Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 27 November 2002



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 27 November 2002

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Parliamentary Record 9


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 - Wednesday 27 November 2002 the extractive mineral industry is not up to scratch. Sometimes now, because of the downturn in the building industry and the competition to supply materials at the cheap rate, comers can be cut. There needs to be a lot more work done on the rehabilitation of extractive mining areas, especially in the Litchfield Shire, because a lot of these extractive mineral areas come from the wetlands. The sand that you get is mainly extracted from the Howard River floodplains, and those areas are scarred once they have done that. They can be re-established, but it takes some work. That is an area that the committee could look at and could see what has happened in the past, and what is happening now and, in fact, perhaps make some recommendations. It is certainly important for people who live in that part of the world, and it is important if you notice how many mosquitoes were around recently in the rural area, that we do not make breeding areas for mosquitoes unnecessarily. We have plenty of them just in the natural areas. The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure said a few things about the track record of the government and, for sure, on some issues in the Litchfield Land Use Objectives, I support them wholeheartedly. The removal of some of the wetlands in the form of creeks and lagoons is a great move. However, on the other hand, to say that they are concerned about the environment begs the question as to why two major wetlands have now been declared something that they were not under the previous government? I refer especially to Lambells Lagoon, where a public meeting was held about 10 years ago, and a section of land which is substantially wet with large magnetic ant hills, was removed from a government horticultural subdivision. Now, under the new Litchfield Land Use Objectives, it is about 80% zoned Horticulture. I do not know why. It was raised in briefings with the minister before the land use objectives were declared and, for some reason, it is now horticulture. People out there will be quite disgusted to see that. The other issue is the land next to BP Palms. It has been highlighted time and time again that that land is zoned - or was zoned - Open Conservation. The reason it was zoned Open Conservation was because the majority of that land is a wetland. I would love people and the minister to have a look at it. However, there has been an application by the neighbours to buy the land for the expansion of the caravan park. I am sorry, but the land is zoned Open Conservation because it is a wetland. Sorry you cannot expand. But, in the new Litchfield Land Use Objectives, it is now purple, Industrial. Therefore, on one hand the minister is saying, What a great job, and on the other hand the facts are that, in some cases, that is not happening. As the minister said, we need the economy. But it has to be balanced with other factors. Sustainable development is about making sure that development does not cost a lot of money to future generations. What you do in the short term might look terrific, but if, in 20 years or 10 years time, you now begin spending money as they do in a lot of Landcare projects throughout Australia, repairing damage done by poorly thought out decisions today, well, you are just being silly. As I say to a lot of people: look at the Torrens River in Adelaide - there are plenty of other examples - and see the millions being poured into re-fencing the Torrens and trying to take out all the ash trees that were planted there. Millions and millions of dollars spent trying to restore a river system that, if it had been left as it was, would not cost the money that is being spent there today. We have the opportunity to make decisions that will not leave a legacy for our children and their grandchildren to pick up the cost. When you see a decision that says the site next to the BP Palms is now Industrial, you have to wonder whether we have leamt anything. The Ware Peninsula is the other classic. Here is an example of the government saying on one hand, We are looking at sustainable development but, on the other hand, they will not look at options, and the motion that was defeated in parliament previously where we were trying to look at options to save the Ware Peninsula from being Industrial. I would hope that the sessional committee can broaden and I would probably speak on it a little bit later, some of the things it is looking at and one would be the future of the Ware Peninsula. Other issues that could be touched on are things like genetic engineering, for instance cotton, what effect that would have. That is an important issue and that is something perhaps the sustainable development committee could look at. It is an issue that I have not commented on much because I have a lot of learning to do on that particular issue, but once again, that is another issue. I am also going to move a small amendment. I have just notified the Whip that I have an amendment which I think is an important amendment. If I could flag that motion now, Madam Speaker, and that amendment refers to, I will say it as it is: I move that the motion be amended by inserting in paragraph... Dr Lim: You cant move an amendment. Mr WOOD: Oh sorry, I was just doing what the member for Daly did. Dr Lim: He has moved an amendment. You cannot move it. You can foreshadow. 3044