Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010

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Parliamentary Record 15


Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012




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 - Thursday 21 October 2010 develop sufficient industrial land in the Northern Territory for this type of development. That is an example of losing business as opposed to creating it. When we talk about headquartering companies and getting people here to boost export, it is all very well to have incentives - people need somewhere to live. These are the basic things which, unfortunately, the statement does not take into account. They are very basic necessities of life; to travel to your head office or around the world, visit family, and come and go at a reasonable price. I listened to the Housing minister during Question Time today speak about housing. We have what is - the government does not want to debate the issue - the worst housing crisis in the Northern Territory since self-government. A statement was made by the minister and I will quote a number of words: ageing condition, maintenance, asbestos, and may not be suitable for living in. The 400 homes at Eaton on the RAAF Base, Darwin would house many people. When we encourage people to do business to increase our population, we need to house them. I was doorknocking recently, and this is one example of the situations I find. Both people were working, having come to the Northern Territory two years ago as a result of advertising campaigns and they thought it was great. They have a fishing boat parked in the front yard which spends more time there now because she said: We cannot afford to go fishing. The cost of living and the rent we have to pay prohibits us from doing any fishing. To go out, we cannot really have a good time. We have given it two years, we made a go if it; we are leaving. That puts housing in the spotlight. We have 400 houses the minister for Housing says may not be suitable to live in. He also said they will ascertain the condition and some may be sold, some may be demolished, etcetera. Has the minister considered when moving a house you need a Motor Vehicle Registry permit. Part of the permit system is you have a block of land to put it on. You cannot buy a house, put it on a truck, take it down the highway and park it on the side of the road until you find a block of land. If you did that in the current environment, you could be waiting a long time because there is not much land available. We have an enormous problem with land availability. You then require numerous approvals; you have to cross a whole range of hurdles before you can move a house. I note the Larrakeyah Army Barracks houses are being moved and stored further down the Stuart Highway. Were Motor Vehicle Registry permits given to move them, and what conditions are applied to the moving when we are putting them on a vacant lot? The other aspect is we are coming into the cyclone season. Building homes in a cyclone area means we have to ensure the foundations are approved by an engineer. We have these homes sitting on a block of land not connected to the ground, which means we could have houses flying around the Palmerston and rural areas. It is interesting to look at some of those aspects. I also note the minister said Natasha Griggs, in the lead-up to the election, made promises she could not keep. I would dispute that statement, because the Mrs LAMBLEY: A point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker! I move an extension of time for the member pursuant to Standing Order 77. Motion agreed to. Mr STYLES: Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Araluen. Natasha Griggs promised she would go into bat to keep the homes. It was a very easy promise to make because if you are in government you can do all sorts of things, whether it be lease the houses back to the Northern Territory - you do things - you have options. However, the minister said the Department of Defence will never release the land. If that is what the minister is informed is happening in Canberra, who is in charge there? Members interjecting. Mr STYLES: Well, apparently public servants, bureaucrats, and perhaps even the Defence Force. When you talk to these people you receive interesting information in relation to what is going on. Had the Coalition been in government it would be a totally different situation. The member would not be able to say she was unable to keep that promise. Members interjecting. Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr STYLES: The statement says: The enduring relationships which flow from personal engagement help underpin the efforts made by business and industry to establish commercial links in key and emerging markets. The inability to travel at short notice because of the halving of the airline service between Darwin and Singapore will make it difficult for 6513