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 Dr LIM: I thought it was a foreshadowed motion. Madam SPEAKER: We do have a foreshadowed motion, so I think, Leader of Government Business, at this stage we are obviously not going to get through the whole thing, so, yes, we could adjourn for lunch. Madam SPEAKER: Before we do go on there are two things we need to do. The Attorney-General needs to give a couple of notices that he missed the call on. And I have allowed the member for Goyder time to give a personal explanation. PERSONAL EXPLANATION Mr MALEY (Goyder): Madam Speaker, I place on the Parliamentary Record a personal explanation. I am, of course, a member of parliament. I have a broad and diverse electorate and part of my role as a politician is to field questions from all constituents with different and varying views. Part of that process is to request answers from the government and from the responsible minister on any issue which touches upon and affects people in my electorate. Very much part of that process - indeed, it is one of the duties a politician has - is to reduce those questions and those concerns to writing and forward them to government for a response to be provided, and the information is then given to that particular constituent. It is very much part of the parliamentary process. It is a duty I intend to continue to discharge and a process I intend to continue to utilise. If there is any confusion in government about the process, I am happy to provide a briefing. However, if the minister thinks that, during the course of Question Time, he can try to intimidate me, to prevent me from asking questions and acting on information on behalf of my constituents, then he is sadly mistaken. MOTION Environment and Sustainable Development Committee - Appointment Continued from earlier this day. Dr LIM (Greatorex): Madam Speaker, I join in the debate on the formation or reformation, reconstitution of the environment committee now renamed the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. The name itself, if the minister would take a bit of notice, is a bit of a oxymoron title - environment and sustainable development. Yet, this committee has no specific reference. All the references it has are listed in the third point of this motion where it says: ... makes recommendation on matters referred to it by .. .. Until it gets referred it has no job to do. How it can be an Environment and Sustainable Development Committee, I wonder. That is why I stand in support ... Mr Bonson: What did you do for eight years? Dr LIM: ... of the amended motion put to the Chamber by the member for Daly. Taking on the inane inteijection by the member for Millner - if he could understand law he might be able to read a bit better than he has purported to be doing for the last 18 months and understand what I am talking about when I talk about it being an oxymoron title because it relates to nothing, absolutely nothing. For the last 18 months since the government has been in place I have continually called for the formation of the environment committee. When the government came in and allowed the environment committee to lapse I felt it was a very poor foresight of this government to do that. In the last 18 months my feeling about the lack of the environment committee has come to fruition. I thought it was wrong not to have it. A few things have occurred in the last 12 months in the Territory that should have rung lots of warning bells for the government, yet it did not, not until this week For the last 18 months we have had the cyanide spill along the Tanami Highway; that has been of great significance to Central Australia. People could have been killed. Even the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure went up there and called the person who was alleged to have caused the spill an eco-terrorist. How shooting off from the hip could that be? It was a very significant environmental disaster that should have been closely monitored right from the very beginning and the truth be known things could have happened very, very quickly. A letter in the NT News today commented about how the CEO or the EO of the Work Health Authority could have done his work a lot better instead of blaming former governments for something that he himself has been slow to deal with. An environment committee with the right references would enable this parliament to be quick to respond and quick to find out what exactly caused the spill and then prevent further impacts to the environment by such unfortunate accidents. We have heard since the railway line commenced that there has been some environmental damage to the Gouldian finch habitat, and the almost complete drying out of water holes along the Alice Springs to Darwin railway line. These are things about which people should be very conscious. Parliament was 3054
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