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 Mr BURKE: May I be heard in silence, Madam Speaker? He points out that that is the way these investments have been reported in this Auditor-Generals report, and he says that that is incorrect because it is not a true recognition of a true market value of those investments. If one turns to page 29, as the shadow Treasurer pointed out, in the five-year trend in nett debt, in the period of this government the total revenue has gone from 69.4% to 77.8%. If one flicks to the cash and deposits, as the shadow Treasurer pointed out, under the period of this government, the actual money in the piggy bank has depleted from $292.9m to $ 122.6m - so the piggy bank has been robbed. If you look at the dividends from government business investments, we see that dividends have dropped from $41.6m to $22.5m. If you look at the total Commonwealth grants, which I pointed out on many occasions, you were receiving from the Commonwealth a total of around $170m. In various media releases, I said that was the true picture. I was humbugged by the government saying: You are wrong, you are wrong, you are wrong. What does the Auditor-General writes here? Total Commonwealth grants over that period increased by $ 168.9m. It says in there that it is well up on previous years. If you look at the performance of government business divisions, as the shadow Treasurer has pointed out, there has been a $48m turnaround down in those government business divisions. These are serious issues for this parliament to debate. It requires further scrutiny by the opposition; it certainly requires the opposition to seek further advice from the Auditor-General. I move that the debate be adjourned. Debate adjourned. TABLED PAPER Report of Inquiry into NT Electricity Network Access Code Mr STIRLING (Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I lay on the Table the report of the Inquiry into the NT Electricity Network Access Code, Final Report, April 2003. As you may be aware, section 8(2) of the Electricity Networks (Third Party Access) Act requires myself, as regulatory minister, to review the Territorys Electricity Networks (Third Party Access) Code by 30 June 2003. On 12 December 2002, I directed the Utilities Commission to undertake a review of the code and, following public consultation, the commission provided me with its final report on 16 April. As required by section 34(4) of the Utilities Commission Act, I present the commissions final report to the Assembly. Many o f the reports recommendations are technical in nature and have the stated aim to improve the codes effectiveness and reduce its compliance costs. The government is currently considering its response to the report, and will advise the Assembly of these, including possible amendments to the code, in due course. In current circumstances, with no current competition in electricity supply, there seems no basis to rush consideration of the issues. I understand that interested persons will be able to obtain copies of the report from the Utilities Commission. MOTION Note paper - Report of Inquiry into NT Electricity Networks Access Code Mr STIRLING (Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I move that the Assembly take note of the report. I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later hour. Leave granted. ADJOURNMENT Mr VATSKALIS (Transport and Infrastructure): Madam Speaker, I move that the Assembly do now adjourn. I would like to comment on some of my colleagues working in my department who have recently retired after a long and distinguished career in the Northern Territory Public Service. Mrigendra Verma, who is also known as Mick to his friends, and his wife Jaya migrated from India and started work in the Northern Territory in 1973. They have worked in the public service in Darwin since 1973. During that period, they have raised two sons and a daughter. Mick has worked in the groundwater field with the Northern Territory water resources group as it has been moved through many agencies. His major work area was mapping and documenting the groundwater resource in the Darwin area, and he completed the hydrological maps of the Darwin region and also the Helen Springs region. He has provided advice to many landowners in the Darwin rural area regarding the chances of them getting the amount of water they required from a bore on their block. He has provided similar advice to many Aboriginal communities across the Northern Territory. He has also provided advice to many 3992