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 need to work our way through that. I am not going to be a minister in this Martin Labor government, who will throw taxpayers hard earned dollars at problems just to fix them overnight. We have to be sensible; we are charged with that responsibility. I, as a minister in this government, will ensure that I go through the proper processes to fmd some solution and reach a mutually satisfying outcome for both Mrs Geraghty and her partner and the government. I will also take up some time to explain about Aranda House. I heard Madam Speaker, the member for Braitling talking about Aranda House. We have to be mature enough in this Territory to look at the problems that our youth are confronted with. We have many youth, indigenous, non-indigenous, and from other multicultural backgrounds, who are not in a very good position in our society in the Territory. It is not a matter o f Willoughby Court being shut down because the Minister for Housing has talked to the youth bodies in Central Australia, and the Tangentyere Association who are keen to ensure that there is somewhere for these youth to be counselled - to be cared for, to be worked on and to put them back into the work force. You cannot have your cake and eat it, too. I will tell Territorians, especially in this particular situation, that, on the one hand you say: We have got to do something, and the government must do something about the youth out on the street and then, on the other hand: Yes, but not next door to my house, not in my street, not in my court. If we are a caring government, and if we are concerned about these kids who are coming from very hard backgrounds, and who have been experiencing problems in the junior years of their life, we have a responsibility. We have a responsibility, this parliament, with very little politics, to ensure that we cater for those needs. That is why I say: be careful, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Let me move onto soccer. I thought for a while that maybe the member for Blain, the shadow minister for sport and recreation, and I could, in a bipartisan way, work together to sort out the problems with soccer in the Territory, in the dealings we need to have with the Northern Territory Soccer Federation. We saw what happened with Soccer Australia, and we know about the Crawford inquiry and the recommendations. We have a situation where we have the Territory Amateur Soccer League, which has pulled away from the Northern Territory Soccer Federation and established themselves as a fun competition - a little serious but not big mobs o f fees to pay. We have the Junior Soccer Federation and the Darwin Premier Soccer League. I have spoken to some representatives down here who have support, admittedly for the Northern Territory Soccer Federation. I hear on the radio that Nhulunbuy Soccer have concerns about a $5m CLP election promise to build a big stadium of their own. One has to wonder how they are going to do that - and it is taxpayers dollars, at the end of the day, that concerns me. We will talk. I will meet with them, hopefully, at the end of next week some time. I was hoping to take the shadow sport and recreation spokesman with me, but I am having second thoughts because, at the end of the day, as nice as I am and as nice as he is, politics intervenes. So, he will look for as much political mileage out of it, and I need to protect my back, and the offer that crossed my mind will not be available because I want what is best for all sports in the Northern Territory. Soccer is one of them, and I want to work with the Soccer Federation and their affiliates, as with their peak body, the Soccer Federation, to work out how we can accommodate their needs. But I am not going to be a minister that will willy-nilly commit something like $5m of taxpayers money to something that I do not think has been organised properly. We will need to work our way through that. With regards to parliament, I would like to congratulate the Speaker and all the staff. It has been a really good week. Looking at people coming in to parliament, and the amount of hard work that has gone into establishing this makes me feel very proud to be a part of this historic occasion. With the politics aside, the casino people, Lasseters Bill Coffey and all his staff, really need to be patted on the back. It has been excellent and, when we discuss in our Caucus with our government about the possibility o f coming back here, I certainly will be advocating my position quite clearly: that we should consider it seriously because it has been a huge success. We did not come here to win over CLP voters; we came here to bring parliament to the people. This is what democracy is all about. People here in the Central Australian region - as with other parts such as Katherine, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy, Jabiru - do not have that opportunity of seeing their elected members in action discussing in parliament; and this is healthy for the Northern Territory. We see a situation where, if they are lucky, they will see a little grab on the news or they will read a little about it in the paper. We need to be more mature and show how accountable we can, and should be, to the people who elect us. We need them to tune into the issues that we are discussing in parliament and what is on our agenda because, only then, will we start to mature and look at being a group of politicians, 25 of us, working hard and working well to advance the Territorys future. 4006
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