Territory Stories

Questions Day 5 - Wednesday 25 August 2004



Questions Day 5 - Wednesday 25 August 2004

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Parliamentary Record 21


Question for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Questions for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




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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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QUESTIONS - Wednesday 25 August 2004 pretty smart little pieces of equipment. We do recognise teachers for the great job they do, for the number of hours that they put in, in preparation and extra-curricular activity beyond the day-to-day classroom activity. We recognise that, and that education is one of our highest priorities. Providing these laptops is another example of the Martin government moving the Tenitory ahead. Taxi Industry M r BURKE to MINISTER for TRANSPORT and INFRASTRUCTURE You are responsible to ensure our taxis and hire cars are servicing the public in a way that promotes Darwin positively. Have you visited Darwin Airport recently and seen the lines of visitors and others here to do business waiting to get transport to the city? Your government has put a cap on taxi licences and increased the cost of private hire licences by 600%, yet the travelling public remains inconvenienced. At worst, on any evening, there are about 30 taxis laid up because of a lack of drivers. Will you admit that you have made a mess of your taxi reforms, and listen to the industry and assist it to serve the travelling public in a professional way? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I am aware that the taxi industry has been under some pressure in recent months. Mr Colin Beaumont pointed to a large part of the reason in his Letter to the Editor this week: 10% increase in calls year to year. He attributes that to the boom in tourism that the Territory has experienced. There is a factor there of the increased work around and the capacity of the industry to handle it. However, the member for Brennan likes to gloss over the history of this. When we came to government, it was amid absolute turmoil in the taxi industry. As a candidate - even before being becoming a candidate - you would jump into a cab and the first thing the cab driver would want to tell you was about poor old Mick Palmer. They did not have too many good words to say about Mick Palmer and the way that he had deregulated the taxi industry. We came to government with an election commitment to put a cap back on taxis, and that we did. We followed through on an election commitment at the behest of the taxi industry. My colleague and predecessor gave an undertaking 12 months ago that that cap would be in place for 12 months, and after that there would be a review. I report to the House that that review is complete and there is a submission coming to government. Government will be making a decision about taxi numbers in the near future. It is a crucial decision because, on one side you have an industry in which, to be quite frank, there are many differing views. That is why my predecessor also set up the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Board to try to have some unity and solidarity of view in the industry. The operation of that board has not been without problems. There are many issues to work through. As minister, I am committed to working through and carrying on the good work of my predecessor. It is fatuous for the member for Brennan to try to lump all the problems of the commercial passenger vehicle industry onto this government. I will take responsibility for what we have now. Government will make decisions which, as I have said to a number of people, will be in the interests of cab owners and all those others in the industry - the private hire car, limousine and minibus owners. It will be in the interests of the drivers of those vehicles, the people who work in the industry. We also must consider those who run the networks. However, the bottom line will be the consumer. Hazardous Chemicals Disposal M r WOOD to MINISTER for ENVIRONMENT and HERITAGE Recently, a constituent asked me how he could dispose of about 20 litres of the herbicide, Paraquat, an S7 poison he had acquired when he purchased a new house in the rural area. It seems his option was to pay a substantial sum to a company to take it south, spray it on the ground or dump it, none of which he preferred. When is the government going ensure that the Territory has an incinerator for the safe disposal of unwanted, dangerous or banned agricultural and other chemicals? If there are no plans for such an incinerator, why not? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I will go back a little over the history. In 2000, the Northern Territory government was an active participant in the planning and implementation of ... M r Baldwin: What? You were ready for this question? Did he give you notice, or what? Ms SCRYMGOUR: You were not the one who asked. I am trying to answer a question. ... the ChemCollect project. This was a one-off national project to collect historical stocks of unwanted farm and veterinary chemicals held by primary producers. 1181

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