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 In education we are suffering from the NAPLAN results. I acknowledge we face challenges in the Territory that others interstate do not, or to a lesser degree. We must ensure we have the ability to grow, and with that comes land release. I would like to touch on law and order. When attracting families to the Northern Territory, particularly Darwin, you want to ensure they feel safe. As I go doorknocking, as I go to the shops on Saturday morning, many people talk to me about law and order issues and their lack of willingness to go out after dark or at dusk; to go for a walk in the park; to take their kids to the park, or take the dog for a run. Women will not go jogging at dusk or in the early hours of the morning, and certainly not alone. They may go with partners or in a group; you cannot go on your own. That is what people are telling me. Everyone wants a night out, however we have issues in Mitchell Street. We have people who feel they can do whatever they like. In fact, recently, we had people punching police officers, injuring them and knocking them out. The community feels there is not a great deal of deterrent for that behaviour. These things are advertised on websites, they go into daily newspapers, onto travel sites and people discuss them on blogs. It goes around the world and anyone thinking of moving to Darwin has access to most of this. You can go online, read newspapers and see what has been reported in our daily newspaper from anywhere in the world. If you are an oil and gas worker wanting to work at the marine supply base, these are the issues you will look at At the recent conference at the Convention Centre, I discussed the oil and gas industry with many people who advised me the things they needed in place before their staff would come here revolve around health, education, law and order, airlines - a subject I will go into in a moment - and port facilities - facilities that get things in and out of Darwin very quickly airfreight facilities. When we are setting up a marine supply base, these are the issues to address. The government and Chief Minister are very encouraging in the report - all is wonderful. However, it is like a pond with ducks swimming around quietly. It all looks good on the surface, but the feet are waggling underneath at a great rate of knots; there are sharks, everything is happening and it is a mess underneath. I liken it to some of the issues in our community. People in health and education, law and order, the airline industry, the port industry are all working extremely hard. I have known some of those people for many years; they are good people who put much effort into what they do. However, leadership starts at the top. Government and ministers have to be responsible for their departments and ensure our community functions in a way acceptable to all members. We have many people who are not very happy with issues I am discussing at the moment, be it health, education, law and order, airlines, port facilities, etcetera. I would like to reiterate some of the comments I made earlier today in relation to losing airlines. We have lost full service airlines because of cut-price airlines coming into the Northern Territory - that is a good thing. Many Territorians have benefited from cheaper airfares, and if you do not want a full service provider and are quite happy with low-cost carriers, that is great. I have used low-cost carriers myself from time to time. However, when you are trying to attract people from all over the world it becomes a difficult situation. Information given to me suggests there is a world shortage of people with expertise and skills in the marine supply industry. The industry encompasses many different vocations; however, there is a world shortage. To attract workers we have to ensure Darwin is an attractive place to live and raise a family. If not, we will turn Darwin, a capital city, into a fly-in/fly-out city. Companies will not move children and spouses of executives and workers into a town if they do not feel safe, if they do not feel health services will cater for their needs in a timely manner, and education services are not up to scratch. We are not denigrating any of these services; we are looking at the perception of people reading what is reported in newspapers, on websites and on blogs. If we do not reassure these skilled workers coming from all over the world, we will be a fly-in/fly-out situation. What sort of impact does that have on the fabric of our community? It affects our schools and health services. We have services funded on population, and if we look at the fly-in/fly-out, we will not have young people here. When looking at economies of scale, we are losing the building of our community. After looking at health, education, and law and order, you need to get here. That is the airline business; we have spoken about that. When you arrive you have to have somewhere to live - a house. Most people would like to live in a house with a yard and a park somewhere close by where children can play. You want to go to the park, even at dusk, and feel you, your kids and your dog are going to be safe. Where are we going to house these people? I cannot think of the page in the report, however many people will be working 6532