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 7426 Amendment agreed to. Motion agreed to; report, as amended, adopted. TABLED PAPER Quarterly Members Fuel Transaction Report Madam SPEAKER: Honourable members, following the Auditor-Generals report on recommendations into members fuel cards as you know a quarterly report is tabled in the parliament I submit the third quarterly report for 2015 on use by members who elect to be supplied with a government supplied motor vehicle, fuel and associated matters with electorate vehicles. TABLED PAPER Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority Annual Report 2015-16 Mr HIGGINS (Environment): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to table the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (the NT EPA), Annual Report for 2015-16. This is the third annual report of the NT EPA. The report demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the NT EPA to improving waste and pollution management in the Territory, and displays an increase in commitment to protecting the natural and environmental values for which the Territory is known. The report describes the performance of the NT EPAs functions during the 2014-15 year, in line with its strategic plan. Its key objectives include: the delivery of a storm water strategy for the Darwin Harbour region which provides a basis for improving management of the quality of storm water entering Darwin Harbour; and the rollout of an erosion and sediment control campaign where the NT EPA undertook activities to increase awareness and improve erosion and sediment control practices on building and development sites. Included in this were compliance audits of the premises. The NT EPA has continued work relating to assessment of environmental impacts of proposals in the Northern Territory. During 2014-15 the NT EPA received 48 projects for consideration under the Environmental Assessment Act, with seven projects requiring assessment at the level of an environmental impact statement. The development of the NT EPAs first compliance activity plan in January 2015 Madam SPEAKER: Member for Daly, can you pause for a moment? Perhaps honourable members might like to go into the lobby with Mr Elferinks family so we can hear the member speaking. Mr HIGGINS: With the development of the NT EPAs first compliance activity plan in January 2015 to June 2016, in the first six months of the plan 23, height inspections were conducted on building sites against an expected 20 inspections to 30 June 2016. The high number of height inspections is attributed to the NT EPAs erosion and sediment control campaign for building and development sites. Operation of the 24-hour pollution hotline, which provides an opportunity for the Northern Territory community to report environmental pollution problems and concerns, and receives notifications from industry, exceeded expectations with 304 calls received in the first six months of 2015. This averaged over 11 calls per week. The community plays a critical role, and I encourage use of the 24-hour pollution hotline. I am very sorry to say I encouraged my wife to do that, and she is very active on this hotline. The development and implementation of an online system, known as the NT EPA online, for environmental protection licences (EPLs) issued under the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act streamlines processes and ensures an integrated and efficient process for proponents. It is anticipated that further development of the online system will include other licences and approvals issued by the NT EPA. With the continued administration of the Environmental Grants program, a range of environmental projects were supported which addressed the environmental themes of waste. A total of $623 580 in grant funding was provided for 31 projects, comprising five schools projects, 23 community projects and five operational grants. Adding to its busy work plan, the NT EPA members also met formally seven times in Darwin and Alice Springs with various site visits. The establishment of a strong, transparent and independent NT EPA by this government, as well as the activities of the NT EPA, aligns with the Territory governments Framing the Future blueprint specifically the balanced environment, strong society and prosperous economy objectives. As well as all of this, I highlight that yesterday we released the Hawke report into the regulatory framework that surrounds all of this in the Northern Territory. In the report three options were put forward to improve this regulation. I will touch a bit on the time frames with that. Over the next couple of months, up until late February, presentations will be made to anyone who would like one to get a brief on the report and have some