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




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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 figures are pretty hard to break down because they only portray the Territory figures. However, we can see that the economy, although it is tough, and particularly tough in tourism at the moment, is still holding up and the figures show it. My colleague the Treasurer put some figures on the record earlier. We have the government opening up new land for residential development. I cannot believe that the member for Macdonnell is so critical of that, given the appalling record of the previous government in opening up land. That is going to create significant jobs here in Alice Springs and be a major boost for the economy. Certainly, at the end of our four-year term, we will be very proudly stating how many new housing blocks have been opened up in Alice Springs in the four years of a Labor government, compared to the last four years of a CLP government, and the people of Alice Springs will see the comparison. If we move to the hot topic of members trying to vilify Alice Springs as being an unsafe town, a place that you would not want to visit in a pink fit, according to the member for Araluen, let us go to some facts. I am not going to trawl through the statistics again, because the statistical debate has been done to death. The member for Macdonnell shoots down his own argument that crime is out of control in Central Australia and it is so bad that we have people leaving Alice Springs in droves. He turns around in the same debate - and it just goes to show that the member for Macdonnell does not have a grasp of fundamental economics, in that we live in a market economy and there is a supply/demand equation there. He can hardly argue that people are leaving Alice Springs in droves and then, in the same statement, say that rent and the price o f land is going through the roof. If people were leaving the town in droves, you would see rents and the price of land falling through the floor in a market economy. He just does not understand th a t... Mr ELFERINK: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Well, I pick up what the member for ... Madam SPEAKER: What is your point of order? Mr ELFERINK: My point o f order, quite simply, is that I did not make any allegation that people were leaving town in droves. I would like the minister to point out to me exactly where I said it. Madam SPEAKER: You know the usual procedure. If you feel as though you have been misquoted, then you can make a personal explanation at the end of the debate. M r HENDERSON: Madam Speaker, it has been the accusation from CLP members opposite all through this week, and reading Hansard will certainly show that. The people of Alice Springs are not leaving the town in droves. The usual amount of interstate and intrastate migration is occurring, and the economic figures show that, in fact, there is a supply shortage in this town that is driving prices up. That is why we are releasing more land, because more people want to move - more people want to make their home here and have access to cheap land. Now, that would not be happening if people were leaving the town in droves because they were in mass fear of the crime epidemic that is supposed to be taking place. I am surprised the member for Macdonnell, given his previous profession, does not know that. We can debate statistics and whether they are relevant or not, and when you play with statistics, I suppose you can get them to suit your side of the argument. Let us look at an interview between Commander Gary Manison in Alice Springs, who is responsible for the central region, in a transcript of Wednesday 30 April, just yesterday, from ABC Radio, with Mandy Taylor. Here is the Chief Police Officer in Central Australia. If anybody knows what is happening with crime in Alice Springs, it is Gary Manison. I challenge anybody opposite to say that Gary Manison is not portraying an accurate picture of crime in Alice Springs, and that he is misleading the people of Alice Springs. Let us see what Gary Manison has to say: Mandy Taylor: And so, basically, this is targeting young people who are hanging around at night? Manison: Yes, fundamentally, it is. We have identified, certainly, and there is certainly a problem in Alice Springs with young people. We agree with that. Mandy Taylor: What sort o f problems are the police seeing? Manison: Well, just the normal everyday problems, if I could call it that, o f people hanging around, disturbances and the like. Mandy Taylor: And so are they committing crimes? Manison: No, there is not a lot o f crime. There is the odd, if I could call it, criminal damage and the like that occurs - people, young people who might smash windows and the like, and certainly these are serious matters. But you cannot say that it is a particularly common thing that happens all 3952