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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484 little thing in your hand; there is nothing there, no value. The sugar and water job is repeated and so we have this situation which has grown upon us. The Government have directed their pruning towards certain sectors and I just wonder if they have reached the full limit of their wisdom yet in their financial affairs. It would appear to me that in some of their pruning they have gone after that old goose again, the one that lays the golden egg, and although they have had some respect for the producer, I don't think that they have gone far enough in this respect. People on lower incomes will get a great deal of relief all over Australia which will be a good thing. But I noticed last night that coal is . going to get a kick. They have found out that coal is worth money and this goose is going to get well and truly plucked-a $2 a tonne levy on ordinary coal and a $6 a tonne levy on coking coal. It will be all very well as long as they don't lose their customers and kill the goose that lays the golden egg. They may be following this same principle in quite a few other directions in spite of the alleged care and restraint in helping the private sector. In the Northern Territory it is noticed that most departments have done very well, although the allocation within the departments has not been the best. In the realm of primary production, although the amount is reasonable for a tight budget, being much the same as last year, when the discount is made for inflation, the allocation appears to be somewhat unwise. It is allocated in areas where it cannot be spent and left short in other areas that desperately need expenditure. It is to be hoped that discrepancies and faults like this can be corrected as the year goes along. I presume that these things are not as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and the Persians. I hope not. I notice that the Government does not intend to subsidise outback air services anymore and this is where the wealth of the country is normally won, in these outback areas. These people are to be punished. Again, the goose that lays the golden egg is to get a kick in the rump and their air services will not be subsidised .. But the Government will continue to subsidise bludgers in all parts of Australia, the people who in their thousands are illegally riding in the social welfare boat; they will continue to be subsidised. A little while ago in Darwin, we had 350 people DEBATES-Wednesday 20 August 1975 out of work. None of them were officially unemployed and none of them were on unemployment benefits, but you can be sure, Mr Speaker, that all those people were very well fed. I remember that a public servant questioned an item for wine and cigars on a ration list for one of these people and he was rapped on the knuckle and told to mind his own business. What they bought with their ration allowance was their affair he was told. The Government will continue to subsidise bludgers in all parts of Australia and hand out bountifully in the social service realm. This does not mean that I think nothing should be done in social service but I think that very little care and responsibility is taken in this realm. All the air services people are wanting is a fee of $35 on the mail delivery section to put down planes in these remote places, $35 a flight. This will be discontinued but people will be fed by the thousands doing nothing all over Australia. The producer will cop it again. Aboriginal advancement again has been well treated. We have a list here of projects right through the Territory. They are mainly related to water, electricity, roads, airstrips, barge landing places and housing. Those are the main items that are being cared for right through. There is a $9m vote for the maintenance of Aboriginal people on missions and Government settlements. These places have had water for many years, they have had electricity for many years, they have had roads and they have had airstrips. Most of them have had some sort of barge landing places. Houses have been at a premium and scarce. The idea is that all these things will be upgraded and multiplied which gives a very good foundation indeed for Aboriginal settlements. I applaud this very much but I note that in business enterprises only about $V2m has been spent in the last year or two if I interpret the paper correctly. I see that $2V2m will be spent in the coming year; it is allocated for business enterprises. This is a thing that interests me greatly because the viability of these Aboriginal settlements and missions is at a very low ebb. What is conducted mainly in these places now is a sort of army establishment where one man cuts the wood and, while he is away cutting wood for everybody, someone mows his lawn for him. There is a little too much of that atmosphere on the places. However, where development works are in progress, the people are employed on these projects, sewerage works, road works, airstrip building, housing and many other