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 1673 sad history in regard to the Northern Territory political systemsome new territory to regain trust and ensure the people of the Northern Territory are front and centre in all that we do. Ms FYLES (Attorney-General and Justice): Mr Deputy Speaker, the government thanks everyone for their contribution. I move that the motion be amended by inserting after the word report, the Assembly adopts Recommendations 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25 and 30, and refers Recommendations 1, 2, 4, 19, 23 and 26 to the Standing Orders Committee for inquiry and report on procedural matters. I am proud to stand here today as part of a government that is responding to recommendations by the Select Committee on Opening Parliament to the People. I acknowledge all members of the committee for their hard work, especially the Member for Fong Lim, who chaired the committee, and the Member for Araluen, who was the Deputy Chair. I also thank the Opposition Leader, Gary Higgins; the Member for Karama, Ngaree Ah Kit; the Member for Stuart, Scott McConnell; the Member for Namatjira, Chansey Paech; the Member for Nelson, Gerry Wood; and the Member for Sanderson, Kate Worden. They all served on the select committee. We all know the level of work involved in committees and we sincerely thank you for that. The minister was just remembering fondly his days of committee work. In the previous Assembly I was on the Public Accounts Committee for the full four years, and it was an interesting four years. I thank all the staff who supported the select committee. Their support is vital not only to the running of the committee, but for strong outcomes and recommendations to the Assembly. I note from my own committee experience that they remind you of things and help you to be organised. One of our first actions as a new government in this Assembly was to establish the select committee in October 2016 to explore parliamentary reform. We saw a chaotic and dysfunctional term of government over the last four years, which resulted in all-time low levels of confidence in us in our positions. Territorians sent a clear message at the last election that they would not put up with it, and we all agree it should never be repeated. As parliamentarians we debate and strive to find solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing the Territory. Territorians must have confidence that we will truly act as their representatives. They must have confidence that their views will be properly reflected. They must have confidence that we will approach those matters with the respect they deserve. As a government we implemented changes to Question Time. My colleague, the Member for Barkly, spoke about that. We have allocated Wednesdays for questions from the Independents and opposition benches, and we brought forward General Business Day to a slightly earlier time frame, allowing for a higher level of community attendance. I think the Wednesday afternoon Question Time period followed by GBD provides for Independent and opposition scrutiny. The Labor Caucus has previously supported some of the recommendations put forward by the select committee in its green paper, and there has been a high level of communication between me and the SCOPP, including the formal correspondence on a draft of the committees recommendations in February and March, and attendance at a meeting in March to discuss the governments position. I thank the committee for allowing me that opportunity. The government notes that this report was tabled to the position of the Speaker on 28 March by the Member for Fong Lim as the Chair of the Select Committee on Opening Parliament to the People on 2 May 2017. The majority of recommendations are agreed to, but we propose that the recommendations I read out at the start of my speech will be referred to the Standing Orders Committee for inquiry and report on procedural matters. One of the reasons we wanted to send those matters to the Standing Orders Committee is to make sure, as they are very procedural in nature, they fit with the standing orders of this House, which is essentially our rule book for running parliament. Also, there was a strong and robust debate in regard to petitions, and we do not want to exclude people or for people to feel like we are not including them in the process. The