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 explore a whole range of environmental issues as they arise - I am talking about an EPA - rather than the committee simply having a whole set of individual and discrete environmental issues that it is given. Considering the time available and the range of issues involved, it would make it very difficult for the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee to look at each one in depth. This is a more strategic approach. Determining whether an Environmental Protection Agency would be efficacious, and I think that is the way to go. It shows how this government is interested in working strategically. It will also give community members, and different groups within the community - some of them obviously well known to the member for Goyder - to come along and give their points of view. Inherent in the establishment of an EPA there are quite considerable resource implications. This committee is also charged with looking at the feasibility in that way, but also taking account of the unique nature of the Northern Territory; its demographic, geographic and financial context. I believe all those things are important. It is a strategic way for the committee to go. I recommend the first term of reference for that very reason. The second term of reference relates to the progressive entry of cane toads into the Northern Territory. I am a regular door-knocker in my electorate and I know other people from other places door-knock in other peoples electorate, but I am a regular in my own electorate because I am interested to hear what my own electorate says. Actually, it has been a very clear question on a number of occasions from people: what can we do about the spread of the cane toad? Mr Dunham: Then why didnt you tell them? You are the minister. Tell them what you say. Dr BURNS: When I door-knocked, I was not the minister, member for Drysdale. Mr Dunham: You did not have a clue! Mr Kiely: We told them the CLP brought them in. Mr Dunham: Yes, I bet you did! Dr BURNS: May I continue, Madam Speaker? Very disruptive. I will look at you, Madam Speaker, and continue. People do raise this issue. There is a perception in the community that government, and I guess the departments, have acquiesced all too easily to the spread of the cane toads. People are saying: What can I do when they come to my garden? How do I protect my native species of frogs? These are the questions that people ask about the issues associated with the progressive entry of cane toads into the Northern Territory. It is a very important reference. I think they will come to Darwin within a Wet season or so and people will be confronted by them. It is important that this committee look at issues to do with that. Before I close, I was rather intrigued when I was in Alice Springs, it was last week, that the member for Greatorex released a press statement about an environment committee and the likely terms of reference for an environment committee. I will have to confess my ignorance. I thought the member for Greatorex was actually the shadow minister for the environment. So it has come as a bit of an eye- opener for me to find out it is actually the member for Daly. The passion with which the member for Greatorex spoke about his involvement with past environment committees, how he had actually chaired an environment committee, how he had written a press release about an environment committee and the need for an environment committee and cane toads, I am just wondering why he has been left off? It has just left me a little bit flummoxed about what is the role of the member for Daly. He seems to sit back, he seems to do nothing, he is letting the member for Greatorex run his shadow portfolio for him. I hear that there is this allegation that somehow the member for Daly, when he was the heritage minister, rolled over, was out of town, when the Hotel Darwin was knocked down. Well, I think his performance over the last week actually belies that, it actually shows how it can happen. He is willing to come in here and show pony, but he is not prepared to do the work. I commend the member for Greatorex. The member for Greatorex is doing a fantastic job. There are mixed signals from the opposition. Get your act together, get some policies together, and move forward. Mr DUNHAM (Drysdale): Madam Speaker, lets start with the last issue first. If you want the member for Greatorex on the committee, invite us to have three, because that is what you have in your platform. You said, Lets have even numbers, so let us have three and we can fix up this little dilemma of yours and we can have Dr Lim on the committee. He is most keen. He is a very hardworking member, unlike the two, or three, that you have nominated. I can tell you that he would be most grateful to go on to committee where we had even numbers instead of this notion where you have to keep at least that door locked. So we can fix it up. Here is the person who has designed this thing, and 3059