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 7425 exhilaration that comes with it. You build relationships, you lose them, you make things happen in life, and you propel yourself forward with enthusiasm, lust and drive. That is what I try to do. Am I particularly good at it? No. Sometimes I screw up monumentally, as I have done in this job, as all of us will do at some point or another because that is what life is about. The day I walk across a swimming pool will be the day that I come here and try to tell everybody how to live their lives. I was always attracted to the Liberal side of politics because I am extremely attracted to the notion of liberalism. When I say that, I am not talking about its modern American context; I am talking about its very dry, John Stuart Mill, late 19 th century context, particularly as expressed in America. It is the idea that a human being can be free, unencumbered by the state putting its claws into him or her, so long as that human being acts lawfully and in accordance with the laws created through a democratic process. I still stridently believe in those principles, and will continue to, I suspect, for a very long time to come. The more the state intervenes, the less I see evidence of the state being successful. With passive welfare, those sorts of things, I just shake my head in disbelief. We spend so many billions of dollars on welfare-driven outcomes, and continue to struggle for results. That was really the philosophy behind the Sentenced to a Job program. It was about enabling people to regain their dignity through effort and their own labours. It is a philosophy that has found its way into so many of my policies, and I am proud of the work I have done. The NTCAT is not very politically sexy, but it has been one of the most fundamental reforms in the Northern Territorys judicial history. The reforms of the local courts barely anybody noticed but it was a bucket-load of work. There were a number of other reforms, such as the building of the new Supreme Court in Alice Springs and making certain the Palmerston hospital will be built on time. Frankly, simply by changing it from a PPP to get it developed as a design and construct model was fulfilling. When the project manager was in, my work was over. I have had tutelage over some 70 pieces of separate legislation, some easy, some hard. I have continued to work on behalf of the people of the Northern Territory with passion. I love working for the people of the Northern Territory, and will continue to do so, in whatever fashion the Chief Minister asks me to. From now until the next Territory election, I remain faithful to the principles of the CLP. I place on the record my admiration for this Chief Ministers vision, not the least of which we have seen in the last few days with the announcement of the pipeline to Queensland. That is passion and drive. That is why I support this Chief Minister and this government. I will continue to do so proudly because of the manifold things we have achieved. But, that is this government, this parliament and this jurisdiction, and all of that is bigger than yours truly. My wife and I have discussed this over some time hello, Dee. In that letter I made the observation that I will always work and have worked for the true welfare of the people of the Northern Territory. In that letter I made the observation and I will make it again not today folks, not today. Today I work for the true welfare of the Elferink household. I am not gone yet, but when my wife and I finally made this decision last night, the yippies and the yakkai-ing down the corridor were impossible to restrain. The neighbour may have known before anybody else that I was intending to do this. Ladies and gentlemen of this parliament, whilst we bicker, fight and do all the things we do to each other, please let us never lose sight of why the bloody hell we are here. It is easy to do; I am as guilty as anybody else. That being the case, I am supposed to talk about the amendment to standing orders. Madam SPEAKER: I thought you had, honourable member. Mr ELFERINK: I was using that as an example of digression, Madam Speaker. Ms Fyles: Standing Order 67: digression. Mr ELFERINK: I could not find it in the new standing orders. It bloody well better be there. I thank honourable members for not calling me up on digression. Of course we accept the amendment to the motion. I thank all my colleagues very much, particularly the CLP guys. They have had to put up with my eccentricity and weirdness and all that ... Mr Barrett: There will be a bit more of that. Mr ELFERINK: Yes, there is a bit more of that to come. If I was to be asked today who would form the far better government of the Northern Territory I would without hesitation say a Country Liberals government.