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





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 11 November 1986 listing. He has given no information in support 01' his motion. apart from the political slogan run by Harry Butler yesterday on behalf of the government which is paying him. We have had no evidence put before us that would justify support for this motion. My motion simply seeks to allow all members - and perhaps it could be done during the course of this sittings and debate deferred until the final week - to acquaint themselves with the very detailed criteria relating to World Heritage listing. I am happy to provide copies. They can acquaint themselves also with a detailed brief. which no doubt can be provided by the Northern Territory Conservation Commission. of where those assets exist or do not exist in Kakadu National Park. It would allow us all to have a look at the submission which allegedly is going to Paris with the Deputy Chief Minister. It would allow us to see the Harry Butler video taken in Kakadu National Park which allegedly will be used as the basis for opposing this nomination. That will allow us all to do credit to this Assembly and the Northern Territory. which we are pledged to serve. by voting in an informed rather than an ignorant manner. Mr COULTER (Treasurer): Mr Speaker. we have just heard nothing new from the member for Arafura; he has said all those things many times before. He said that Mr Hawke was at Ranger 68. In fact. there was television evidence to suggest that he was not at Ranger 68 when he made the statement. Some 5 or 6 weeks ago. on 24 September. Senator Durack wanted to go to Ranger 68. He wrote to Professor Ovington to ask if it was all' right to go there and the professor's reply of the same date was that the ANPWS was not aware of the location of Ranger 68. Professor Ovington must have really schooled himself up since then. He had seen Crocodile Dundee. had a closer look and. 6 weeks later. he knew where Ranger 68 was. The tour guide. Crocodile Bob. the member for Arafura. knows where it is. At that time. Professor Ovington did not. He is the man who ridicules his former boss Mellanby for the criteria he used in respect of national parks in England where Ovington served his apprenticeship. He ridicules the man who taught him all he knows today. the man who has come to Australia. He says that he nailed birds to trees and mowed nature strips. The man who says these things. Professor OVington. is responsible for Kakadu stage 3 which occupies 20 000 km 2 of the Northern Territory. If all 20 mining companies were to go ahead. as have suggested. they would occupy 1% of the park. I have been quoted in the national papers as saying that the total area occupied by the Ranger mine is 4 km 2 It produces enough fuel to generate 30 000 megawatts of electricity. which is 1.5 times Australia's annual requirements. The national papers have seen the Hawke exercise for what it is. Hawke is a skin-deep greenie. Members have only to read any recent newspaper to realise that he is not convincing anybody. It is political gimmickry that simply will not work. I can lay my hands on many newspaper cuttings in which Mr Hawke is quoted as saying that the government will allow mining in Kakadu. Only a few weeks ago. in September. he was saying to his officers and staff that he would keep his options open in relation to mining in Kakadu. His wooing of the greenies will backfire because intelligent Australians will see it for what it is. One editorial. which I do not have with me at the moment. put it quite clearly. It said that the Prime Minister will not fool thousands of intelligent Australians. Many of them - and it hurts me to say it - are members of the Labor Party. and they will see this exercise for what it is. Of course, the member for Arafura says that there should be no mining in stage 2, nor in Gimbat or Goodparla in stage 3. 761