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 runs into? You have it: Katherine Gorge. If you believe that the ALP will stop and not include Katherine Gorge in Kakadu stage 15, or whatever stage it is up to by that time, think again. I put it to members that that is the game pl an. Mr Speaker, I returned recently from Canberra and therefore I can tell you that that theory is alive and well in Canberra as well. In Canberra, I saw them drawing lines on a map of stage 3 and saying that mining would be permitted here and not permitted there. People 3000 km away are deciding the future of Northern Territorians by drawing lines on maps. Have a look at the lines drawn on the Kakadu stage 2 area. Do they follow any river system, any ecological strategy or any mountain range? No, they follow the straight lines of the old pastoral lease. The federal government has not been imaginative. Its officers have not been out there and tried to come to grips with the fact that it has become too big for them. The mineral prospectivity of the area is well known, but we would like to know more about it. The member for Arafura spoke about all members going out there. He forgot that most members have served time on the South Alligator River assessment committee on the environment and have indeed travelled out there on many occasions. The honourable member would remember Mr Milton who recently flew over Coronation Hill. I understand from reliable sources that Mr Hawke flew over it too during his recent trip. Unfortunately, he went to sleep and there are many people who were on board that flight who can provide that information. They flew in a helicopter over the 250 km 2 of the land claim at Coronation Hill. They said to the traditional owners: 'That must be that Bula site down there'. They all looked and said: 'Is it?' They were flying at 1000 ft at the time. Remember you can only fly at 1400 ft over Kakadu because, according to Derrick Ovington, it blows the seeds off the thistles and creates many problems. Accordingly, when they spotted it from the air, the Bula site was some 50 m away but that did not worry them. It should not worry the member of Stuart too much - the man who delivers letters full of cyanide around Alice Springs, giving a new meaning to the expression 'poison pen'. It should not worry him too much to know that you can fly over an area and assess it. Of course, that is what they did with the Milton inquiry recently. What we are trying to protect is the World Heritage List itself. We have legal opinion that the area does not stack up on even 1 of the criteria read out by the member for Arafura. There is a need for mining, to get Australia out of the economic plight that this Labor government, whose representatives are assembled here today, has brought about. It has a party policy in the Territory that will put us further behind. Our alternative government has a policy which would not allow mining in stage 3, including the Gimbat Goodparla area in the park, and which would give it back to the traditional owners. The choice that Territorians have is that they can go for a CLP government that is unashamedly pro-development. That is not a dirty word. Development is not an obscenity. It might be to the Prime Minister, but he would not recognise development if he fell over it. We have to get on with development before somebody else owns this country. We have celebrated Remembrance Day here this morning. It is also the date on which they hanged Ned Kelly and sacked Gough Whitlam. Let us hope that today~e can get this motion to the Prime Minister, to given him a message from the Northern Territory Mr LANHUPUY (Arnhem): Mr Speaker, I have listened to the Deputy Chief Minister. I urge honourable members to accept the amendments moved by the member for Arafura. I do not think the Deputy Chief Minister even touched on the motion moved by the Chief Minister. 765