Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017

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Parliamentary Record 5


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 1623 to 1686


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 Tuesday 9 May 2017 1662 PAPER TABLED 2016 Election Report Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I table the Northern Territory Electoral Commissions Report on the conduct of the 2016 Northern Territory Legislative Assembly general election. CONSIDERATION OF COMMITTEE REPORTS, AUDITOR-GENERALS REPORTS AND GOVERNMENT RESPONSES Auditor-General for the Northern Territorys Report to the Legislative Assembly March 2017consideration deferred. MOTION Note Paper Select Committee on Opening Parliament to the People Report to the Legislative Assembly and Summary of Recommendations and Associated Minutes of Proceedings Mrs WORDEN (Sanderson): Madam Speaker, I was fortunate to be a member of the Select Committee on Opening Parliament to the People, and I am very grateful for that opportunity. As a new member in this House, the opportunity did not come with a huge amount of knowledge. That is why I feel that I went in with a really open mind around the process and it was an opportunity to learn, which was really important. When I first started I was not across how important the work of committees is to the parliament, and over the last seven or eight months I have come to understand that better. Whilst on the committee we had an opportunity to travel to Queensland to look at the parliament there, and that was an eye opener. That opened my eyes to some very different ways in which things could be done. From speaking to my other colleagues who attended that as well, I understand the way that the Queensland parliament operates its committee system in order to open the parliament to the people. I did not have any preconceived views, but it was an election commitment of this government that we would take every opportunity to open parliament to the people and make our processes more transparent. I went in with that fundamental idea. There was a lot of robust debate amongst the select committee every time we met. There was never a unified position on most of the issues we discussed. I thank the Chair of the committee, the Member for Fong Lim, for his leadership of that. I also thank Russell Keith and the committee for their guidance and understanding. They were able to seek out Queensland as an opportunity for us and we were able to do that. Queenslanders have what they describe as a new system; it has been in place for a short amount of time. In that parliament it is a very new system but has been tried and tested already. It is a much bigger parliament than ours, and a lot more bills and legislation come through that parliament, so it was interesting. The concepts are the same, and Queensland is much better funded, but it gives us opportunity to know where we can grow. It is good to see a proven model that has opened parliament to the people. Queensland parliament staff talked about their feedback on legislation, which has gone from three or four comments on legislation as it went through the old committee systems to now getting hundreds of groups and stakeholders engaging with the passage of its legislation, which is quite exciting. If we can achieve that in this House it would be fantastic. It was about bringing people into the work of parliament, and that is what we want to achieve. We want to make sure we demystify the process. This is the peoples House; we want to make it more inclusive. We want to raise awareness of the work of parliament and how it affects people; not later, once we have made legislation in this place. Wulagi Primary School visited todaythis parliament does an amazing education program for young students. I did not have that as a child. I expect we will get more students and young people coming through who are more aware of the processes of parliament. For people who do not know the processes of parliament, it is our job to take it out thereit is not just up to the parliamentary education program. In Queensland there is a person who goes out with the committees to do some work in communities, in areas where legislation might affect people the most. That education officer sometimes goes out