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 South Australia is in a similar predicament. In New South Wales, nobody would know what the government is up to. It is a little bit like the Crimes Commission and everybody knows what the Crimes Commission is in New South Wales - it is about 20%. But, nobody would know where it is at in terms of its budget. It is fairly well hidden. The Northern Territory government has been quite open in its budgetary deliberations. It has laid all its facts and figures on the table, and we believe that we have a budget that will put us on a sound economic footing and take us into 1987-88 in front. There are not too many states in Australia which have the opportunity to do that. Some of the states are desperately relying on measures like the gold tax. Victoria is grasping at straws to grab any piece of revenue to try to extract itself from its predicament. South Australia mined something like $25 000 worth of gold last year. It does not care about a gold tax. In terms of revenue, what amazed me was the member for Stuart coming back from the ALP conference in Tasmania saying that he had singlehandedly stopped the gold tax. Mr Ede: That is incorrect. Mr COULTER: I will provide the member for Stuart's press statements. Mr Ede: I did it before I came back. Mr COULTER: He talked about what he had done to remove the gold tax, and I will remind him of that tomorrow when I have consulted the little file I have on the member for Stuart. I will remind him because, obviously, he has forgotten what he said. The Northern Territory government will not tax industries out of existence. We will provide them with opportunities to get on with growth, and this budget will allow that to happen. The capital works program was maintained because it is the life-blood of the Northern Territory. We are about development. As I said when speaking earlier today, we are unashamedly pro-development. Our record speaks for itself: schools programs, sports ovals, the university, the safe ship mooring at Frances Bay, development funding for primary production, money for the Trade Development Zone and tourism industry finance. Health services were maintained and the Department of Community Development was also able to maintain a meaningful program which met the needs of all Territorians. I would like -to turn to a contentious issue. I have said time and time again in the Assembly that I would like to provide members opposite with a briefing on contingent liabilities. Some years ago, this government seeded an industry. It developed places likeYularaand the Sheratons in Alice Springs and Darwin. I am unashamed of the efforts made by previous ministers to establish such wonderful facilities. They will enable us to capture the tourist markets that we hear the Leader of the Opposition talk about from time to time. The simple fact is that the Minister for Tourism is now considering extensions to Yulara.This is the white elephant the opposition told us about just 12 months ago. We are now looking at developing additional accommodation at Yulara. The Sheraton at Yulara is nothing less than a masterpiece. Its design is ideal, it provides wonderful accommodation, and it is held in very high esteem by overseas visitors and Alice Springs locals alike. We also hear the opposition knocking casinos from time to time. The new owners of the Alice Springs Sheraton have development plans which will enable 875