Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - 02 January 1975



Debates Day 3 - 02 January 1975

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Parliamentary Record 1


Northern Territory. Department of the Legislative Assembly


Debates for 1st Assembly 1974 - 1977; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT; 1st Assembly 1974 - 1977




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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pages 30 - 50

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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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44 due to the cyclone, can apply to a court for a moratorium order. Moratorium orders w.i1l apply only for periods of 3 months unless the court considers ,they should be extended. The special time will be such time as the court sees fit but the bill contains the provision ,vha.t orders rwill expire in any event on 30 June 1975. In effect, I am asking for a moratorium on debts for the period of 6 months from 1 January. iIt is not an automatic m.oratorium but it is available -to ;anybody who can estabHsh that he is personally affected by the cyclone to the extent that he cannot find money ito pay. It is a moratorium on these res,tricted debts relating to property whiCih has been destroyed, lost or damaged during the cyclone. It is not a general moratorium; debtors may not refuse their CIl'editors. They may, in cases caTefully prescribed in the bill, 'go to ,a court and get a moratorium. order which will protect them for 3 months. The bill also provides for the protection of the finance companies or othea: persons who may have loaned money. They may go to the court and say that the order was obtained under false pretences Oil' that :the facts relied upon by the 'applicant have ohanged. In those circumstances the court is entitled to rvary the moratorium order, to discharge it or to limit the period in which it can operate. The bill adopts the Small Claims O['dlnance procedures so that the formality of a court of the law will not be necessall'Y. It adopts a very flexible approa<,h to any sort of application. ii'll applications under this, the court will be expediently dealing with the matter and the court will not be observant of the formalities of the law. The magistrates rwill have the utmost discretion to consider the matter, the utmost discretion in the oaxler that they will make and nobody will be boundoy the strict fooms by which they would otherwise be bound in a court of law. [ have no objeotion Whatever to the bill being adjourned because I think members are entitled to consdder its terms before they 'are asked to vote upon it. Mr EVERINGHAM: I support the bilI presented by the honourable member for Port Darwin and, after his masterly exposition of its contents, I feel there is little for DEBATES-Thursday 2 January 1975 me to say. However, I would like to make a couple of points. Firstly, obtaining a moratorium order by persons may be a difficult thing for them to contemplate doing themselves. I know that on his visit here a few days ago .the Attorney~Genera:1 gave broad powers and a much greater scope to the Australian Legal Aid Office. I would direct any person who is applying for a moratorium order to see the Australian Legal Aid Office to have his application handled by persons with some legal knowledge at no expense to himself. The Supreme Court of the NT and the local court of Darwin have had their civil cases adjourned en bloc for 2 or 3 months and this will constitute a moratorium in practice on the enforcement of claims. Mr Withnall: Not on repossession though. Mr EVERINGHAM: Certainly not on repossession and on leases and the like. I agree that the honourable member's bill is a necessary thing and .I wish the ambit of the bill broadened. Debate adjourned. MOTION Appreciation of help in naturru disasler Dr LETTS (by leave): I move that this Assembly recognises with the sincere gratitude ,the efforts to succour the people affect ed by the reoent cyclone and the effort to alleviate the effects of the greatest natural disaster Australia has suff.ered; that this Assembly places on record its deep appreciation of the participation in those efforts of the Natural Disaster Oommittee, the citizens of Darwin and other centres in the Territory, all arms of government, Australian, state and local, the people of Awstrallia, the governments of other countries and international ,agencies and a multitude of voluntary and service organisations. The purpose of moving this motion is to get into the official records of the Northern Territory, through our Hansard sys1tem, the appreciation of the elected members of the Territory of what so many people here in Darwin, throughout the rest of the Territory, throughout the rest of Australia and the world have done in recent days to help us. I don't intend to speak at any length on this motion. It is intended mainly as an opportunity for other members who have

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