Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 improve the quality of life for people in Central Australia. It is not a situation where we will allow the people of Central Australia to be forgotten. I have a close affinity to the township of Alice Springs. Not quite 50 years ago I was bom here, and I always enjoy coming back and spending time catching up with family and friends. We will continue to soldier on and provide, to the best of our ability, good governance for Central Australians, and we will continue to ensure that we do not fall into the trap that the members opposite did when they governed for some 26 years. I would like to conclude with some brief comments on how the last three days went. I know we are not finished yet, but I felt the high point was the feedback from many people in the town I was able to meet and have a chat with about the success o f bringing parliament to Alice Springs. It is certainly something that our government would need to talk about in planning for the future, but I will always remember it as an historic event. On the downside, debates can be robust, but the description of stinking is something that will remain with me for some time, because I fmd it highly offensive. The Territory is a much better place and we can do without that sort of garbage. Mr McADAM (Barkly): Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I support the Chief Ministers statement. I feel privileged to be in this House today, and I trust it will not be the last time in Alice Springs. It is important that this parliament sits again in Central Australia. There could well be opportunities for parliament to sit in other parts of the Territory, perhaps Tennant Creek and Katherine. At this point, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this country and thank them for the opportunity to be part of this historic occasion. I can recall moving from Elliott to Alice Springs in the early 1960s. In those days, Alice Springs had a population o f around about 4000 to 5000 people. People may recall that the main suburbs were the old East Side, The Gap and, of course, the old Race course. We lived in McMinn Street on the old East Side. Not far away from Auntie Nora and Uncle Herbies place lived Auntie Polly and Uncle Milton Liddle. Their daughter, Pat Liddle, now Pat Miller, as most people would be aware, is now the Deputy o f the Administrator of the Northern Territory. When this announcement was delivered by the Chief Minister I felt extremely proud, as did many other people of Alice Springs and the surrounding areas and, indeed the whole of the Northern Territory. Indigenous people have played a very important role in the development of the Centre and will continue to play an ever-increasing role in partnership with the Martin government - unlike in the past, under successive CLP regimes. I have previously mentioned in this House the lost opportunities in economic and social outcomes for indigenous people under the CLP regime. It was a period of confrontation, of marginalisation, and exclusive responses at the expense of indigenous people but, most sadly ... Mr Elferink interjecting. Mr McADAM: ... it was a period of political expediency. I would not be saying too much if I were you, member for Macdonnell, because you, more than anyone in this House, had an opportunity, as a part of a government over 26 years, to do something about i t ... Mr Elferink inteijecting. Mr McADAM: ... and you chose not to do a thing. You are a hypocrite! A member inteijecting. Madam ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Macdonnell, desist from inteijections. Mr Elferink inteijecting. Mr McADAM: You have marginalised people. You are very good at it; you are an expert ... Madam ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Barkly. Mr McADAM: ... you have played the political race card. Madam ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Barkly, through the Chair, please. Mr McADAM: I beg your pardon, Madam Acting Deputy Speaker. There has been much debate in this House on law and order issues. I also attended the rally yesterday, and I respect the rights of people to put their positions. No one in this House, on either side of politics or, indeed, in the galleiy, would disagree with that. I felt a degree of compassion for young McGrath, who had his head split open by the senseless act of a lunatic. There can be no doubt that there are unacceptable levels of crime throughout regional Australia, not only in the Territory and, most certainly, not only in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek But there is a difference between these communities of Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, because there are many 3973
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