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 One of the issues to do with the railway that is causing a reasonable amount of controversy and discussion is the issue of the passenger terminals and their location. It is the subject of a submission currently being prepared for Cabinets consideration. Consideration of the issues confronting government requires a reasoned approach, taking into account the immediate and the longer term issues, and that will be done. I expect an announcement on the decision by the end of the year. Finally, I wish to point out once again that, although construction is going ahead at a rapid rate, it is prudent to remember that there are two Wet Seasons from now until the official completion date of the rail in April 2004. Therefore, even though we are ahead of schedule at this stage, it would be unwise to predict an earlier completion date just yet. Mr BURKE (Opposition Leader): Madam Speaker, the Chief Minister is indeed fortunate to be able to be part of a national media effort to see this historic and symbolic occasion with the joining of the rail lines from north to south. I hope the Chief Minister, when she is part of that ceremony, considers where that railway would be if Labor had had their way just prior to the signing. It is worth reminding the Chief Minister that we would have been part of a Royal Commission, just on the eve of the signing of the railway contract. It was the present Chief Minister who called for a Royal Commission into why the funding for the railway had been taken away by one of the large American organisations. It was the Labor Party, federally and in the Northern Territory which fought, every inch of the way, the actual completion of that signing. It is now this same Labor Party that takes every opportunity to herald their involvement in this great project. Well, Chief Minister, you and I and Territorians know the truth. In terms of this particular comment, I ask the Chief Minister: if you are going to stand up and talk about the railway, would you tell us what your plan is when the railway is completed next November? Can you address the fact that there are already work gangs being laid off on that project? Can you address the question of what this government has in place to replace those 916 workers in other projects in the Northern Territory? Can you tell us what you are going to do with gas onshore in the Northern Territory? That is your other planB, supposedly, that is going to achieve great economic fortunes for the Northern Territory. Chief Minister - and do not lie to us about the fact that the government has not considered ... Mr HENDERSON: Point of order, Madam Speaker! The Leader of the Opposition well knows that he cannot accuse members of lying. Madam SPEAKER: Yes, I do not think you should. Mr BURKE: I withdraw. Do not mislead Territorians about the fact that you have not decided where the railway station will be, when I have already spoken with Mr Branford, the CEO of Southern Pacific, who told me he is very pleased with the location. So you know the location; he is happy with it and you are still telling Territorians that it is still to go before Cabinet. Be honest, if you want to talk about the railway, be honest... Madam SPEAKER: Leader of the Opposition, your time has expired. Mr BURKE: Tell us where the workers will be and tell us what you are going to do to get this economy going. Mr WOOD (Nelson): Madam Speaker, my comments in no way are going to devalue what is a great project, the railway. In my one minute I would like to make a quick comment. One is, that although the railway is progressing well, sometimes some of the concerns that people have, especially about heritage, have been overlooked. The case of the over 100 year old tramway abutments at Grove Hill that were destroyed was a very sad thing to happen, especially as originally ADrail said they would not have to be destroyed. It was a piece of heritage that was marked as part of that gold fields loop for the tourists, and sadly it has been bulldozed and that is just one of the sad things has occurred. I am not trying to diminish the rail. It is a great project, but just because it is a big project does not mean it should not look at some of the smaller issues that occur. Just quickly, the other thing, and I may have mentioned this before, but in 1988 there was a study of the Tiger Brennan Drive and in that Tiger Brennan Drive book brought out by the government at the time, it had Darwin-Alice Springs railway, it had a section on a Berrimah terminus and marshalling facilities. I would be interested to know whether the government of the day has seen that. It was planned for the 11 Mile. The marshalling yards and terminus were discussed and the intention was that is where the terminal would be. I do not know whether there is any reason why that still could not occur, and I would be interested to hear. Ms MARTIN (Chief Minister): Madam Speaker, I briefly refer to the member for Nelsons point about the abutments at Yam Creek. It was very disappointing; the assessment was that they would be able to survive the work being done by ADrail. They did not. I have had an extensive briefing on 3033