Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007
Parliamentary Record 12
Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 14 February 2007 3830 primary industry, light industry and domestic and commercial transport and, like previous years, we will travel to regional locations to support businesses right across the Territory. As I said at the outset, we recognise the big contribution business makes to our growing economy, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in 2007. Ms CARNEY (Opposition Leader): Madam Speaker, I thank the Chief Minister for the report. Given some of the matters you raised and, of course, we all acknowledge the importance of business, one wonders why you have not seen fit to make a ministerial statement. We have two weeks of sittings; we invite you to bring on a statement. You have talked about the importance of business to the Territory. There are issues about future growth. You have talked about various types of industries. You have talked about the importance of business in the regions. It is often heard from the Labor Party jobs, jobs, jobs; growth, growth, growth. We invite you to come to the Chamber at some point in the next week or so during these sittings and make a fair dinkum statement rather than simply tick the boxes on your way through as you deal with business. I would have thought that some members of the business community would, in fact, be quite disappointed with the length of your report. You will remember that five minutes are provided for ministerial reports. You did not even fill that up. One wonders, Madam Speaker, why it is that the Chief Minister, on the one hand, declares what could be described as her undying love for the business community, yet does not even bother to fill up her entitlement of a five minute speech - simply goes through and lists some areas. I appreciate that the government is keen to get its house in order for 2007, certainly compared to the disorder we saw in 2006, but I cannot stress enough the importance of business to the Territory. It is best illustrated, if the Chief Minister is serious, by bringing on a ministerial statement. I made some comments yesterday in relation to ministerial reports. Time is against me, but they still stand. Madam SPEAKER: Leader of the Opposition, your time has expired. Ms MARTIN (Chief Minister): Madam Speaker, it is interesting. We have a statement still in front of the parliament: Challenges Facing the Territory in 2007. I spoke for 45 minutes yesterday about some of the things that are key to the Business Round Table and businesses wanting to see work with government. So the Opposition Leader had Ms Carney: Why are you doing a report? She has no idea. Ms MARTIN: No, no. The Opposition Leader had ample time yesterday in a response to that statement to tackle those issues. I talked about employment and training, attracting skills, all those issues as key issues for government. Working in partnership with business, I mentioned a number of times in the statement yesterday. This was a report on the Business Round Table. If the Opposition Leader is sensitive about her lack of responding to these issues, then the answer is in her own hands. Low Cost Innovative Housing Options in Remote Communities Mr McADAM (Housing): Madam Speaker, at the 2006 Estimates Committee, I announced that the Territory government would deliver the first of many low-cost innovative housing initiatives for indigenous people in the regions within the 2006-07 financial year. I am pleased to report that on 8 February, the Territory government called for expressions of interest to pilot low-cost innovative housing options in remote communities. This government has invested $2m in the Innovative Housing pilot project, which is geared to attract builders, designers and manufacturers who can deliver cost-effective and durable housing options. The project will put to the test the many innovative and low-cost housing solutions that the housing industry has touted and, most importantly, deliver new houses to people in the bush. Let me make it clear that these houses will be built in compliance with the many housing design standards and codes. The pilot project will link into the Labor governments $100m commitment to housing in remote regions. There is potential for the pilot project to expand in future and lead to the construction of a greater number of innovative houses in the bush, so there is a big incentive for the Territory construction industrys best to step forward. The pilot project represents a culmination of the Indigenous Housing and Innovative Housing Construction Workshop held in 2006, and the involvement of my departments Indigenous Housing Advisory Board and I with housing manufacturers and building companies throughout the latter part of the 2006 period.
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