Territory Stories

Questions Day 3 - Thursday 8 May 2014



Questions Day 3 - Thursday 8 May 2014

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Parliamentary Record 12


Questions for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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QUESTIONS Thursday 8 May 2014 707 This government is focused on better education outcomes, supporting families and securing our childrens future. Madam SPEAKER: Minister, your time has expired. Graeme Lewis Appointments to Publicly Funded Boards Mr McCARTHY to CHIEF MINISTER Mr Graeme Lewis is one of the dozens of former CLP ministers, MLAs, CLP Central Council members, ministerial advisors and failed candidates appointed by your government to lucrative taxpayer-funded positions. Mr Lewis sits with you on the CLP Central Council and is director of the CLP slush fund, Foundation 51. Your CLP government has appointed Mr Lewis to lucrative taxpayer-funded positions, including Chairman of the Land Development Corporation Board, Chairman of Darwin Waterfront Corporation Board, and member of the Hospital Network Governing Council lucrative and important positions. Given the clear conflict of interest between his role on these entities and his CLP fundraising activities as a director of Foundation 51, will you terminate Mr Lewis appointment to the publicly funded boards and councils? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I do not accept the premise of the question. We make chair appointments on a range of boards across the Northern Territory for a range of functional activities. While we sit in Cabinet we analyse many different individual skills and abilities to fulfil board positions. There have been a few decisions made where Graeme Lewis has become part of representing some of those boards and activities, which you have run through a few of. We have full confidence that he fulfils those jobs, whether it is at the LDC, the Waterfront Corporation or within the health sector. In regard to your innuendo and slur about slush funds, we are not talking about Foundation 51. It is a private company. We do not understand its operation and it can answer questions on that. Any questions about the party can be answered by the party. If you want to look internally at what happens on the Labor side, look at what happened with Stella Maris and how you handed over a $3m government asset for nix, nothing, nada. Look at Harold Nelson Holdings and where the slush fund of Labor is. Look at the union money that came in. You are very keen to talk about the Blain byelection. Let us talk about the role of the ETU and the Queensland thugs you flew in to belittle the helpers we had during the election, how you threatened old ladies - the ETU and their representatives threatened old ladies so they feared for their lives. Look in your own back yard at the thuggery and wish-wash of money that comes from the unions through the Labor Party ... Ms LAWRIE: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing order 113: relevance. It was a direct question about the number of boards and lucrative remuneration given to Graeme Lewis by you, Chief Minister. Given his role in the slush fund Madam SPEAKER: No, that is not a point of order. That was not the question either. Sit down. Political Donations Ms ANDERSON to DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER Can you confirm or deny that you, or any other member of your family, de facto or otherwise, including staff appointed by you, have active bank accounts either abroad or in Australia that have received funds, directly or indirectly, from any individuals or companies doing business in the Northern Territory or with the Northern Territory government? Madam SPEAKER: Member for Namatjira, the question is ruled out of order. It is not about public affairs and it is not about any area of responsibility of the Deputy Chief Minister. Distance Education Mr BARRETT to MINISTER for EDUCATION This morning you made an important announcement about how Budget 2014-15 will support distance education in the Northern Territory. Can you please update the House on how the Country Liberals government is acting in this area, not simply talking? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Blain, who shows an interest in education no matter where students live in the Northern Territory. The new NTOEC will be constructed at Darwin High School. It has been a vision of this government, unlike the previous government which may have had a vision but never backed it up after years of talking about it, much like everything else it does. Unlike Labor, we are building it. There is money in this years budget: $11.6m for construction and a further $3m for fit out, taking the total spend to almost $15m.