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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 to maintain the essential inspectorate provlslons at the casinos. It is a ridiculous situation~ I suggest to the government that. despite whatever massive and ridiculous subsidies it wants to extend to the casino operators. it is absurd to spend in excess of $0.5m a year currently to collect $5000. Obviously. I will be waiting with bated breath to see whether the government's round estimate of $lm is realised. Certainly. the situation should have been redressed a long time ago because: the $500 000 that has been spent on maintaining the casino inspectorate is another hidden subsidy to the casino operators. They cannot operate without that essential service being provided for the protection of the public. We should at least get that money back. The neatly rounded estimate of $lm looks like a figure plucked out of the air. It is obvious that something is wrong with the casino taxes and charges accounting system since. in Government Gazette No S56 of 19 August. the statement of receipts for the 3 months April. May and June 1986 was $69 760 whilst for the 9 months to 3 June 1986. which includes April. May and June. the receipts for casino taxes and charges was $5288. Either the figures in the gazette are wrong and demonstrate a casual approach to casino taxes which will throw the 1986-87 estimate of a $lm in round figures into doubt or the government has been paying taxes and charges back to the casino. I would like the responsible minister to advise which of these alternatives isin fact the case. It would be nice. for the first time in some years. to at least get back the money that we are spending in that additional subsidy. The Chief Minister is nodding his head. so I can assume that that will happen. I would like to address one general issue in respect of the education budget. In his speech,. the Treasurer claimed a 6.6% increase in spending by the Department of Education. Of course. this is only true if we ignore inflation. In real terms. the expenditure on education in the Northern Territory is down by 1.7%. This is in a year when.' on the Treasurer's own statement. enrolments are expected to increase by 3% . ' According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Bulletin No 5504. local government finance. the NT government allocated only 26% of its final recurrent expenditure to education while the average for the 6 states was 42%. Can the Minister for Education explain why the children of the Northern Territory. who already receive a lesser budget share than other Australian children. have to suffer substantial real cuts in the resources allocated to them? Can the minister supply any evidence that Northern Territory children generally are doing so much better in their educational attainments in comparison with their southern counterparts that the small and diminished share of resources allocated to them will not adversely affect their progress? I woul d 11 ke to hear the mini ster address the fact that we: have a 26% allocation of our total recurrent expenditure against the state average of 42% in that year. Mr Manzie: Stay here and'I will explain it. Mr B. COLLINS: Despite the considerable efforts that I am making to be completely inoffensive in this debate. my words are falling on deaf ears. I am perfectly capable of reading the Hansard record. As the minister knows. I have to leave in about 5 minutes. The question is a perfectly reasonable one and there is no need for abuse about it. All I need is an answer and I may well find it perfectly acceptable. Mr Speaker. I wish to touch briefly on a couple of other issues which I will expand on later during these sittings. I refer to the question of the 820