Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015
Parliamentary Record 24
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 Thursday 19 November 2015 7403 government can influence business in the Northern Territory. Before I talk about the things going on in this government, I have to tell you that I am always amazed at the Labor members ability to sell a message, to talk and say the right things, as the member for Fannie Bay just did. Any one of the government members at the moment could have read that speech because they are exactly the things we are working on. A speech like that, which is just a string of motherhood statements about working better with business, improving relationships with businesses, strengthening this, and working with that all these things are exactly what goes on behind the scenes. He mentioned driverless cars, for instance, and how we have to embrace this technology. In Adelaide last week at the Transport Ministers meeting, this was front and centre. This government is writing to a number of businesses to offer the Northern Territory as a place to do this business. What the member for Fannie Bay talks about doing should they form a government, we are already doing. We agree that you have to be ahead of the game, but there is a big difference between motherhood statements talking about what you should be doing and doing it. History will tell that this government, in just over three years of being in government, has turned the Territory around remarkably well. We have come from a Territory with a financial situation that was bordering on bankruptcy. Had we continued on the same journey where the former Labor government had taken the Northern Territory finances, we would be bankrupt today. But where are we? We listened to the Treasurer yesterday as he presented the TAFR. Look at the remarkable turnaround that has occurred under this government in three years. Measure that against the first three years of the Labor government when they took over from the CLP. They talked then about inheriting a $100m debt, which was a travesty. We can argue the points about accounting, but there is a big difference in a $100m debt to the proposed debt of $5.5bn we inherited from the Labor government. History will judge this government as remarkable for turning around, in three short years, the finances of the Territory by becoming an austerity government. People need to be clear about this; there has been a lot of pain in the community. This government has had to do a lot of things in the last few years and Territorians have felt that pain. This government did not create the debt or the situation that needed to be addressed. If Territorians need to blame anybody they need to blame the former Labor government. If we went to a Labor government that is exactly where we would be heading again: back into debt, back into a situation where Territorians are left to pick up the pieces and suffer the pain of the bad management of a Labor government. The truth is in three years a Country Liberals government has been able to turn the situation around by doing the things that needed to be done, not just talking about them as the member for Fannie Bay did. It was a great statement, member for Fannie Bay, but where is the detail behind how you would do it? In this House we often hear from the opposition, and every time we come into this Chamber it is like the old saying an empty vessel is the loudest. An empty vessel makes a lot of noise. That is what they are because they can talk the talk. But look at the facts. They left the Northern Territory in a terrible position that this Country Liberals government, under Chief Minister Adam Giles, has turned around in three years. Capital works this year by the Department of Infrastructure is $1.517bn Mr Styles: Extraordinary! Mr CHANDLER: Extraordinary. Why? Because we have gone from a government on an austerity budget and turned it to a prosperity government. Territorians will benefit for many years to come because of decisions made by this government which we had to make to right the ship. When we hold October Business Month and have the opportunity to talk to businesses, they are talking about prosperity. They can smell it, they can feel it, and there is excitement in the air because of what we have created. We have moved on from a government with all its eggs in one basket, which was INPEX. It is fantastic what INPEX has done for the economy of the Northern Territory. However, the previous government focused on one thing and there was no diversity in the economy and no thought about widening the scope of the foundation we need. We need to have a diverse economy and that is why this Country Liberals government has diversified the economy to the point where we have a strengthened economy going forward. We made the hard decisions that needed to be made to bring the budget back into the position it is today. Labor members would love to get their hands on Treasury because they know what we have created over the last three years. There is excitement in the air and people can smell the difference that has been created under this government. It is exciting and people are excited; businesses we spoke to in October Business Month know the difference.