Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 November 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 November 1985)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesday 19 November 1985 Mr EDE: Mr Chairman, I note that there will be an estimated 8% reduction in the current work force. Does the decrease in the work force reflect a decrease in services? Mr DONDAS: Mr Chairman, from memory, there will be a decrease. As we move into the gas-fired operation. employees of the power-station will be able to transfer to other government departments and statutory authorities. At the same time, they have been able to apply for jobs interstate. I think there has been an arrangement between the government and the unions for a very ordinary reduction of manpower in that area~ Mr EDE: Mr Chairman, I note that the increase in sales is not due to any increase in the provision of services and that there is an estimated nil load growth for 1985-86, as borne out by the fuel increase explanations. Is this simply being conservative in the budget process or is there something behind what is quite a remarkable estimate? Mr DONDAS: Mr Chairman, I acknowledge the question. Mr EDE: Mr Chairman, I note that travel has increased by 44%. There are 3 areas to which this is related, and one is the expenses required for the provision of electricity to Aboriginal communities. However, I note also that, in that area, sales figures will not increase accordingly. Does this bear out my earlier concern that NTEC itself will not take on the sales but instead the Department of Community Development will become involved in something that is not its function? . Another argument for the increase in travel was the maintenance and servicing of an ever-expanding reticulation network. As I said, we have been told the sales figures will not increase. I would like some details of the ever-expanding network and the anticipated increase in the cost of air fares and travel allowances. I would not have assumed that these would have increased by more than the inflation rate - certainly not by 4%. Mr DONDAS: I acknowledge that very simple question, Mr Chairman. Mr EDE: Mr Chairman, I refer to the increases in the costs of maintenance. For the external services maintenance agreement and repairs to plant and equipment, there has been an overall 44% increase in this component. Is the plant and equipment of the commission deteriorating at a rate more rapid than inflation? Increases in maintenance costs are not sufficient explanation for expenditure increases above the rate of inflation. I would ask why the real maintenance costs are increasing in the commission's plant. Mr DONDAS: I acknowledge the question, Mr Chairman. Mr EDE: Mr Chairman, insurance has increased by 188% from $416 000 to $1.2m. Part of the explanation is that $334 000 for 1984-85 was charged against provisions established in 1983-84. That makes me wonder at the type of accounting system we have. It sounds to me to be part accrual and part cash accounting. However, the balance of the difference is attributed to higher premiums. There is an increase of $450 000 or 37.5% in the premiums. Does NTEC go out to tender for its insurance or is it required to go to TIO, and is this a form of subsidy to TIO? Mr DONDAS: I acknowledge the question. 1892

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