Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 13 May 2014
Parliamentary Record 12
Debates 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
DEBATES Tuesday 13 May 2014 4285 whether you are at Darwin High School or a school at Yuendumu, Groote Eylandt or anywhere else across the Territory, you deserve every possible opportunity. Another area where there are opportunities and achievements is Lands, Planning and the Environment. In this portfolio I have been entrusted to fix Labors housing crisis, a responsibility I do not take lightly, but a challenge I relish. One of the greatest pleasures I have had as minister is to see the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment transformed from a department of Why? under Labor to a department of Why not? This government constantly looks for solutions, not problems, and is driving the department to take a proactive approach to planning issues. This budget will see an historical investment in land release, the biggest contribution this government can make to housing affordability and reducing the cost of living. Earlier this week I announced Bringing on Territory Land Release, the most ambitious land release program ever undertaken by a Territory government, and something I am very proud of. The investment from this budget year alone will see 6500 new dwellings across the Northern Territory generating around $1.5bn in economic activity and creating well over 6000 jobs. This budget will take the biggest step towards ending Labors housing crisis in over a decade, something that has been hurting all Territorians. We will see $135.5m dedicated to fast-tracking existing land release and establishing exciting new opportunities. The next major residential land release is in an area we have been critised for calling Palmerston north, but that will not be the name of the suburb. It is a way of describing an area people may not be familiar with. Mr Wood: Holtze has been there for Mr CHANDLER: Holtze has been there for many years, as the member for Nelson points out, but many people, even in Palmerston, who have been here less than five years and do not know where Holtze is or have never heard of Kowandi. Please do not get tied up with a name. I know it is in Litchfield Shire and is currently called Holtze. Perhaps we can call it Woodlands. What is important is that we have money in this years budget to push ahead with land release to potentially lower the cost of living for Territorians, and that is where they are hurting. Mr Wood: Palmerston West called Weddell. Mr CHANDLER: I will get to Weddell. There is $4m in this years budget for stage one 1500 dwellings and an additional $730m in economic activity creating nearly 1800 new construction jobs and around 1400 direct jobs. The total project will have 10 000 dwellings. Let us talk about Weddell. At this stage it is perhaps a pie in the sky fantasy. Only one person thinks it is a good idea, and that is the member for Johnston. There was a lot of planning for brochures and community consultation, I will give the previous government that, but on taking over the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment, I was extremely disappointed with the lack of real planning for Weddell. There was a lot of hype around Weddell, but real planning behind the scenes to deliver a greenfield site had not been done. The member for Johnston was at a recent public meeting in the suburb of Johnston making light of the fact this government had moved its focus away from the fact the previous government had put land aside for a seniors village. He made the public statement that had a Labor government been elected there would have been a seniors village there and there would not be the focus this government has on affordable housing. I remind the member for Johnston that in the last budget put together by the former Labor government, that seniors village had fallen off the radar. It had been removed from the budget books and that information from the department is that it was no longer a priority of the former government to turn the area into a seniors village. Before he goes any further with his rhetoric about a seniors village in Johnston, it was not on the radar of the former government. Perhaps it was once, but in the last budget it had fallen off completely. The new suburb, Berrimah Farm, has caused some concern. Again, it is something the former government spoke a lot about but did not get around to doing much. With this government you will see action, because money has been put aside for it, planning has already commenced and will continue. There is $4m in this budget for headworks, and there is a possibility that area of land could house up to 2750 dwellings. The final makeup of those dwellings has not been decided. The Planning Commission has provided an area plan, but the final makeup of how much residential, commercial and small business land there will be is yet to be decided. It will happen through the normal processes; there will be community consultation,
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