Territory Stories

Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 19 March 2014



Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 19 March 2014

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Parliamentary Record 11


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




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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QUESTIONS Wednesday 19 March 2014 628 Mr CONLAN: We will provide the member for Nhulunbuy with a full briefing. I know she has already asked for one, but I think we will provide her with another one. Ms Walker: I had the briefing, you goose. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Nhulunbuy, withdraw that comment. Ms Walker: I withdraw. Mr CONLAN: So you do not believe the brief the department provided, is that what you are saying? Ms Walker: It was a very honest briefing; you were not there. Mr CONLAN: It does not matter. You do not believe the information the department provided to you? Madam SPEAKER: Order! Minister, please direct your comments through the Chair. Ms LAWRIE: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing order 113: relevance. Very clearly, the question was in relation to the fly-in fly-out contracts, local in terms of the Northern Territory. People in remote communities have lost their jobs under your watch and you are ignoring it. Madam SPEAKER: It is not a point of order. Mr CONLAN: I think the point here is the shadow minister for Housing has bothered to ask a question. In her entire time here, as shadow minister for Housing, this is the first question she has asked and I am trying to explain it to her, yet she refuses to listen to the information provided. Ms LAWRIE: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing order 113: relevance. We want an answer to this important question, there are jobs lost in the bush. Madam SPEAKER: The minister is answering the question; he has time, three minutes. Mr CONLAN: I embarked on answering the question to the shadow minister, but we will go back. A total of 66 local and community-based organisations have been successful as part of the tender process. Our new model aims to improve service delivery to tenants, improve response time, contain costs and provide opportunities for employment of local Indigenous business enterprises. It is pretty simple. Regional tenderers were separated into community clusters to provide smaller local organisations an opportunity to apply. The model facilitates local training, apprenticeships and employment opportunities with funding to 30 June 2018. Tell me, what is wrong with empowering more Aboriginal people to engage in meaningful work options in their community? Members interjecting. Mr CONLAN: There is nothing wrong with it and it is leading with the chin from the shadow minister for Housing, who has asked her very first question in this House as shadow. I provided her with a briefing from the department and I have now attempted to answer a question, which she refuses to listen to. If this is her attitude towards the important issue of Indigenous employment, so be it. This government is doing everything it can to empower Aboriginal people and ensure they have meaningful work options in their community. Nurse Training Pathways Mr HIGGINS to MINISTER for HEALTH Can you inform the Assembly about the Country Liberals governments plan to enhance pathways for nurses in the Territory to advance their training and expertise, and outline how this will benefit the broader community? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Daly for his question. When we came to government, we uncovered many strange and curious things. One of these things was that in the Northern Territory, unlike all other jurisdictions across Australia, we have less than a handful of nurse practitioner positions, which is appalling. In other states, they commenced rolling out from the early 2000s, from about the year 2000 onwards. In most states and the ACT there are dozens, if not hundreds, of highly qualified specialist nurse practitioners. As with many things, when we came to government we were behind the eight ball. This government has taken on the idea of expanding nurse practitioner positions across the Northern Territory, giving nurses a very strong and powerful career path. But, also, in answering the question from the member, this will have profound benefits for communities across the Northern Territory. At the moment, as we know, there is a problem recruiting general practitioners and there is a problem with recruitment and retention of nurses throughout the Territory. Allowing nurses to expand their