Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 17 February 2004



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 17 February 2004

Other title

Parliamentary Record 17


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




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

QUESTIONS - Tuesday 17 February 2004 Underground Power in Northern Suburbs Mrs AAGAARD to MINISTER for ESSENTIAL SERVICES The underground power project will create a more reliable electricity network for residents of Darwins older suburbs, including my electorate of Nightcliff. Can the minister please inform the House of progress with this project and benefits it will bring to the Territory? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the honourable member for her question. This is a very exciting project. It is a Labor initiative and is something that was promised in the lead-up to the last election. It is something that we are delivering on and something that the people of Nightcliff are very excited about. Over the past few weeks, there has been substantial and significant progress on this particular matter. I was present at the undergrounding office at Nightcliff a couple of weeks ago for the signing of the contract. It is a $9m agreement that has been signed with NILSEN Electric (NT) Pty Ltd. They will be using about 80% of local contractors to roll this particular project out. It provides certainty of power for Nightcliff, and jobs over the next year or so, in terms of employment, and money for local contractors. So this is very important. It is part of a larger project, which involves $80m over 20 years to 9000 lots in the Darwin area and 16 000 customers. This program will roll out. It is a Labor government initiative and we are very proud of it. There is a contribution by the government of $3m per annum, and a $lm per annum contribution by PowerWater Corporation. It was very interesting at the signing of the contract; they had a cross-section of the pavement in the undergrounding project. Not only does it provide undergrounding for power, which will certainly cut down the number of black-outs through trees falling over lines, and also some insurance against cyclones, there are other services that are being put through underground - fibre optic cable and telecommunications. As a bonus to residents, there is a concrete top to it, which is also the sidewalk, so not only will people get the services and certainty of power, they will also be getting a new sidewalk along with it. It has many advantages. I am advised that 80% of the contract value will go to local Territory businesses. Registrations of interest for pre-qualification of subcontractors was published in the Northern Territory News between 31 January and 12 February 2004. Those responses are being assessed. This is an important project. It is a government initiative. It is providing employment. It is increasing certainty of power, and it is a very exciting project for the Nightcliff area. It is a promise that this government is delivering on that was an election promise. Payroll Tax Thresholds Mr MILLS to CHIEF MINISTER Do you agree that bracket creep will force more and more small and medium Territory businesses above the present threshold of $600 000 for payroll tax? When will the government increase the threshold and if not, why not, because the CLP government will substantially lift this threshold. ANSWER Madam Speaker, there is no doubt about it, as wages increase, yes, that will happen. We are very aware of that. Payroll tax and its impact is one of the reasons that we have reduced the percentage paid of wages paid from 6.3% to 6.1%. In one of the preparations for the budget, the Treasurer met with representatives of business. We listened very carefully to some of the issues that are impacting on business. While we can claim to be the second-lowest taxing jurisdiction in Australia, we are looking at the taxes. It is interesting when the Opposition Leader does raise issues like payroll tax. We have moved on payroll tax, where the opposition, when they were in government, did not. We made very strong commitments after talking with business. Mr Dunham: That is not true. Get your facts right. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Member for Drysdale, order! Ms MARTIN: We have moved on payroll tax, and we have seen the impact on business responded to, which was applauded at the time. It is interesting with the Opposition Leader now coming out saying, In government, I am going to abolish payroll tax. What that means is, look out for the taxes the opposition is going to bring in. We are the only part of Australia - Have we got a new tax deal for you. A land tax - that is on their agenda. Get rid of payroll tax. We will bring in a land tax. What about a fire service levy? We have the Leader of the Opposition talking such economic mumbo jumbo, this is play school economics at its best, coming from the Opposition Leader. 895