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 3854 purchases were funded by the government since 2003-04. Is that correct, Chief Minister? Ms Martin: It might have been the Housing minister who provided those figures. Mr WARREN: I am sure it is. Anyway, it is fabulous and it means a lot of happy Territorians indeed. As the Chief Minister declared, the Labor government is delivering the largest capital education investment in the Territorys history. My constituents have certainly benefited by the capital works expenditure of $12m at Palmerston High, and almost $5m spent on Taminmin High to bring these two great schools up to the sustainable education standard required as part of the middle schools and senior years reforms. The effective delivery of middle years programs to remote schools will continue to build on the already improving outcomes for indigenous secondary students. Over the spectrum of educational reform, I am confident that we will significantly improve access, engagement and learning outcomes for all students across the Territory. They will have greater access to a wider range of subjects, vocational education and training programs. The Martin Labor government has helped create 6000 new jobs in a safe environment during the last year. More than 2000 of these are new apprentices - another great news story. As the Chief Minister reiterated, the health of all Territorians will continue to be a major priority of this government. The Martin Labor government has employed 270 more nurses, more than 100 extra doctors and created 50 more hospital beds across the Territory. Proudly, we have increased health funding by 64% since 2001. Like most run-down departments we inherited in 2001, the police force was considerably under-resourced and under-funded. It took a 55% increase in expenditure on our police resources to turn things around. House break-ins are down over 50% over the six years of the Martin Labor government. Commercial break-ins are down 31% over the same period. Motor vehicle related offences are down 51%, and other theft is down by 25%. Property damage is down by 29%. We spend 2.5 times the national average on police. This is all great news. Thanks to the Martin Labor government, we now have the Humpty Doo Police Station in my electorate of Goyder. It is a great success and recognition of the needs of our rural Territorians. The Humpty Doo Police Station has significantly broadened the reach of the police in the greater Darwin area and rural areas. Regular trips are now made to Dundee, Belyuen, Wagait Beach and Mandorah, as well as significantly extending the regularly serviced areas to the eastern and southern rural areas. So you can see, thanks to the Martin Labor government, the long arm of the law is reaching even further. Earlier, I discussed growth in the rural area as a result of the Martin Labor governments generation of economic wealth for Territorians. As Territorians become more prosperous, many look to our fabulous rural area for our local version of a sea change and, to meet this growth, this government is continuing to look at how to facilitate public transport in rural areas as well as urban areas. Thanks to this government, we now have regular school runs and significantly increased public transport services to the rural area. To take us into the future, we have recently carried out a comprehensive review of bus schedules targeting the services where they are most needed: new and better value-for-money fare structures and improved bus contracts. Mr Deputy Speaker, this government is committed to delivering for all Territorians well into the future. Unlike the CLP, our lifestyle is utmost in our minds. We have, and will continue to back that up with strong, sustainable and responsible economic growth that has delivered to the Territory a lifestyle that is the best in Australia. I thank the Chief Minister for her most enlightening statement and I eagerly look forward to further updates from her over the coming years. Ms MARTIN (Chief Minister): Mr Deputy Speaker, this is an important statement to start the year, spelling out the governments priorities for 2007. I thank all those who have contributed to the debate - the ministers who, in their own portfolio areas, talked about priorities, and certainly the very thoughtful contributions from other members of the House. I do not think there was any gloss in the statement. What I did was outline key priorities for Territorians and the initiatives that we are putting in place to achieve those priorities or to tackle problems that we have. The statement ranged over a whole raft of areas that are critical to the future of the Northern Territory. It was a statement of fact. It did not try to pretend there are no problems when clearly there are, particularly in areas like alcohol. It was very much a practical document that will guide this government over 2007 in areas like local government, in tricky areas like child abuse, challenges like education and health, the challenges of creating a workforce that has the skills that we need - a whole range of issues. I was disappointed to hear the Opposition Leader say that it was all gloss, there was nothing there and it was a statement of no substance. It is