Debates Day 6 - Thursday 1 November 2012
Parliamentary Record 1
Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Thursday 1 November 2012 389 Minister, why did you not look at bringing into the description of who could be on this commission something similar to what was there originally so there could be a guarantee we would have people from the regions and from Parks and Wildlife? When you consider the number of parks in the Northern Territory and how important a part they play in the tourism industry you would have thought that perhaps there would be a permanent position for someone from Parks and Wildlife on the commission. Mr CONLAN: We are not interested in restricting ourselves in that capacity, member for Nelson. The board members will be chosen by me with the guidance of Cabinet in the best interests of tourism for the Northern Territory. We do not think it good practice to start restricting yourself in legislation to that end; and who is to say there will not be someone from Parks and Wildlife on the commission? Mr WOOD: The other side to that question is, who is to say there will? If you look at the old legislation it did allow the minister to appoint people. It just said there were certain members of this commission, which had 11 members at that time, who had to be from certain areas of the Territory and there were certain people the minister appointed. I move on. Mr GUNNER: Just before you move on, member for Nelson, could we ask a question in that same space? Minister, through the Chair, you were just talking about the appointment of commissioners. Could you please explain how you might appoint commissioners? Will you be advertising, for example? Mr CONLAN: No, essentially they will be handpicked by me and Cabinet. Mr GUNNER: And do you know when you will be picking your commissioners? Has that happened yet? Mr CONLAN: We are in the process of doing that and the commissioners will be announced on 17 November at the Brolga Awards. Mr GUNNER: Would you mind explaining what skills you are looking for in a commissioner? You are going through the process now of picking them. Obviously, there will not be an advertisement so we will not be able to see in an advertisement what you think the skills are or what you might ask people to apply to. Could you please explain, if you are picking them yourself, what specific things you are looking at in the commissioners you are choosing? Mr CONLAN: Certainly. We are looking for people who have a vast experience in the tourism industry, marketing experience, information technology experience, and hospitality experience. We want to stack the Tourism Commission with the best minds in the tourism industry. That will be a group of people from the Northern Territory and also from interstate. We are looking at the best people we can get for the money we are prepared to pay to form the Tourism Commission. Mr WOOD: Mr Chairman, why would you not put out expressions of interest for people who may wish to be on the commission? You can handpick, but if you want to broaden the area of expertise there may be people you do not know about. Would it not be a good idea to call for expressions of interest asking for people who may have that expertise you are talking about to put their hands up? Mr CONLAN: Member for Nelson, you leaving yourself open for another broadside here. I know you did not want to step up and be a minister when you had the power to do so. Unlike the previous government which did not put much value on ministerial responsibility, or the kudos or position of a minister of the Crown, we do. That is why we are leaving such important appointments up to the discretion of the minister. Mr WOOD: Notwithstanding those irrelevant comments you made, minister, you would still have the right to choose. Why could you not have put out an expression of interest which would broaden the number of people you could choose from? I am not saying you should take away that right, I am asking why was an advertisement not put out in papers describing the type of person you are looking for on the commission and that you would be interested in hearing from people with those skills? You would still choose them but it broadens what can appear to be a process behind closed doors. I am not saying you should not pick them, but why did you not look at expressions of interest? Mr CONLAN: We are looking at six people, and I know more than six people who are eminently qualified to fill the job, as do most of my Cabinet colleagues, and probably you people as well. We do not need to go through a long-winded, exhaustive advertising, job recruiting regime. We know who we want and we will go and get them. We will put them on the board, we will pay them good money, and they will deliver for the Territory. Mr WOOD: Thank you, minister. Would you be looking for anyone from interstate, considering that we do work with other states and countries? Mr CONLAN: As I just elaborated to the member for Fannie Bay, yes, most certainly.
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