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
DEBATES - Wednesday 27 November 2002 and report in the best interests of the people who voted us to come to this place. I would think that this augurs well - if it is half the rhetoric. Unfortunately, the rhetoric thus far has shown it to be a shadow of its former self. I have not pulled out the election platform on the environment from the last foray that we had into an election. Suffice to say that this is covered with a legacy of broken promises at its birth and that sort of heritage does not augur well for the apolitical feeling that the member for Karama is trying to engender. I also caution that against this being used as a political tool. Certainly it is not my intention to use it to poke spikes into the side of government. They will do that well enough themselves without our having to divulge it. I think that if it is used with good intention and the good intention is that we work in the best interests of the people who elected us, we cannot go too far wrong. I hope that in his contribution, which is forthcoming, the member for Millner is able to tell us why this document that was so powerful in matters relating to FOI and other things good government, when he took it to the living rooms of the people who were voting for him in Millner, how somehow that page was ripped out, or turned over, or he did not actually get to that page. Or, if he did actually divulge that when he sat in their living rooms and told them what was going to happen with the incoming Labor government, he is now going to tell us how he is going to address that. It probably should be in some form of apology that the so-called good government document is nowhere near the shape of this thing. It bears no resemblance to its shape. In fact, quite proudly, in some sort of a defensive mechanism, the member for Wanguri, said, No, it is like yours. Have a look. They are very similar. What he is saying is you had a terrible thing and we have pinched it, and put a couple of outriggers on it and it is going to go faster. Maybe. Well, I reckon that what they should have been going for is probably is something more closely approximated to their promises. Because that is what it is supposed to be about. You have a mandate, you get elected and you are supposed to put things in place that are pretty close to what you promise. I support not only the motion of my colleague, Madam Speaker, because, as I said, if you worry about the padlocks on the gates, you have two big gates with padlocks all over it, if you are worried about finding out stuff. I also support the foreshadowed motion of the member for Nelson because more and more heritage and environment are intertwined, more and more notions of preservation and conservation flow through both of those arms, and certainly, in an administrative arrangement sense, they sit quite neatly cheek by cheek in the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment that the environment minister has. It is probably a good idea that we put heritage in there as well. I encourage the incoming chairman to refrain from some of the more florid bias that she shows in this place, and some of the interjections that demonstrate her having a very single minded approach to things rather than opening her mind up and being a little bit more bipartisan. I encourage her to truly respect the role of the chairman of a committee of this parliament, albeit on a much lesser scale than that which they promised the people, and at least exhibit some of those traits a chairman should have in terms of impartiality and a quest for the truth and pursuit of the best interests of the people that put us here. With those comments, I look forward to getting on the track with my swag and investigating matters of great concern in the environment. They are certainly much greater than setting up a committee, whether it is called an EPA, or anything else, and cane toads. There is a lot more to look at. I hope we get back to the uranium province. I hope that, having kicked this thing off in the first place by prompting the minister into action, at least some of those issues that the member for Greatorex put to the minister only a mere week or so ago can feature among our terms of reference. In closing debate, I hope the minister is able to tell us that he is quite happy to accept those because it was an invitation that was given to us by the member for Wanguri. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Drysdale, your time has expired. Mr DUNHAM: No, it hasnt. Madam SPEAKER: Order! The question is ... Dr LIM: Madam Speaker, I wanted to speak. Madam SPEAKER: You wish to speak? Dr LIM: Yes. I thought you were going to call the luncheon adjournment. Madam SPEAKER: Well, no. The difficulty we have is that we were hoping the committee would be able to meet at lunch time. Obviously it wont now. Do you wish to speak to this? Dr LIM: Yes, I do wish to speak, Madam Speaker. Madam SPEAKER: Can I have some other indication of people who may be speaking to this? 3053
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