Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 27 November 2002
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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 27 November 2002 Mr WOOD: Can I foreshadow the amendment? I will foreshadow the amendment which is basically to insert in paragraph (3)(a) after where it says, ...any matter concerned with the environment or how the quality of that environment might be protected or removed, I was going to insert after the word environment, heritage, which may require the word heritage twice. The word heritage is very important. The Commonwealth government has always referred to the National Heritage Trust because it encompassed both the built and natural environment. It is important that this Environment and Sustainable Development Committee make that its focus as well. The minister is minister for the Office of Environment and Heritage, if I am correct. That would make it far more consistent and it would take up issues that I believe are a mixture. I will refer here to one of my favourite subjects, the World War II airstrips. They are both historical and they also have a natural heritage emphasis as well. There are probably other sites that I mentioned before when we were discussing the railway at Grove Hill; those particular issues of the tramway. They are issues that a committee like this could take into account. Preservation of that is part of sustainable development. Yes, we have a railway but at the same time we want to preserve our heritage. We do not want to ruin that heritage because it is not only valuable from a historical point of view but it is valuable from an economic point of view. History and tourism go hand in hand in the Territory. So, I will foreshadow that that will be my amendment and we will talk to that later. Once again, I congratulate the government on the establishment of the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. It is a very important committee, especially as the Territory grows, especially as more and more industries develop; agriculture, tourism and gas, as the member for Daly said. These are things that are all going to affect the environment. I support the establishment of this committee. Mr ELFERINK (MacdonneU): Speaking to the amendment, Madam Speaker. I rise to make some very brief points and something that all members in this Chamber, especially those members of the Labor Party, would like to consider in relation to the committee and what is being talked about here in the amendment proposed by the member for Daly. I remind honourable members, those members of the Labor Party, of the Labor in Government document in relation to the committee system. I quote a couple of things from page 6: ... parliamentary committees should be free to operate unhindered and to praise or criticise, or call to account the actions o f government. I then go further on: Labor will enshrine the broad structure o f the committee system in legislation so that the status o f committees is raised and they become part o f the institutional framework o f parliament and are not subject to the wishes of the party that holds the majority o f numbers in the House. I also go on to quote: This arrangement will free the committees to investigate issues o f public concern without the approval o f the governing majority party. Each, committee will have the power to consider issues, conduct hearings, report on them and make recommendations. The committees will have enhanced powers to call evidence. Madam Speaker, it is time that the Labor government comes into this House and stands by the promise and contract that they made to Territorians in an effort to ensure their votes. It is a fairly straight forward amendment that the member for Daly has proposed. It is entirely consistent with the principles and promises that the Labor Party made to the Northern Territory, entirely consistent, and now all I do is ask the Labor members opposite to live up to their promises. Mr HENDERSON (Business, Industry and Resource Development): Madam Speaker, and again its ... Mr Baldwin: Here he is the Pine Creek boy, the Pine Creek environmental officer. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Member for Daly! Mr HENDERSON: Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this motion to establish a Sessional Committee on the Environment, and just to flag that the government will not be ... Mr ELFERINK: A point of order, Madam Speaker! I think there is some confusion on the part of the minister. We are discussing the amendment that the member for Daly has moved and we ju s t... Ms Lawrie: No, your amendments are foreshadowed. 3045
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