Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 August 1981)
Debates for 3rd Assembly 1980 - 1983; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 3rd Assembly 1980 - 1983
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 19 August 1981 to a fairly luxurious degree. Why we should get it, whether we should get it and how much we should get are other arguments. Certainly, it cannot be said that the attitude of Australians in this matter is mean. I cannot agree with the member who suggested that we really have a divine right to this subsidy because we are here and the rest of Australia should keep us in a manner to which we are accustomed. I would like to reiterate the point that announcements relating to the increased charges can be made very early in a quarter so that there is no imposition on people and they can be aware of the charges that are likely to be incurred in the quarter. Let us be honest - charges are going up for electricity in this country in the order of 17.% to 20%. Queensland increased its charges by 16% and I believe Victoria has just announced a 20% increase. Western Australia announced in Maya 12% increase across the board. Any Australian who is sitting at home thinking that an electricity charge will not come is living in a fool's paradise. Every Australian should be budgeting for at least a 12% increase in the cost of electricity per annum. If he is not doing that, I do not know what he is doing. I can assure members that I do not get any particular joy out of increasing electricity charges because I have electricity bills too. The fact is that we are paying for something that we use. If we have not used it, we do not pay for it. I might add that we are paying 50% of the cost for what we have used, which is not unreasonable. If we are to maintain integrity with the rest of Australia, which is providing the subsidy, I think we should meet our end of the agreement and introduce the charges and raise the level of the funds that we have agreed to raise. The Assembly divided: Ayes 11 Mr D.W. Collins Mr Dondas Mr Everingham Mr Harris Mr MacFarlane Mrs Padgham-Purich Mr Perron Mr Robertson Mr Steele Mr Tuxworth Mr Vale Bill read a second time. In committee: Clause 1 agreed to. Clause 2: Noes 7 Mr Bell Mr B. Collins Ms D'Rozario Mr Isaacs Mr Leo Mrs O'Neil Ms D'ROZARIO: I am grateful for the opportunity to take up the main point of this bill again. It is of course contained in clause 2 of the bill. We have heard a lot today about subsidies, how we have to do our part and how we have to follow north Queensland. All of this I do not dispute. But the nub of this bill is the method of charging. I am quite happy to say that, on this occasion, I support the principle of user pays. What I want the user to do though is to 1291
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