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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DEBATES-Wednesday 20 August 1975 programme which might be mounted in the manner outlined above, but you will appreciate that we are in no position to compel children to participate in the activities during the holiday period". That, of course, was never intended. There would be no compulsion but what the Department has apparently agreed to offer is a range of activities using the resources of the schools which will be community centres for the period and they have agreed to fund people to co-ordinate and supervise the programs. For that, the Department of Education has my unbounded thanks and gratitude. Mr TUNGUTALUM: I would like to say just a few words on mining at labiru. I just want to read some of the summary that was made in the Environmental Impact Study made by Ranger Uranium Mines Pty Ltd. "The natural, physical environment in the area proposed to be operated by Ranger Uranium Mines at labiru is an integral part of the area described as the Alligator River region. It has a climate pattern similar to Oenpelli and Aboriginal tradition can be extrapolated from data collected in Darwin. In some of these areas, some of the Aboriginal people claim some of this land, but I think mining in a place like that can give a lot of employment, not only to Aboriginal people but also to Europeans. I am not sure if the Minister for Minerals and Energy has put a stop on this mining at labiru. If he does this, I think overseas interests will come in and take over. We would rather see our own company carry out this job". This statement was made by Ranger Uranium Pty Ltd. I think I will have to do a little bit of study on it. I think that whatever they may do will be very good. Some of the aspects of what they do will affect the place but I think they clearly come out with some really good points and proposals for environmental management and I feel it will come out pretty good. Mr Deputy Speaker, I personally accept this statement by Ranger Uranium Mines Pty Ltd. Mr EVERINGHAM: I rise to speak on a subject which we do not often advert to in this House and that is defence expenditure. It is particularly timely, in view of the Australian Budget having been delivered last evening, to refer to some of the happenings that have been taking place a few hundred kilometres north of our shore line. I do not know who our enemies may be and I do not know that we have any-I hope that we have none-but Australia is an inviting prospect and there is 497 no doubt that many people consider we have more than a fair share of the world's goods. One would think that, in the changing pattern north of us where in place of the world's, oldest western empire new and perhaps less stable regimes are arising, Australia may have some worries when we consider that we do not have a wharf in Darwin at which our largest warships can berth. HMAS Melbourne had to stand out in the fairway after the cyclone because there is not a wharf in Darwin to accommodate it. There is unrest and it is not so far from home. People in Portuguese Timor, or East Timor as it has been called in the last week or so, have, if we can believe the newspaper reports, been having their homes burnt down around their ears, perhaps having their throats slit whilst they sleep. The people concerned have every right to come to power in that particular place if they possess the majorityof Mrs Lawrie: Knives. Mr EVERINGHAM: ... the population in their support. Or the majority of knives, as the honourable member for Nightcliff so succinctly put it. Who is to say that they have not every right to rule Dili, Baucau and Kupang and places like that? Who is to say that they may not become friendly with powers which possess navies of much greater strength and importance than the Australian Navy which I think has descended from some importance in World War 11 to a next to nothing type existence at the moment, where most of its ships are fit for nothing but the scrap heap. Our air defences in Darwin are down to SF A if I might use the expression, and the advanced early warning radar station, which was demolished in the cyclone, has apparently no provision in this year's Budget for its restoration, repair or reinstatement. A fellow was in Darwin last week from Timor apparently preaching revolution. What of Indonesia? Indonesia might today seem a stable country; I hope that it is a stable country. Whilst there is a friendly government there we are quite well off, but we don't know what will happen; you could wake up tomorrow morning and find that what has happened in Bangladesh had happened in Indonesia. Where would we be then? Mrs Lawrie: Safe and sound in Darwin. Mr EVERINGHAM: Who is to say that the Timorese, on achieving independence, will not offer naval facilities to some foreign

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