Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 to the Northern Territory: 800 accidentally-by the ministers incompetence - ended up in Darwin telling them to come to the Northern Territory. You dill! With taxpayers money, I might add. I encourage the minister to claim reimbursement. Members inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Araluen, withdraw that remark. Ms CARNEY: I withdraw it, Madam Speaker. In addition, another issue I raised in the adjournment debate on Tuesday night was of the 500 000 brochures, I am told that only 89 000 referred to Central Australia. If the minister bothered to look at the figures published in various annual reports, he would know that in the last couple of years, more tourists come to Central Australia than the Top End. You would have thought that more than 89 000 brochures from a total of 500 000 would refer to Alice Springs, Yulara and elsewhere in Central Australia. In any view, the parts o f this statement that refer to tourism really are quite embarrassing. The Chief Minister, clearly, has something of a dilemma. She already has had three tourism ministers and she needs to, in the view o f many people, try to find another one. There is a rumour doing the rounds that there will be another one found. So, minister, do not get too comfortable, because you might not be in that job for too long. In addition, in relation to tourism, this incompetent minister has overseen the insecurity experienced by the regional tourism associations. They are funded until 30 June. Traditionally, they have been run on the basis that their funding will continue. Dr Burns: I can guarantee them. Ms CARNEY: Only a nod and a wink, minister; a nod and a wink by you. They have reason to believe that their funding may be maintained. It will not be increased. Good God, you would not want to do that in the middle of a tourism crisis, would you? You should advise them in writing. You should have done it months and months ago. You indicated that someone had received a letter but you did not say who or where. Yet here we have an industry in crisis and the Tourism minister - the third and the worst one yet - refuses to really tackle the challenges head on. We saw, earlier this week, the Chief Minister try to plug the hole left by the cancellation of the Arafura Games in Darwin. Instead of being creative and innovative and dynamic - words not known to this government; they could not even spell them! - instead of coming up with something interesting to stimulate the industry, what did the Chief Minister announce? It was the Chief Minister; I do not think it was the Tourism Minister. When it is an apparent good news story, the Chief Minister goes to the front and when it is bad news she is nowhere to be seen. However, I digress. The announcement this week was that there would be some vouchers available to some of the athletes in May and, of course, today is I May. What we called on the government to do was to extend that deal to all Australians and try it for at least another six months and then review it. Dr Burns: Have you any idea how much that will cost? You are talking about $60m! You ask the Shadow Treasurer about that. Ms CARNEY: Oh, well, if you do not want to spend money! Dont you worry, minister, about the livelihoods of people in the Northern Territory. Dont you worry that they will be leaving town to go and make their business somewhere else because they will leave, minister, unless you assist them. You are charged with that responsibility. We know you are charged with that responsibility but, of course, we know that you are totally incompetent and incapable of discharging that responsibility. A member inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Ms CARNEY: There is much to lament in the Chief Ministers statement on tourism. They are, again, full of platitudes. I really do not envy her. She has a tough job because, if I look across at the benches on the other side, I do not see a depth of talent. I do not see that she has too many choices, and I am sure there are a lot of people who would agree with that. Then, of course, we have the Draco Malfoy of Territory politics, the Attorney-General. I know that there are some school students here, and for the adults with blank looks on their faces, anyone who bothers to read the Harry Potter books will know full well who Draco Malfoy is: slippery and not to be trusted, I believe is the common view. The Attorney-General has the hide - he dares to stand in this parliament, in his home town, and say: Everything is okay. There is no problem; no one is leaving. What nonsense! What arrant nonsense. Members inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Order, members of the government! Member for Araluen, just pause for a 3955
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