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 7421 I invite the Leader of the Opposition to come forward with a plan. Do not hide under a rock and play small-target strategy; come up here and tell us what you are all about. To the Minister for Business, my colleague, the member for Sanderson, congratulations. You have delivered one of, if not the best, October Business Months. I know you did not do it on your own; the Department of Business and everybody else helped you. Congratulations and on behalf of Territory businesses, thank you. To the staff who work at those businesses, thank you. To all of those in the Northern Territory whether working in the public sector, the private sector or the nongovernment sector I ask you this question: would you risk the plan being rolled out across the Northern Territory on an opposition Labor Party which does not have a strategy? Would you risk it with the Independents who cause nothing but chaos? I do not think anyone would put this in their hands. Debate adjourned. MOTION Adopt Report Standing Orders Committee Report Continued from 25 August 2015. Ms FYLES (Nightcliff): Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of Government Business for bringing this on at this opportunity and not earlier today. Obviously this document has had a great deal of work done on it over a long period of time. The review and the development was very time intensive. It is appropriate to acknowledge the staff who have contributed to the review and the report. On behalf of the opposition members and all members, thank you for your efforts and work. The standing orders are the rules under which our parliament functions. They are the written rules by which we conduct our business. This week it has been more evident than ever how important these standing orders are. They were developed over a long time, and provide us with guidance in this House. It is a very thick document, so we have obviously been working at it for a long time and a lot of effort has gone into it. I acknowledge I will be moving an amendment in committee stage. We recently had Mr ELFERINK: A point of order, Madam Speaker! There is no committee stage. This is simply adopting the report. However, I would accept an amendment off the floor of the House to amend the standing orders while we are doing this business here. Madam SPEAKER: Okay. Thank you. Ms FYLES: Should I do that now or at the end of my speech? Mr Elferink: Whenever you like. Ms FYLES: Okay. Thank you to the Leader of Government Business for correcting me on the process. We want to acknowledge in our amendment that we have had a recent change to the standing orders which ensures that ministerial statements are provided to non-government members the Independents and the opposition by 5 pm of the afternoon before the statement. It was a long-standing convention, but the Chief Minister and his government stopped that, which was disappointing because it did not allow those non-government members any opportunity to review ministerial statements or do some research. I appreciate the Leader of Government Business indication that he will accept that amendment so we can continue receiving those ministerial statements the evening before they are presented in the House. It is very important we have that in the standing orders because we have a very secretive government now and we need to have information to hold them to account. In Question Time, typically, the Chief Minister Mr TOLLNER: A point of order, Madam Speaker! The member for Nightcliff made an offensive comment. I would like her to withdraw it. Ms FYLES: I should say, Toughen up, princess!, but I will withdraw. Madam SPEAKER: Withdraw, thank you. Ms FYLES: I withdraw, Madam Speaker. We have a Chief Minister and ministers who avoid answering direct questions, particularly when questions point to government mismanagement and chaos. The allocations of water licences, ministerial travel and projects such as Richardson Park and the Palmerston hospital are examples of the CLPs approach to Question Time. We believe having ministerial statements in the standing orders is very important, considering the CLPs attitude towards accountability and parliamentary reform. It was shocking to see their crude attempt to get rid of the Speaker earlier this week. We saw unprecedented events in this parliament simply because the government did not like being held to account for misleading and untrue taxpayer-funded political advertisements. The advertisements were breaches of this parliaments Powers and Privileges Act. Who was responsible and is accountable for that? It