Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016

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Parliamentary Record 1


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




pp 65 to 124


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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 Wednesday 19 October 2016 106 We all have aspirations when we come here, otherwise we would not be here. Part of the challenge is to keep the fire burning as time goes by. That might be a bit easier when you are in government, but it can be a bit harder when you are an Independent as you are not part of government. Governments, as you might have heard the Member for Daly say, tend to confer favours on their own members and electorates rather than on non-government electorates, but hopefully that will not be the case with this government. As the Chief Minister said, hopefully we will work together, which is good. Sometimes governments have worked with me when they needed me, and they have needed me from time to time in my life in here. When they do not need me it is a different story. Ms Fyles: We always need you, Gerry. Mr WOOD: Thanks very much. I feel better now, Attorney-General. I will not break down. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Members, please cease interjecting. Mr WOOD: Mr Deputy Speaker, that was a kind remark rather than an interjection. We will get into proper interjections as the years go by. When I heard the Administrators speech it stoked the fire in me because many of the issues he spoke of are issues I am concerned about, and have been for a long time. They are still on the agenda, and that reflects the complexity of some of these issues, which is something the Member for Blain also highlighted. Any government trying to find solutions has to be prepared for the long haul. I have gone through the Administrators speech so I will try to pick out some of the things I agree with and those I have a different view of. All governments say they will be open and accountable. For the moment the government has got off to a good start with details of travel costs and itineraries, but I have concerns about whether the sideways removal of Dr Freeland quite fits into the category of being open and transparent. It is my job to ask those questions. One way to assist with openness and transparency is the development of an ICAC, which is something that, would you believe, both sides of this parliament agreed to in a previous Assembly. For me it was one of the most remarkable evenings in this parliament when we both sides, which were both debating exactly the same thing, except for one clausewe got them in my room and said, If you can get rid of that you will all end up on the same page, and they came in here and all agreed we would start the process to set up an ICAC. That shows that you can work together. The establishment of an integrity commissioner is a great move. This was one of the recommendations of the Stella Maris Inquiry. I know it is a sore point with Labor. It is strange how of all the recommendations to come out of the Stella Maris InquiryI know it is a sore point with the Labor Partythe one I believe to be most important was that we have an integrity commissioner, and the CLP did not have one. That showed me that there was more about the Stella Maris Inquiry than good governance. There was also a lot of politics, because one thing that would have been a great recommendation to take on was having an integrity commissioner. The government has said it will do that. Perhaps look at the Canadian modelI will refer to Canada time and time again. In Nunavut they have an integrity commissioner who is a retired judge. I do not think he works there all the time, but he gives advice to members of parliament. For instance, if you are a minister and you are unsure about something you are going to do, you can go to the integrity commissioner and he will give you advice. He will tell you whether it is the proper thing to do. That is open to any member of parliament. He also looks at things the government is doing and gives it advice as to whether that is proper. That is really important. I very much support a judicial inquiry into political donations; it is something I had on the Notice Paper at the last Assembly. Of course, it was put back further and further with debates until it eventually disappeared with the change of government. It brings back memories of an inquiry that was agreed to by the previous parliament but was changed by Mr Giles so the inquiry became impotent. I hope the Member for Spillett does not give me a funny look, but it was a funny evening in this parliament. As an Independent I can put motions forward, and one motion