Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 11 February 2014



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 11 February 2014

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Parliamentary Record 10


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 Tuesday 11 February 2014 540 There is a range of things government is looking at, but we are consulting. We are not doing anything without talking to all stakeholders. We are talking to as many people as possible. We are dealing with LGANT and a range of other organisations, and when firm decisions are made we will announce them more broadly. Industry EBAs Mr McCARTHY to CHIEF MINISTER Territory workers are fed up with your continual attacks and arrogance. You are in dispute with workers on the front line firefighters, teachers, paramedics, port workers, bus drivers Mr ELFERINK: A point of order, Madam Speaker! The question is in breach of Standing Order 112(2) referring to imputations and ironical expressions. Madam SPEAKER: It is not a point of order. Mr McCARTHY: in dispute with firefighters, teachers, paramedics, port workers and bus drivers. You refuse to recognise their pay offers and do not understand that you are not keeping pace with the escalating cost of living under the CLP, running at 4.4%. You are offering 3%. The cost of living is increasing by 4.4% under the CLP. While the cost of living escalates, you expect them to take a pay cut in real terms. When will you realise that Territory workers cannot continue to afford your governments plan and will you end these disputes? ANSWER Madam Speaker, we have a question from a parrot of the union membership. There is no doubt we are negotiating EBAs in a range of fields, with firefighters, for example, who are requesting a 23% pay increase in their first year. These are things we negotiate as government. We are in negotiation with the teachers. We have put out a flat offer of a 3% per annum increase through the EBA process, and those negotiations will continue to occur. We are quite happy with the way negotiations are going. We do not have a concern in that frame. It is just part of government, as an employer, negotiating with your workers about changes to workplace conditions. We will continue to undertake those negotiations as we see fit. State of the Territory Economy Mr KURRUPUWU to TREASURER Can the minister update the House on the state of the Territory economy and outline the factors affecting economic growth going forward? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Arafura for his question. The work happening on the Tiwi Islands is remarkable and is driven largely by the member for Arafura, who has a strong commitment to driving economic development in his electorate. I am sure there will be much more to be said about exactly what is going on, but I congratulate the member for Arafura for his vision and determination in driving economic growth in his electorate. This Giles Country Liberals government is extraordinarily proud of the way we have been strengthening the Northern Territorys economy. The Northern Territory has finished first in three indicators in the latest CommSec State of the States report, released in January this year: economic growth, construction work done and unemployment. Economic activity in the Top End is 41% above its normal or decade average level of output. Retail trade was also strong, quoting CommSec, courtesy of low unemployment. If you listen to the opposition, you would swear we are all going to hell in a hand basket and unemployment is rife with people losing jobs everywhere, but we have the strongest employment growth rate in the nation. There are plenty of jobs for Territorians, more jobs than Territorians can fill, which is why soon we will be going interstate, talking to those people who lost jobs in the manufacturing and other industries, trying to encourage other Australians to come to the Northern Territory, take up residence here, and help us with our great desire to grow the economy, build a better lifestyle and provide prosperity for all Territorians. International exports are expected to grow by 4.6% in 2013-14 and by 18.7% in 2014-15, with export growth to average 9% per annum through to 2017-18. Private sector consumption growth is expected to grow by 3.7% between now and 2017-18, while private housing investment is expected to grow at an average of 10.2% through to 2017-18. Retail is expected to grow at a rate of 3.3% per year through that same time. Private equipment investment will grow by an average of 8% in that period. I can reel off these indicators, but the fact is our economy is doing well. Good on the Giles government. Madam SPEAKER: Minister, your time has expired.

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