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 110 I was surprised at the speed at which the government was looking at it. Some years ago I went to look at Ord River Stage 2 and had discussions with the people who were running it. When you consider the time that was required to reach an agreement with the native title holders, which was considerable and complicated, I could not believe the Northern Territory Government had done that in about half the time. I am not sure they actually had done it. I think they might have been one step ahead of the discussion. I am interested in the minister for Primary Industry giving us an update on Ord River Stage 3. The Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logisticsit is funny, we have used the word logistics and now we are going to set up a transport supply chain infrastructure master plan. I like the word transport. It sounds nice, but I always wonder if we have done this before. I always become worried that governments come in and say, Lets look at this! Can someone dig under the shelves and check if some of it has been done before. There is nothing worse than repeating yourself; you waste time if it has already been done. I notice air was not part of the vision, but then I heard the minister speaking today and she did mention aerodromes, which is good. I would also throw in boat ramps. They are very much an important part of transport. That is an area we have to look at, and which I have raised before. If the government is going to spend public money on Aboriginal land, it has to sort out the issue of whose road is whose. If I had the government do my driveway, I would end up on the front page of the NT News because you spent public money on private land. The issue of whether the government needs to sort out access roads to communities, either leased or bought, needs to be sorted out. I do not believe public money should be spent on private roads. It is not to say they should not have money spent on them, but the bases of why we are doing it is incorrect. That is an area that needs to be looked at. I know there is talk about Katherine and Tennant Creek and I will not go into that. The government talked about the Alice Springs Indigenous art gallery. It sounds like a great idea. It was one of your promises. I notice it also talks about solar excellence. When I was in Alice Springs for the Masters Games, I noted that Alice Springs is no longer a solar city, which is a pity. By having it as a solar city you put out there that you are interested in solar, but that is gone. I am not 100% sure why, but it seems that funding has dropped off. That is something we have to concentrate on. Let us not forget Tennant Creek when it comes to solar. If you look at the maps for solar, from Tenant Creek across to Western Australia is the top area for solar power. The Member for Barkly and I have discussed the possibility of using solar energy to produce hydrogen, and with hydrogen you can produce fuel for cars. This talks about lots of jobs for local businesses and repairs and upgrades for local schools. This sounds a bit like the education revolution of days gone by. What concerns me is that the department has too much control over what is built. The most successful cases were where the school was given the money. It could get advice from the department, but it could also source its own local contractors to do that work. Last time there were two lots of money. The first lot the schools had a say in how they spent the money; the second lot was top down and you were told how to spend the money. No matter what criticism has occurred in New South Wales, one of the best programslook at my schools and they have facilities that they would never have otherwise. If you can continue doing that, that is fantastic. Regarding sporting upgrades, I would love some regular money for Freds Pass. You may say that is local, but Freds Pass has never received much money from government; it received a little money in the last dying days of the CLP. It needs a regular dose of money; it is probably one of the biggest sporting facilities in the Northern Territory, yet it is never recognised as that. It is great to bring back the Arafura Games. Getting rid of them was the biggest mistake. There may have been problems, but the benefits to our areathe Member for Blain was talking about our connections to Asiaare worth more than whether we made a dollar or not. People will welcome it back. We may have to promote it more. Ms FYLES: A point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker! I request an extension of time for the member, pursuant to Standing Order 43. Motion agreed to.