Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - 20 August 1975



Debates Day 4 - 20 August 1975

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Parliamentary Record 5


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 457 - 498

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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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472 concerned, it is a new work because the contractors will move on site in the next 90 days to begin work on this very necessary project. We also are about to construct a 5,000,000 litre reservoir at the cost of$583,000, which is an addition to the town's water supply. The Deputy Leader mentioned that we would be having 29 units built by the Housing Commission in Tennant Creek this year. This is also a very welcome addition because we have a waiting list of 80 and a waiting time of 2 years to get into a flat in Tennant Creek or 6 to 8 months to get into a house depending on your misfortune. However, there is a hidden trap in this. The 29 houses have already been tendered, the contracts have been won by various builders and the expenditure will take place during 1975-76. There is no mention of any forward planning in this regard and if building contractors in the Northern Territory are ever going to become established and gain the expertise of their counterparts in the southern states, they must have forward planning programs on which to base their current contracts and possible future contracts. I hope that the other members of this Chamber would join with me in asking that the government commit themselves to an additional $24,000,000 expenditure next year that the Housing Commission will require in its next budget. For the Housing Commission to be able to expend that money next year, it will need to do its tendering, contracting and paperwork this year. If we don't do it this year, there will be no homes next year. It is as simple as that. The road works program as approved by the Parliamentary Works Committee is anticipated to get under way. I feel that the construction of the Newcastle Waters causeway will be the greatest boon to the southern end of the Territory this wet. In the education budget this year we have had an allocation for a fully equipped media mobile system to be stationed in Tennant Creek. This is an innovation for us. As I understand it, the mobile unit will service 25 isolated schools with educational material, professional library and equipment for making, repairing and maintaining audio visual aids. In addition to this, we have on our books the completion of the Tennant Creek East School at a cost of$I.8m. DEBATES-Wednesday 20 August 1975 In the Aboriginal Affairs budget we have an allocation of$6,200,000 for Northern Territory Aboriginal Housing Association operations. We have at this stage spent about $115,000 in Tennant on the Aboriginal Housing Association and we have not yet completed a building although there are two that are nearing some semblance of completion. I would hope we get this year in the budget an allocation to the Housing Association that will allow them to complete a building after 3 years of operation. I would now like to comment on the overall money raising activities in the Territory. The Northern Territory exists ostensibly on communications. This year, our communications have taken a knock with increases in airport charges and petrol taxes which will force up airline costs. Postal costs and telecommunication costs are again going up. These costs will be built into the operating costs of businesses and government in the Northern Territory and be paid for by yours truly, the consumer. In that sense, these costs will have the effect of being very inflationary. I represent an electorate of 63,000 square miles, most of which is taken up by cattlemen and most of whom are in the same plight as every other cattleman in the Northern Territory. I was disappointed to see there was no assistance for the cattle industry because bankruptcy is paid for by everyone, not just the man who goes bankrupt. As these people go bankrupt and disappear off the scene in the ensuing 18 months, everybody in this community will be helping to payJor that in one way or another. We have seen indications in the Budget so far that there will be tax incentives and deductions in income tax for business and private individuals. A tax deduction is always most welcome, but the country does not run on tax deductions. It runs on confidence and, until we get some confidence back in the economy and the country, we are not going to generate very much progress at all. I think that, overall, the Northern Territory and particularly my own electorate has done particularly well. In our area we are catching up on a drought that we had in the, early 1970s. We are catching up the backlog now and this program outlined by the Executive Member for Finance and Law this morning will allow us to continue. Mr TAMBLING: In attempting to appraise the Budget in the time available to us,

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