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 1676 We have our prayers in the morning; it is a moment for reflection. It would be fabulous to acknowledge the traditional owners who allow us to gather on their land, and what a beautiful place it is. It is proposed that Recommendation 26 be referred to the Standing Orders Committee to develop procedures for ministerial reports to be read in the Chamber. It is proposed that ministerial reports be debated in the morning session, as they may be for important issues that may not warrant a full ministerial statement to be debated in parliament. Notice of the topic for discussion would be given on a previous sittings day and debate would be capped at two hours, providing for important information to be shared. We have spoken extensively over the past week about the tough economic times we are facing in the Territory. There are a number of recommendations which have budgetary implications and we are unable to support them for this reason. At Recommendation 20 the SCOPP proposes additional staff to provide committee support. The combined additional budget required to bring Recommendation 20 is an additional $500 000, bringing total recurrent funding for committee support to $1.2m. However, it is expected the streamlining of committee work from three committees to two committees would provide for adequate committee support from existing resources. We are unable to support Recommendation 20. Parliament House only has infrastructure to record audio and video of a single proceeding. The SCOPP proposes at Recommendation 21 that funding be provided to enable independent recording for the Litchfield and Ormiston rooms, but this would again require significant investment, so we are unable to support Recommendation 21. The Latimer House Guidelines specify the Commonwealth principles on the accountability and relationship between the three branches of government. The Northern Territory population of the Legislative Assembly is noted as a challenge in its small size when establishing an independent parliamentary service. The establishment of an office of the Legislative Assembly or office of the Clerk as an autonomous instrumentally, we are unable to support Recommendation 27. The SCOPP report recommends the House Committee inquiry into the provision of adequate financial analysis service for members. We believe this is already catered for through the Department of Treasury and Finance, so Recommendation 28 is not supported. The SCOPP recommends the House Committee investigate the appropriate level and model of library services. We do not support that recommendation. We feel there is current provision provided through the Department of Tourism and Culture through the Northern Territory Library. I acknowledge all the library staff; they helped me when I was in opposition by providing information. We get emails each day advising us they are open during sittings for us to access. In relation to amendments to the Audit Act the Auditor-General noted that the Audit Act does not provide the power to audit agencies actual effectiveness, efficiency and economy in meeting objectives. We do not support the recommendations in this report, but the select committee recommended amendments to the Audit Act to provide the power to the Auditor-General at Recommendation 16. We believe the recommendation and amendments to the act are not supported, we feel the best process for any such change would be through the relevant minister. We recognise these are significant changes for running of the Northern Territory parliament. In implementing these changes we need to make sure as a government and parliament we get it right. We support Recommendation 30, which provides for a review of all adopted recommendations after 12 months of operation. I feel that I have outlined the governments position. We look forward to the 12-month review. This is something new for the NT parliament. For those of us who have been here for four years or eight yearsI am not sure how long you have been here, Gerry. Mr Wood: Forever. Ms FYLES: It is an exciting opportunity. We would like to review it thoroughly. I have clearly outlined the governments position and I thank everyone who has contributed. Mr WOOD (Nelson): Mr Deputy Speaker, I thank the minister for her amendment, although I do not agree with it all. The problem is that we did not know what you wanted to amend until you stood up just now.