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 Because of my personal interest in the agricultural industry, I still believe that the Department of Primary Production is not the vigorous, aggressive government department it should be, when it is considered that it represents the interests of all primary industry in the Northern Territory. I do not know what it i~, but something is lacking. I do not know whether it is leadership or what, but it has been lacking for some time. On reading the report and knowing a bit of the background of how it was put together, knowing many people in the department and also looking at the budget papers and considering the work for which money has been allocated, I am left with the feeling that everyone in DPPis marking time. They are waiting for something to happen. I do not know the reason, but the Department of Primary Production people do not seem to be the leaders that they should be in the agricultural. industry in the Northern Territory. They are not the leaders in aggressive research. They appear to me to be always behind industry instead of being out in front as they should be. I do not believe research should be undertaken just for the sake of it but with the aim of applying it in practical farm situations. Our government has expressed an interest in research, backed up to some extent by the resources of the Menzies School of Health Research which will have research programs with an indirect effect on animal and primary industry. To my great regret, I believe that there is insufficient interest and interest must be generated before funds are made available. There is not enough interest in agricultural research in the Northern Territory. I do not know when this situation will be remedied. I know it is the wish of many of the officers in the Department of Primary Production to see this situation change, but I do not know when that will happen, particularly when one considers the reduced funding in this budget. My final remarks relate to the workings of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Authority. I believe that this is an active. and aggressive agency in the sphere of.Northern Territory agriculture. It has turned out to be the tail that is wagging the dog of primary industry. That should not be the case. The Department of Primary Production should be the senior partner but ADMA has been more effective because of its aggressive nature. It would be in the interests of Northern Territory agriculture if the Department of Primary Production could take a leaf out of ADMAs book. Mr HATTON (Chief Minister):' Mr Speaker, I rise to speak to the budget - a balanced budget framed against the backdrop of an Australian economy going down the gurgler. Our budget for 1986-87 was framed under the most challenging of circumstances and in the knowledge that there is an urgent need for expenditure restraint. Unlike the federal governments budget, the NT budget is guided by sound management. It is a budget which will strengthen the Territorys long-term viability and growth. It will maintain essential programs and provide for important new initiatives within the resources available to us. While weare managing our economy and getting on with the job of developing the Territory, the Leader of the Opposition is incapable of anything more than nitpicking and petty quibbling in his response to the budget. All around us, we can see the effects of the gross mismanagement of Australias affairs perpetrated by the federal Labor government. The Canberra colleagues of the members opposite had the audacity to applaud themselves on their so-called credibility as economic managers. Labor could not get its act together to manage a backyard barbecue. 812