Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007

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Parliamentary Record 17


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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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 17 October 2007 4901 I give members an outline of the program of the conference. I thank Jan Sporn for her assistance in providing me with information and getting me over there, and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly for his advice prior to my departure. I arrived on Saturday, 22 September, and I thank staff of the Australian High Commission for allowing me to watch an elimination final at their social club that day. I disembarked at 12.30 pm that morning and they allowed me to go into their social club to watch the game. The Small Countries Conference started on Sunday, 23 September, and there were a number of plenary sessions. The first plenary session was on Parliamentary Initiatives for Managing the Effects of Globalisation on Small Countries. There were presentations from various speakers including one by a Tasmanian delegate, Lisa Singh, who gave a fabulous presentation about how that subject affected Tasmania. The second plenary session was about Collaborative Versus Adversarial Systems in Government in Small Countries, and there was a presentation by the Premier of the North-West Territories of Canada. That was an extraordinary presentation, one I would like to get hold of and bring to this Assembly. It is certainly a very different form of parliament. Monday 24th saw the inauguration of an exhibition entitled Democracy and Sustainable Development. This was opened by Hon Shrina Sonath Chatterjee who is the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the President of the CPA. The Lok Sabha is the parliament of India, so Mr Chatterjee is quite an important man. The inauguration of the Commonwealth Womens Parliamentary Conference was performed by Hon Mr Chatterjee at the Lok Sabha as well. The third plenary session of the Small Countries Conference was on Regulating Immigration and Human Trafficking, which was quite an interesting session. The member from Nauru asked the Australian delegation to give some opinions about the Pacific Solution, which I and the representative from Tasmania certainly did. The Commonwealth Womens Parliamentary Conference had its first session on Strategies to Overcome Barriers Preventing Women from Equal Participation in Decision-making. The second session was on the Role of Women Parliamentarians in Dealing with HIV/AIDS and Poverty Reduction. The fourth preliminary session for the Small Countries Conference was on Protecting the Environment and Assuring Sustainable Development. I gave a presentation on behalf of the Northern Territory parliament on sustainable development which was about management of the Daly River, and it was well received. I slipped in a photo of my 85 cm barramundi, which all the delegates seemed to enjoy. Tuesday 25th was the Official Opening of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference held within the grounds of the parliament. We moved onto regional group meetings, so Africa, Asia, Australia the British Islands to the Mediterranean, Canada, Caribbean, Americas, Atlantic, India, Pacific and South-East Asia all had separate regional group meetings. I thank all the Australian delegates. It was a very apolitical and bipartisan approach to the conference. We certainly galvanised together in an Australian sense about our approach to the conference. I will update my parliamentary colleagues at our CPA Branch meeting next sitting about the outcomes of that meeting. The highlight of that day was At Home hosted by Her Excellency the President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil. It was a fabulous garden party, something out of the Raj. It was an amazing scene at the parliamentary palace and is certainly something I will remember for the whole of my life. On Wednesday 26th, we had a number of workshops as part of the main conference. Workshop A was on Climate Change and Global Warming. Workshop B was on Global Water and Energy Use Towards Sustainable Development. Workshop C was on Balancing Economic Development and Environmental Protection. On Thursday, we continued the workshops. Workshop D was on Parliamentary Practice and Procedures: Ensuring Reforms to Secure Greater Executive Accountability. Workshop E was on the Roles, Rights and Responsibilities of the Opposition. Workshop F was on Strengthening Financial Security. There was a plenary session on a generally related theme, the Role of Parliamentarians in Addressing Awareness of and in Curbing Human Trafficking, which was a follow-up to the Small Countries Conference. On Friday, we had a number of host branch plenaries, which were the Right to Recall as a Strategy of Enforcing Greater Accountability on Parliaments of the People. The final plenary was on Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures. It was certainly a very full conference from Sunday through to the Friday. I thank the hosts for all the work that they did. We were absolutely superbly looked after. There were a few things that emerged from the conference. Working parties are established by the Executive Committee of the CPA, have