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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DEBATES-Thursday 2 January 1975 the effects of the c)"olone. I feel that t1rere will be some misgiving among some members of this Assembly as to whether we go too far in the nature and the l'ange of ipowers which are proposed in clause 10. ::there are members hel"e, along with 40,000 other people, who have lost property, personal belongings and, in some cases, virtually everything that they possessed. As people in that category, some members will be concerned about the further intrusion into their own affairs and the intrusion into ;the urves of those who have been removed to other plaoes and who may find some difficulty or obstacles put in the way of their return. [ suggest that the members have to think not only of their personal experience. and individual rights, important as they may be, but must also be cognizant of the general situation and provide some powers which will enable order to be maintained, and to see that we are not reduced to la chaotic situation which would be a disadvantage to those remaining here and those who may come back by stages. Paragraph (0) relating to the con:tro1 of entry to Darwin is one which will cause a good deal of thought and perhaps some concern. We have just evacuated something over 20,000 people and we could not handle a large unplanned and uncontrolled re-entry which was out of phase with the reestablishment of services and accommodation. On the other hand, people who regard this town IDS their home must not be lightly denied re-entry when they are ready to return. I draw the attention of members to the proV1isions of clause 7 which provides that in that instance the director is subject to the directions of the Administrator in Council. I expect that the director will maintain a constant liaison with the Adminilstmtor's Council. I can assure members that the Administrator's Council will do its best to ensure that this power is only exercised to the extent necessavy for the safety and well-being of the people of Darwin. Honourable members will appreciate that I would normally strongly resist giving such wide and drastic powers to a statutory authority but because of cyclone Tracy these are not normal times. In proposing these special measures, I feel that the members of thi'S Assembly will see the merit in them and give them their support. 12236/75-2 33 This is essentially a short term measure as its effects will terminate on a date to be fixed by the Administrator in Councilor on the 31 March, whichever is the earlier. I know that we all hope that it can be an early date but many people would consider it to be over-optimistic to asSUme that by the 1 April we will be able to revert to normal law and processes. In the short period since Christmas day, we have seen what can be done and what has been done, We have seen the tremendoUIS aid and assistance provided to date. We have seen the stre.ets becoming trafficable hour by hour, water and! electricity restored to many areas, houses being restored,shops and buildings functioning and the major effort is only just beginning with the arriv~ al of manpower which came in yesterday. We have been promised un stinted aid from the federal government; trade union mem bers from all over Australia have promised to help; units of the Australian armed services are already flat-out working here and the people of Darwin themselves have shown their determination to rebuild this city. I believe that we should proceed in a spirit of faith, optimism Mr WithnaU: Faith in whom? Dr LETI'S: Faith in Darwin. I believe that in 3 months Darwin will be sufficiently restored to permit the repeal of these emergency measures completely. It won't be completely rebuilt, but living conditions will become more bearable as each day wears on. I think we can look forward to an early reunion with our families and friends who had to leave and make it possible to commence this ta!sk of rebuilding. 'J1here is little more .that I wish to say about the bill at this stage but it provides protection ret110spectively for .the many things that had to be done in the period between the cyclone and the making of this law. It extends the statutory period for the taking of any legal action by the period of t:he effect of this emergency law and it provides for heavy penalties against offenders against the ordinance. It provides the means to keep things moving in an organised manner in Da,rwin. It is a necessary law for Darwin at this time and I commend it to membem.

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