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 next month, that they should be happy because their taxes were not increased. I am sure that I cannot explain the difference to the car owners or the people who are receiving massive hikes in their water and sewerage charges, but I am afraid those suffering citizens have not seen the last of it. While this is the most rubbery budget I have seen, it will not stretch to cover the figures the Treasurer would have us accept. Look at those figures, Mr Speaker. I would like to draw your attention first to the government charges that we have been told about so far. For example, the rises are: registration of cars - 10% to 15%; registration of trucks - 20%; driving licences - 100%; learners ' permits - 200%; basic water charge - 25%; and sewerage rates - 33%.. I would like to compare the increase in these charges with the increase in the budget charges. The car registration and licence fees rose by an average of about 25%, but the total budget item rose by 70%. Water charges rose by 25% but the total budget item rose by 50%. The sewerage charges rose by a third and the total budget item rose by 85%. We are told that we can accept this because there will be an increase in activity in these areas which will make up the amount tn the budget. First, in relation to motor vehicle charges, the point is absolutely ridiculous. During the last year and the previous year, the actual number of vehicles registered in the Northern Territory declined. In September, the figures were far worse than in the previous September. Mr Coulter: That's right. The fringe benefits tax. Mr EDE: I will take up that point about the fringe benefits tax. Is it true that the Treasurer did not know about that when he framed this budget or is it true that he could not work out that there would not be a 70% increase in the number of motor vehicles registered this year to give him those figures? In fact, he will only increase his total amount, at the very best, by something like 25% by those charges and he will have an enormous shortfall in that budget item. Take a look at housing, Mr Speaker. I refer now to the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. The number of houses being built gives a reasonable indication of whether the increases in the water and sewerage budget items can be achieved. Looking at the figures for 1980-81 until 1985-86, if we look at the total number of residential dwellings, we will see that the figures for the respective years are 2084, 2047, 2200, 2700, 2889 and 1808. In 1985-86, we had the lowest number of building approvals in the Northern Territory since at least 1979-80. Where then did the Treasurer get the idea that there would be a substantial increase this year, which would allow him to increase the total amount that would be received over and above the per item amount? As I said, both in private and public new residential buildings, the increase. that he had to work on was the lowest since 1979-80. I have no relevant figures prior to that date. How are we going this year? Mr Manzie: When they put an end to gearing up the interest rates. You ought to be ashamed. Why don't you say something about it? Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, please may I have your protection in this matter. Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Attorney-General will cease his cross-Chamber interjections. Mr EDE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It really does get wearing. 804