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 of the benefits. During the committee stage, I will be asking a lot of questions about housing. For example, I want to know why vast sums were spent to seal Yuendumu airstrip when the west camp situated only a couple of hundred yards away still has only a couple of stand pipes for washing and drinking. I want to know the rationale behind spending millions on these types of projects rather than on preventive health programs. Millions of dollars a year are spent in keeping children in hospital when the same amount, spent wisely, would keep them out of hospital. It would keep families together and prevent associated problems. Mr Speaker, I could talk at length about the Tanami road, about the maintenance program to keep the Lajamanu road crew going, about housing in the electorate of Stuart generally, and about the youth centre at Yuendumu which has a direct relationsh'ip with the success or otherwise of the anti petrol sniffing program there. I will be asking questions in relation to the International Decade of Water and the chances of this government succeeding in meeting the standards established during that decade, which is now 6 years past with Austral ia still lagging very badly behind. I will be asking about the development of the Plenty Highway to facilitate those rock and reef tours that I am always talking about. I will be asking about the schools that have not been built in the electorate, the number of students who do not have access even to primary education let alone quality secondary education. These are issues that I will be taking up in the committee stage of.this bill. I would hope that the answers will offer some reason for the anomalies that are very obvi ous ly conta i ned in the bill. Mrs PADGHAM-PURICH (Koolpinyah): Mr Speaker, I rise to express some pleasure about the budget that the Treasurer has brought down. We are speaking to the Appropriation Bill. 'Appropriation' means 'setting aside for a particular purpose'. In this case, it relates to money at the disposition of the Northern Territory government, raised partly by government charges and taxes in the Northern Territory, partly from Commonwealth contributions under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding of 1978, and partly from specific purpose grants to the Northern Territory on the basis that the Territory is completely unlike any state because of its juvenile stage of development and partly because, in respect of financial matters, it is now considered to be a state. The Territory is in rather an anomalous position because, in terms of some considerations by the Commonwealth it is regarded as a state and, as such, receives a state-like share of funding. In the melding and dovetailing of these various sources of finance, one thing is paramount. and has been paramount since self-government: the development of the Northern Territory can occur only if there are people in the Northern Territory. People are necessary for its development and therefore they must be attracted to the Northern Territory. They have to be housed here, their children have to be educated here, hospitals and health services have to be provided here, shops have to be built to sell the necessities of modern life to them and their recreational needs must be taken care of. There is a spin-off as more people are needed to provide these services and, in turn, require services. All this needs to happen without recourse to deficit budgeting. From time to time, opposition members have commented on this government's continuing practice of keeping in the black. They have expressed some derision at our naive and simplistic approach in doing this. I will bet anything that any state premier would surrender his family jewels, and you know what I mean, to be in that position instead of having the deficit budgeting which occurs in the states. In any electorate, more development can 808