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 The Tindal project has been described as the largest capital works item in the Commonwealth. An estimated $210m will be spent to develop the base, the headquarters for the FA18 aircraft due to arrive in October 1988. At the end of October this year, contracts worth $125m had been let. In 1984-85, $4m was expended on the project. In 1985-86, this figure was $34m. Currently, spending is around $300 000 per day or approximately $7m per month. Total expenditure to date is around $70m. Over 800 employees are involved working either for contractors or for the Department of Housing and Construction. Significant progress has been made with the establishment of most of the basic services. Works completed to date include the Department of Housing and Construction site office, roads and engineering services to the technical support side and the administration area, security fencing, the construction of the first 21 RAAF houses at Katherine East, the 17.34 km Stuart Highway deviation, the main base access road and the married quarters subdivision. All available local subcontractors have been employed by main contractors where practical. However, the market has reached saturation point and labour is now being brought in from Darwin. Largely, construction workers are accommodated in a construction camp being operated by the Master Builders Association and local firms, and now the Department of Housing and Construction is building a further camp. This important infrastructure is needed for what is the largest air base in the world. The geographical area of Tindal is some 122 km2 Tenders have been let for construction at Katherine East and on the base. Complementary sporting facilities will be established including playing fields, gymnasium and swimming pool. While this development is taking place, Katherine is receiving the benefit of support development by the private sector, including caravan parks and other tourist-related infrastructure. However, destructive taxation policies have inhibited much-needed capital development in the private accommodation areas. High interest rates and increasing Commonwealth bureaucratic interference have prevented many of our entrepreneurs from generating prosperity and employment. Quite a number of capable productive business operators have stopped investment in job-producing areas. The Treasurer has referred to the opening of a youth centre in Katherine. Funding for this has been identified in the Department of Community Development and accommodation is being assessed. There is a desperate need for this facility in Katherine and it is starting to become overdue. In 1986-87, the Northern Territory government will support the establishment of St Joseph's Primary School with a subsidy of interest against borrowings in the order of some $500 000. Much of the preliminary clearing work has been undertaken at the new school site at the corner of Maluka Road. Contracts have been let for the access road and car park, for the ring mains and fire hydrant and for landscaping and a play area. Tenders closed on 10 October 1986 for the contract to construct the school building and the Northern Territory will provide 2 demountables. Katherine builders won the contract at $329 000. The establishment grant is yet to be finalised but some help will be needed to cover up the enormous boulders allover the playing field area. In this financial year, the Conservation Commission will complete much-needed works at Katherine Gorge with the sealing of the access road and car park. Sewerage reticulation will also commence. Improvements will be made at Cutta Cutta Caves and Mataranka National Park, and construction of the ranger administration centre at Timber Creek will commence. Timber Creek is 849