Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)


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 11 November 1986 community within the Northern Territory and it contributes substantially to the Northern Territory's income. In fact, I would say that, per head of population, it contributes more than any other community within the Northern Territory. Unfortunately, we did not rate a mention in the Treasurer's budget speech and, after having a look through the capital works program, I can understand why because we did not rate a mention there either. I had hoped that we could have at least achieved the sealing of a link road within the community, a road known as Beagle Circuit. It is a matter that I pressed the government about for a number of years. Unfortunately, it did not see fit to include that in the capital works program. I commend the government for continuing to allocate funds for the access road into Nhulunbuy from various Aboriginal communities. There was a crazy notion some years ago that there would be a 2-lane bitumen highway running into Nhulunbuy. Of course, that was insanity then and it is insanity now. Aboriginal people, however, desire better roads. They are sick to death of having to pay enormous fees for charter aircraft to fly basic essential goods into their communities. I commend the government for taking a far more conciliatory approach to these access roads into and out of Nhulunbuy and continuing to fund them. Apparently, the Department of Health is funding a health works program in Darwin. Amongst my constituents, there are a number of Aboriginal people. Obviously, those people have no access to the Casuarina shopfront facility that is provided to persons living in Darwin. Those persons do not see the delightful advertisement that is played regularly upon commercial television. As far as they are concerned, the entire program of health works is an absolute waste of time. However, taking a look through the medical and hospitalisation statistics, I would presume that Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory generally would constitute about 50% of the hospitalised population. Therefore, I am left with the conclusion that the health works program is not about trying to improve the health of that sector of the community but is simply jingoism and political grandstanding. The expenditure of money on that program does not affect the majority of hospitalised persons within my electorate and I suppose it does not affect one way or the other the majority of hospitalised persons throughout the Northern Territory. It is a front and a stupid piece of political grandstanding. With those words, I will leave it to the government ministers. Mr STEELE (Elsey): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to respond to the Treasurer's budget speech and it is now quite some time since it was delivered. In preparing his first budget, the Treasurer found himself in a fairly tough situation given the national economic perspective at the time and the poor economic control exercised by our federal government, resulting in heavily increased foreign borrowings, the collapse of the Australian dollar on the international scene and the general downturn of the economy. This has placed the Territory and, for that matter, the whole of Australia in a very adverse fiscal situation indeed. Despite this and despite the external constraints placed on Territorians by the actions of the Commonwealth Treasurer, spending in the Northern Territory budget will be maintained in the Katherine region to the benefit of the Territory work force. - Significant capital works items such as the Katherine East High School at $13.5m, the new power-station at $27m and the Housing Commission program of 190 accommodation units are all major items which complement expenditure by the federal government on the development of the Tindal RAAF base project. ' 848

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