are essentially Borroloola people. They are saying it is because the crossing is inadequate that they are forced to expend these moneys. They spent $13 000 last year and they have aheady expended $20 000 this year, and there is no budget allocation for this for a very small community government council. I ask the government, when they consider reparations and restorations for the Borroloola area, to make a good job of the Burketown crossing - I know it is damaged very badly at the moment - so that eventually we can look forward to a situation where that crossing is accessible for most of the Wet season, and the council is not forced to expend moneys that it cant afford. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Mr Speaker, I wish the member for Barkly well in her retirement. She has served her electorate well. It was typical of her that, after she had given her farewell speech, she then turned round and raised some issues for her electorate. That is what she has been doing all the time she has been in the House. So, good luck. Last week, when I asked a question of the Chief Minister in the House about rent, the answer he gave me was incorrect. He had to come back into the House and correct it. Today I asked the Minister for Tourism a question in the House, and I am hoping that tomorrow the Minister for Tourism will come into the House and apologise for misleading the House and giving the wrong information. The question was about the gay and lesbian festival. If you recall, I asked why the Northern Territory Tourist Commission had not consulted the two peak bodies, CATLA and the Alice Springs Town Council. The minister throughout his speech claimed that the project was initiated by the Alice Springs Town Council and the Alice Springs tourism industry. He said the festival was supported by a number of tourism operators, including hotels, and the festival was sponsored by the Alice Springs Town Council, and those people collectively came to a position where they sought sponsorship under the small events program. He went on to say that the Alice Springs Town Council is in fact a sponsor of a particular activity, as part of this week-long festival at the Alice Springs Race Course. He also said the Alice Springs Council decided they thought it would be a good idea to put it in place and to sponsor it. I have spoken to the Mayor of Alice Springs concerning those remarks and she is furious because it had nothing to do with the Alice Springs Town Council. They did not initiate it; they didnt know about it until there was a press release on 12 February. The Mayor of Alice Springs has rung the Minister for Tourisms office and demanded that he apologise and set the record straight in this House because it was not the Alice Springs Town Council, as he said in his reply, that actually initiated this particular festival. He should realise that the Mayor of Alice Springs and the people of Alice Springs will be disgusted when they hear that he has actually misrepresented the truth. This wasnt an Alice Springs initiative; it was the Northern Territory Tourist Commission who initiated it. It has been a rather controversial subject and I have had a pile of correspondence about this. I do want to say that, regardless of your own personal opinion, we all appreciate that, in this democratic society we live, we are all entitled to choose our lifestyle. But in doing that, we are also entitled to have freedom of speech and the right to protest if we dont agree with something. Many times we have seen people in the courtyard of Parliament House protesting. A number of people have put in a petition and have protested in writing. Some people have decided to slight them and say they shouldnt do that; they are discriminatory; they are biased; and they are bigoted. But they also have the right to protest and the right to freedom of speech - the same way that I have the right to choose my lifestyle and how I will go about it. I am quite sure we havent heard the end of that little saga and I wait tomorrow to hear what the Minister for Tourism has to say. I wish to raise a matter with the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Development. Unfortunately, I havent been able to get as many questions up in Question Time as I would like. Ms Martin: Now you know how we feel. Mrs BRAHAM: Well, the opposition can always be slow on their feet and let me have a chance. I ask the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Development about school speed limit signs. It is my understanding they were put in front of all schools. I did a quick check of my electorate and all schools bar one have the speed limits signs in front of them. The one school that does not is Yipirinya School. The parents at Yipirinya School have asked me to ask the minister: What about our kids? Dont 7553
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