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




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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 106 Tomaris Court. She was woken up during that time and is now scared to contact police in case she is threatened by her neighbours. On 31 January 2010, for another hour-and-a-half, more of the same, cannot get to sleep, and does not want to call police because she is terrified. In a different hand, written by a different person, on 2 February 2010, from 6 am to 7.30 am, more abuse, yelling and screaming from the units in the area, and it goes on and on and on. This government assures us it will throw people out of these units when they play up. It assures us it has a policy in place where these people get thrown out, but it just goes on and on. These lists and these complaints come to my office on a regular basis. It is the simple things which drive the people who live in these units nuts. The units are not well constructed; there is a major flaw with the units. Each block of units - there are about 20 in a block - has a single stopcock, so every time a washer has to be changed in the bathroom, the plumber comes in, turns off the stopcock, and all 20 units lose water. There is no warning this will occur and, as a consequence, I have had a person complain that on several occasions they have been caught in the bath with shampoo in their hair and, all of a sudden, no water and no way to get rid of it. It sounds like a minor inconvenience, until it happens to you. I call on the government to start chucking out the people who cause these problems. These units are not difficult to identify. I walk through Tomaris Court and I can see them, and I can point that one, that one and that one. Why? Because the windows are smashed, there are green cans lying around the offending units, in spite of the no alcohol sign on the front gate. These units are not effectively policed. They have to be cleaned up. If these units are going to continue to exist at that location, then let us put reasonable and decent tenants into those units. I also wish tonight to speak on a different issue. It is a very small, simple issue, and it is again aimed at the Minister for Public and Affordable Housing. I wrote to the Minister for Public and Affordable Housing on 14 July this year about an issue which arose from a person not living in my electorate, but who came to me anyhow. I received a formal letter of reply on 4 October 2010; that is about a four-month turnaround for a piece of correspondence. Whilst I appreciate the officers do not sometimes work as quickly as they could, I would hope the correspondence was policed a bit more aggressively than that and I ask the minister to pay some attention. I promised this constituent I would raise the issue of that turnaround of correspondence with the minister, and so I have done. I have another example here, same minister, minister Burns. I sent him a letter on 26 March 2010. I received a reply on 20 September 2010, which makes it seven months to get a reply on what should not have been a particularly difficult issue. This is not good enough. Ministers need to reply to their correspondence more quickly. The government has a reputation for not being a good listener, for being slow to respond and, based on those two letters, I can understand why it has that reputation. There is an expectation for me to turn my correspondence around more quickly, and I do not have the resources of a whole department. Maybe that is my advantage but, goodness gracious me, seven months to reply to a letter! It is not how I would see my office running. I will finish on a lighter note - celebrating 50 years in my electorate. This was a couple of months ago but, unfortunately, my workload has prevented me talking about it. I can talk about it now. The Darwin Memorial Uniting Church had its 50 years celebration in the not so distant past. Some of the original people who went to the church were there for the celebration. Madam Speaker was present, as well as the Lord Mayor, Graeme Sawyer, and several other dignitaries. I congratulate the Darwin Memorial Uniting Church on its 50 years celebration. I enjoyed the afternoon; the Darwin Brass Band gave it a whirl and did a wonderful job. It is a good thing to see the church do so well for so many years and continue to do so well. The churches work hard in our community. People do not realise or see the amount of work the churches do in our community. This is one, the Catholic Church is another, and I know the Anglicans also do enormous work. Whilst people nowadays are quite critical of the churches and still see them as cloistered institutions, in truth, they are involved in the community in more ways than most professions are. I am grateful for their presence. I congratulate the Darwin Memorial Uniting Church for the great work it has done over the years, and encourage them to keep going for another 50 years at least. Mr McCARTHY (Barkly): Madam Deputy Speaker, in my time as Minister for Arts and Museums, I have come to appreciate the great depth of knowledge and expertise we have in the Territory with Territorians working in fascinating areas which often go unnoticed. 6543