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 facilities for aged people and the other amenities that are provided, with significant support from the Northern Territory government, he was moved to issue a national press statement saying how impressed he was with the work that the Northern Territory government does with senior citizens. When aged pensioners in the Northern Territory have to wait periods up to a maximum of 12 months and, in some cases, particularly in the Palmerston area, even periods as short as 1 or 2months for allocation of pensioner housing, it is easy to see why the increase in the number of pensioners in the Northern Territory is currently about 7% per annum. No wonder our oldies are staying here. But that is about the only time we have heard from the opposition regarding pensioners. Criticism of computer studies subsidies was another area. The federal government's program on computers in schools last year allocated $266 000 and it is down to $7000 this year. Northern Territory schools are way ahead of any state in that area, and for obvious reasons. The Minister for Education outlined clearly the need for and the benefits of a university in the Northern Territory. If that does not satisfy the members opposite, I do not know what will. It is not just about providing undergraduate courses here to help our own kids attain a reasonable level of education, it is more than that. It is research that benefits the community directly. Currently, some 90 research projects are being carried out in the Northern Territory in conjunction with universities around Australia. We gain nothing, or almost nothing, from those projects. What we need is a base for those research projects to be tied to a Northern Territory university so that Territorians can gain from the studies of an area where people have faced problems not experienced anywhere else in Australia. We do not want the value of that research going down to Melbourne and other places. In looking at the future of the Northern Territory, we are talking about skills and high tech-based industries that are all part of this program, through the Trade Development Zone and the training programs that the minister has included in his budget paper. All of these things have great relevance to a university. Specific research associated with activities that will ensure diversity in the Northern Territory's economy wi 11 be so important. The Leader of the Opposition spoke about alternative ALP policies. Where are they? During the last sittings, the Leader of the Opposition said that very soon we would hear the ALP's economic policies. At that time, he said that he would release details of his economic policies within the following 3 weeks~ He apologised profusely because, for some months, he had been saying to the press, 'next week, next week, next week'. Mr Speaker, he keeps saying, 'next week'. During the August sittings, he indicated that we would hear within 3 weeks. We have heard absolutely nothing since. Some 6 weeks ago, he unveiled that magnificent cornerstone of ALP economic policy - an arts festival that would bring trillions of dollars into the Northern Territory economy. Any thinking person would realise that, whilst such a project might be commendable as a facility for Territorians, it would cost a fair bit to establish and run for at least the first 5 or 10 years. It might break even then or perhaps make some money. When he made that press release, he said that, within the next few weeks, he would issue many such economic policies. That was 6 weeks ago and we have heard nothing since, unless, of course, he was referring to the press release he issued the other day on the regurgitation of the community watch. There might be some economic implications in that. Perhaps he was referring to his industrial supplies office project. He has been yapping about that for some 3 or 4 months. 867