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 7424 have a complete understanding of what the steps are and what is happening. I hope the standing orders will eventually be made available to some of our media people so they also have a very clear understanding. I know the Speaker spends much time trying to explain to people outside of this House what the standing orders mean. But they also should be reading those before they even get a pass to come into this House and report on it. Madam Speaker, I have a very strong view that the rewrite of these standing orders is way overdue. I also express my thanks to the Clerk for the amount of work he and his staff have done in getting these to the state they are now. Mr ELFERINK (Leader of Government Business): Madam Speaker, the problem of being a dinosaur is that I am so used to the old system that I have to work my way through a new document which I am frantically reading at the moment. I am looking for, let us say for arguments sake, the standing order on digression. However, I cannot find it. The old standing order on digression was Standing Order 67, which I can instantly lay my hands on. I suppose what you get when you become an old dinosaur, as I have in this place I have been here since 1997 is that Ms Walker: You had a bit of a break for a few years. Ms Fyles: You had a little rest. Mr ELFERINK: Yes, I did. But I have been jammed in this building since 1997. Ms Fyles: I am sure you can retire. Is that why the family is here? Mr ELFERINK: Sorry? Ms Fyles: They have come in to see your retirement? Mr ELFERINK: Yes, they have. That is exactly what I am about to announce. If you would allow me my digression, then that is exactly what I am about to talk about. I seek the indulgence of members, if they could allow me to digress from the subject so I might talk about what I will announce here today. Madam Speaker, I advised the Chief Minister at about 8 am this morning that it was my intention to not recontest the seat of Port Darwin at the next Northern Territory election. My reason for this is that maybe I have turned into a dinosaur. But I was very careful to pen an e-mail to my colleagues this morning which I signed a short time ago. I would like the liberty of reading this e-mail out. It says: Dear colleagues, I have come to a decision today to retire from politics at the next NT election. This decision is not one that I have made in haste, nor is it a decision that I have come to lightly. In recent months I have become increasingly reflective on my own life as well as the life of my family, and after long discussions over those months with Dee, we have come to the realisation that it is time for us to move on. Nothing in this announcement should be seen to reflect on the Chief Minister or you as my colleagues or the policy direction of the Northern Territory. We have every right to be proud of our manifold achievements and the direction that we have set for the Northern Territory. Events in recent times have utterly no bearing on this decision. This decision is entirely personal and in lifes journey it is simply the case that I have dallied in one place for too long. The next adventure awaits. By the next election the parliament will have held me in its walls for 19 years, 16 of which as a serving member. Please let me place on the record my deep and abiding gratitude to each of you for your companionship on this breathtaking rollercoaster. As you know I have always aspired to be motivated by the notion that everything that I do is for the true welfare of the people of the Northern Territory. Well, today it is not. Today it is for the true welfare of Dee, Elly, Gwenny and John. Madam Speaker, I have had an interesting life so far and I intend to keep it going as far as I possibly can. Needless to say, members are aware of many of the challenges I had in my childhood. Those challenges made my adolescence and young adulthood extremely difficult indeed. To compound those challenges, I embraced a number of drugs, but liquor particularly as my drug of choice, and it ruined me as a human being. Since that time 1986 was when I had my last alcoholic drink I have stepped forward through life and found it to be the most wonderful, splendid and exhilarating rollercoaster ride it could possibly be. There are some still pretty black depths; there are still some amazing highs. Even after I gave up the grog all those years ago, life did not necessarily become easy or simple. I do not expect that life will be easy and simple going forward. But life is a continuum; it is a journey. It is a place where you travel and enjoy all the