Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015

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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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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 19 November 2015 7409 Mr WOOD: I understand that, but why make a big deal about it? Why not just say the hospital is starting? You covered it up. That is what makes people go, Oh, right. Why did you not put some security fencing around it like a normal construction site? Because I drove down there ... Mr Elferink: Because I am not an engineer, Gerry. Mr WOOD: I know, but Mr Elferink: I was told it was safer to do it that way. I accepted that from the people who are building the hospital. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Mr WOOD: That is right. Mr Elferink: And that is the point to make. Madam SPEAKER: Order! You will have your time, honourable members. Mr WOOD: There are four panels across a track, with a sign that says Keep out. The other side of that Mr Elferink: Well, that is not true. Mr WOOD: I was there; I have the photos. I was there on the Sunday looking for the hole. I thought, I did not see this. I was not invited to the hole; I will go and have a look. Certain people had told me that the rods, if they are for a stairwell, are the wrong size. I went to get a photo. I could not find them. There were four panels across the road saying, Keep Out. The other side of those panels went to the end of the earth. Not really, it went to Howard Springs. There was no boundary past that. It just said, Keep Out. I am not sure which parts I should keep out of. It was peculiar. I am happy for the minister to explain. It would be good. Why was a hole dug? Why was it filled in? Why did you not wait until construction got going? Your advisers must have had rocks in their heads and some of those rocks must have gone in the hole later. It would have been a lot better for the government to do it a different way. I thank the minister for his statement. I am interested to hear if he has heard that some businesses in the Northern Territory are struggling. Has he the same information I have been given? If so, has he analysed and investigated why those companies are struggling? I say again that I believe when governments let contracts, especially for long-term local companies, they should have a column which says social, meaning the social impact of keeping those companies operating in the Northern Territory. That is important. When I was in Canada I looked on their website for contracts. Local gets a bit extra for being very local, as we could do for being Territorian and Australian. We need to make sure that although big companies can cut the price on local companies, the local companies are recognised as part of our community and we need to retain them and their families to make sure Northern Territory businesses survive. It is not always easy to make those decisions, but that side of the contracts should be recognised when the government makes a decision. Mr WESTRA van HOLTHE (Deputy Chief Minister): Madam Speaker, I congratulate the member for Nelson, a bloke who said he would not speak then used his full 20 minutes ... Mr Elferink: He warmed to his topic. Mr WESTRA van HOLTHE: He warmed to his topic, picking up on the interjection from the member for Port Darwin. The member for Nelson raised a few things I am sure the Minister for Business will cover when he wraps this. I will touch on a few of those things then talk about October Business Month generally, particularly in the Katherine context. The member for Port Darwin has restrained himself and decided not to respond to some of the things the member for Nelson said about the hospital, but there are a few things I will say. The first real cross-Chamber exchange over the hospital came when the Minister for Infrastructure started speaking about the hospital and what has occurred under the CLP government. It was interesting. There is an old saying that the guilty are those who protest too much. What we heard as soon as the member for Brennan started talking about the hospital was a ramble of protest from the member for Nhulunbuy, trying to defend the indefensible, which was little or no work the fence that was put up by the former Labor government which was supposed to have represented the start of something new for Palmerston hospital. I remember driving past that fence in my days in opposition when the Labor Party was in power and thinking that if ever there was a political stunt around Palmerston hospital, that was it. The Labor government had an amazing skill of promoting nothing and making something of it. It convinced the Territory population that it had done something, when they had done nothing. The Palmerston hospital site was a classic example. Look at us! Look at us!, they said, We have