Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007

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Parliamentary Record 12


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 14 February 2007 3839 Mr MILLS: What do you really know about it Ms Lawrie: A lot. Mr MILLS: other than your lines Ms Lawrie: A lot. Mr MILLS: the lines that you trot out. Think about it. Ms Lawrie: It was land locked under the CLP. You refused to negotiate with native title holders! Madam SPEAKER: Order! Member for Blain, please direct your comments through the Chair. Member for Karama, cease interjecting. Ms Lawrie: He is provocative, Madam Speaker. Mr Kiely: This is your fish and loaves of bread speech. Madam SPEAKER: Order, member for Sanderson! Member for Blain, direct your comments through the Chair, please. Mr MILLS: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am at your mercy to protect me from these inane interjections Mr Stirling: I will protect you, Terry. Mr MILLS: that really are as shallow as a puddle because they are not addressing the deeper issues. I may not be doing a very good job of trying to identify some of the issues that should concern honourable members, rather than scoring points and preserving and maintaining political perceptions. We really need to think more deeply about these issues rather than just trot out the lines to preserve your impression in the marketplace. Issues related to the free market need to be attended to by this government. If I were in government, I would accept this, I would trust. Maybe you can try me out in time to come. If you have land increasing in price, out of reach of the average person who wants to buy land, the only reason is there has been an untimely release of that land. There is a way. It has worked in other jurisdictions, in other countries where land has been released in a way that preserves and does not erode the value. It does not destroy the market, but releases it in a timely manner so that you can take the heat out of the market. That is the issue driving inflation in the Northern Territory I offer that to this government as an issue they need to focus on carefully, rather than the hysterical responses that are going to distort what I am saying to preserve a political point when, in fact, it is going to be of no help to any young person wanting to have a realistic dream of home ownership. There are ways of strengthening the free market so that land can be released in a timely manner that will reduce the heat in the market and, at the same time, not destroy the market. If you have a free market, who is going to go into the business of destroying the market? They are the sorts of controls over which government can watch. The government has not been in control of anything other than ensuring they enjoy the flow of stamp duty and revenue that comes from the transaction of land. Rather than have a policy that ensures that there is land available in a timely manner so that those who aspire to home ownership can acquire it in a timely manner, they would rather have a subtle policy shift to allow government to enjoy the benefits of real estate activity and take in more stamp duty than I believe is morally correct. They need to ensure that the heat is taken out of the market. That is the central issue that drives inflation in the Northern Territory ... Mr Stirling: Yes, it is true. That part is true. I agree. Mr MILLS: Madam Speaker, at this point, there is much more I could say, but I will leave it at that because otherwise I will be provoked and say things that Mrs Braham: I was a bit worried there. Are you going to have me? Mr MILLS: With those comments, the opposition makes observations on the Treasurers mid-year report. I thank the Treasurer for his helpful comments across the Chamber. I appreciate the briefings I have been able to have from Treasury from time to time, and I look forward to hearing further from honourable members. Mr STIRLING (Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Blain for his spirited and, at times, provocative comments. I was at times provoked but, nonetheless, I thought I showed commendable restraint in the face of some of those comments. I will come to them. I want to say at the outset that this report further underlines the strength of the Territory economy that we are experiencing at the moment. Despite what the member for Blain said, it does underline the very strong economic management that this government has displayed in its five-and-a-bit years in office.