Parliamentary record : Part I debates (17 June 1986)
Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987
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 - Tuesday 17 June 1986 might be more aptly termed a breach of legislative requirements - the report lay in the Tourist Commission for a further 6 or 7 months. I note that the comment attached to the question on notice is inaccurate. This is because, under the requirements of section 68(2), the Auditor-General is required to report directly to the minister with his comments on the financial statements of the Tourist Commission. Section 68(2) is quite specific: 'The Auditor-General shall, within 3 months of the receipt of each financial statement or within such further period as the Administrator of the Northern Territory allows, report to the minister'. I am advised that that is in fact the general practice of the Auditor-General: to give one copy of his report directly to the minister and to give the second copy of his report to the department - in this case, the Tourist Commission. It is clear that the person who prepared this answer on behalf of the minister responsible at the time did not know what he or she was talking about. In fact. the Assembly has been misled on this issue. The whole saga of the Tourist Commission annual reports has been very messy indeed. One can only hope that the incoming Minister for Tourism and the incoming head of the Northern Territory Tourist Commission have a greater regard for the proprieties and the legal requirements of their positions than the previous 2 incumbents. I will conclude by briefly going through the layout of the 1983-84 Tourist Commission Report. We must remember that the commission had 19 months to get it together and put it in some sort of reasonable order. What do we find? We have an undated letter to the previous minister as the frontispiece, as we should have. We then have details of the government tourist bureau network, with some very pleasing figures. Next comes the annual report for the operations division and, after another 10 or 15 pages, we finally come to what actually should be page 2: 'The Northern Territory Tourist Commission Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1984'. The chairman's report and a copy of the commission's organisational changes are 2 pages in front of that, and in the middle of the whole document the report of the Auditor-General appears. It is a complete and utter mess! Now that it has been acknowledged that this document took 19 months to compile, it is clear that somebody in the Tourist Commission has been very slack indeed. It is not good enough. I would hope that the 1984-85 report, which we have not seen yet, and which the previous minister Mr Hanrahan: Tomorrow. Mr SMITH: If we are to see it tomorrow, I hope that the present minister checks that its presentation is a bit more logical because this is an absolute disgrace. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has issued a very interesting paper on the recreational travel habits of Northern Territory residents. It has received some publicity following an address I gave to the Alice Springs Regional Tourist Association last week. The statistics are interesting and I think they deserve to be placed on the record. The bureau found, and this may not surprise people. that Territory residents are spending more time on holidays in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia than they are in the Northern Territory. In fact, out of the total of time spent by Territory residents on holidays. only 8.6% is spent in the Northern Territory. In fact, 125 000 nights are spent on holidays in the Territory whereas the total time spent by Territory residents on holidays is 1.45 million nights. 47
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