Debates Day 3 - 02 January 1975
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
pages 30 - 50
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
38~ _________________________________________ D==E=B~A~T=ES=-~T~h~ur~s=da~y __ 2_l~,an~u~~~y~19~7~5 Council is assuming control over the powers. The members of the AdministTator's Council are the elected representatives of the people ,and a'S such the people are prepared to trust them more than they will trust any bureaucracy who is not answerable to the electorate. This is what has been wrong in the la'St 7 days. In no way do I wish it to be felt that I don't trust the Administrator's Council. We are going to need its help and I wish it good luck. In speaking genem'lly to the bill, let me say that it is not the type of 1egi'slation that I would have preferred to see introduced. We need emergency health measures of com:se; in fact, the whole thing really reJiates to heaHh. We have la Director of Health in the J1erritory. It would have been 'proper for his full cooperation to be sought legislatively as well as adiministmtivelyand that the control of heallth measures be put through him. I realise there are provisions where this person sitting at the top of the pYI1amid may appoint the director, but I feel it would have been wiseT to ensure that the present Director of Health would be the person in oharge of health services. SimiIarly with the other things concerned; we have a Crown Law Officer who is now Director of Law. All these people must be given the proper role to play. Clauses 6 'and 7 'are the only ones about whkh I breathe a sigh of relief. When we get to clause 10 'and we see the actual powers, we find t'hat they are swe'eping powers. One woU'Idthink that we were in the middle of ,a war and we :aTe not. One would think we were a city under siege, and we are not. The citizens in this past week have 'acted in such a manner that disease is not rampant, that crime is not rampant. There are isolated ouvbreaks of looting 'and other misdemeanors, !but in any society the'se exist already; they 'are highlighted bec1ause 'at the moment we iare reduced in numbers; we ,are under st'ress. We are nQt examining this legislation very cooUy and very rationally; 'we siay we 'are, but I don't believe we 'are. I disiagree with certain sectiQns of dause 10 strong1y ibut I feel there is a right land proper place rather than take the time of the Assembly now to speak 'against it. Like the honourable member for Port Darwin, I am concerned at the sweep ,and the scope of the validation procedures. Things have taken rpiace which, not withstanding this bill; ,are invalid. I would hope that this legislation is not used as an excuse to cover up procedures whkh neVeT should properly have been ,taken 'again'St citizens in a time of pell'ce 'and natUlial ddsaster. I think that the rights and the responsibilities of citizens are paramount in any democracy; they have been ignored for 'a few days. I hope that every memibeT of this Assembly will back me in my feeling that the sooner they 'are restored the !better. I will VQte for the pass'age of the second reading of this bill only because clauses 6 ,and 7 ,give an overriding control to the elected representatives of the people in the Administrator's Council. U it was not fur that, I would ratheT be burnt at the stake than vote for this bill. Mr EVERINGHAM: This bill is personally repugnant to me in many of its provisions. It is an intrusion into the freedom of the people of na11Win and people outside DaTwin for that matter a'lso. The only s'll'ving grace about it is that it is to operate f'or 'a very short period. In f'act its provisions oan be determined ,almost immediately should it be judged that they should be determined. Rights ,and property are protected by rights alnd compensation. We have done 'as much as we possiby can toaHeviate the harsher provisions of ,the bill. The provisions of the bm relating to requisition of real or personal property, iarmngements for the dosing of ,any building or pJace within the 'cyclone disaster area cannot be delegated by the director. In answer to the matter mised !by the honourable member for Nightcliff, I point out that the director may delegate hi'S powers during the operation of this !bill to the DiTectO'T of Health or nirector of Law if he so choo&es and 'I feel 'll'lmost certain that, 'as a pmctical matter, this would have to be done. It is with great reluctance that I support the bilL We are in 'a most unusual situation, a situatron which has not been 'aced 'anywhere else in Australi:a since the 1890s when Mackay was completely devastated and there wasn't one stick left standing. It is "horses for courses" and I ,afr,aid that, reluctantly, we must support and pass this bill.
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