Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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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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DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 This one came out after this one, a quarter earlier. The Crime and Safety publication by the ABS says that the Northern Territory has some 33% of house break-ins not reported - a 10% difference between unreported, and what is the yardstick that changes? It is the national yardstick which is the one this government prefers to use in its ethical audited document rather than the Northern Territory statistics which look worse. This is meant to be an independent body, but I am starting to have some concerns about the flavour that these numbers starts to take: (1) when the numbers change; and (2) when the yardsticks used to compare those numbers also alter and do so to favour the government. This is of concern and it goes to the very integrity of the governments position. We have tried to raise the crime issue in this H ouse-tw ice on Tuesday a censure motion was moved. The first censure motion allowed for two speakers and then the government gagged it. Then, in the second censure motion, the government did not allow any speakers. The government was not prepared to allow more than four minutes of debate from their side on crime issues. Mr Henderson: The censure went for two hours! Mr ELFERINK: Twice the Attorney-General had raised issues of crime in this House in ministerial reports and, as the government is fully aware - fully aware - the ministerial report allows a two minute, unprepared reply from members opposite. Two issues raised were by the government in relation to crime, with four minutes to reply. We have to start to rely on censure motions - which you gagged, which you prevented members from talking in - because you did not like what had to be said. Two hours and then you shut it down because you did not want to deal with the issue any further. Mr Henderson inteijecting. Mr ELFERINK: The second censure motion, if you had stuck to convention, minister, would have allowed further debate. But, no, by the numbers of this House and by the fear that this government has of criticism, they shut down debate. Yesterday, I waited and hoped that this statement would come on but, instead, we found ourselves having to argue because the officer in charge of sausage rolls over here wanted to organise dinner for members when we, on this side of the House, wanted to get on with the business of the day. Members inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Order, order! Members of government, settle down. Too many inteijections. Mr ELFERINK: This governments approach to how seriously it takes this parliament in Alice Springs - and frankly, how seriously it takes the people of Alice Springs as a whole - has been demonstrated by its ability to (a) gag debates, (b) make sure that there are enough breaks for sausage rolls, and (c) try their hardest to not bring on statements which they know will attract criticism. I am prepared to wait three days if necessary to bring issues of concern to the people of Alice Springs into this House. I am fully prepared to pursue those issues, no matter how much the government does not want to hear it. Mr Kiely: Well, do it now. You have the floor. What about something positive? Madam SPEAKER: Order, order! Member for Sanderson, you are being disorderly. Mr ELFERINK: The other issue I have to raise - and it is unfortunate I only have 20 minutes because there are so many issues that concern the people o f Alice Springs - is the cost of land in this community. The average price for an unimproved block of land in this community is $103 000. I have to speak to employers on a regular basis. These are the people who try to create jobs through their own efforts for other people in this town. One of the problems they have is they cannot get staff. Why cant they get staff in so many instances? The reason that they cannot get staff is because it is a very expensive place to live. I wonder if the government has tried, in any fashion, to discover how much an average rental is in this town for a person on, let us say, $40 000 a year. I can tell you that the average rental in this town is pushing towards $300 a week for a young family with kids to support in an environment which is not as crime free as it could be. Employers have to find people to come here so that they can work and generate wealth. I get so frustrated when I talk to these employers and they say: We cannot get anybody to do work in this town. Part of the problem is because house blocks are too expensive. It costs more to build a house. If you have the $180 000, I think the first home owners grant ceiling is currently, you can spend $103 000 of that buying you new block. You can then erect a four-man tent, and you will come in under that threshold. That way, you can have a first home owners loan. Otherwise, you sire in the marketplace with everybody else, so it becomes 3948