Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - 02 January 1975



Debates Day 3 - 02 January 1975

Other title

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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32 should be mcre citizens of Darwin represented; I don't necessarily say they should be members cf this Assembly but there should be at lea:st 2 mOTe d1)izens of Darwin on that commissicn. The present representation of 2 out of about 7 is not enough and if am afraid their views are likely to be swamped. The way the Minister has responded to. the honourable member for Victoria River's application to increase the commission, it seems .that the apipointment of 2 citizens of Darwin is merely a sop. If ,the oity is to be reconstructed, let us all be in it; let us not permit people outside the NT to make a game. of it. Mrs Lawrie: Hear, hear! Mcden agreed to. CYCLONE DISASTER EMERGENCY BILL (Serial 4) Bill presented and read a first time. Dr LETTS: I move that the bill be now read a second time. This bill has been prepared as a result cf grerut efforts by reprr.sentatives of the ~!finister of the NT and members of this Assembly. Consultations have been held with independen>t members and with the Mayor cf the Corporation of the City of Darwin to achieve as much unanimity as pcssible in crder to expedite its passage. I do. not have to remind any member of the disastrous effects of Cyclone Tracy on the city of Darwin on ChristmaiS morning. Despite the magnHicent efforts of many people, it will obviously be necessary for quite some time that suitably strong powers be vested in administrative authority so that Darwin is rebuilt in the shortest possible time, in the most effective manner with the least possible risk to the health and well-being cf those rpeople wlhc have remained in Darwin. This bill is designed fer that purpose. Clause 6 would enable the Administrator in Council to appoint a Director of Emergency Services Who will be empcwered to. do all those things necessary to deal with present problems caused by Cyclone Tr-acy and to get Darwin on the road to recovery. From day one of this dis'aster, we had the serviceiS ef the national director of the DEBATES-Thursday 2 January 1975 Natural Disasters Organisation, Majer General Stretten, made available to us. He was acting before federal legislation ccncerning natural disasters or the legislation of this Assembly proposed for some future date ccncerning natural disasters wa:s able to be rpromulgated. General Stretten and .the people working under Ihdm have done a lot of things in the past week or so and I am still noli quite sure what is the basis of the authority that they were operating under. However, let us say that, with the cooperation of people and the recognition of this trem(;:llldous disaster, the things wene done. What sort of a person would the Director of Emergency SelWices who would be appointed under clause 6 ef the bill be? This is, 'a matter for the Administratcr's Council . to decide. According to our propesal, there is a strong possibility that this person would be -a senior public servant with some experience, perhap.s recent experience, in dealing with the kind of situations which arise in this type of disaster. Darwin is not only noted for producing monumental cyclones, it has in the pa:st pTeduced some public servants who for tlheir coldness and lack of consideration for the individual, particularly the small men, hav:e been unsurpaiSsed Jll their record. :I am not denigra:ting a large body of competent and cooperative public servants that we have had, but we have had some beauties, The situation is not one that requires cvercontrol or bureaucratic -arrogance; [t is one that requires sympathy fer the general situation and for the individual's place within it. Therefore, in proposing that the director be appointed by 1!he Administrator in Council, we feel that we will have the advantage that local eleoted people will have t:he oversight cf the appointment and the work of this director. We hope that that will provide sufficient saf:eguard.s to avoid undue and unnecessary acutoc:acy. Clause 10 details the major powers of the direotor. He may direct persons, he may enter property, he may close streets, destroy dangercus buildings, requisit~on materials, control water and electricrty supplies, e.stablish first-aid posts, enforce vacoination in the event ef disease outbreak, control hygiene, ration supplies, control prices and do anything incidental to those powers to prevent, minimise or overcome

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