Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 13 February 2014



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 13 February 2014

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Parliamentary Record 10


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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Hansard Office

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Thursday 13 February 2014 3403 which we can refer matters for contemplation from time to time. These bills are being placed on the table and are going through the normal processes of parliament. Despite what members opposite are suggesting, they are bills about structural management. They like to paint it as something else. This is also occurring in the heart of the Labor Party. It is anxious to paint these bills as something other than what they are. Why? Because it is interested in fear. What is their interest in the committee process? The opposition wants to pick over it. Every time someone such as a unionist makes a negative comment about the contents of these bills, all of a sudden these people will be up in arms with the Labor Party out the front, conspiring with its union mates to make this as difficult as possible for government. It wants to take the normal process, scrap it, and create a new process, because it now wants a committee to look into what this committee is doing under its normal processes. It cannot be sustained. Very serious bills pass through this House without ever being referred to committees bills which Labor members, Independents and CLP members have voted on. They have passed through the normal processes of this House. There is nothing in this legislation which engenders or anticipates any reason to follow protocols other than ones established by the traditions of this parliamentary system. If we were to baulk and send to committee every bill we think is a bit contentious or might offer a political opportunity, the business of this House would become bogged down I heard the member for Nelson bellowing across the Chamber, What about Mataranka? When the CTC looked at Mataranka and it was not the process I suggested, it was the process he forced upon this House it got bogged down in all the nonsense surrounding it without coming to the conclusions it needed to. It took even longer than it needed to get the legislative changes through, because we went into committee. Members on this side of the House believe protocols and systems are in place for a reason. They do the job satisfactorily in protecting the integrity of our parliamentary system; moreover, they are robust, and guess what? They are transparent. On the table before all Territorians to view today are legislative instruments introduced by the Treasurer and shareholding minister in this instance. There will be ample time for people to look, comment, observe and get in touch with members on this side of the House, as well as members on that side of the House, and make public comments in the public domain. What else do we need to do? Doorknock every house in the Territory and do a survey as to what people think? The processes have been established for a reason; they have been developed over time. They are adequate and fit for purpose. For the sake of the political advantage of Labor members opposite - and I include the member for Nelson in that coverall assertion - we are not going to change the processes of this House to satisfy the political interests of a Labor Party hell-bent on skulduggery, making nuisance and driving fear into the heart of Territorians. Mr WOOD (Nelson): Madam Speaker, if there was ever a speech given to show the government is insincere about proper parliamentary processes, it was that one. It was full of baloney. I could use another word it was full of bulldust. It is the same old diatribe I have had to put up with in this House, week in and week out, from people who cannot get over it. Your diatribe about the CTC, about me not getting the swimming pool, and all the same things I have heard time and time again. Get over it. I am over it Mr Tollner: Well, move on, Gerry. Mr WOOD: I am. I am moving to something new. Just to get the record Mr Elferink: No, you are not. You are doing exactly what you have always done. Mr WOOD: It is my turn now, member for Port Darwin. You might have the smoothest tongue, but you do not always have the smoothest intellect, that is the problem. You might sound good, but you do not think well. Get it straight for a minute. You accused me of talking to the ALP. I will tell you how it went this morning. I do my own thing ... Members interjecting. Mr WOOD: Just let me finish. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Order! Mr WOOD: I e-mailed the Chief Minister today to say I would ask a question about the committee. I gave him the question I thought that was the thing to do and I got an answer. The answer was no. Do I think I will get any further than that? I had already made up my mind today that if I did not get a satisfactory answer, I would try to bring this on ... Mr Styles: Did you talk to them? Mr WOOD: Wait until I am finished. Could you just