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 have told him over and over again is flawed - this legislation has so many problems with it that he just cannot push it through. But he did; he did it in February. I tried to stop him, but he would not listen. Now he has done another backflip. I remember the member for Daly saying: This is the new minister for backflips. He has done three, four, or five backflips now. How many more are you going to have? It is important that this minister comes up with something quickly so that we can look at it in detail. At least get it past Cabinet first quickly so that we can know that Cabinet gave approval o f what he wants to do. Then get it out to industry and to the opposition so that we can look at it closely. Then we can decide whether to support it or not. This whole industry is in a bloody - excuse me - very big mess, and nothing the government has done so far has convinced us that they know what they are doing about it, and the industry is going to come to a grinding halt in a couple of months time. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to place on record tonight my congratulations to the staff and all those who have been involved in getting this sittings together. I do not think people realise the amount o f work that has gone on behind the scenes for over a period of months. But it has been a long road; we were never quite sure what we were getting into. However, the way the staff have handled it, the cooperation we have had from the convention centre, from people like Top End Sounds, and all the other people in this town, I have to congratulate them on their professionalism, expertise, and cooperation, because, without them it certainly would not have been a success. It was a success for the town. I want to quote the figures - and I say we could take out about 10% for staff movements. On Tuesday there were 1391, on Wednesday 1210, and today, about half an hour ago, 1128. So, basically there were about 1000 people a day coming, and for a small town like Alice Springs that is tremendous. The feedback has been really positive. Questions that people have asked me have indicated how unfamiliar people in the Centre really are when it comes to how their parliament works. For instance, they said: Why are they talking so long? Why are they going on? Why dont they get to the point? So next time, we will put more information into a booklet to help people understand the procedures that happen. I really loved the remark from one of the students from one of the bush schools. He said to me: It is strange to see whitefellas shouting at each other. I guess that is the way they saw it. I had a bit of a saying about a week ago: despite the war, despite SARS, despite Denis Burke, we are going to have them. If the Leader of the Opposition had his way, it would not have been on. The continual undermining of these sittings by the Leader of the Opposition and his team has been so disappointing, I really felt at times quite sick in my stomach when I knew how hard everyone was working. Even the message he put in the souvenir booklet - I rang his office and said: Change it. This is a souvenir, this is historic and the people of Alice Springs will treasure it. And they have. But it was nothing but sour grapes on his part, and he is to be condemned for it. He made much of the cost. The final cost will be available to everyone, but please remember that the Legislative Assembly budget is there to support sittings, and it cannot be used for health, as was suggested continually. I thank the member for Greatorex for his support of the sittings. He went out and doorknocked and distributed newsletter and displayed the poster in his window. But may I say how disappointing, no thanks to the member for Araluen - no poster in the window, no private support, just bagging and not encouraging people to come. How many people did the member for Macdonnell actually invite to the sittings; to the ceremonial opening? I said to the staff: Give every local member plus the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition 20 seats or more if they want it. How many did he invite? Zero! So that how he cares about his constituents and about what was happening. The Leader of the Opposition put great emphasis on functions occurring this week, ignoring that this is a normal part of government, and the fact that it was a part of his government, no matter where it was. Might I say he had functions down here. We have heard much of the barbecue in my electorate on Sunday afternoon and, o f course, Monday evening he had the media to dinner. His remarks in the parliament, too, reflect badly on him. He said: This is not a parliament in Alice Springs, it is a cocktail party. I was highly insulted by that, and I am sure my staff were as well when he suggested such a thing. The member for Araluen called them B-grade sittings. How do you think that made the staff feel? What does it say about her? Her performance was, to say the least, far less than even B-grade. I notice that the Leader of the Opposition continually tried to disrupt the proceedings by censure motions and then claimed that they were gagged. He has a short memory. The stats show us differently, and I will quote some from the Eighth 3996