Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002
Parliamentary Record 5
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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
QUESTIONS -Tuesday 18 June 2002 charges, or to slash public expenditure. As this House knows and has been advised on many occasions, when we came to government we had to lift the lid on the dodgy accounting practices of the previous government. In the previous four budgets, we had an annual deficit which averaged $70m, expenditure rising at 10.5%, and revenue only rising at 5.4%. We were in a climate of totally irresponsible fiscal management, and that is something that this government has moved to address. As the Chief Minister announced earlier, we did release the economic development strategy last week. That strategy was bom from the Economic Development Summit held in November. It was followed up with numerous business and government meetings around the Northern Territory and involvement of every minister within the government. This is a document that stands up in terms of accountability. I acknowledge that it is a political risk, but it is a risk that we have taken with regard to instituting those accountabilities, because it is a partnership document... Mr Dunham: A plagiarising document. Mr HENDERSON: ... that we are convinced we will deliver. I pick up on the member for Drysdales comments about plagiarising. This is a document... Mr Dunham: You would be thrown out of university if you produced something like that. Mr HENDERSON: He has an opportunity in the debate to point out where it has been plagiarised, because he is on the public record now. Regarding Foundations for Our Future that I am sure he is referring to, find one time line in there - one time line. There are probably about 300 in this document. All over their statements, it was all glossy documents, lots of photographs; no time lines, no accountability. This is a document that could not possibly be plagiarised because it had absolutely no credibility whatsoever. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of opening the NT Oil and Gas Expo in association with SEAAOC. Once again, I would like to think that members opposite have actually attended that expo. Hopefully, they have had the foresight to actually walk to the Esplanade and see what Territory business is doing and the sense of excitement that is out there about the oncoming oil and gas developments in the Timor Sea. SEAAOC has attracted over 300 delegates this year, which has been the largest ever delegation coming to this conference, and there are over 50 exhibitors at the inaugural Oil and Gas Expo. Again, a sign of business confidence returning and a lot of excitement about the potential. I put on the record in terms of the work that we have been doing, Team NT has been a success. It has been a major success in turning the Sunrise joint venture around regarding reviewing the domestic gas case. I pay special thanks to Brace Fadelli from the Chamber of Commerce and Dave Malone from the TCA for their untiring work lobbying their organisations at a national level to get behind the push to bring Sunrise gas onshore. It is undeniable that the Tenitory economy has been doing it tough for a number of years. We can understand the reasons for that: the cessation of the Defence Force build-up in the Northern Territory three years ago; the introduction of the GST which members opposite so loudly and vociferously supported; the events of 11 September; and Ansetts collapse on 14 September. Of course, we were going to see declining business confidence, but that business confidence is starting to return, along with employment, which is at 5.2%. This is a government that is working in partnership with the community to start building that climate of confidence and investment. If we counter that with the attitude of those opposite - and let us look at some of the statements that have been made from members opposite. They have been talking down investment, jobs, and the Northern Territory-absolutely irresponsible comments at a time when people have been doing it tough. Who has been the main perpetrator of this? I would have to say that the other budgerigars in the cage over here have been conspicuous by their absence in the media over the last few months; barely a peep out of any of them. However, it is the Leader of the Opposition who has been running the case; talking down business confidence. It really is time for him to move on; or maybe for the members opposite who have a bit of gumption to actually put him out to pasture where he deserves to be. It is obvious the moves are occurring. We have John Valentin now joining the party, living in the rural area. Obviously the seat has been eyeballed, and good luck to Mr Valentin. I know him quite well and he is a very decent fellow. It is obvious that the by-election is coming in Brennan and ... Mr REED: A point of order, Madam Speaker! It is a long, rambling answer to a question which has no relevance regarding the matters that the honourable the minister is now verging on. 253
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