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 the gallery to put on their display. There has been a trend recently that this has been discouraged. To be a sitter now, you have to be in a corporate uniform so, of course, the sitters do not come from the voluntary groups anymore. The art gallery is beautiful, it has been upgraded, but it is becoming quite elitist. The fact that the Quilting Club could not hold their exhibition in one of these galleries reflects a little of the trend. There have been comments made that quilts are not art. To me, they are pieces of art. What these people have done in creating these quilts is beautiful. It is a little unfortunate that this thought is coming through that, perhaps, we have this elitist art gallery. Some comments were made that we should have exhibitions that last six to eight weeks. Well, that is a little extreme in a place like Alice Springs. We should not have the Centralian Art Award there, because that is really just local art. This is a rather sad way to go. When it was built, it was built for the people of Alice Springs. We have always had Friends of Araluen, but I feel as though the Friends of Araluen are being squeezed out. We had an advisory board and I hear tell that they feel as though they have no place anymore in running the establishment; that they are only a token committee. I would just like to say to the Chief Minister, I know she has been approached on this matter but she should think seriously about the way Araluen is being managed at the moment, and the trend to deter community groups from using Araluen for what it was originally intended. Even though it is great to have all these wonderful art exhibitions and the Namatjira Collection and such like that tourists like to see, it is also important to retain that community involvement in a centre like that, and have people- be it quilters or potters or whatever they are - be able to have their little exhibitions in those galleries. The galleries have been built to highlight works. Where the quilts were this year had a carpet on the floor and to be honest, it deadened it a little. But when you go into the gallery it is so light, it brings out the best in any works of arts that are there. I would like the Chief Minister to take seriously some of the concerns that have been expressed to her about the trend that is occurring at Araluen, and to put the focus back on to community groups. Okay, so they are not in a corporate uniform but does it really matter who sits the gallery? I am quite sure that it would have save a lot in the way of payment of staff if they continued this voluntary work that happens at Araluen. The little cafe there is run purely by voluntary people, and I am not sure whether that is going to survive, because of the fact that they do not seem to be welcome anymore at Araluen. Araluen is a great place. I am not knocking it as an establishment; it is fantastic. What I am suggesting is that we need to make sure that the community owns Araluen and is able to use it and feel comfortable there, but most of all, be encouraged to go there. Mr ELFERINK (Macdonnell): Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, I rise tonight to raise an issue that has arisen during the course of the day, which is of some concern to me, or potential concern, as to the arrangements that currently exist in the Northern Territory and the supply of essential services into remote localities. This is by no means meant to be an attack on government and it should not be heard in that fashion. Rather, I seek to flag this as a potential issue for the future that may raise its ugly head, and needs to be considered at this early stage. It is incumbent upon me, as a member of this House, to raise this issue with government. It may or may not even become an issue, but I cannot forbear but to mention it. What I am referring to is the arrangements that now occur in remote and regional communities in relation to the provision of services. I am somewhat concerned by the circumstances which arose this morning in the House, when I raised the question and a matter I have been pursuing for the last week or so, in relation to the supply of water in a couple of remote schools. I am heartened by the ministers answer this morning and hope that the situation certainly does not repeat itself. Indeed, the minister himself made those observations. However, because we have the devolution of the Power and Water Corporation into PowerWater, which is now a GBD - actually, no, it is a government owned business, so it is a free standing company, of which there is a shareholder, namely, the Treasurer, I believe, who is the only shareholder. But in every other sense, it is a company. This company operates in the same commercial environment that any other company would operate in, with the exception that it is owned by the government. What this means is that it is now very difficult to trace the movement of money through the government. The Minister for Community Development now gets a wad of money which is accounted for in the budget books; he then uses that wad of money to purchase services from PowerWater to deliver those services to remote and regional communities around the Northern Territory, similar to the old community service obligation, the obligation being on the government to provide the service to the remote and regional community. In the old days, through the budget processes, we were able to drill down and pursue which money went where, and who got what, which was a handy tool to make sure that those services were being 3120