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


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 Wednesday 19 October 2016 107 forward was to have an inquiry into political donations, including looking at Foundation 51 and Harold Nelson Holdings. Due to some circumstances a division was not called and that motion was passed in parliament, which meant we on this sidethe minoritypassed a motion to have an inquiry into political donations. Unfortunately, even though the Chief Minister said he would do it, two or three days after the Sanderson by-election he sent one of his people into my office. They said, This is the inquiry you will have, and took out all references to Foundation 51 and Harold Nelson Holdings. We had what I call an impotent inquiry, which anybody could have done, but the real guts of the inquiry was removed on purpose. It is good to see we may have a judicial inquiry. The statement mentions electoral reform, and I would be happy to see that occur, including scrapping optional preferential voting, which I think backfired on the government. There is room for discussion about other things, like proportional representation and reviewing the 100 m rule. I am a fan of that rule, but it was done in a way that was not practical. The purpose was to allow people to walk into a polling booth without being harassed. If people can find another way of doing that without being harassed I would possibly support it. There was a fair bit of stuff about false advertising, but I will get into that another time. It is good to see planning reforms on the agenda, and I hope the government scraps the new Litchfield subregional plan, including the urban and peri-urban areas and the oversized activity centres. That does not mean we do not relook at them; it just seems that in many cases they were done without proper community consultation, and in some cases without any consultation, except with the people who owned the land. We need to grow in the rural area, but that does not mean it becomes a suburb. The Chief Minister has spoken about putting Weddell back on the cards, and with the slow growth at the moment it is an opportune time to start planning that so when the time comes it can commence. Our previous Planning annoyed me when he said, You are anti-development. It seems that if you do not fit in with the governments viewpoint of development then you are anti-development, but if you have a different view it is ignored. My view of development is that rural areas can develop small villages which support the rural area, and Weddell is an urban area. The two can sit comfortably side by side as forms of development, but I have always been opposed to the rural area becoming the spread of Palmerston or having suburbs in areas that should be rural. One issue that has come up of late is water. It is a key component to future development in the rural area. I hope that with the new Planning minister we can place a high priority on making sure that, whatever we do, there is the ability to make those new developments sustainable by making sure there is enough water, either from the town supply, aquifers or rainwater tanks if feasible. Noonamah Ridge should be put in the dustbin or sent to Weddell. It was always proposed in the wrong place. It is like a sore thumb in the rural area. It might have been a lovely design, but it is in the wrong place. The Member for Blain will probably disagree with me, but I disagreed with the Planning Commission from day one, not necessarily because it is a Planning Commission but because its make-up is wrong. There were conflicts of interests. The Planning Commissioner was on the EPA and the EPA chair was on the Planning Commission. They have to people devoid of any possibility of conflict of interest, yet the government of the day passed an Act which exempted them from challenges to conflict of interest. That is wrong. A qualified planner should manage the Planning Commission. The present commissioner does have planning qualifications through his major qualification, but he is not a qualified town planner as you would expect to head the Planning Commission. That is not to say he could not be on the Planning Commission, but the government made a mistake. The Planning Commission Act does not include any reference to a qualified planner. A planner has been on the Planning Commission only by invitation. That was Graham Bailey, the designer of the original Greater Darwin regional plan of 1990 The Planning Commission should also include community representatives. If it is dealing with issues in Alice Springs, people representing Alice Springs should on the commission. The present Planning Commission is composed of people from Darwin. They do not represent the rural area. The local government representative is the city clerk of Darwin. He is a nice bloke, but he does not represent the rural area and does not have the knowledge of the rural area to give good input into planning decisions.

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