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 3852 all the good people in our communities, all the volunteers who help in sport or whatever area. If people were not committed to do the things they do, perhaps we could say: No, we do not have such a healthy community. but when we know we have a healthy community, we should be talking up the good things. What was the football academy launched last week? Mr Hampton: Clontarf. Mrs BRAHAM: Clontarf, yes. That is a great idea because the kids who were there loved it. They were so enthusiastic. If it means they will stay at school to be part of this academy, then great because, at the same time, they can learn the skills that will be useful when they leave. I wish luck with that academy and I hope it produces the footballers of the future. I will not go into that aspect at the moment; because that is another sore point from Central Australia: the opportunities provided for young footballers. Perhaps we can have that debate another day. In closing, Mr Deputy Speaker, I was a little disappointed in the Chief Ministers statement. I thought it would have a little more bite and something new, but, okay, we will wait and see what happens this year. Mr WARREN (Goyder): Mr Deputy Speaker, today I support the Chief Ministers important statement in which she outlined how this government is rising to the challenge of protecting our great Territory lifestyle through strong economic growth. As the Chief Minister stated, the Territory has the best lifestyle in the country, and the main priority of this government in 2007 is to continue to deliver our great way of life. What a great statement. Sadly, it was not always this way. As we entered the 21st century, the CLP was still in government. For some 28 long, arduous years, a succession of CLP governments had progressively run down the Territorys economy. Despite years of social reform and lifestyle betterment under federal Labor, the CLP took the whingeing, carping, negative view and opposed these positive federal Labor reforms at every turn. Not surprisingly, there was a feeling of general despair amongst Territorians. As Territorians, we generally did not feel very good about ourselves any more. I remember those dour days. By the time the Liberals came to power federally, as a nation we were starting to reap the benefits of social reform and, shortly thereafter, Labors economic reform started having a positive impact. The states were entering a second generation of prosperity and modernisation, and Australia was going global. However, here in the Territory, it was different. During all those years of CLP rundown, we looked on with envy at what the other Australians were getting from their state governments. Their lifestyles were full, and vibrant, major sporting and social events flourished, with new jobs and secondary industries being created. There was a housing boom in southern Australia and Queensland, and there was a general sea change exodus to the north. However, the Territory was definitely not the destination of first choice. It was a good time to be Australian, unless you were a Territorian. All the while, the CLP propaganda machine was cranking up higher and higher, trying to brainwash us with the time-honoured CLP myth that Territorians were different and were happy with our second-rate life because we only aspired to more basic needs; the myth that we were unique and contemporary pioneers and we did not want to have the trappings of southern modernisation thrust down our throats because getting in to southern ideas would mean losing our rugged outdoors frontier identity - all a CLP propaganda myth! The CLP was bugger the rest of Australia, we did not want to conform. It was best if we did things our way, without southern interference or, more correctly, if we did things the CLP way. The truth is that was clearly a cop-out, as the CLP tried to convince us that second best was good enough; that our uniqueness was more important than our lifestyle. Speaking of the CLP way, we all know what that was. They believed that all would be okay if they looked after their mates. Remember that? I do. If you were part of the CLP family, you would be okay; the rest could go to hell. Even that did not last. The economy got so bad by the end of the CLP reign, they could not afford to continue to look after their mates. Thankfully in 2001, Territorians came to see through the CLP charade, and the CLP government was promptly dispatched. In 2001, the new Martin Labor government was empowered with the huge responsibility of dealing with the infamous financial black hole and, most importantly, we had the huge task of turning the economy around. It was hard at first but, through a mixture of major project promotion and responsible fiscal management, things did turn around. I am proud that this government has transformed the Territory, and we are now the leading nation in economic prosperity. Business activity is at an all time high and our economy is strong, robust and growing. Most importantly, once again Territorians are proud to call the Territory home. We now have the lifestyle that befits our geographic status at the top of Australia.